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Webelos Den Overnight Campout in 3 Days (gulp)

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  • Webelos Den Overnight Campout in 3 Days (gulp)

    I think I've planned as much as I can for our Web 1 campout, but I still feel like I'm going to forget everything and have the Earth implode because of it. Any funny/horror stories from your first campout with scouts that you'd like to share? Any advice that you might be willing to impart?

    Here's my itinerary (which I'm expecting to fall apart about 5 minutes after arriving):
    FRIDAY, 15 JUNE
    4:15 Meet at Elementary School Parking Lot for Inspection/Briefing
    4:30 Depart for campground
    4:45 Arrive at campground (group camp 2)
    4:45-5:30 Set up camp/tents
    5:30-7:00 Prepare and Eat Dinner
    7:00-7:30 Meal Clean-up
    7:30-8:15 Volleyball Belt Loop
    8:15-9:00 How to Build a Campfire
    9:00-10:00 Campfire Program
    10:00--10:30 Turn in for the night


    SATURDAY, 16 JUNE
    7:00 Everyone (hopefully) up!
    7:00-7:45 Breakfast
    7:45-8:15 Meal Clean-up
    8:15-9:30 Fishing
    9:30-10:30 Knots, Ropes, Compass work
    10:30-11:30 Readyman / First Aid work
    11:30-12:15 Break Camp
    12:15-12:45 Lunch
    12:45-1:15 Leave No Trace
    1:15 Depart Moraine View for home


    Meal plans:
    Dinner:
    Foil Dinners in the fire (charcoal)
    Hamburger, onions, carrots, potatoes, seasoning
    Peach/cherry Cobbler in Dutch Ovens
    Canned peaches or cherry pie filling, yellow/white cake mix, butter, cinnamon

    Breakfast: (over cast iron skillet on stove)
    Bacon
    Pancakes
    Fruit
    Milk
    Juice
    Coffee, coffee, coffee, COFFEE!!!!

    Lunch:
    PBJ/ ham & cheese sandwiches, chips, fruit, cookies, drink

  • #2
    Looks like a great program to me.


    Have you cooked foil dinners before? They are rather tricky to do properly. Inexperience tends to produce burned or raw dinners.

    Have you practiced methods for folding your foil pouch?

    If you have time, I'd practice making a couple of foil dinners at home to gain some experience.

    My personal bias is to avoid foil dinners in favor of other simple meals with which Webelos are likely to have more success. Tacos, baking potatoes in foil and then adding toppings or spaghetti and meat sauce or sauce and frozen prepared meat balls are good choices.


    But taking Webelos Scouts camping is one of the MOST IMPORTANT things you can do! It's the core of a great program and I'll suggest that you can't help but be a winner with the program you describe.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sounds like you have it covered....

      Just depends on how comfortable you are.


      Me, I would use every opportunity if you have to do something to show a Webelos Scout how to do it. The volley Ball belt loop might really be something you can drop if getting camp set up and the meal done takes longer than you planned.


      Sometimes food burns
      Sometimes it rains
      Sometimes Scouts new to overnights get home sick
      Sometimes it's enough just to get them out to camp and have a campfire.

      Have you had the WDL Outdoor skill training (really just scratches the surface, but you get the basics)?
      Are you comfortable camping?
      Are all your adults on the same page?

      Comment


      • #4
        What a pity to be at such a great park and to not use any of it's facilities!

        Whoops, looks you do have some fishing time in there, that is good. What about a hike on the trails?

        Call the park Rangers and see what they can do to help with any of the requirements for any of the outdoor Activity Badges. You will be camping at a great Geological site (Geologist #8)! See if a Ranger can tell the Scouts about how glaciers have impacted the land, and what a moraine is.

        I would leave the Readyman stuff for an indoor meeting when it is cold, rainy, or snowy. When camping, concentrate on the outdoor stuff that can't be done when it is 10 below with snow up to your chin!

        One thing I noticed you did NOT plan - free time.

        The boys, and their parents, need some free time to explore on their own.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would probably move the "How to build a campfire" earlier in the first day. Specifically, I would do it while there is still plenty of light.

          Let them practice building / starting small ones, And maybe let one of them who did a particularly good job be the one to light the "Real Campfire" when it's time for it.


