Charles Schmidt (schmidt@UNIX1.IS.TCU.EDU)
Fri, 21 Oct 1994 09:32:40 CDT
Having been through the trailer discussion locally with other leaders, I
can no longer resist adding my opinion (actually, I could resist, but I
decided not to do so).
In principle, not having a trailer makes planning more important and
thereby teaches the boys something important. In practice, the
logistics of camping with a large troop make a trailer nearly essential.
We typically have about 30 boys attend a monthly camping trip. I have
an average of 6 assistant SM's along on one of these trips. Not all of
us own suburbans (even though it is the national car of Texas), so we
must have parents drive who don't plan to stay. Not a big deal except
that most of the time we are camping in places 70 or 80 miles away from
town and a parent driving will be returning home at 10:00 PM on a Friday
night. Without a trailer, carrying the gear for 40 people takes more
vehicles than carrying the 40 people.
Even when backpacking, a car cannot carry the loaded backpacks for the
number of scouts it can carry. On our last trip to Philmont with 12
boys and 6 adults, it took two vans and two explorer-type vehicles to get
there, and we carried the packs empty and stuffed gear everywhere.
After having our first trailer stolen, we did rent for a few trips, and
the best price we could get was about $50 for the weekend. Even at
$1500, our new trailer was money well spent.
Yes, we do have a problem with boys taking too much stuff, but I don't
believe not having a trailer helps. It just makes it more difficult for
the person responsible for logistics. We plan at least one wilderness
survival campout a year where the boys can only bring a sleeping bag, a
ground cloth, and whatever will fit in a 1 pound coffee can (wussie
wilderness survival, admittedly), and we do backpacking trips from time
to time. If you have a small troop - do without your trailer, but don't
be too quick to judge the larger troops who use one.
Charles Schmidt firstname.lastname@example.org
SM, Troop 64
Longhorn Council, Fort Worth, Texas
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City