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Camps, Modern over Rustic, whats happing to the camps?

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  • #16
    I think there are multiple issues involved.

    First and foremost is the National Accreditation Program than looks at camps and their viability. Thankfully my council doesn't own the "primitive" camps, otherwise they would be gone by these standards.

    http://www.scouting.org/Home/Outdoor...editation.aspx

    Another challenge in my opinion is Cub Scouts. Don't get me wrong, I love Cubs camping, and will be taking my youngest two boys Cub camping every chance I get. But #1 Some Cub families are not ready for a true wilderness expereince. #2 Some councils are not doing their job of coming up with approved camp grounds for Cubs to camp at, limiting them to council owned properties, and #3 national has put some "non-wilderness" restrictions on where Cub can camp. So council properties are having to adapt to the Cub factor. HOPEFULLY this will change some when they put more outing in Cub Scouting next year.

    A different challenge I see is troops that are, for lack of a better term, "Webelos III" programs. I know of one troop that when they do camp, every camp out is a family camp out. So they do not go anywhere where there are no amenities. Even some of the more Scout run troops like their amenities, and won't go to wilderness camps.

    Ok gotta finish packing for the troop camp out on the sandbar tomorrow. Long day of paddling ahead.

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    • #17
      There's a big wide line between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Some councils recognize this and have Cub Scout Camps and Boy Scout Camps and they don't use the same space. They are designed for the appropriate program. This I have no problem with. It's when one dumb downs the Boy Scout camp to parlor camping, then I see real problems.

      Stosh

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      • #18
        I remember a talk I had with a troop leader at a round table. He said that the biggest obstacle to getting the boys out camping in primitive sites, was that most of the boys refused to use catholes (plus several parents that were completely horrified at the idea and wouldn't let their "babies" go on a trip where that was the only option). He said when his boy joined the troop, they would do two or three wilderness trips a year. Now they don't do any.

        Of course some areas require you to pack out your waste. I can see that one being a hard sell! When I was a boy scout, my old troop used to go backpacking in the Desolation Wilderness (near Lake Tahoe). They stopped just before I joined because of the then new pack out your waste rules.

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        • #19
          Seriously? 3"-4" PVC 1'-2' long and cat litter. What's the big deal? And there are those on the forum who get angry when I use the term Parlor Scouts. Get angry all one wants, but this is why.

          When was the last time one had to dig latrines at a camporee? We did it for all of them. Still do when we river camp.

          Maybe one should do scientific research on this issue. Someone said things began to change in the 1970's and that's about the time that flush toilets and camp grounds started partnering up. The full RV hook-ups, pools, game room, camper stores, ice sales, guest dinners, etc. didn't evolve until later.

          I know of one or two hold outs and they are State run. Nice campsites, pit toilets and a hand pump for water. It has a canoe landing for those that need water access. One has to swim in the river, no pool. Funny thing about it all, just like any other State run park, it's full all summer long. Mostly older folks.

          Stosh

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          • #20
            I'm not going to go into my local councils choices on camps and their development and upgrades over recent years (leading to near bankruptcy, lots of hot feelings about that). I will say that the need for flushing toilets and hot showers and restaurant grade cooking facilities and/or staff usually aren't needs but expectations. Expectations are built on experiences.

            "Cat-holes" or "crapping-log latrines" were the norm for me when I went through scouts. My wife was brought up on a commune and as a teenager she worked as a river guide for her fathers white-water rafting company, both situations required primitive elimination habits of her. Our experiences have taught us we CAN take care of business without a toilet. Our expectations aren't what others are because of those experiences and so both of us can go into the backcountry and camp with no problems. We family camp probably every 3rd weekend from spring through fall and our kids have learned that they can go potty in the woods and the world won't end. We do have to watch the 5 year-old little miss from dropping trow in the front yard at home when nature calls but when shes older she will be empowered and capable of handling "emergencies" better than others who lack her experiences.

            Learning to be prepared isn't just about having camp gadgets and tools, a pocketknife or first aide kit on you at all times, or knowing which knot to use when. It includes practical mental processes and practiced skills to deal with everyday issues that emerge out of context. The move to GLAMPING shows the experiences behind the leadership and their expectations. I'm not putting down parent's or adult scouters, we all know sometimes if any parent steps-up to help its a miracle so any help should be met with gratitude. Just stating a fact of how camps become what they are.

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            • #21
              Gimme a break! There is a push for Cub Scout & Boy Scout resident camping to have flush toilets. It's stupid, they wiz all over the bathroom if it's a pit latrine, porta-potty, of flush toilet. I've camped in all styles with my family and scouts. Pit latrines are fine! Until cub scouts get earn a patch for perfect aim the communal bathrooms are just going to be on the yucky side. Hold your breath, do your business quick and get out of there. Or dray at the residence inn

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              • #22
                People have limits on what they will endure. For the most part Cub Scouts is 90% indoor artsy crafty kinda things with a few excursions out there to see important things. Now we add the "outdoors" stuff. Backyard close to flushies, resident camps only if there are flushies, and for the most part people can endure it for their boys. But what happens when those Cub leaders cross over into Boy Scouts. In order to accommodate them, we have a major disconnect.

                I was well into high school before I ever saw a flushy in a campground.

                BWCA and Philmont don't have flushies yet either. Been to both places.

