you said the plc does not choose these kinds of things. Are adventurous ideas ever submitted? Does the plc know that more adventurous camping is an option? Our troop was full of stale ideas and adult leaders set in their ways. The scouts had been doing the same things for years because that was the only thing they knew. It took a few new vocal scouts to submit fresh ideas they found online to the plc and a few willing adults to start making things happen. Many scouts would not know what Philmont was unless someone told them. My son had never been canoeing before he joined the troop, so I don't think it was unusual for him to not consider it as an activity when planning. I think this is common when you are dealing with young scouts that don't have a lot of experiences.
if ideas are submitted to the plc but just not chosen then what about splitting the troop if resources are available? Older scouts go on a backpacking trip and the younger scouts or scouts that don't want to backpack camp locally and do something else.
If the scouts are having fun they will come. Why would they want to be there if its not fun? I wouldn't want to come either.
Back in my day (your day?), each Patrol was supposed to have a Patrol Leader, Assistant PL, A quartermaster (yes, we had stuff to take care of), a Treasurer, (who collected our dues monthly or weekly and presented them to the Troop Treasurer, who was an adult), and when we went camping, a grubmaster and Cook which changed as we went different places. I remember being each of these positions thru my Scout Career. When I graduated from Scouts, I left a well appointed Eagle Patrol.
Our menu for a camp out could vary, but inevitably, we did our shopping on the way to the campground or trail head. We would stop at a Safeway or Acme (there were regular places depending on our direction) and the Patrol would run around the store collecting stuff. Dehydrated milk, cocoa, Tang, canned fruit, eggs (repacked in foam for the trip). Fresh hamburger meat would be frozen the night before, this being probably the only thing bought and arranged ahead of time, wrapped up well in foil and towels , and by the time dinner came around, it would still be cold but thawed out. The Treasurer paid for it, no parent's credit card, cash only.
At the trail head, we parceled out the gear and food among the hikers, repacked everything, and set off. Some dad followed along behind, or had gone ahead to reserve the cabin or site. We had the map, or had been there before and knew the way. A hatchet, matches, flint and steel, tinder in a candy can, a plastic tarp tent, no roll up "umbrella " tent as of yet.
We took a liking to a campsite in the Cunningham Falls state park, near a trout stream, nice short hike in, camp store a short quarter mile away. Fire rings, picnic tables, memories. Much later, after college, I called up a friend from another Troop, and said let's go up to Cunningham Falls for the weekend. He agreed, we gathered our gear, dusted off the old tents and sleeping bags, bought some Dinty Moore and set off. When we arrived, we drove around and around and could not find the entrance to the campground ! We finally gave up and stopped at the Ranger Station. Where was the Campground? Were our memories so faulty? No, the Ranger said, pointing at the map on the wall. We built a dam and formed a swimming lake two years ago. Your campground is now here, under about 50 feet of water. Sic Gloria mundi. No more trout stream there. We found a different campground.
Run Forest Run!! Get to a new troop if you can. This SM is out of control and will continue to be an obstacle to your son's advancement just because he can be.
We had the same issue with my son's SM in troop #2. He was not pleased the son was 13 and starting an Eagle project. No scout in his troop deserved Eagle before their 18th birthday. In troop 2 no scout had a an EBOR until after they turned 18. And he wasn't going to change his stance. My son did everything this man demanded and the SM just kept adding to the demands because he could. He delayed my son for 6 months, when I threatened an intervention with the district advancement chair he relented and signed the proposal. The SM interference didn't stop with the proposal. He tried to shut down both of my son's work days on the project itself. First shutdown was because most of the scouts couldn't help on first work day, MLK Day, cuz their school was in session and my son's school was off. The school wanted the work done that day for obvious reasons. Son had several friends from school to help him all were Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. Then he said it couldn't go cuz he couldn't be there, and on and on. It wasn't until the school principal called him and said she'd turn him into council for abuse of power that he relented this time.
Second work day SM tired to shut it down cuz it was rainy and cold. Then he tried that son and school hadn't cleared the site with MissDig for buried wires, there was already a playscape in place there with deep footings. Then he tried to argue about cement mixing procedures. This time we had a friend that was on the district advancement team for the neighboring district working with the group. He pulled the SM aside and put him in his place. Project complete. SM threatened that he'd never give a now 14 year old an SMC for Eagle, especially after how he was treated during the project. So troop #3 here we were.
This man will never change. So as stated earlier. RUN, RUN FAST.
Side note - Just saw on Facebook that 2 boys from troop 2 just made Eagle, they turned 18 in mid fall. They were college freshmen when their projects and completed EBORs 60 days after 18th b-days. Somethings never change. The scouts are the same age as my son.