Re: District Activities (WAS: Re: OA Camping at District Camporee)
Chris Haggerty, Sierra Vista, Arizona (CHAGGERTY@ARIZBPA.BITNET)
Mon, 18 Oct 1993 13:35:00 MST
You must have some exciting Camporees to get the units to give up 1/3 of
their weekend monthly campouts. Good troops have at least one campout a
month except summer (June, July, August) when they go to summer camp. True
some troops do more but they are lucky to have the adults available to do
this, most troops do less.
I know of many areas which have cut down from two to one camporee because
the troops complained that it was too much and they were the same old thing
over and over (planning problem).
I also agree with you that good troops need to help the district promote
good programs to other units and that Camporees are a good place to do
this. But three or even two times a year are too much. The reason many of
the good troops are so good has to do with the program. Read that outdoor
program. If you take too big a chunk out of that and I really think three
camporees most certainly does, then you are really hurting their program,
not helping it. On the otherhand, if you have a weak troop with very
little support in the planning area, then the three camporess a year might
be the three of the five weekend trips that they take a year. That helps
them out a lot and maybe they will buildup and add more camping trips as
the interest grows.
I do however, stand by my statement that the district is a support
organization and the center of real activity should be the unit. The
district provides training, events, information, and someone to go to if
you have a question.
As far as units in isolation goes, it depends on the unit. If the unit was
not very good to begin with, yes it will get worse. If the unit is a very
good or even just a good unit, they can survive quite well without the
camporees and I have seen some real super troops do this. They still
should participate in the training and roundtables, but I have seen some
leaders get by quite well without the roundtables and were trained 15 years
ago. They keep up to date by reading, which is frequently more educational
than many training classes (Yes there are super training classes out there
which do a super job, but most do not go beyond what you get your self
from reading and some do not even cover that very well.)
Also you need to consider how much planning and learning about planning the
scouts are getting in if the District is planning their calender and their
campouts. One of my SPL jobs many years ago was planning the Saturday
Afternoon activity (Sat Morning was advancment). Camporees are easy, the
program for the entire weekend are all layed out. An SPL does not even
have to find someone to do the Sunday morning service (or worry about doing
it himself when he cannot not find someone).
If a pack has the support and resources to do it's own Cub Scout Kite Fly,
then I would support them to do it that way instead of going to the
District Kite Fly. This keeps their parents envolved and having fun. My
other choice in this case would be to have them do the District Kite Fly.
Many districts get their strongest troops to the camporees by having them
do the camporee (they are the committee). That is a planning experience
for the scouts and a very good one.
But I still do not think that any good unit with at least a national
standard camping program has to or even needs to go to camporees. One a
year is good, but anymore than that and there goes some of the variety
which can be offered a youth through the many outdoor program activities.
Sierra Vista, Arizona
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemmens): "Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw
those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City