Re: Intro & Seeking Camp Info
Paul H. Brown (phbrown@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Fri, 8 Dec 1995 08:21:07 -0500
Welcome to the "Roundtable that never ends." Unfortunately, I know
nothing about camps in your area of the country.
You did not tell us about the size of your troop, what adult helpers you
have, whether you (or they) have been through the various scout training
programs, or what the mix is of the experience of your youth. IOW, what
your resources are.
IMO, the single biggest factor in the character and citizenship development
that is one of scouting's aims, is whether the boys run the troop, or
whether adults run the trooop. Everything you do that isn't health &
safety related should have a boy-run troop as its aim. And, the single
biggest mistake we adults make is to not let the boys run their troop.
We're so caught up in the fear of failure that we don't give the boys a
chance to fail, sometimes, in the supportive environment that is
scouting. Parents won't understand any of this (unless they've been to
scout training), so you may be on your own here. You have to disabuse
parents from the notion that scouting is just free child care, combined
with meaningless badges. :-)
Read your SM handbook, if you haven't already. Get to adult leader
training or SM fundamentals (or whatever its called this year in your
area). Get the Junior Leader Training tape and materials, review them
with your adult helpers, and get your youth leaders trained. Then, let
them implement their training.
With that as background, you're now prepared to help the PLC consider
what they want to do re. summer camp. If your troop needs to "come
together" as a team, go somewhere that teamwork is stressed. Canoeing
takes two to tangle. Patrol cooking requires everyone to do his part to
get the meal prepared & cleaned up. The PL will have his hands full
teaching each member the skills necessary (as well as chasing down those
who don't think it important to do their part). This opportunity for
team development is missing, again IMO, at camps that have dining halls
and emphasize the merit badges that can be earned. Assuming your boys
have a range of physical abilities and outdoor experience, they may learn
more about leadership and teamwork on a 5 or 10 mile hike (how do we
plan, prepare, lead, what to do about differences in comfortable hiking
speeds, what to do about Sam's blister, how to stay together, what to do
at trail intersections, how to share available resources), and certainly
on a multi-day backpack, as they will at a council-operated camp.
So, where you go depends on where you are and where you want to be.
(Using "you" as the plural: meaning the troop.)
Other opinions may differ.
Yours in Scouting,
Paul H. Brown, UC, GW District, National Capital Area Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City