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  • Adventures for Pack Campouts

    I'm looking for some ideas for Pack Campouts. As a Camping Chair I do believe there needs to be a balance between free-time and planned activities. The free-time is easy, but planned activities I'd like to hear some ideas from other groups.

    Last April (1st time as Camp Chair) we did a 'Geocache-style' Treasure Hunt with GPS units borrowed from our Council'. With the 'swag' items collected at each tub the boys made dreamcatchers with the help of their parents. The boys really enjoyed this activity and each slept with their dreamcatcher in their tents.

    This Fall the dens areworking on Rank Achievements or special badges and the Webelos are leading a couple special hikes for the Pack.

    This Winter we have a Cabin Campout and I'm tossing around some ideas centered around being Resourceful- recycling materials. Thinking of a theme of Alien Invasion from Mars, and tying in the Mars Rover possibly.

    Next Spring probably doing a Fishing Derby.

    In all of our Campouts we have a campfire program, skits, songs, and stories. We really got into the Campfire program this past Spring and to me it's a big part of the memories the boys will take with them as Adults to bring their children camping.

    So please share with me some Adventures your Pack has done to have a 'theme' or planned ideas.

    Our Pack is 60 strong. We camp with Scout and 1 Parent. We do not do large Family Campouts. To me it just sounds overwhelming and doing it Scout/Parent seems like a nice way to focus the event on the Scouts. But I also welcome information on how to handle a large Family campout where there could be 100-200 attending (maybe that's a separate thread).

    Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    Personally I don't schedule "free time" for Cub Scouts. Free time is when boys create mischief in order to entertain themselves.

    If you notice Cub Scout day camps usually schedule little free time except what's necessary to get one activity going and time to get to the next one.

    That's my method, anyway.

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    • #3
      In free-time the majority of the boys will pick a soccer or a football. Something to play a group game with. There are a couple that do take some re-directing. I'm not talking about a lot of free-time. They explore and wander. I haven't found it to be problematic in the campouts I have attended but did not plan. And they get roped in quickly if it does get out of control.

      I don't actually schedule free time.(This message has been edited by Andee741)

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      • #4
        Instead of "free-time", call it "open-time"... then we usually have 2 to 4 "optional" activities to choose from... i.e. soccer, tag, horseshoe toss, fishing w/ parent, etc... Give them some guidance, but let the youth CHOOSE what they want and make the activities something YOU don't have to run or supervise too much.

        As for adventures - we have had a BLAST with a "survivor" type event based on cub scout skills at various ranks. We split the boys up with 1 Tiger, 1 Wolf/bear, and 1 Web1/Web2 per "team". Then have a start and finish point with stations in between. First team to complete the challenge is the winner.

        Example: Station #1 - Using a map and compass, head in x direction for 100 meters, find your next clue there. Clue #2, demonstrate how to tie a square knot. Station #3, recite the law of the pack, station#4, etc...

        You can include as many mental and physical obstacles as you wish, just need an adult at each station to tell them when they've "passed". Try to keep the distances short and near camp, still a good idea to send 1 adult with each team (especially on and orienteering type station).

        It reinforces their skills and helps the littler ones learn from the older cub scouts.

        We've done tracking games, where we send an adult leader off with "hoof" prints tied to their shoes. Given them a 10 minute head start and see if the boys can "track" their prey.

        Steal the bacon or capture the flag are great adventure games as well. We also had a big rope and played den vs den tug-o-war, or better yet all-scouts vs all-dad tug-o-war.

        Hope some of these ideas are useful to you.

        Dean

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        • #5
          We do family campouts. The parents are told the siblings are under their direction and that the DLs will not be watching them--they can participate in some activties, but only if there is space/materials. The Tiger parents must also have one parent with their Tiger during these times. During Open time--that is the parent's time to watch their scouts. The DLs have the boys during loops, den time and when the parents are cooking. We just signed 51 new boys last night--that puts us over 100 in the pack! Time to find bigger campsites!

          We have a base rotation for our campouts: Friday night, everyone is on their own for dinner, Web 2 parents make cobblers. Small campfire, with songs and fun. Saturday--one den has breakfast, another lunch, another dinner (Bears, Wolves, Web 1). The Tigers usually get Sunday breakfast for the first two campouts--pastries, leftovers, and fruit. During the day, the schedule rotates between belt loops (one or two), hikes (sometimes with a ranger or guide), den time and open time. During den time, the boys work on a skit for the campfire, and whatever other skills they need (last year, the Wolves did knots). Open time is just that---open, as long as they are following basic rules, we let them be. Saturday night are big campfires, skits and songs.

          Our Webelos camp as frequently as they wish. The last two years, our Webs camped once a month with a troop, and once a month as a den, and then could attend the pack campouts. This year, I am sure the Web 2's will follow this, but I'm not sure about the Web 1's. The parents usually start on the first one or two campouts, but then they go away--relieved they only have to go for our pack campouts!

          In October, we do a one night campout. Introduces the new parents to "our" style of camping. The Webelos run a Bobcat Den, so that all the new boys can receive their Bobcats at the Saturday night campfire. (they will have been working for a month or more on them in their dens)

          In November, we have Cuboree. My husband does have the boys skip a portion of the planned activities, to have down time. Otherwise it's go go go all day long. Each pack runs a game, depending on the theme for the year. Two years ago it was recycling, last year, Pirates!

          In January, we do cabin camping up in Georgia. Two years ago, it was 28 degrees out at Saturday breakfast; last year, we had tornados Saturday night--if we have any "unnatural" events happen, I am scrapping our visits to this particular campsite!

          March--last year we camped at Camp Blanding, and visited the museum there. We usually do our Crossover at this event---we invite the troops the boys are joining to Saturday dinner, and do a big show for them. /sniffles

          May, we do our "big event". Two years ago, we went to the MOSH in Orlando and slept under the dinosaurs. Last year, it was an overnighter at the Central FL zoo. This year--the USS Yorktown!

          We do try to rotate camps. October stays the same, as it is the closest camp to us and it's free. Cuboree is always in the same place, and January has been for the last few years. March and May are open, though.

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          • #6
            The Morley Games: underrealized fun....

            http://issuu.com/ssfs_comm_news/docs/morley_games

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            • #7
              OK... These are all great ideas. Please keep them coming. We are headed to Devil's Lake State Park to take the boys camping this weekend, just the family. First time, and my youngest is sooooooo excited since he isn't old enough yet to camp with the Pack Overnights where we do just Scout/Parent.

              Anyway, I say this because I won't be able to respond or read over the weekend (limiting myself to electronics), and I need to keep packing, but I love these ideas and appreciate them so much. Love the Survivor Idea. I have to read more about these Morley Games, I did a scan and they look clever, challenging and hilarious. Open-time is a better wording instead of free-time. Thanks for that tip.

              CCbyTrickery thanks for the info on the Family Campouts. We've talked about doing one, but everyone is a little hesitant. For me if you communicate and set the expectations of how the event is going to go, your family either complies, or for the next one you a) don't return or b) get involved and help set the event up. I always try to get the parents with spoken opinions on how something is going - involved (I say this for a good number of parents in my Pack. We are lucky to have very few that are complainers or difficult - very few).

              I'll be back. Thank you again and have a great 3 day weekend!

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              • #8
                Just ask me to plan it. You'll have an adventure all right. Rain and lots of it. I planned four pack family campouts. Yep, all four had rain of drought ending Great Flood proportions. We were looking for animals pairing up and heading toward the big boat.

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                • #9
                  Raisin'


                  I'll see your floods, and raise you tornadoes

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