Re: AAC Summer Camps (LONG!) 2/2
settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Tue, 24 Jun 1997 11:26:03 -0500
>From my posting earlier, responding to Ed Henderson's comments about
professionals' roles as camp administrators. I stated:
>>YOUR LOCAL SUMMER CAMP FACILITY. It's National, that has to >>scale back
this idea that Cubs need to be exposed to summer camp
>>earlier than they should be....leave Summer camp to Scouts and give >>them
something to look forward to going to!!
And Pat Lam responded:
>Up here in Canada we've had week-long camp for Cubs for the longest
>time. Cubs from 8 through 10, not just those in their last year,
>either. They do fine and we make sure that Cub camp is rather different
>from Scout camp, but just spending a week away from home is not >something
that takes away from Scout camp.
I feel that we've went too far with summer camp for Cubs, Pat. Here's why
I feel that way.
When a Cub Scout joins a Den, the expectation in the past has always been
working alongside his friends and doing community things with those friends.
When the word "camping" comes up, the Den Mother and later Den Leader simply
replies "That's something that you have to look forward to doing when you
are a WEBELOS Cub Scout in a couple of years". The Cub is satistified and
those few Cub Scouts not, are encouraged to camp with Mom and Dad and the
rest of his family.
As a WEBELOS Cub Scout, the new group is under the leadership of a man (and
now men and women) that are trained in outdoor skills (or should be). This
is how the BSA envisioned it, I feel....that those closest to Boy Scouting
should know some outdoor skills and can share those skills with the WEBELOS,
which we hope "will be loyal Scouts".
The new format of the WEBELOS program prepares those participants for the
independence and patrol management skills of Boy Scouting. When "camping"
comes up, it's "Okay...we''ll go camping a couple of times so that you have
some idea of what SCOUTING camping is all about (as opposed to family
camping or "friends camping") and some rules that we in Scouting go by."
Those WEBELOS Cub Scouts that are exposed to limited camping do well as
Scouts later onward. I don't have any stats to back it up....just
observation. Those that have been to the Council's camping facility time
and again, don't do well as Scouts (because they're burnt out of camping at
"summer camp") than those that have had a limited period of time there.
This also goes back to what BigEd stated earlier about other Councils doing
a better job in filling up their campsites than those "caddy camps" that
some Councils have built to attract and bring back their Scouts!
Day Camp is FINE for Cub Scouts. Overnight camp isn't, in my opinion.
And Professor Beaver (Mike Bowman) added:
>I tend to agree with Patrick. You must have had some bad experiences
>with Cub resident camps stealing the show from an early stage to worry
>that they detract from boys latter attending Scout resident camps.
No; I have always been part of local Councils (with the exception of the
present one, Buffalo Trace) who do Cub Day Camp separate for Wolves and
Bears in the local communities; WEBELOS (or "Akela") Camp for the WEBELOS
Cub Scouts, which are resident in nature; and regular Boy Scout summer camp
for Boy Scouts.
My contention is that Cub Scouts should not be exposed to resident camp
until they become WEBELOS Cub Scouts, so that they will have something to
look forward to and WANT to become Boy Scouts. Right now, we have so many
WEBELOS Cub Scouts that upon graduation to a Boy Scout Troop, looks around
and says after a short time "Is this ALL?
I've been short-term camping with the WEBELOS. I've been to a camporee with
the WEBELOS. I've been to their (lame) summer camp already. What else IS
The next thing we know, he's out the door before he's First Class. A lot of
them don't wait THAT long, and find other interests.
So, unless the PROGRAM of that Troop addresses those "new Scouts" that come
in from WEBELOS with strong outdoor programs, many of those former WEBELOS
Cub Scouts will wonder "Why did I graduate? Why didn't I just stay in the
Den until I turned 11??"
>Instead of generalizing I would go only so far as to say that a Council
>must be careful to make sure that both of its Cub and Boy Scout resident
>camps offer the best possible program and in a progression that
>encourages returns to get more of the adventure and challenges.
I agree with you, Mike. I think that local Councils need to address the
program concerns of ALL segments (how many local Councils address Exploring
outdoor activities??) of their operation. Most Councils have a staff
member, usually a senior Field, District or Exploring Director that serves
as the camping programs director as an multiple job. That person should be
taking a look at the total outdoor picture and not just the "needs of the
Boy Scouting" element of the local Council.
>Not every Council will have this luxury and some tailoring can always be
>done to give variety in stages. I've been around other Councils that do
>a good job in this area over the years as well. I guess I'd suggest
>being careful not to over generalize.
In answering BigEd's posting, Mike, I had to generalize somewhat because I'm
not totally aware of all of the programs within the Atlanta Area Council
as Jeff Glaze would be, being there or like Ed has observing it from the
outside. I did agree with a lot of what Ed stated. My purpose in my
response was to explain in some detail why local Councils "circulate" their
entry-level pros through the camping operation and why that's important to
their professional development and to the overall good of the Council's
programming. Also, I wanted to let others know that there are some
professionals out there that have taken summer camp assignment and have done
some SUPER things with it, which in some cases have forced the local
Council's leadership to reconsider closing or scaling back camping operations.
It takes not just the professional, though, as we both know, to make that
difference in our camping operations. It takes the involvement of
unit-level leaders and their adult advisors, coaches and Scoutmasters to
make the camping program responsive to their needs.
I just guess I'm a old "fuddy-duddy" when it comes to Cub resident camping.
I don't feel that Wolf and Bear Cubs should be doing overnight camping
except with Mom and Dad and maybe with their friends in the
neighborhood behind someone's home!!
Thanks, both of you, for your comments and for responding to my comments!
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
241 Fairview Dr., Henderson, KY 42420-4339 email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
---- FORWARD in service to youth ----
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City