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NJCubScouter

"Trail to Eagle Camp"

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So today I (and presumably everybody else on my council's mailing list) get an email which is basically an advertisement for various council programs, especially summer camp programs. Not surprising at this time of year, and I have been receiving similar emails about once a week recently. The programs are more varied than they used to be. For example, they have one week (probably the last week of the camp season) for a non-Scouting camp program for anyone (boys and girls) in grades 2 through 12. "Age appropriate activities include swimming, boating, first aid, ecology, outdoor skills, hiking, crafts, rock climbing, shooting sports, COPE, sports, games, songs, campfires and a Thursday night dance with a DJ." Ok as far as I am concerned. They don't have enough Scout troops to fill up the summer, so for the last week they run a non-Scouting program so the camp doesn't sit there not earning money. I get it. That's not what this post is about.

 

What this post is about, is the section printed below. (It's a straight cut and paste except I deleted the name of the camp and unfortunately the picture of an Eagle wouldn't transfer over.) Somehow I thought some people in this forum would have something to say about it. :) I may have something to say about it later, but for now I will say, every Eagle-required merit badge? The out-of-council camp my troop attends has most of them, including the "Cits" and Communications, which to me are not really summer camp badges. But not Family Life, which this camp apparently does have for that week. How do you offer Family Life merit badge at summer camp? Anyway, here it is for your enjoyment:

 

Specialty Resident Camp Programs

 

Trail to Eagle Camp

 

Weeklong resident camp at [name of camp deleted] - 4 sessions

 

Trail to Eagle Camp is designed to help you achieve the goal of attaining the Eagle rank. The program guides you through the advancement process and prepares you for your service project. Focused discussions help explore your challenges and drive toward your scouting goals. All Eagle required merit badges are offered. The program has four sessions from July 3 to July 30. Each week is limited to 24 Star or Life scouts who will be at least 13 years old by July 1, 2011, so register today!

 

(This message has been edited by njcubscouter)

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Don't like them....don't have a need for them......Good luck going.

 

Just giving the over achieving parents what they want an............Eagle.......Journey be damned.

 

 

If the boys advance only at camp then what and the heck does the troop do the rest of the year.

 

Google trail to eagle camp.......It is amazingly common.

 

I will advice my boys against attending a camp like this......(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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Hmm, like the seminar talks. All required merit badges ... not sure I'm crazy about that.

 

Something here kinda sticks in my craw. The trial to eagle, be design, requires the scout to be self motivated, demonstrate leadership, demonstrate organizational skills, and test his limits. This feels like a spoon feeding process. When I earned eagle yea here comes the walked to school, barefoot, uphill both ways, story

 

Eagle scout used to be difficult, and 100% on you. It wasnt expected that you would reach eagle, it was like the holy grail! When you met an eagle scout you were like wow, youre an eagle scout! I was the first to earn eagle at my charter org, in a troop with a 25 year history. Eagle scout was truly something special, and the young men who earned it were truly special. Today the Eagle Scout rank is common, and so are the Eagle Scouts. Maybe we are too concerned with quantity, and not enough with quality?

 

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Google trail to eagle camp.......It is amazingly common.

 

Yes Basementdweller, I did not mean to suggest that this is something unique. It may not even be the first time my council has done it. It is just the first time I have noticed it.

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Oh, when I Googled it, somewhere down the list I found my own council's listing, which led to some more information. $390 a week! Which admittedly is only $15 more than the regular week at summer camp, but that is significantly more than the camp my troop (er, the troop I serve; can't call it my son's troop anymore) is attending. It's a little less if you register early in the spring. But what really caught my eye was, a Scout can attend more than one week (I hadn't realized that before), and if you attend all four weeks, they only charge the low-low discounted price of $1,380!

 

Old OX, I have always liked the line about how I walked to school uphill... both ways! But let's give credit where credit is due, when I say it I always preface it with "As Bill Cosby once said..."

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My son went to two.. First one was a waste of time.. Well he did get small boat sailing which was a 2 period course.. One thing signed off on cit. & World.. Did service projects for the camp (his following someone elses orders was to help prepare him for his own eagle project.. Like being a participant of 10+ other Eagle projects, didn't give him the same viewpoint this one did..)..

 

Next year went to a different camp. By then 80% of the required MB were done, but he had such a lousy time at the one Trail to Eagle, he wanted to wash it away with a good trail..

 

Alot of pre-work with counsilors outside the Trail to Eagle course while he worked on the pre-requists of the first camp.. Then the pre-reqs of the 2nd camp that were not the same as the first camp.. Which is why 80% of the MB's were done before he arrived in the 2nd camp, with different counsilors..

 

So what did he get out of the course?.. Similar to Woodbadge, alot of commeradery, talking to other boys about their journey to Eagle, talking about each others Eagle projects, or ideas for Eagle projects.. Something was there that he had wanted to go ever since he was little and in provisional camp which neighbored the Trail to Eagle, and he was always fascinated with the older boys and the program he saw over on the other side of the fence..

