Re: Scouts Calling Home From Camp
Cathy Porter (JCPorter@SICEMBEARS.COM)
Sat, 18 Jul 1998 14:03:16 -0500
John P. Blanchard wrote:
> Why not try sending letters or postcards? Keep them upbeat and don't tell him
> how much you miss him! You could start sending before he even leaves for camp.
We were 1500 miles from home at Camp Davy Crockett this summer. We had
very little homesickness this year, especially in comparison to previous
years. I think one thing that contributed to the lack of homesickness
in the first year campers was the mail they got! My son may have been
the only one to not get mail because both his parents were with him. If
I had to do it again, I'd make sure that his grandparents sent him mail
or I'd send it myself the day before we left. It really helped all
those first year guys.
One of the older guys got a couple of funny cards from his mom. I think
the entire troop got to read those. Inside one card was a note from her
saying something like "Yesterday we scraped mildew off the siding.
Tomorrow we're power-washing the driveway. Heat index here is 200.
Have fun! Mom." It was a perfect message to a homesick camper, even
though he wasn't one! This mom is the daughter of a Scoutmaster, sister
of an Eagle Scout and wife of an Eagle Scout, Cubmaster and ASM - not to
mention a Den Leader and troop MC. So, yeah, she had experience to draw
Next year, I think our troop will be advising parents to send mail and
to send it the day before we leave! It does seem to take longer to get
it to camp, especially if you are attending the first, or opening, week
of a camp. Someone has to remember to pick it up!
Also why not send him
> with self-addressed self-stamped envelope or postcard for him to send to you.
This is another excellent idea, especially for troops going to the first
week of a camp. Both times our troop has attended opening week of a
camp, the phones have been messed up. It would be really nice if every
boy would just drop his card in the mail that says "Hi! We're here.
I'm having fun!" I know I would love getting a card like that from my
Parents who have never been to camp also don't realize how difficult it
is to make a phone call. There is usually only one phone and *all* the
campers, scouters and staff have to take turns using it when they won't
miss a class or a meal. Waiting an hour to make a 5 minute phone call
is not unrealistic. However, most boys won't wait that long. ;D
This summer, we had two moms call camp and leave a message for their son
to call home. (Of course, the camp director checked to make sure it
wasn't a true emergency, like a death in the family or something.) One
of the boys was a first year camper and he absolutely did *not* rush to
the phone. He was too busy and having too much fun! The next day the
camp director stopped one of our ASM's and said, "Please! Have this boy
call home before she calls me again!!" Zach still waited until after
lunch to call. He didn't want to be late to anything.
The other mom called her older Scout. He went right down to call her.
Her phone was busy! He tried several times that day and got a busy
signal every time. He finally got in touch with her early the next
morning. He said that she thought that there were banks of phones
And yes, we did tell our parents *not* to call camp unless it was an
emergency. The busy signal mom just wasn't thinking. The first year
mom was genuinely concerned about her son and felt that was an
emergency. I think that our troop probably needs to better educate
parents about the lack of phone access at summer camp.
Now here is something that our Troop did this year that I disagreed
with, but turned out great. (Hey, I was WRONG!) One of our SM's clients
donated a bunch of 10 minute calling cards, enough to give every Scout
and Scouter on the trip two, with a bunch left over. Some scouts used
them and some didn't. It didn't seem to increase the number of calls.
The scouts still had to have an adult with them to use the phone.
I think some of the younger scouts made calls on Tuesday (after the
phones were fixed!) that may have kept away the homesickness. The SM
took a group to the phone on Tuesday afternoon. It included older and
younger scouts. He timed them - no more than 5 minutes - so it got
pretty silly. I think that the younger scouts seeing the older boys
laughing and having fun while talking to their parents made it easier
for them to do the same thing when they talked to their own folks. The
SM didn't plan on that being one of the benefits, but a Monday or
Tuesday group call may be added to Troop 424's bag of tricks!
> Now for parents: I have had parents show up unannounced with dogs
> sometimes.........in fact one well meaning mother almost caught me between
> swimtrunks and shorts/tshirt......
Well, going from Texas to Tennessee pretty much eliminates the parents
dropping in problem! But John, you might want to consider pulling down
the ol' tent flaps when you're in the altogether, even if you think
you're alone. <VBG>
Advancement Chair, Troop 424
Troop of the Week, Week 1 - Camp Davy Crockett
Mustang District, Sam Houston Area Council
Katy, Texas - Home of Champions
mailto:JCPorter@SicEmBears.com OR! JCPorter@SicEmBears.com
The older you get, the better you think you were.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City