Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: Re: summer camp hints
Re: summer camp hints
Tue, 1 Jun 1999 08:17:37 -0500
I suppose each camp is a little different. For me, these are the
duties that I have as an adult leader.
Wonder around to each of the program areas and merit badge
classes and check up on the quality of the program and the job
that the counselors are doing.
Hang around the campsite and work with any Scout there on rank
advancement. Not all Scouts have every hour scheduled so there
should be plenty of time for me to get to know each Scout a little
better and teach them something one on one.
Make sure the Scouts get to the programs that they are scheduled for.
Keep track of the schedule of medications and make sure the
Scouts get to the health lodge when they should.
Be a friend to each Scout and encourage them to take full advantage
of the fun and beauty of camp - not just the merit badge program.
Take them to open shooting at the rifle and archery range, or open
swimming and boating.
All of these things help keep homesickness in check.
Coach the junior leaders of the troop to oversee the daily duty roster.
Through my personal enthusiasm get the boys excited about
getting up and going each day.
Help calm the boys each night and prepare them for lights out with
some thoughtful reflection. Our troop will also have some shared
prayer each night as part of our routine of establishing when it's
time to be quiet and get ready for bed.
Keep an eye out for "teaching opportunities" to reflect on the Scout
Oath and Scout Law and how it applies to the behavior of the moment.
Encourage the boy to write home and to write to our charter
organization to thank them for sponsoring our troop - I bring
stamps and postcards. Be prepared - to respond to conflicts,
injuries, homesickness, forgotten - lost - broken items. I bring a
"washing machine" for those that run out of clean clothes.
Some the boys just enjoy working up a sweat using the the washer.
Encourage and praise the Scouts and through personal example
keep their spirits and enthusiasm high.
Encourage and praise the STAFF.
Keep track of the visitors and other adult help from the troop that
rotates through the week. A lot of the above works best if the adult
help is there all week or for several days at a time. In my troop, we
get a couple of us that are there all week and one or two of the
adult "postions" are filled by rotating parents each day. It's hard to
work those "short timers" into the schedule but it's important to
make them feel welcome and useful.
Keep the "bank" secure. I have a locked foot locker in my tent for
valuables and money. Two adults have the key to the lock. That
way we do not have to worry when everyone is out of the campsite
at the same time.
I try to discourage the boys from filling up on junk and sugar from
the trading post. Gee, I wish the council would resist the temptation
of making money by discouraging good nutrition.
I also teach my Scouts three phrases my friends and I used to help us get
through Army training when things went wrong on purpose just to see how we
would react under pressure and to see if we could maintain a positive
1. Get With the Program. Complaining wastes a lot of energy and puts
a bad mood - yourself, the adult leaders, camp staff. And you will probably
have to do it anyway.
2. It's Not That Tough. Camp is only a week. Most things that go wrong are
temporary. Clothes can be cleaned, things will eventually dry out. Try to
keep in mind that most problems are really pretty small in the over
all scheme of things. Convince yourself it's not that tough and
just get with the program.
3. Cooperate and Graduate. Help each other through the tough times
because tomorrow it might be your turn needing a friend or some
cheering up. Try to make each other's day a little easier and try
to keep each others' spirits high.
You can also make a good Scoutmaster's minute out how each
of these phrases can be used in our everyday lives.
Scoutmaster, Troop 125
Our Lady of Mt Carmel Catholic Church, Carmel, Indiana
Crossroads of America Council