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    • Well done. When I was the district SM Specific course trainer, I preached for units to stop splitting their troop for the summer camp experience. Summer camp is the best and safest place for youth to practice independent decision making and pump up their patrol method development. We averaged almost 100 scouts (95%) at summer camp because they  enjoy the experience so much. We typically put the adults in a separate camp site to reinforce the scouts independence. The SPL is the hardest working person in the troop because has all the decision making responsibilities. The only decisions the adult make are the one that require an adult signature. We pay the SPLs camp fees.  You’re going the right direction and your scouts will appreciate it. Barry
    • It is adults who drive most of this and the negative connotations are perhaps most extreme in OA but not unique. There are also those adults who get up in front of other adults and youth and sing the Back to Gilwell song, or others who insist on singing some of the traditional camp fire songs or skits that are also more for the 1950s. I have seen this chase prospective or new scouts and families out the door. I think BSA needs to reevaluate how it is presenting itself overall, not just in OA. 
    • Congratulations on making changes and having a great year !!!! Nothing kills the "summer camp" experience like over-controlling, over-planning, over-scheduling and too many adults.  Half the fun for the scouts is the free time and discovering things to do on their own.  
    • I'll double and triple that recommendation.  You do NOT want to walk the rocks barefoot.  We did out island adventure and tall ship sailing.  When coming and going to the island, you can walk thru sharp rocks and also algae and muck.  You do not want small cuts and/or bacteria getting in.  Some type of foot covering is important.
    • Our Troop had developed a practice of dividing for summer. 14+ to high adventure, under 14 went to merit badge camp (if you didn’t have anything you’d rather do). Consequently we were producing cohorts instead of Patrols and a Troop. This also set up a Cub Scout-like dynamic where adults are directing too much stuff because the Scouts do not know what to do. Not always, but often enough that the Scouts looked hen pecked and indecisive. This year we got the band back together. The older Scouts joined in at summer camp. It was just a few of the older Scouts but it was enough to make a difference. The SPL did SPL stuff. The Patrol was a composite of two patrols but it was a Patrol.  Young Scouts had a chance to interact with older Scouts and see what it looks like. We had just enough adult presence to be seen and not heard.  I have never been more optimistic about this Troop’s prospects. 
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