Re: High adventure at council camps, etc.
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Sat, 8 Jul 1995 02:05:33 -0400
In considering whether to reopen a camp that at one time was having
trouble making ends meet, I think the big question has to be whether the
revitalized camp will serve the Scouts better than a shared camp. In
some areas where old memories are nutured, people have kept open camps
that couldn't support good programs losing Scouts in the process.
To attract staff you are going to need to be able to run the camp more
than just a few weeks; e.g. 8 to 10 weeks. You probably are going to
need between 80 and 150 campers a week to make it work. Can you do
that? If your Council can't project shifting over 1000 campers to a new
facility, it may be very tough to make the camp sustainable.
High Adventure can be a great program asset at a camp. Here at NCAC we
have a high adventure trail camp. In other Councils where I have been I
have also seen high adventure work. But it is a tough proposition. It
will not rescue a camp. Instead it needs a healthy camp as a base to
grow from. Most high adventure camps start pretty lean and take a long
time to build up. Part of the reason is that during the rest of the year
effort has to be spent developing venture type Scouting in units that may
not have had any. Once this gets going, it takes a while to have
sufficient numbers of units that have the ability to send crews. This
means a lot of provisional units and uncertainty. While I encourage high
adventure activities at camps, I would be cautious in your case about
over-estimating its immediate contribution to the camp. It will help,
but not cure.
To get ideas of what kinds of programs are really drawing Scouts and
workable, you may want to engage in discussion with the Western Regional
Office. Perhaps they can hook you up with some of the Scouters that go
out on certification visits to other camps. These folks could be a very
valuable resource - they could also tell you which Councils to contact
for more information on how much various programs cost, etc.
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F. Bowman
DDC-Training, GW Dist. Nat Capital Area Council mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City