Camping for Cub Scouts
Monica Pilman (TACVMCP@VM.TCS.TULANE.EDU)
Thu, 25 Oct 1990 14:09:29 CDT
Dear Fellow Scouters:
This past weekend our Pack went on a family camping trip to a state park
on the north side of Lake Ponchatrain. There were three cabins there,
and restroom and shower facilities, but all but one family brought their
tents and camping gear and set up camp along the tree line near the
cabins. For those of you familiar with the setup at Fountainbleau State
Park, we were in the Scout Camp area, using the Tepee cabins and the
cleared areas immediately around there.
Families slept in their tents together. I intend to ignore the alleged
rule about opposite sex family members sleeping together as long as I
can get away with it, on the grounds that it is a silly rule. Entire
families came: cub scouts, both parents, all siblings. We had a
no TV, no radios, no video games rule and it worked well. We organized
activities, such as baseball, basketball, sack races, tug-of-war,
bb gun target practice, dodge ball, jump rope and night hikes, such that
there was always something going on, and the rule was that everyone
was to participate, adults, scouts, siblings.
Cooking was done at the Den level (so that boys could earn badge or pin
credit for the meal). People wandered around during suppertime to
scope out what everyone else had done and were often offered a sample
(the boys were proud of their cooking abilities).
We had a moderate sized evening campfire that was a lot of fun, and the
boys created various play-in-the-dark games that the adults would join
in, and all had a good time till taps.
A few of the younger boys cried when we started packing up to go home
on Sunday. It was a wonderful experience for everyone, and I have had
more than one parent tell me how fun it was to get the whole family
away from the TV or radios or Nintendos for a weekend and just have
fun together. The kids are still talking about the trip, and looking
forward with great eagerness to next time.
We had one scraped knee, and one possible snake bite (some boys said it
was a snake, others said it was just thorns...the kid is fine, in fact,
he was never sick for a minute).
I invite those of you who think that Family Camping outings such as
these are *bad* for cub scouts to look at the faces of those little
boys and their families, and listen to them tell you about it.
Perhaps you will change your minds.
My own feeling was that this was what scouting was meant to be.
--- Monica C. Pilman
Cubmaster, Pack 234
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City