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  • More High Adventure/Fun

    Alright, I am starting to get my troop more involved in HA and having a little more fun on campouts rather than just basic car-camping. The last 2 trips have been whitewater and Wilderness Survival, and our calendar continues with: October, Fall Camporee, November, Pioneering, December, Winter Camp, January, Winter Camporee, February, Eagle Watching Trip and MBU, March, Backpacking Trip(Virgin Falls), April, Flatwater Float Trip(Duck or Buffalo River probably but not confirmed), May, Rappelling/ Climbing(Stone Door/Savage Gulf), June, Summer Camp. This is the best calendar we've had since I joined. I have decided to join Venturing officially in November. Our troop only has one adult certified in Rappelling this year, so I'll talk with the Venturing Crew and hopefully be able to help setup a joint trip between the troop and crew. Any advice/ideas?

  • #2
    I like the schedule.

    Things to pay attention to:
    Budgets. Make sure you all are raising enough funds so you can shave the cost for everyone involved.
    Gear. Collect gently used equipment so new scouts can start in on stuff without too much initial expense.
    Training. You've already touched on this with your in-troop rapelling resource. It's not always the certification that matters, but how long the fella has been leading climbs. Moreover, one instructor for an entire troop can make for a slow day. (For example, I had four from my crew and myself with one guy for the whole morning and he was busy ... even with one of my venturers assisting him.)

    Regarding troop/crew stuff, if at all possible, get your SM and advisor around the same table/campfire so that they can "talk shop" about how things might work. There's always, hiccups, but if you've met a guy once or twice it's a lot easier to deal with them.

    To prepare for:
    Changes and cancellations. When you make a schedule this far in advance, some things change. Always be an encourager, especially to the boy who was really working hard to make something work but for whatever reason his event has to be rescheduled.

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    • #3
      How is your council's climbing program set up ? In ours a leader goes to training but has to be certified by a staff member on open rock with a troop before he can lead on his own. Some would prefer to get qualified with another troop first so they can take the younger scouts to a tower before open rock. Contact your climbing chairman and see if there are some instructors that need qualification and and help you out.

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      • #4
        great schedule and looks like a lot of fun. I'd get it on a calendar, get specific dates selected (taking into account school, church, etc. events, less so for district/council events but look) and get it published far and wide. If you have folks who've never winter camped before spend some extra time working with them, maybe hold a day-long outdoor event somewhere, etc. If your council offers OKPIK or anything similar look into some training that way as well. Float trips typically require a little more paperwork if you want to tow that line. Are you using an outfitter for your climbing/rapelling or doing a roll-your-own?

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        • #5
          What did your Wilderness Survival campout consist of? Our PLC wants to do one later this month. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

          Dale

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          • #6
            I'll try to answer all your questions with this. From what I've been told, there has to be at least two adults who are certified/trained in the area of rappelling/climbing in order for us to conduct our trip. I believe that the troop rents gear(harnesses/helmets) from the council. The last rappelling trip we had was also at Stone Door, we had two adults from our troop running the rappelling, one was setup at a 45 foot cliff while the other was setup at a fairly steep incline to help scouts learn how to rappel. We also had two more adults at the bottom of each of those to help undo the harnesses.
            Here is how our Wilderness Survival trip went: We had six scouts including me and not counting adults. We split into 2 groups, experienced and inexperienced, us three experienced folk all had the MB and it was our third WS trip for two of us(one of which was me), second trip for the third. We stayed in tents on Friday night and on Saturday we built our shelters. The new guys made a giant lean-to while we made 3 one-man shelters in a triangle around a fire. At about 3PM the shelters were pretty much finished so we had a bunch of patrol competitions, including a awesome game of capture the flag with our two campsites as bases. The two campsites were just close enough to each other that we could look through the woods and see the other shelter. Our meals consisted of 2 breakfasts(Saturday/Sunday), Cliff/granola bars, a little Chex Mix, and some berries we found while gathering firewood. 2 of the new guys managed to make it through the night while the third came over to our camp to warm up after their fire went out, and ended up sleeping beside our fire. We put him to work gathering some extra firewood when we ran low. Wilderness Survival is one of the best trips, your troop will thank the PLC for suggesting it. Good luck, Roy.

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            • #7
              I am curious as to way you split into Experienced vs Inexperienced. Why not do 1 to 1 mentoring? Why Split into 2 Groups.

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              • qwazse
                qwazse commented
                Editing a comment
                E441 can speak for his troop, but I find this is how scouts naturally divide.There's a lot of pride in building your own stick shelter. And really, newbies don't need a whole lot of supervision for this sort of thing. Give 'em a book with pictures of shelters, and they'll be just fine.

              • EagleScout441
                EagleScout441 commented
                Editing a comment
                We call it learning by experience. It isn't going to hurt them if they don't build a good shelter. My first WS trip I was also partnered with another 1st year, I thought I was going to freeze to death, even though it was only about 40 degrees F, but I stuck it out, and finally managed to sleep till morning. Because of the size and open design of the lean-to that the new guys built, they got cold and ended up coming to our camp, which had a good fire, around 2AM. We were smart and had shifts, 2 of us slept while the 3rd kept the fire going, and then we traded out. And when I say new guys, all three of them joined spring 2013. And we were just doing it for fun, if we wanted, we could have left our shelters and slept in the tents with sleeping bags, while they on the other hand were attempting the MB requirement.

            • #8
              I was smart my First wilderness trip.. I dug a Large hole burned a lot of Wood..Buried the Coals and Built a shelter facing a Rock Wall and built another fire...it Snowed..I was Warm, even the WS Staff ended up in My Shelter that Night I also knew to burn green wood that would last longer than dead dry wood..you Gotta inter mix them..I am also the Only one who did not end up with Prickly Pear Needles in my Mouth..Because I was the Only one (Not Even The Instructors) who knew to singe off Needles before Trying to cook and Eat.

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