RE About the Boys
Daniel W Brown (dabrown2@VT.EDU)
Sat, 20 May 1995 13:27:57 +0600
Erik Ashby asks "what is the point of scouting? To just have fun, or to
help the boys grow?
When the two prospects become mutually exclusive, you have
lost the opportunity to achieve either. If they are not having fun,
they will not stay and if they don't stay, they will not learn.
As to the summer camp problem, it may be that the boys are tired
of the same old thing. About ten years ago, attendance at summer
camp in our troop had dropped to under 50% for the first time in
decades. We had gone to the same camp ever year for the previous
ten years. Since the camp was in our district, we also used it for
camporees and the scout were tired of the place, tired of the program
and fed up with the dining hall. We went out of council (two hours
up the road) to a patrol cooking camp with a less structured merit
badge program for three years and attendance went back up to 90%.
It stayed up when we returned to our councils camp because it was
new to all but the oldest scouts.
The scouts suggestion of doing your own summer camp is also viable.
They will find that doing so will be a lot more work than going to a
camp with everything planned out for you, but if they are willing to do
the work, they will find the fun. Our troop did this when I was a
scout in the sixties in Maryland. We found a church camp that was not
being used for a week, planned our own menus, gathers or borrowed
equipment, planned the program, and had a great time. Our merit badge
and advancement program was limited to the those skills that the scouts
and leaders could share. We took turns teaching, cooking, cleaning up,
etc. As I recall, we had cooking, camping, hiking, rowing, swimming,,
nature, forestry, and home repairs merit badges. This was done with a
troop of nine scouts and three leaders.
If you off your PLC the choice of going to your camp, going out of
council, and doing it themselves, they may decide for either one.
But you will be able to count on their support in selling the willing idea
to the rest of the troop and the parents because the feel they have a choice.
Erik said "I feel that an aggressive program that challenges each boy to
do his best, turns out to also be the best and most remembered
camps. I also feel that uniforms are also important." My question "What
do the scouts feel."
Daniel W Brown email@example.com
ASM Troop 56 Blacksburg VA
I used to be a fox
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City