Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: Re: summer camp hints
Re: summer camp hints
Tue, 1 Jun 1999 15:10:09 -0400
<Jim Gibson wrote>
This will be my first year attending summer camp with the troop. Two
years ago, I did Webelos summer camp so I'm familiar with that
program. My question is this: what should I expect from Boy Scout
camp and what will be my role as an adult leader?
Expect to relax and have a good time. Expect the boys to do most of
the work. For the most part you won't have to escort Scouts to the
various program areas, look after their gear, make sure they are on
schedule, or any of those things. Patrol leaders and the SPL will be
doing most of that work (or SHOULD BE). The camp will likely have a
couple programs for adults, a place to "hang-out" with adult leaders
from other troops, and daily leader meetings. You'll have plenty of
time to visit merit badge classes and program areas to get to know the
staff and how things work. And you'll have plenty of time to
concentrate on health and safety.
Any kinds of advice/warning/look-out-for's that you can give would be
most appreciated (and yes, I expect a deluge from this chatty group!
Here are my bits of summer camp wisdom, all based on personal
1) Let the youth leaders do the work. Many adults seem to suspend the
patrol method at summer camp because of the MB program or whatever
reason. USE your youth leaders to make life in camp enjoyable for
2) Concentrate on getting to know the staff and getting a feel for how
MB sessions are run. The last thing you want to do on Friday is be
confronted with a Scout who hands you a blue card for Soil & Water
Conservation and says it only took him ten minutes. This is one of my
main focuses during the week.
3) Make sure your Scouts are out there doing something! I've had a lot
of Scouts who seemed to want to spend most of the day in their tent
"relaxing" or hanging out at the trading post. They or their parents
didn't spend as much money as they did so they could spend the week
"relaxing." Get them out and keep them busy, but let your youth
leaders do most of the work.
4) Stress the buddy system! This is particularly important if you have
a lot of first year campers who aren't familiar with the camp, but
it's still important for older Scouts as well. We use a tag board with
all of the program areas, the administration building, trading post,
health lodge, dining hall, and showers listed so any leader can tell
at a glance the general whereabouts of every Scout.
5) Relax and have a good time!
A. J. Mako
SM Troop 381