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    • A tarp can be configured to be an enclosed tent. But, you are correct about first time in Feb.  
    • Definitely a good idea.  We had a local Troop run a service project once where they colllected old camping gear from the scouting community.  These could be individually owned or old Troop equipment.  The scouts then setup and tested the equipment and donated the usable items to new or struggling Troops.   I thought this  as a great idea as there is a lot of equipment gathering dust.  
    • Well about 1/2 or fewer bring their own tents. Boys decide among themselves who's bringing whose tent. The "or fewer" is on account of older scouts who tend to be "tarpologists" or hammockers. I've encouraged this out of memories of being in college in the big city and wanting to "get out" but not having ever bought a tent of my own and suddenly on a tight budget, I had to rely on the generosity of strangers. Son #1 came into the troop with a family-size armory of canvas. He soon saved up for his own (or got it for a present, can't remember). Mrs. Q, would bargain hunt and garage sale. so our family was well stocked with the intention that our kids would be able to provide for their buddies. Other families were of similar ilk. And, most of us don't like to see gear sitting idle. I guess it depends on the culture of your community. The troop does have a small collection of lightweight models for boys who want to try a backpacking tent.
    • Talk to  your CO about making a startup donation.  Also talk with them about service opportunities your young scouts could take on right away.
    • There are an overwhelming number of tents available for sale,  all different types.    A reccomendation of what to buy, that would be suitable for scouts camping with the troop, would be helpful for the families, if you decide to go this route.
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