                The Mrs. on the other hand grew up in a big city. Got a degree in forestry and headed off to Alaska to work for the US Forestry Service in the lumber fields. She said she was well into adulthood before she saw her first flushy.....

                So here's the rub. Yes, it's nice to have adults volunteer for the BSA program. It's great that they have the heart to do it. But if they aren't into adventure FOR THE BOYS, they might want to hold back and let those who can handle it do the heavy lifting in the woods.

                "Well boys, we're going camping this weekend. Where do you want to go? Johnny? Sorry, Son, they don't have flush toilets. Anyone else? Pete? Sorry, son, no pool, you would have to swim in the river and that's too dangerous. Anyone else? Frankie? Maybe when you get older, we have to have electricity for my cpap machine. Henry? Okay, now there's a place that we can camp at! It's family friendly, has a pool, flush toilets, and electricity. We can drive the RV right up to the site to set up, too. Remember boys, no going to the game room, and no electronics. Remember, we going camping to get away from such things."

                The really sad part about it is when you wade through the sarcasm, you also see a bit of truth floating in and around it all.

                Stosh

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                • #23
                  Our local Cub Scout camp is closing, Scouter Mountain was sold to Metro. It has pit toilets and is fairly rustic I would say. This is the last year for their program, after this they'll be hosting "travelling camps" where they change sites every year. From what I understand, these camps will be a heck of a lot less rustic. It's disappointing, for sure. I have been using the woods for a toilet since I was old enough to use a toilet, as has my husband. But I do know that we are a dying breed. I heard most of the parents at camp this week complaining about the pit toilets.

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                  • #24
                    I still can't get over what one person posted somewhere on this forum how their troop brings a big screen tv and a generator with them camping so they can watch movies. Almost makes me want to cry.

                    I grew up camping. That is what my family did for vacation, and I loved it. I remember my first primitive toilet, it was a corrugated steel pipe, no seat. I was only six, and I thought I was going to fall in! Pit toilets with seats? Luxury!

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                    • #25
                      My troop rustic camps 6 times a year out of 11-12 camping trips. The other 4-5 campouts we might have access to a pit toilet. The summer camp we go to has canvas tents on platforms and a dining hall. They also have some flush toilets and showers. My scouts cook a meal once a month during meetings, and at every campout. Their time is better served doing camp activities rather than cooking. Summer camp is not basic training, it's to learn independence from the family, teamwork, skill building, and maybe earn a few MB's. Ayer a fee days

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by SM bob View Post
                        ... Their time is better served doing camp activities rather than cooking. Summer camp is not basic training, it's to learn independence from the family, teamwork, skill building, and maybe earn a few MB's. ...
                        We haven't seen troops who prefer a dining hall earning more MBs than troops who prefer patrol cooking. Making your meal and cleaning up afterward is just one more team-building skill. But, so is gathering three times a day with hundreds of scouts to sing a silly song or two. Which is better? Well our boys are quite proud of cooking, and parents are quite happy when the 11 year old makes them breakfast in bed!

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                        • #27
                          Isn't having a mess hall kinda like eating out in a restaurant all week long? You don't have to prep or cook the food and you don't have to clean up.

                          Seriously? I don't get that luxury at home, why is it where we are teaching our boys independence and self reliance do we expect them to hike on over to Micky D's 3 times a day.

                          Sounds to me like BSA and it's modern camps have really lost the vision of Scouting. Scout: a military soldier that leaves the encampment of the regular army and goes out beyond the front lines to reconnoiter the enemy. Does this image that BP gave us have anything to do with the modern camps of BSA when the "scouts" have to come back to base 3 times a day so they don't get hungry?

                          It is for this reason alone that I do not encourage my scouts to consider the local council camp.

                          Stosh

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                          • #28
                            I wish I could say all this discussion has given me some reason for optimism. I can't. After reading all this, I'm ready to strap on the backpack and leave all this behind for a while. The one common thread I detect in all this seems to be (as opposed to the sex-obsession in I&P) a preoccupation with human waste. I guess when we cram this many people into one place, no matter what the facilities, this is 'naturally' going to occupy our immediate thoughts...probably sooner than later, lol. Time to hit the trail...a remote, lonely one.

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                            • #29
                              Kayaking a long stretch of isolated wilderness river where there is nothing but woods on both sides of the water! Campsite? Nice meadow a by the water's edge just big enough to fit a tent and small fire. Maybe a sandbar if it's later in the summer. I always take the Mrs. so I have buddy boats. She's a lot happier if I don't leave her behind.

                              Stosh

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                              • #30
                                I should probably just find another pack. Ours is run by two men (cc and cm) and three women. It was five until my friend with the newborn and I quit. I felt like the pack scullery maid. The female leaders did *all* the cooking, cleaning, hauling, shopping, paperwork and fundraising, while the cc and cm ran the pinewood derby and basically relived their own scouting childhoods. Of the five women who stepped up, all had younger children and babies. Sorry, but my three year old daughter just won't use a cathole in the woods. Fact of life: most women, especially those with young kids and babies, just aren't comfortable with primitive camping. Honestly, to ask me to wear six different hats to support the pack and then complain about my cpap machine and little daughter just shows a total lack of class. If men want this primitive experience for their boys, then they need to step up and actually do all the work to make that happen. Georgia Mom

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