          Simpler food may be a good idea. I've seen Pita Pizzas as a great Webelos Meal. (Half a Pita Opened up, stuff with sauce/cheese/toppings to taste.) Make it something that's really really easy to do, and hard to do wrong. Foil Dinners can go wrong easily and be inedible. With the Pita Pizza, you are basically just warming it. The only thing that can go wrong is one side gets overdone. Do something that is very difficult to get wrong.

          If Webelos are setting up their own tents (Which I highly recommend) I'd allow more than 45 minutes. Might be too late to do arrange tents for that, but if possible, I'd have them tent together, not with parents, and be responsible for setting up their own tents.

          I'd probably take out the Volleyball Belt Loop, unless that's something they are really looking forward to. Give them some free time after supper and before campfire.

          Comment


          • #6
            Just to echo other posts here... find something else besides foil dinners!

            Foil dinners have a significant number of failure points -- contamination issues during preparation via touching raw hamburger & lack of immediate hand-washing facilities, under cooked meat, over cooked meat and other foods sticking to the foil, and foil tearing & opening up in fire area and contaminating food.

            We used to do them fairly often, but after intimately experiencing each of the problems described above, including a particularly nasty bout of food poisoning directly linked to undercooked meat, the Scouts and Adults in our Troop decided never ever again.

            As others have said, when it comes to food, the simpler the better!

            Comment


            • #7
              While menus and food prep are a large part of the T-FC requirements for the boys in Boy Scouts, there is very little BSA expectations for Webelos to food prep/cook for themselves. A lot of reason why are already explained in the previous posts.

              I try for majorly simplistic that involves only one or two adults to prep.

              Brown hamburger well, add sloppy joe mix/sauce, hand out soft taco shells, scoop and you're done. Clean up is a single dutch oven and spatula.

              Foil dinners? Brown all hamburger and onions in dutch oven, boil cut up all potatoes and carrots, in large pot, drain and dump into dutch oven mix with hamburger. Hand out soft taco shells, scoop and you're done. Clean up is a dutch oven, pot and spatula.

              Breakfast... scramble eggs, precooked hashbrowns and bacon in dutch oven. hand out taco shells, scoop and you're done. Clean up is a dutch oven and spatula.

              See a pattern here? And, NO, I do not work for a taco shell company. I just got tired of dragging extra plates and utensils for all the boys that forgot theirs. For a change up, the pita bread works nicely as well. The boys always get to eat their "plates" and there are no other eating utensils required.

              Drinks? Gatorade powder for their water bottles.

              Desserts? cobblers of course.

              The boys will have plenty of time to learn how to plan, cook, and clean up meals that involve mess kits, utensils, cups, etc. when they get into Boy Scouts. Until then edible plates and clean hands work just fine.

              After 30 years of trying to eat some Boy Scout "meals", I still have a backup plan with hamburger patty, onion, ketchup and pita bread for a meal of my own all prepped in my mess kit.

              When I taught Webelos Overnighter training, I always taught these simple meals and with a staff of two teaching, the students were always amazed that these meals were suddenly there for them and eventually figured out our tag-team meal prep process.

              Too often Webelos leaders tend to over think, over plan and over do-it when it comes to outings and the food. It does not need to be that difficult and the boys do not need to be involved. They'll get plenty of that when they get to Boy Scouts.

              Stosh

              Oh, by the way, meal time gets cut to 30 minutes instead of 2 hours. That leaves an extra 1.5 hours for the boys to have fun with their dads, except for the two cooks. That may indeed by one dad/son combo that might enjoy the opportunity to do so.

              Stosh
              (This message has been edited by jblake47)

              Comment


              • #8
                too scheduled........

                What about some free time.......


                The boys don't want or need every second scheduled. Most of them have never had time to kick over a log and see whats underneath or play in a stream flipping rocks, chasing crayfish and throwing rocks at skaters......


                Foil dinners, no thanks......why not do hot dogs on a stick one night.....simple

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think it's important that they get at least some exposure to helping cook, rather than just letting parents do it all.

                  After all, it is one of the requirements for the Outdoorsman Activity Badge, on the way to Arrow of Light.

                  "With your accompanying adult on a campout or outdoor activity, assist in preparing, cooking, and cleanup for one of your den's meals. Tell why it is important for each den member to share in meal preparation and cleanup, and explain the importance of eating together."

                  I know, technically you could skip this one, I think it's good for them to get exposure. Again, something very simple, that they can participate in. THink "Assemble and warm" not "Cook from scratch"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I tend to disagree about "free time." Boys are perfectly capable of making their own entertainment, which usually involves low quality "play" like fighting and mischief of one kind or another.

