FIRST YEAR PROGRAM - POLL
Ed Henderson (BigEdBSA@AOL.COM)
Sun, 5 Mar 1995 10:38:01 -0500
Bill has provided us with a poll of what a First Year Camper Program should
include. Three days ago I provided a synopsis of our camp's program at Camp
Thunder. Now I will respond to Bill's poll of what a camp should offer.
I hoped my first post helped you a little about what we do at the Thunder
Scout Reservation. In addition to the below requirements I think the Totten
& Fire Chits are very important. We also want to stress basic concepts in
scouting like Patrol Method and the history of scouting. Except for a few
sessions we divide the First Year Campers into Patrols and use a round robin
format with staff at each station and CIT's to serve as Patrol Guides, thus
at any given station we have two staffers working with first year camper
patrols of 8 - 10 scouts. Now to your poll.....
1) Prepare to camp
*** Yes, Accomplished on overnight trip to our outpost camp
2) Overnight camp
*** Yes, scouts pitch a backpack tent they either bring or one of
the 12 tents our camp purchased for this specific need.
3a) Whipping and fusing rope
*** Yes, using both synthetic and woven natural fibers.
*** Yes, skills taught before overnighter and then put into
practice as the scouts build a camp gadget.
4) Hiking Rules
*** Yes, the Hike to the outpost camp and the rules are gone
over before the overnighter.
5) Care of the flag
*** Yes, we "borrow" the Camp Flag poll to each this part
6) Scouting Principles
*** Yes, and please make it interesting with games, songs, etc.
7) patrol knowledge
*** Partly, we use a "patrol Method" at our Buckskin First Year
Camper program and we do daily consultation with scout leaders
but we do NOT sign this off since we don't really know about their
home patrols. We ask that scout leaders in the troops sign this
off since we are not aware of what their home unit cheers, yells,
patrol names are. While in our program we have them make up
a flag, yell, and cheer to give them the idea in case they are not
doing those things back in the unit.
8) Buddy System
*** Yes, Accomplished at the Waterfront
9a) Physical Test
*** Yes, we do the initial check up, and start each morning with
the Calasthetics program (thus we have given them the first five
of their 30 days of exercises.
9b) Physical Improvement
*** NO, by definition this must be accomplished 30 days from
the first day they were in camp. We provide a "progress grid"
sheet for them to take home and record their dailey progress. It
is up to them & their leader to complete this part 30 days later.
10) Posisonous Plants
*** Yes, we show an excellent FREE video from the makers of
a Poison Ivy Cream callled Tecnu called " Avoiding Poisonous
Plants" which lasts about 15 minutes.
11a) Heimlich Maneuver
*** Yes, we show the Red Cross Video segment on this & practice
11b) First Aid
*** Yes, all First Aid items are covered on a "First Aid" day
1a) Map and compass use
*** Yes, done before overnighter camp & hike
1b) Map and compass hike
*** Yes, done as a part of overnighter camp & hike
2a) CAN'T DO
*** Agreed. we explain what this requirement involves and stress
to the scouts that meeting & activity attendance is important to
having a good patrol
2b) Wood tools
*** Yes, including interactive displays and contests.
2c) Cooking Fire
*** Yes, we demonstrate several methods and have the scouts
do this in the overnighter
2d) Meal preparation
*** Yes, same as 2c
2e) Tent Pitching
*** Yes, on the overnighter. We encourage scouts to bring a tent
from their troop so they can gain experience in learning how to
set up a tent that they will be using on future campouts.
3) Flag Ceremony
*** NO, we do have flagpolls in all sites and stress to unit leaders
and Buckskin Participants that they SHOULD have a flag
ceremony in the site BEFORE the camp's general ceremony in
the morning & evening.
4) SERVICE PROJECT ??????
*** Yes, but if should be something more meaningful than picking
up trash around the Trading Post. In past weeks we set up Bird
Houses, worked with a Handicapped Troop visiting for the day, etc.
5) Animal Identification
*** Done on a seperate nature hike. We also like to use the term
"Field Trips" like "Today we are going on a Field Trip to the
Nature Lodge" etc.
