Re: Summer Camp Mess Halls
Mon, 15 Jun 1992 10:58:35 PDT
C'mon, Jim - you're being a little bit harsh.
>Patrol cooking is my preferred way of camping but my
>experience is that most units don't want take time for
>it -- translate that to aren't organized enough, don't
>have the skills, are too lazy, or any of a number of
>real reasons. <Jim Sleezer>
There really are a number of <real reasons>.
Summer camp often provides an opportunity for boys to work on a number of
advancement requirements. In some cases, depending on the local district and
council setup, it's almost the only chance for some merit badges. The time
required for unit or patrol cooking can quickly eat into class times set for
those advancement requirements. Some camps allocate a very limited time for
meals, so preparation and cleanup kill the badge session at either end of the
Granted there are lots of requirements you can fill while doing the cooking,
but those can be just as easily filled at your unit's monthly campouts. With a
seeming increased pressure for performance. I've seen parents and unit leaders
upset that their Johnny Scout Camper returned home with less than a half dozen
completed badges. A ridiculous expectation? Of course. But try to explain
that to a kid who's missing his archery lesson to clean the frying pan.
Troops often arrive at summer camp with a collection of new members and
recent Webelos graduates. Aside from the missing skills you pointed out, the
intense load of preparing meals on a thrice-daily basis tossed onto pangs of
homesickness can make for a less-than-happy experience. Particularly on those
miserably cold and rainy weeks, the trips to a dining hall can become a
treasured bright spot.
You brought up a good point that camp spirit can be enhanced by dining
halls. Very true. It's an opportunity to meet informally with the camp staff
members as well as other units. It's an opportunity to learn that your unit's
way of doing things isn't the only way. And maybe to learn some new songs.
And to pass the word about camp goings-on.
In my years on a camp staff, I always thought of the camp as being my
extended family. We all went our own way during the day, but reassembled to
share mealtime fellowship. For me, that's *why* we went to camp.
Past Prime Scouter
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City