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Twocubdad

Campout/Activity Planning Guide

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One thing my son's troop does a fairly lousy job at is teaching the boys how to plan a campout or outing. Every outing we've been on has been significantly changed or cancelled due to poor planning (failure to secure reservations, leadership, etc.) The troop leaders talk a good game about the troop being boy led, but the truth is that the boys have never been taught the mechanics of planning an event. It's not so much leadership skills as it is management and organization. As a result, my son't new Scout patrol has never planned or even observed a sucessful outing. A secondary problem is that the older boys in the troop are bored with "just camping." All the outings planned by the PLC are built around some other major activity (whitewater, rock climbing, biking) so that the basic Scoutcraft skills of camping and cooking take a back seat.

 

I want to put together a course for the younger boys on how to plan a model campout. I want to walk them through all the steps from initial planning (picking a date, location, activities) down to the the details (menu, duty roster, equipment list) On the actual campout, I'd like to have a series of check lists covering all things like loading and packing equipment, selecting a site and setting up camp through returning home and storing the equipment. These are the kind of procedures an experienced troop or patrol has been trained to do automatically. Of course much of this info is found in the handbook.

 

Ultimately, what I'm looking for is to reduce all that info into series of check lists and/or worksheets. This could be a teaching tool for new Scout patrols, but also a reference for the boys as the become more experienced.

 

Does anyone have anything like this?

 

 

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There's a million worksheets out there. One place to check is at the National Jamboree page on the National Web Site. There's a standard camp site layout and roster work sheets, too. Many Troop web sites have worksheets and checklists they developed themselves -- I've sometimes copied and adapted them for my use.

 

For a source document, I'd make sure your patrol leaders have copies of the PL Handbook. Good info on outing planning. The new Guidebook is good too, but big/heavy and a little pricey for every Scout to have one.

 

There are also several places on the web that describe a campout called "BSA 101" strictly for New Scout Patrols, to get them past the basic skills. I've also used that, adapted for our use.

 

Good luck,

 

KS

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you got the lead on the forms...but you need to work them to your equipment levels...(what you usually have on the trailer...in the truck or on your back)

 

All troops need a program with events for each skill/age group. Not necessarily at the same activity. Older scouts need to be challenged and younger scouts need to be allowed time to build skills. We sometimes have two activities the same weekend one for our older guys and one for the main body.

 

We start each 'new scout year' with a shakedown campout for only new scouts, their Guides, a few troop instructors, and couple of ASM's...not the general membership. This gives the young guys a chance to start learning the patrol method, get some serious equipment set up time and even make a few mistakes without feeling the older scouts are looking over their shoulders.

 

They learn to check out equipment, set up the kitchen rain fly, set up their kitchens and lanterns, troop tents, wash stations and start basic cooking lessons. We even work on a few tenderfoot rank check offs.

 

Each activity (campout) has an Adult point of contact. The PoC's job is to help the scout in charge of the activity...(usually a PLC member) to successfully do the scheduling and reservations. The PLC plans the whole year's activities and works on a monthly schdule and activity plan to make it happen! Frequently the adults have to lead/guide the PLC or the SPL through the rough spots so they can succeed, but ussually it is only a gentle prod or email with a couple of hints as to what is expected.

 

AND REMEMBER patrols can campout on their own without the troop so you have ample opportunity to have the new guys work their way through a good camp...a little fishing trip to a local stream, pond or lake can really energize a unch of young scouts. Once a month a half hour of patrol time can be assigned to camp planning and what needs to be done...this is actually done...

 

Finally, allowing the scout to fail at planning or scheduling a troop camping trip...when the whole troop gets 'dumped on'if it doesn't come off, is usually a sign that the adults either don't know what to do or they have given up and are only going through the motions...(been there and bought that tee shirt). Adult leaders must help the guys succeed in this area or the whole program goes down the tubes...you don't do it for them you just set expectations and work with them and it will succeed.

good scouting

anarchist

 

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It has always been a dream of mine not so much to develop an event-planning guide, but to develop an event reflection tool and then have it used as an event planning guide. I have addressed this a few times with the PLC and have not as yet been able to motivate them to see the value of reflection. I think a standing agenda item of the PLC should be recent (since the last PLC meeting) troop events. Whether Campouts, Camporees, Hikes, Service Projects, anything troop related. Each event should be gone over, was the right equipment present, how was communication for the event, what went well, what could have been done better, if the event was to be repeated, what would be done differently. The troop scribe would compile the comments in a file and the file passed from Scribe to Scribe. In a very short period of time there would be a bank of information on various events, things to avoid, things that went well. When the PLC plans the next years events access to these files would remind them of what went well and what didnt. Since the make up of PLCs change quite a bit the files remain as a resource of past times, past years past mistakes and past victories. If scouts know their efforts would be subjected to peer review perhaps they would attend to details a little better before the event, Anyhow, its a thought

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