6a) Hurry Cases
*** Yes, we use Manicans and Videos to help teach this part.
6b) First Aid Kit
*** Yes, but we like for the scouts to make it, not just spend $4
at the Trading Post to get one already make up.
6c) First Aid
*** Yes done at the same time as the Tenderfoot req. We tie all
of this into First Aid Merit Badge. We have a 21 page lesson
plan for doing the Merit Badge in conjunction with the Tenderfoot-
First Class req. at a camp setting on AOL & Compuserve's
7) Safe Swimming
*** Yes, done at Waterfront
8) CAN'T DO
*** I respectully disagree. We have the Upson Co. Sheriff's Dept.
DARE unit visit the camp each week. They do a special program
and use the BSA's own wonerful resource "DRUGS: A Deadly
Game" video, comic book, etc.. They love doing it, make it very
interesting, and it meets the requirements. On Thursday Night
(Parents Night) the scouts bring their parents for a further
discussion on this topic and the scouts show the parents the
work they have done in their DARE project work kits.
THIRD CLASS (I think that is First Class Bill) :)
1) Finding your way
*** Yes, Done on field trip to our camp observatory & science ctr.
*** Yes, Done on a visit to the Scoutcraft Department.
3) CAN'T DO
*** Agreed, please refer to comments in second class req. 2a
4) Camp Cooking
*** Yes, Done on the overnight camping trip & at the First Year
Camper Area on Friday.
*** We have done this on some occasions. When we have an
elected official in camp, etc. Sometimes in conjunction with the
DARE/Drug visit when the Sheriff himself makes the trip. We
generally manage to get this req. done in 80% of the weeks.
6) plant identification
***Yes, Done at the same time as Second Class Req # 5
7a) Hitches and lashing
*** Yes, done during the week.
7b) Camp Gadget
*** Yes, Done during the week
8a) Rescue Knot
*** Yes, Done with Emergency Prep MB's equipment.
*** Yes, on First Aid Day
*** Yes, see above
*** Yes. For this in addition to the Red Cross Video, we use a
wonderful teaching resource called CPR RAP, which is a tape
featured in the Sept. 93 issue of Scouting Magazine. We sell
the tape at our camp Trading Post and the scouts love it!
9) Swimmer's test
*** Our interpratation of this is the swim check that troops do on
Sunday Checkin. Thus it is the first requirement they do while at
camp. We also provide instruction to anyone who did not pass
the swim test. We also offer Red Cross Swim Instruction to any
First Year Camper who wants it during their free period.
When doing a First Year Camper Program it is vital that the proper
information is given to unit leaders in the leader's guide before camp as to
what to bring and what the new scout should expect. If you feel your program
is not the proper place for, say a second class scout, it should be listed.
If you are going to do any Merit Badges "in house" or if your program is a
full day or a half day program that should be explained.
If a First Year Camper Director was hired after the gude was printed you can
still communicate with each unit before they arrive in camp with the needed
information so they can make an informed decision before arrival at a summe
One more thing. Unless a leader specifically asks us, we do not sign off
any requirements in the scouts handbook, We believe that unit leaders should
do that after reviewing the scout. We provide a worksheet with the
requirements that the scout completed. This worksheet is available to anyone
on America On Line Scouting Forum in the Library. It was produced as a MS
Works document but is also available as a simple text document.
Bill, I would like for your poll to include info on half day vs full day
programs. Also do other camps have a system set up that perghaps works with
new scouts all day, second class scouts only a few hours, etc. I would also
like to know if any Merit Badges like First Aid or one of the Handicraft
Badges are allowed or are a part of the program. Also does the First Year
Camper Program at other camps exist as a seperate Department (with seperate
director) or is it a part of the Scoutcraft Department. How many staff
members are involved in the program. Does your camp have a staff / camper
ratio for this program?
Sorry this is so long, I hope it helped.
Camp Staff Member 79-Current, Program Director 86-93
Camp Chaplain - Thunder Scout Reservation - Central Georgia
For more info in the videos, tape, lesson plans, etc. mentioned
please E-Mail me at BIGEDBSA@aol.com
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City