High adventure at council camps, etc.
Gary Rayson (garayson@NMSU.EDU)
Thu, 6 Jul 1995 11:23:33 -0600
Greeting to all you cyberspace scouts and scouters:
I am seeking the wisdom of the list on a matter that has been in my
thoughts for sometime regarding summer camp opportunities. First, let me
provide you with some of the details of our situation and then my plea
Our council camp is located in the mountains of southern New Mexico
(about 9000 ft. elevation). It is relatively small, 90 acres, and is
100% leased property, the majority from the national forest service.
Several years ago the powers-that-be decided that our youth would be
better served by attending the council camp of a neighboring camp (also
in the same mountain range). The primary motivation, as I remember the
discussions that followed the decision, was that several years of poor
attendance made our camp no longer finacially viable for conducting boy
scout summer camp (it is still used for webelos camp, JLTC, and
woodbadge). The plus side of the location of our camp is that is in the
"middle" of the Lincoln National Forest. The biggest obstacle to the
facility is that it is in the "middle" of the Lincoln National Forest and
all the governmental red tape that entails. To make a long story,
somewhat, short, out council is starting to make noises like it is
looking at reinstating our own camp as _the_ summer camp for our units.
Now for the plea. To avoid going down the same trail, it is imperative
that if/when the camp is brought back "on line" the program be such that
will bring the units to the camp (the "other" camp is still only about 35
miles away) and then the program must be sufficiently exciting and
different that it will make them want to come back for more. Such is the
nature of my request to the list. What are some programs that have been
tried and succeeded at other camps that we might be able to consider here?
Several of us (volunteers) have mentioned the use of the surrounding
Forest in some type of high adventure option for the older boys coupled
with the more conventional scout-skill/merit badge programs. The reponse
has included statements like "High adventure troops will do high
adventure on their own and we [the council] do not need to provide them
that option." Is this really true? I gather from reading items on the
list that their are several successful camps that do something like
that. Would such an option (e.g., a 50 mile backpacking excursion in the
Sacremento Mountains of southern New Mexico or an extended 3-5 day
cavalcade) be unable to attract sufficient boys/youth to make it a viable
I am very frustrated by this situation. My scouting as a youth was done
in eastern Kansas. Even though there are some incredible camping
opportunities there, my first response to having attended summer camp
with my (former) troop was that I was somewhere next to a scouting
paradise. I understand finances are an important component for
maintaining the program, but must it be the apparent driving force for
the development of program?
I appologize for having rambled on but I feel that I require the
wisdom/counseling of the list on this matter.
In the interest of saving bandwidth, replys should be made to me directly
unless you think it would benefit the list as a whole.
Charter Organization Representative
WWW (Vigil Honor)
and "I used to be a Bobwhite ..."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City