Re: First year program
Ed Henderson (BigEdBSA@AOL.COM)
Wed, 1 Mar 1995 02:19:09 -0500
Here is what we do at Camp Thunder in the Flint River Council. This is a
text copy of our Program Mision Statement Found in our leader's guide. It is
one of many summer camp forms, program ideas and projects I have uploaded on
America On Line's Scouting Forum. I have uploaded a small number on
Compuserve & Prodigy.
THE BUCKSKIN FIRST YEAR CAMPER PROGRAM
For new scouts, the Buckskin First Year Camper Program is the place to
be! This is a carefully developed program designed to meet the needs of boys
who have not yet achieved First Class. The Buckskin program, housed at Fort
Muscogee next to the Chape; has a dedicated staff which operates an all day
(9:00am-12:00pm & 2:00-4:00pm) session. This program includes both the First
Aid & Swimming Merit Badges as well as the opportunity to earn several
Handicraft Merit Badges. Although we have had a first year camper program in
past years the 1995 program has been given a new identity and for the first
time ever each participant will receive a special button that they will help
design with their Buckskin Patrol name on it. The Buckskin program reflects
the current Tenderfoot - 1st Class Progress Award requirements. We have
added more youth staff with a goal of achieving an 8 to 1 camper to staff
ratio in order to emphasis the patrol method with a staff member acting as
guide for each "patrol".
The Buckskin program is designed to compliment, not replace, the unit's
own new scout training program. Major goals of the program are to
familiarize scouts with the basic outdoor
skills. These goals are achieved through the overnighter trip, events in the
Buckskin Program area, and a Carnival of Scoutcraft Skills event on Fridays.
More excitement is
provided with the use of multi-media shows including the Paramount Pictures
trail to First Class video tape series. Scouts will also have the
opportunity to earn items such as the
Tote-n and Fire-n Chips. When unit advancements are handed out, unit leaders
will receive a special report on each scout showing which progress award
items were accomplished during the week.
More than just a way for the new scout to earn a major portion of the
Tenderfoot - First Class badge requirements, the program seeks to provide a
basic understanding of scouting's Aims & Methods. The Patrol concept is
introduced and stressed throughout the week with competitions between the
program groups. A short history of scouting and an overview of scouting's
high adventure, national, and international aspects will be presented. The
Buckskin campers will share what they have learned at the Friday night
campfire with a skit for parents called "How Scouting Came to America."
An overview of the entire
advancement program is explained, proper uniforming stressed, and ideas
presented so the scout can better understand the significance of what occurs
at his home scout meeting. Upon completion of the program, if the Unit Board
of Review accepts the recommendations of the Buckskin staff, scouts will need
to complete those remaining requirements which can not be completed at a
scout camp such as the 30 day physical fitness exercise requirement and the
participation in troop & patrol activities. In cooperation with the Camp
Chaplain special counseling will be available to assist new scouts who may be
experiencing homesickness or are having problems adjusting to camp life.
Scoutmasters are encouraged to come to Fort Muscogee each day to work
with their scouts involved in the Buckskin program. A special part of the
Buckskin Program for
Scoutleaders is a discussion (see master schedule for exact time & location)
& orientation conducted by the Buckskin & Program Directors at Fort Muscogee
This seminar is designed to help scoutmasters with a brief overview of the
Tenderfoot - 1st Class Progress Award system and to review the progress of
their scouts enrolled in the program. During the meeting we hope to make
leaders aware of some of the media and materials available to troops.
Scouts taking the Buckskin program should not sign up for any other
badges. A scout who has been in the troop for some time and has already
advanced to second class may find much of the program repetitive. Those
scouts will have the option of setting an appointment with the First Year
Camper Director (with Scoutmaster approval) to work on
individual Progress Award requirements which they may lack at 4pm each day.
Two "big events" occur in the program during the week. The first we call
the "Wednesday Overnighter". On Friday these & other skills will be
demonstrated at a special Carnival of Scoutcraft skills.
Swimming Skills are largely completed during the Sunday swim check and
later on in Swimming Merit Badge class. Those scouts unable to pass the
swimming test can take Red Cross Swim Instruction. All First Aid skills are
covered in depth as part of the First Aid Merit Badge class. In addition
to skill instruction, which includes active lab participation in cooking,
knot tying, and compass course reading All scouts will memorize and learn
the significance of the Boy Scout Oath, Law, Motto, Slogan, & Outdoor Code.
EACH BUCKSKIN CAMPER SHOULD BRING HIS SCOUT HANDBOOK WITH HIM EACH DAY. A
separate day by day Buckskin First Year Camper Program Schedule is available
at the camp office or from the course director.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City