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Posts posted by Eagle92

  1. One camp I worked at had a dedicated staffer to do SM Specific and IOLS. Depending upon the quality of the instructor, good or bad. One guy did and excellent job, the guy the next year was a joke. Friend of mine needed IOLS to be 'trained" and it was all lecture and no work. Lucky for my friend, he didn't really need to learn IOLS skills. If you've been to Philmont and don't know your T-2-1 skills, something is wrong with ya. ;)


    Camp I went to did Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat Training multiple times during the week. Also did the Aquatics Supervision courses too.

  2. Don't know how many activity badges were earned at my day camp, but I know they got Readyman (I got the CPR mannaquins and AED and oldest son, a Boy Scout was one of the numerous "victims" that they encountered on their "First Aid Hike" the second day) and either completions or partials in a few more. At the end of camp, the past 2 years we've had troops sponsor a Webelos Overnighter, so all of Outdoorsman can be earned if you attend. Plus the kids love their reward for doing fire safety: hot sparks :)



    But we do our day camp a little differently. 1/2 the day Webelos in "Webelos Woods" working on activity badges, and 1/2 the day doing shooting sports and fishing. We went to that format when we got lots of complaints from the Webelos saying they were tired of the "little kid stuff" and wanted a challenge. We had a WDL who is also an ASM come up with the program, using input from his son and the surveys we took to come up with the program.


    Scheduling is a pain, but we got it worked out now.

  3. I don't know about the merit badge program at the camp my son's troop went to, I was too busy taking Aquatics Supervision classes, but I really liked their first year program that my son went to. Several friends who have been there before told me that the program is designed to help the troop out in teaching these T-2-1 skills. I know they had an incentive program for leaders to help out in that program, and in the merit badge programs. Listening to the first year camper counselors, they said that the skills marked off were the skills that the scouts DID do, and should know. They also said that we could accept paperwork as is, but that if we want to make sure they know their stuff, then by all means let them do the work for us.


    BUT what really impressed me was the focus on FUN! Only 2 merit badges were offered at night: Astronomy and Climbing ( and that was because the MBC was only available at night due to last minute issues at home.) Organized night time activities included staff manhunt, Neptune's raft race and luau, OA night, and chili cook off. Open activities included BMX Track, Chess, and Free Shoot.

  4. JBlake,


    Army Surplus was key to my Scouting career in the 1980s/early 1990s. My camping gear was either hand me downs from my brothers, or USGI surplus. heck one of the dads in my troop, a LTC, had a joke: " Government surplus, if it's designed for combat, it may survive Boy Scouts." ;)


    I admit I made the mistake of giving most of my old camping stuff away. Everything but my A.L.I.C.E. pack. With 2 fifty milers, a NSJ and WSJ with that pack, itprovided to many memories to part with it. Now I'm loaning it to oldest son to use.


    There are troops that still rough it a bit. Last camp out was a canoe trip. Unfortunately the sandbars that were selected by the trip leader the week before were underwater. Ended up scrunched together on a tiny island.

  5. Well I can tell you that how a council will handle it depends on the SE. Camp I went to as a youth had an aquatics director caught drinking and was immediately dismissed. Don't know if membership was revoked though. I worked at that camp several years later, and walked into a staff cabin that had a 6 or 7 foot high pyramid of beer cans. The staff kept their jobs.


    If what happened to me is any indicator on how you will be treated after doing something, I can tell you that if you report the situation, you WILL be the bad guy. You WILL be ostracized. And people WILL blame you for what happened. It got so bad, that I actually commuted back and forth from camp every day after I reported the incident. Heck my boss, a national employee, was even ticked off at me and causing me problems.


    But i would do it again in a heartbeat. Staff need to be available at any moment in case things hit the fan. I've had too many 1AM wake up calls dealing with lost campers.

  6. Backin the late 1980s, early 1990s my district created a district patch becasue that became a fad in my council. They issued everyone attending a camporee a patch.


    Several years later, when I was working for supply, we had a bunch of new leaders keep asking us for district patches they were "required" to have. Found out one district was still making them and selling them to help with events and camperships.

  7. Have you tried the camp chaplain, if your camp has one? One of the camps I worked at would hire a seminarian, those studying to become ordained ministers, to work the entire summer. One of the things the chaplains did was deal with homesickness.

  8. 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.




    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. ;)

  9. Actually my son's scout troop does this every January for several reasons. 1) the newly elected PLC hadn't come up with a calendar yet, B) We have new Scouts joining us from the December Crossovers that may not have cold weather gear, and 3) This is something the scouts want.


    Activities vary I am told, however the Troop Chess Tournament is always included. This past year, my son's first, they went to a rock climbing gym during the morning, did first aid training in the afternoon, and chess tournament and game time that nite.


    My son loved it.

  10. TAHAWK, add me to the rant too.


    But as too the wilderness survival testing I saw a single MBC use the overnighter the camps I've been to do as the "final," and loved it.


    Long story short, 2 adults, him and a volunteer Scouter, take the Scouts to one point of camp where an "amnesty sheet" is put out and all the contraband comes out. No shaking down, but a very long, silent 30 - 45 minute wait ( at least that is what it felt like when I volunteered).


    Everyone then goes to the overnight site, is given the scenario, and some supplies from the wreckage. Things happen throughout the night, medical emergencies, food may get taken by animals, earthquakes that separate the group into smaller groups, etc occur that challenge them to use the skills they were taught and practiced.




    I had a great discussion with him and picked up a lot of do's, and a very important DON'T.




    You may get a state trooper helicopter landing during your overnighter ;)



    On a different note, I've found some units will have higher standards in who the MBCs they want the scouts going to, and when they find a deficiency for a particular MB, whether no counselor or an established poor one, they will look for the best person to fill the spot for everyone involved. But every situation is different.


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