 

No Family Life offered.. Not sure about the other 3 month charting programs, but if they did their charts before comeing to camp there is enough other things in those courses to offer something.. But, once when dropping my son off for provisional, I did hear one mother go up one side and down the other of the leader running the course of how awful it was they did not offer Family Life, when that was one of the courses her "little Johnny" needed

 

The next year my son did a provisional at the same camp that ran the 2nd Trail to Eagle.. Because he saw that program while he was in the other course, and that one looked good to him.. A total Aquatics camp.. They did everything and anything water related, some were badges he already had, so he earned a second time.. Some were new badges, some didn't have any badge relationship at all..

 

If done right, the Trail-to-Eagle will still not short-change the process, and they can offer other benefits..

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Some how I already knew.........

 

 

I suppose you support merit badge universities too.

 

NJ.....you camps cost just shy of twice ours.....at those costs we couldn't go, period.(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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got back from the evening walk and pondered the trail to eagle.....

 

In reality all resident camps that hold merit badge classes are trail to eagle, when you get down to it.

 

So what irritates me?????

 

I guess it is the intentional marketing of the camp as path to Eagle is my beef. A short cut and sold as such.

 

I have seen it in my house, My scout at 12 years old, picking up the phone to call a merit badge councilor and make an appointment, then going and meeting him. He was scared to death, you know the second one was easier.

 

To me the Journey is more important that the goal.......The journey is where the adventure is had and the skills learned.

 

Someone on this forum said that the eagle percentages have not changed all that much over the years. Does this mean that without all these trail to eagle camps would the numbers be lower, much lower?????

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Basement: maybe..and maybe not. I think it has to do with the old leading the horse to water thing. I think that parents today are demanding more spoon feeding (not just in scouts, but in everything) and this is the result. However, the boy still has to want to do it and actually get it done. All the camps, counseling, and advice in the world aren't gonna help a boy that at the end of the day, really isn't into it.

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Basementdweller, your post about summer camp costs made my curious as to what "my" troop is now paying, which I didn't really know since my son's last summer camp year was two years ago and that year we used his "troop account" to pay for part of it... so it has been at least three years since I paid full price.

 

Turns out that this camp (in eastern Pa.) is only a little less than my own council's regular camp: $354 for the regular rate, $335 if you pay before Feb. 28 (that deadline is much later for kids who have just crossed over from Webelos), and then the discounted rate is further reduced to $319 if your troop is attending the camp for at least the second year in a row.

 

I hope I'm not hijacking my own thread. :)

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WOW our summer camp is $200 all inclusive, no extra craft fees or material fees. except for rifle and shotgun. there was an early bird of $180 for pre May1 payment(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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Nj that sounds like our council's camp. To me one of the biggest merit badge mills around. Way oversized sites (not large area just way too many tents and shelters)

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I have parents who would be drooling for their Scout to go.

 

Have at it. Hope your new Scoutmaster will sign the blue cards.

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BasementDweller - Some how I already knew.........

I suppose you support merit badge universities too.

 

I take it that was directed at me, since I said my son went. So he had to call an Environmental Science MBC.. and work on his prerequisites.. Actually ended up being a Science teacher he had previously had..

Call a Citz & World MBC.. and work on his prerequisists..

Call a Communication MBC.. and work on his prerequisists..

 

Ok, he did not finish the MB with them, but did have to go through the calling & setting up meetings and working with them..

 

Besides that out of our troop, he is probably the scout who moved outside our troop to work with MBC's the most, everyone else was summer camp, or in troop MBC's.. His physical Fitness was fun, there weren't many and so we ended up going twice a week for all 3 months to someplace where I had to drive 45 minutes from work to home to pick him up, then drive about 1hr 15min.. to meet with the MBC.. The troop was going to do physical Fitness as a group class, he did not want to do it that way.

 

Our MBC list is not updated much, so he would take a list of all the MBC's for a badge, and play a game of how many calls he would need to make, before he found an active MBC.. Most were not active, many never returned the phone message, sadly a few had passed away 5 or 10 years back..

 

So my son got Merit Badges at camp, and by contacting strangers..

 

I don't care too much for the MBU's.. I did like one that was run by our troop one year for four weeks (Saturdays, not troop meetings) in March.. With expectations the scout did alot of work between meetings.. Son was the only one who earned the Astronomy one, because the other boys did not do the work between meetings.. Other then that, I don't like ones who take shortcuts and we never did them..

 

Also with any summer camps that we found did short change the MB, we would have him complete the MB on his own.. One year he got the fishing MB without catching or cleaning a fish.. Well the catching a fish was no problem.. But, we were wrong making him clean the fish when none of us knew what we were doing.. The torture of the poor fish, had him effected him so much that he never went fishing again..(This message has been edited by moosetracker)

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