Re: Scouting *is* outing! (self expierence, reply, and
Robert M. Lewis (science_guy@JUNO.COM)
Mon, 28 Apr 1997 13:04:34 -0400
On Mon, 28 Apr 1997 06:29:51 -0700 Steven Featherkile
>>>...its tough to get the kids to even attempt anything over 5 miles.
I'm at a loss to explain what happened. My first camping trip as an 11
year old almost tenderfoot was a (full)backpack into a blizzard. No one
told me that it might be hard, so I figured that it was the norm. Today,
if I even mention camping in the snow, the parents roll their eyes and
the scouts groan...<<<
This comment brings back memories...
When I was a tenderfoot, actually before I even got that rank, My first
camping trip was with a fully loaded pack. The trip included a 2-3 mile
hike, With the pack full. It also included many gallons of rain.
Nedless to say, I believe only one of the new scouts that went on that
trip actually stayed in scouting until he turned 18 (me!!).
A year later I then went backpacking for the first time. 8 miles the
first day, 4 the second. This is with a 100 pound 12 year old scout
carrying a 30-40 pound pack. Bad expierence, and I said I would never go
backpacking again. 2 years later I was at Philmont doing 80 + miles.
Getting the scouts period to go on these trips is hard. Most boys today
will complain if they even have to hike their pack 100 yards to camp. I
think this is in part to the change of requirements in 1990. The
previous edition of the requirements (the set with skill awards, a great
thing in my opinion) required you to get camping Skill award for 1st
class. Requirement 2a, (p. 538 of 1979 edition, newly bought in 1988 and
well worn since) states: On each overnight camp, do the following...
Carry the gear on your back for at least 2 km (1 1/4 miles) to your camp.
After camping, carry it 2 km (1 1/4 miles) back.
No where in the new handbook, other than requirement 8a in Camping merit
badge, do you have to backpack your gear in and out (1 1/2 miles each
way). This then allows the boy to wait until he is 18 before he has to
use his backpack for any requirment, and this requirment is most likely
I guess my question then is how do we motivate the scouts to go
backpacking??? I love backpacking now, and I know that most of the
scouts I have packed with either love it or like it somewhat. The
problem is getting them out there in the first place.
Robert M. Lewis
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City