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  • Share provisional camper experiences

    My son loves scouting and loved his first year at summer camp last week. The camp he attended has a very discounted rate for staying a 2nd week as a provisional camper. We are thinking we may take them up on that offer next year.

    I'd like to hear if your son or other boys you know have gone thru the provisional troop route. How did that go? Did they have a good time?

    My husband went several years provisionally as his troop did not attend summer camp. He had a great time, but that is now ancient history. Boys were different back then.


  • #2
    Boys are not different now - just their parents!

    I was a Provisional Scoutmaster years ago. The scouts came for 13 days camp periods back then (1971). I had 40 scouts in each of my provisional troop, and we had three provisional troops in the camp. The scouts had a lot of fun, and so did I (and my two assistants).

    When my son was 12 yrs. old (1984), his buddy and him went to summer camp with his troop for a week. They came home for one night to do the laundry, and they both went back for the next week as provisional scouts. My son earned 10 merit badges in the two weeks, but he did not enjoy the second week. They were put in with another troop, and they did not care for the scouts in that troop (they were swearing, etc.). The scoutmaster did his best; he separate the provisional scouts into their own patrol, and they stayed away from his scouts, but they did not enjoy the week.

    Looking back, I would give him at least a week between camp periods.

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    • #3
      My son did one week with the troop and one provisional thoughout his scouting years. He loved it, in fact we paid for one of his summer camps, and then he would earn his provisional camp by himself.

      His first few years he did provisional at his home base, but then he started to travel and go to out-of-council camps.. Different MB's offered, different things to do during free time.. Some of the leaders who ran the provisional he liked alot, others not so much.

      Helped us out to, with both of us working, we were trying to schedule his summer weeks, so he wasn't home alone watching TV all summer, so it helped he enjoyed camp.

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      • #4
        My son did 3 weeks provo this year and one week with his troop. He is 12. It worked out so well that we are going to do it again next summer. The summer after that he can be a CIT.

        The provo scoutmaster was a young adult from his home troop so he knew him and my other boys are on staff so he had plenty of people there for him, but the other provo moms and dads I spoke to said their sons enjoyed their experience as well.

        I am only sorry that I never did provo with my older boys.

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        • #5
          This year we had 4 scouts from another troop camp provisionally with us. An ASM from the other troop and I emailed back and forth quite a bit before camp, and I believe this helped her boys have a great time with us. When we found out our boys' schedules, I checked to see if we had scouts taking the same merit badges (or at least in the same area) at the same times as her scouts. We discussed how we approached various situations such as: cooking at the campsite, keeping snacks on site, activities that we were planning on signing up for, etc. so her boys would know what to expect from us. I would definitely recommend advance communication between troops to insure a good week for all.

          Actually the boys had such a good time, that their troop signed up for the same week in an adjoining campsite to us, for next year.

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          • #6
            We picked up a provisional camper this year standing in line for medical checks. Great kid. Within 15 minutes you would have thought he had been with our guys since tigers.

            I think it depends on the kid. If he is outgoing and makes friends easily, he'll do well.

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            • #7
              I now have a provisional camper experience to report. Our son went with a friend to a very nice camp (2nd camp week this summer for both). There was only one other provo scout who came with his dad. His dad was drafted to be the provo scoutmaster. Great scout dad and leader, and he had no trouble with the boys. They all enjoyed each other. Only one problem: He was the only adult leader in their campsite.

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              • #8
                My first camping experience was as a privisonal Cub camper for summer camp. It was incredible. So much so, I remember the CIT who served a our Den Chief, and the volunteers who were the Cubmasters for the week.

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                • #9
                  CPMom wrote: "Only one problem: He was the only adult leader in their campsite.

                  Yeah, ummmm... That's not a little problem. Each unit, provisional or not, should have at least two leaders. This is a youth protection issue.

                  ....

                  Provisional units are a gamble. You need to start with a flexible, outgoing scout that can easily build friendships and can see good in others. Don't send a scout that can get easily frustrated or isn't that flexible. Don't send a scout that can be challenge.

                  After that, it really depends on the combination of scout, unit leaders and other scouts. They might mix or might not mix. It really depends. I know several really good scouts that went on a jamboree only to be threatened several times by the adults with punishments. I know another scout that was positive and outgoing but felt like he was on the outside of a group of scouts that knew each other. They were a click and not looking for new temporary scouts to join them.

                  Provisional units are a gamble.

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                  • #10
                    CPMom wrote: "Only one problem: He was the only adult leader in their campsite.

                    Yeah, ummmm... That's not a little problem. Each unit, provisional or not, should have at least two leaders. This is a youth protection issue.

                    ----------------------------------------------
                    Don't think I'm not flipping out over this. I was shocked.

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                    • #11
                      We have had provisional's join us and we've sent a few provisional's.

                      IMHO and experience, the main theme of being a successful provisional camper is joining in with the Troop you go with. Do your turn/s at clean up, follow their Troop rules, work thru their SPL, keep their SM informed as necessary(Act as though you are a part of that Troop). Ensure you get any necessary signatures before pack up time.

                      Provisional's who've joined us have reported back that they had a great time and our provisional's say the same when they've gone with other Troops - we still have Provisional Parents tell us how their Scout is doing, when we run into them, because they know we invested in their Scout that week.

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