Summer Camp Numbers
Charles Schmidt (schmidt@UNIX1.IS.TCU.EDU)
Mon, 27 Jun 1994 23:44:54 CDT
I have been back from summer camp for a week now and have enjoyed the
comments of those suffering from problems. I am the scoutmaster of
Troop 64 in the Longhorn Council (Fort Worth and surrounding counties).
It is a troop of 56 boys - about 20 more than I would like, but I am not
comfortable with the idea of telling Webelos who want to join that they
are not welcome. We will undoubtedly loose about 5-10 scouts before
year's end bringing the number back into a reasonable range. We
currently have six patrols, including two new scout patrols.
We attended camp at Worth Ranch - one of the oldest scout camps in the
country, taking 36 boys (eleven new scouts) with four full time leaders
and several part-time ones so that we generally had five or six in camp
at any given time. This seemed a sufficient number, but we were greatly
aided by an excellent program provided by a frist class camp stff.
There were about 200 scouts and leaders in camp for the week we were there.
The council has a second summer camp at Sid Richardson Scout Ranch, and
I believe there are about 250 a week there.
Merit badge programs were a bit tougher than in the past - about right I
would say. Only about one fourth of the boys taking Environmental
Science actually received it, for example, and in talking with the 21 yr
old instructor, I think he was pretty fair. Swimming had a higher
success rate, and the handicraft badges were generally pretty
successful, negative comments on them not withstanding. Other merit
badges were likewise well run. (The staff was about 20 young men).
I can sympathize with the adults of the 96 boy troop. The third year I
attended camp with the troop as an assistant sm (I just finished my
eleventh year at camp - now 8 as SM), two of us had 42 boys. It nearly
killed us both, and our problems were small compared to those described.
The worst of it was the evening we were roused by calls that "Jeff has
caught a copperhead and is afraid to let it go." When I got there, it
turned out the Jeff was not at all afraid - he was trying to get it into
a plastic bag. Regretably, the snake was injured and had to be killed.
As for optimum conditions, I have had my most enjoyable camps with about
28 boys and four or five adults. A well run camp augmented by a planned
out troop program makes for a great week. I am already looking forward
to next year's trip to Worth. And, more importantly, almost every boy
who went this year is too.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City