Jump to content

Camping - - - - - One night or two?

Recommended Posts

I've explained the merits of 2 nights camping over 1 night camping. I've explained the fun of camping more (2 nights instead of 2), I've tried to reinforce patrol method, uniform method, yada yada yada.


The troop is about 4-5 years old. Some parents still treat their sons like Webelos, parents set up kids tents or take 'em down, etc. I've seen parents cook for their sons, but not on this last outing.


I've brought up the 20 nights and Camping MB, some parents feel as long as a scout has 20 nights, he doesnt "need" any more than an absolute minimum.


The committee doesn't understand that the PLC is supposed to plan EVERYTHING! One well meaning dad worked out a visit to a local police station. That's nice, but not in the plan. The SM sent me and a few other ASM's an email, I replied that I'll talk to the PLC, see if we can work it in, the next thing you - - We're going next week! That's not a "work it in" - That's a hijack.


The parents treat the boys like cub scouts.


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 40
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic


Sounds like you have your work cut out for you. I agree that the committee should get trained. Just sounds like apathetic leadership in the adult ranks.

Anyway, we usually do two night camping trips. Our exception is an early spring backpacking trip, where we camp for only one night. This is done more for safety than anything else. When backpacking at night, it becomes difficult to find trail markers,(Lost scouts?), and there is always a tripping hazzard when hiking in Eastern PA. Too many rocks!!! We usually leave early in the AM and get to the trailhead by daybreak. The boys then have all day to take in all that nature has to offer while on the backpacking trek.

I've never heard any of the boys complain about setting up camp at night. Heck, they've even set up camp in a downpour! It was amazing to see that they actually set up the canopy first and then set up each tent, one by one, under the canopy, and then stake it in the chosen location. They can really show you something when you let them learn and experience things on their own.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Always 2 nights. It's not worth it to pack all that gear and set up for only 1 night. We meet at the church at 5 pm Friday, on the road by 5:30. Yeah in the winter, we set up in the dark...but that's part of the fun, eh? No big deal. Then we have a campfire and roast hot dogs and brats, in addition to the bag dinner that everyone is asked to bring (or eat before you leave). I usually take a half day off on Friday so I can pack and get there on time. Sunday morning, we cook a good breakfast, strike camp and home by noon.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Gonzo, up 'til now I'd been worried that you were going to be "that guy", in Beavah's words, who pokes around and finds lots of little things to be upset about. But with this description of how your troop is working, you've won me over. Your troop has some issues. I'm particularly suspicious of the night of non-Scouting camping. Holy smokes.


Sometimes our boys will help their parents set up the parent's tent, if an inexperienced parent comes along on a trip. But the adults definitely don't help set up the boys' tents.


Some things are judgement calls and can go either way. Some things are standard issues that all troops deal with. But unless you can get the SM and/or the CC on your side, I think you're going to find it hard to give this troop a personality transplant. On the other hand, if you keep working at it for several years, and build up some other adults who have the same vision, things will change.

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 night campouts aren't worth the effort. I've been a leader 30 years and only in rare exceptions have we not done 2 nighters. We don't do anything but set up camp on Friday, but that then leaves Saturday to start out cooking breakfast and have the whole day for activities instead of losing most of Saturday morning to driving and setting up camp. It may impact some kids, but as long as the majority can go on Friday we do. I've had parents of those that want to participate drive up on Saturday morning. Even when backpacking we would drive to the jump off point and on Friday and get up Saturday and have a good breakfast before putting away all the big stoves and heading out into the woods for the rest of the weekend.


As others have said a parent or SM that wants to classify one night as a none troop outing causes warning bells to go off.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We do both - it depends upon the activity, schedules, costs, location, etc. For example, we do a simple overnighter after "Scouting for Food" in November. We take the Webelos out with us for that one. This summer we did an single night campout because a significant number of kids had conflicts on the Friday night, it just worked out that way. Our annual "Survival campout" is also a single night.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We've had the same issue in our troop. As SM, I said OK, those that want to wait until Saturday are free to do so. The rest of us are leaving Friday after school as planned. By the time they arrive Saturday, the program is already well under way, and some boys miss out. All you need is one other adult to go with you on Friday.