                    My bias is to keep boys busy with program. Boys busy with quality program only infrequently have behavior issues in my experience.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      FREE TIME , FREE TIME , FREE TIME!

                      Give them at least an hour of free time.

                      Let them run around, burn off energy, laugh joke, goof off, do whatever they want.

                      Other wise, even with all the cool activities, you just planned 2 six hour school days.

                      Other than that, looks pretty good.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Schedule is too structured. (It looks like the schedule I originally set for the first pack campout years ago). Schedule a few organized things in between meals, but make sure they have a lot more free time. On our Webelos campouts, which turned out very well, we had stuff for them to play, stuff to work on for activity pins, etc., but let them set their own schedules for the most part (except for swimming, fishing, & hikes).

                        It's GREAT that you're doing this with the Webelos. The first one is the hardest, and other campouts will be significantly easier.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          if dead set on foil packs... lay down foil, put a wetted paper towel down, then another foil... helps prevent some burning, and helps steam a bit too.

                          only firstaide stuff I'd do would be building a stretcher and have boys carry each other. like others have said that's one that can be done inside when the weather is bad.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Do the foil dinners - but have a back-up plan (you're 15 minutes from home, and if it's the Moraine View I'm thinking about, you can always have pizza delivered cause Le Roy isn't that far away).

                            Don't worry about the free time - you're there less than 24 hours and some of the activities you've planned are kind of like free time anyway - and hour ad 15 minutes for fishing? Fishing IS free time.

                            Don't tell the lads you're working on the Volleyball Loop - just tell them you're going to learn and play volleyball - will you earn it that night? Might be cool to give them the loops at that nights fire.

                            Do you have room in your campfire program for Smores?

                            I tend to agree on the Readyman/FIrst Aid work - if the day was longer, I might keep it in, but it seems it's an hour of "classroom" learning in the great outdoor on a short camping trip - Maybe go on a hike instead - an hour is about as long of a hike that you'd want to take anyway.

                            I really like the Leave No Trace work after the camp has broken down and adter lunch - good call!

                            Make sure you have an alternative to PB for any Scouts that might be allergic (but you have a small group so maybe you already know everyone is good).

                            I think you have an excellent plan - now the second most important thing you need to try to do is to not be a clock tyrant. Hopefully, everyone will meet at the school parking lot at 4:15 but someone is bound to be running just a little late. Hopefully you can leave at 4:30 but who knows what will come up. 45 minutes seems like enough time to set up camp but things happen. Just Be Prepared for the schedule to get just a bit sideways on you - and you can alwsys try to make up time elsewhere.

                            So what is the most important thing?

                            HAVE FUN - and that means YOU too!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks for all the replies and advice, everyone!

                              I decided to drop the Readyman/First Aid stuff in lieu of a 1.5 mile hike (Tall Timber trail...sounds like a couple of you know of the park). I'm planning on the next campout to be a 2 nighter in Weldon Springs, then Comlara, Wildlife Prairie Park, etc...don't know if we'll get back to Moraine View, so it makes sense to get that hike in there now.

                              When I created the schedule, I was trying to shuffle in the "fun" activities with the "learning" activities so it wouldn't seem like they were in school - doing the hike instead of the first aid stuff definitely helps with that. As for free time, I tried to pad the times a little so that A) it accounted for snafus where things take longer than expected; and B) it gives them a little time to themselves in between events if things go according to plan. I'm fully expecting things to be off-schedule as soon as we meet up in town before heading out to the park. Just by chance, our town's Boy Scout troop (the younger ones...I'm guessing mostly Tenderfoots and Secondclass) will also be out there in the next group camp, and I've been talking with the ASM who will be out there with them. They might come over and help out a bit (thinking Tenderfoot 4C and EDGE for the knots or just a good game of tag or capture the flag).

                              We did foil dinners at OWL training (yep, I took that course just over a month ago), with "eeehhh" success. Tried them again with the family in a backyard campout, and they came out perfect. I understand the potential issues completely (at OWL, mine came off the fire almost mooing still). The boys will basically assemble the stuff, and we'll get the packets sealed up. The Assistant DL or I will man the fire to hopefully get them done perfectly. If it ends up not going well, we can use Saturday's lunch stuff for Friday's supper and improvise lunch on Saturday (yep, LeRoy is just a few miles away).


                              I'll let y'all know how it went...today's the day!

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