As far as a last minute event hijack, just do the original plan with those that want to go. The others can go to the police station.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Gonzo, time to move. Being from Chicago, you probably can't even find a decent pizza (by Chicago standards anyway). The G.O.B.s will never relinquish control over the boys. The PLC has to make a stand to the leaders about how the organization is supposed to run. This troop may live or die, but why do they want to continually shortchange the boys? Maybe the best hope for this unit is for the SMs boys to age out or whatnot and salvage the program after the GOBs have moved on. PM coming.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Like most here, I think Camping only one night is a terrible waste of a good weekend!

(IMHO such a policy is usually instituted by lazy parents who do not want to drive a few hours and then have to work a few more hours setting camp in the dark...ok, so "they might be tired...after working all day"...do I hear the B.S. bell ringing?)


In the last ten years our troop has had two nighters, three, nighters, four nighters, and six nighters but NEVER a one nighter...unless you count an annual lock-in at a local county sports center (swimming pool, basketball, handball racquet ball, weights, treadmills and pizza/sodas and sweets..etc.


We have even had Scouters take time off and take their boys "into camp" a day or two earlier than the rest of the troop! Just for the fun of it...that, and you can "claim" the best group camp sites mid- week...sometimes.


Our Scouts have put up tents and dining flys in the dark; in the rain and dark; in 40mph winds and dark; In blowing sand and the dark and in the snow and the dark...sometimes as late a 10/11 P.M. when starting set up...they sleep really well after that. It also gives them an adventure tale... someting to tell their friends about Monday at school!


Then, at the very least, we have ALL day Saturday for fun and program (which is usually fun) and at least half day Sunday...after our services and breakfast for more fun. 'Course, for a few years, early on, we had a CC who sometimes led campouts and wanted to break camp at the crack of dawn Sunday...to get home....he's no longer leading trips...I mean man, what's so good about getting home early on Sunday? Most of us would stay in the woods for weeks if we could.


Gonzo1, you have a lot of very delicate work to do...retraining your webelos III troop. Start by using BSA program handouts and literature...A sorta, "ghee whiz, this is the way BSA says we should try things"...Try to get adults really (and currently) trained, so they will begin to appreciate the real "Game with a purpose".


Then try to slowly "insinuate" the policy that our troop leaders dearly love...which is; "IF A BOY CAN DO IT, ADULT's DON'T"....


Understanding, that we have a hard fought and won program that has been "building" for over fifty years, we still have to educate (mostly) our "newbies" (and not the other way around, you poor soul). At "car/truck campouts we even have an adult leader stand at the parking lot gently stopping "newbie" parents from carrying "juniors" truck load of gear...after all it's his- he should carry it...if it is "too much" for him to handle; next time he will bring less...


One final "arguement" is the "cracker barrel" Friday night. After the boys have "set camp" our youth leaders (SPL/ASPL/Troop Guides/QM etc) have a sit down with the SM/ASM and discuss the program for Saturday...making any last minute adjustments to the plans...during this time the other scouts usually share snacks, maybe some cocoa or lemonade and a few tall tales...then its lights out and the boys continue to goof off (somewhat more or less quietly) until sleep takes them or the cooks turn them out for breakfast duty....this is another important fubction that you "lose" to Saturday morning camps....


And again, the patrol can do this on their own...within the rules, with proper planning. It does not require the whole troop.

Get out there and camp

anarchist(This message has been edited by anarchist)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the time, our campouts are two nights. We do run into problems on occasion in the fall with marching band. Our three oldest Scouts (one is my son), who are also the three current leaders of our Troop, are all in marching band and have to attend Friday night football games. Dad of one of the Scouts offers to bring them out to our campout after the games late on Friday night. This isn't much of a problem if we are local, but the boys miss the campout entirely if we aren't. Or, as these three have suggested a few times, we leave very early on Saturday monring.


We try very hard to plan our campouts around the boys' schedules. We are a very small troop and it's difficult having three of our Scouts absent plus the fact that they are the leaders and most experienced. Their absence really forces our younger Scouts to learn their stuff and take charge. This fall the boys have a game on the Friday night of our annual planning weekend. Since we are camping locally, they will come late Friday. Our District Camporee is scheduled at the same time these three have a competition in Georgia on Saturday - they won't be able to come to the camporee at all.


So it goes. We have worked hard for the past three years reviving this troop and we will continue to have an outing each month, even if only three or four Scouts can go. It does make it a bit difficult for me, however, when time and time again I take the Scouts camping and my son can't go.

Link to post
Share on other sites

All right, I'll try this again. Don't know if I hit "CLEAR FIELD" by mistake, or was dinged by the moderator.


One nighters are a waste of time. We've had several of them over the last two years because of the band (WB's) and sports (BK's). Man, I just remembered, that season starts next Friday.


Unfortunately, the new SM wants to do one nighters September thru November because of football. Two of the four older Scouts are in band. At least we have no ball players this year. The problem is our team is usually a state contender, and everyone has to go to the game. Sports and band are a real problem with our Troop. Winter we have one wrestler. That's not to bad. Spring we have baseball and year round soccer with several participants.


One Scout has passed on to me during SMC, that he wants to spend more time with and not short change Scouting, if his father will let him. The father is a baseball/wrestling coach, conditioning coach for the HS football team, and the SM.


We have one or two parents that will try to bring their kids to camp after a game on Friday, but ask the rest and you would have thought you asked them to sacrifice the kid. They'll pick the kid up at camp at 6 AM to drive the kid to an event 4 hours away, if the Scout managed to get to camp in the first place, but refuse to drive their Scout no more then an hour to camp on Fri. night. We have 6 Scout camps or Scouting affiliated private camps within 60 minutes of our location that we use.


Gonzo, just let your parent know that their Scout won't contract a case of MOON BLINDNESS. Maybe they are worried about the full moon shining on their Scouts while they are at camp and revealing a family secret. Maybe those weren't coyotes we heard last night.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One parent is actually afraid her kid will be attacked by a mountain lion. Bear however are a real possiblity in North Georgia.


I think some are afraid of Jack the Tree Jumper or your version of the Boogey Man (or is that Boogie Man)


Band is an issue, so is football. There is nothing stopping a parent from bringing the scout on Saturday morning. My point is this - why short change the scouts because someone plays clarinet.



Link to post
Share on other sites

The method that our troop lives and dies by is its camping method!

Of everything else we do this one seems to be the only inviolable rule. We will go camping every month and we will do two nights - and if we set up in the dark so be it.


Other troops do faster(easier?)advancement, but if you want to go on outings we are the troop in this area for you. It is our primary selling point when people ask why this troop and not one of the others in town.


Now when I say inviolable rule - we had an ice storm this last winter that shut down a city of over 250,000 for more than a week, almost two, and that month we didn't camp but the boys logged a lot of hours helping de-log the city.(This message has been edited by Gunny2862)

Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like to me maybe its time to have a heart to heart with the parents... for example at a Court of Honor have a 10 min presentation ready to go... here is the idea...


Open it up with the Scoutmaster talking about the importance of camping, how safety is ensured, the guide to safe scouting, etc. You may want so general camping pic running on a projector or tv at the same time. Then have some scouts talk about a fun or challenging, or learning experience they had. Wake the parents up a bit with a scout made up in makeup with a nasty wound, and they explain how we are trained and train the scouts to handle these situations. Also make sure you pick out a few times when something did go wrong, especially if you have a picture to go with it. Explain what went wrong, how it was dealt with, etc...


Anyway thats a fast idea from top of my head. The idea is to show them quickly the importance of camping, how safety is enforced, and how you react to problems.


We put the Scouts into challenging situations all the time, but because of the way we plan, implement and control it, nothing bad happens. Do we let them shot that gun at summer camp? So we let them repeal down that rock? Do we go on a 80 mile backpacking trip? Do we go rafting? Do we cook over an open fire? Do we let them us an ax? Do we let them get in the car for a left to school to be hit by a drunk driver?


Every day they are faced with risk. It is a matter of how we prepare them to face it and if we are prepared and knowledgeable enough to face it ourselves. I do believe that education is a big key to many problems.


Anyway thats my 2 cents or maybe that was 25 cents ... lol


Scott Robertson


Link to post
Share on other sites

We always go on 2 night camp out's leave between 6-6:30 normaly we camp whithin 1 hour of home but we do a spring fishing trip thats 3 hours away. The scouts know to have a flashlight on their belt or top of the pack. It gives us all day saturday and 1/2 day on sunday to enjoy. I am very fortunate that we only have one whiner in the troop and their moving to Kansas City in January.




Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...