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Yah, da previous thread just made me curious.


How many troops out there go out of their way to reserve pavilion sites when car camping?


If your troop does that, what's the reasoning for it?


Round about here, pavilion sites are rare and often expensive. I'd sort of expect troops to leave 'em to cub scouts and family campers and picnickers. Can't quite figure how havin' a premade building structure fits in with boy scouting.


Yah, maybe occasionally if the outin' is focused on first aid instruction and you're expectin' a downpour, or you're doin' a family campout and yeh need to provide a space for da moms (and dads) who aren't outdoorsy.


Otherwise, shouldn't the lads have the gear and ability to be outside in the rain, sun and wind? Ain't that part of the experience and fun?




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About 10% of the Youth Group camping areas we frequent have some kind of a Pavilion. They can be nice in lieu of setting up a dining fly, and are especially good if it's a very rainy or snowy weekend. No extra monetary cost are involved, but as we've recently learned, other costs may be incurred...


At this point I feel like they are more trouble than they are worth!

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I don't recall a single time that we have requested a pavilion on a campout. There was one time where we were put next to one by the site director so we made use of the tables in it. Weather was not an issue anyway. I will add though that the columns supporting the roof were a perfect distance apart for my hammock for an afternoon nap :)


Normally we have the traditional rainfly/tarp for each patrol.


On a similar topic are the Troops that use those temporary car ports. That always seems a bit strange to me.

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If Troops and Packs like to use the pavilions and "portable carports", let'em. They shouldn't have to justify them to anyone except those paying the bills. Maybe they'll invite the rest of us over for a nice hot cup of whatever the next time there is a downpour and our tarp blows away.

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The Council I'm in has in its infinite wisdom done its best to provide pavilions at all of the sites on Council owned camps.

One camp is used mostly in fact almost entirely for Summer Camp Camping.

When Troops arrive, the tents are already up, over platforms.

(Setting them platforms in place is a job I really hate!) The fire-ring is in place and the pavilion with a cement floor and a couple of picnic type benches is in place.

Scouts use the tables as a desk when writing stuff that is needed for MB's, as a work table. At times it is used as a meeting place for the PLC and on Parents night it doubles out as a place to hold the Troop Buffet.

The other camp is used by Troops at weekends. In the winter I have seen units use tarps to cover the sides, providing a shelter from the weather and again the Scouts use the tables as a work bench.

More often than not, the Patrols are camping as Patrols and the adults have the pavilion. At times using it as a kitchen shelter or depending on the program offered as a dining shelter for Scouts who might not be cooking in Patrols.

Most of the sites are not far from the parking lot!

"Car Camping" does seem to be the norm in our area. At least as far as Troop camping goes.

We are fortunate to be very close to a good many State Parks, which offer great opportunities for hikes and Patrol activities.

I think the pavilions are provided more for Troop use than Patrol use.

When I was a SM, we had a big frame tent which we used in much the same way when we took the Troop away. When a Patrol went car camping they used a dining fly.


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Over the years we have reserved pavilions many times when we were camping and had a large group. It makes cooking so much easier when you know it can be done out of the weather and the campsite isn't suitable to setting up a big fly. We have been known to "borrow" one on occasion when we were out and the weather turned on us. At least we could cook and eat in the dry.


Our Council has a Short Term Camping Area that has a pavilion on it that even has electric lights. We enjoy this and use it cook/eat/teach under.

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None of the pavilions in the Council I serve are in campsites. One covers a basketball court, one supports the handicraft lodge, and the largest is for our Cub Scout Family Resident Camp area. It's in lieu of a dining hall, and sits 300 folks at capacity.

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The campsite we use at summer camp has a pavillion which was built and paid for by our troop and named in honor of our old Scoutmaster. We request that site for the week of summer camp and most times we use the Scout camp for weekend campouts.


During summer camp, the pavillion is used by everyone and is the center of activity for the troop. You can pick up a card game there most any hour of the day or night. I've got one ASM into leather work and another into carving so they are usually set up there to encourage the guys to try their hand at one or the other. To me, the time spent handing out with your mates just doing whatever is the best part of camp.


When we camp there on weekends the rest of the year, the patrols spread out into the nearby campsites, 100+ yards away. One side of the main site is the adults and the other for the new Scout patrols and the pavillion is mainly taken over by the adults. We all gather at the pavillion Saturday night for the troop campfire. I can remember only one rainy Snday morning when one of the new Scout patrols wound up under the pavillion. I think we had all the other patrols pack their gear to the pavillion and wait for rides there.


Other than that, none of our usual weekend camping areas have pavillions. I have to say none of our patrols really "get" the use of a patrol fly. Back in the day, we had the old, massive, BSA-issue canvas flys, which was always the first thing up and the last thing down. If our guys set up a fly, it's usually more for shade than rain and consequently really isn't set up too well. The above new Scout patrol had a fly up, but did more to collect and channel water onto their gear than anything else.


Unfortunately, it seems like we don't get enough bad weather to really drive home the need for a proper fly.

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Many state parks here in Maine do not have group sites. However, they do have a "day use only" area with a picnic shelter/pavilion, that defaults as a group site when a troop or other such group contacts them to stay at the park as a group.


It works out in a few ways:


Usually the "day use area" is well away from the campground, so you don't have to worry about complaints about noise.


Group rate at most of the parks is in the $3 per person per night range. If you work it out in advance, you can get a discount/waiver from this by offering some community service time to the park.


Why use a state park? Maine is a big state. Unless you've got contacts in the part of the state your scouts want to go to (permission of land owner, etc.), it's the easiest way to find a suitable campsite for a low rate.


I don't know of any units that have specifically hunted out parks with a pavilion. But it's a nice bonus to discover when you get there.

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As a Troop we have used them three times:

1) In a summer camp out of our Council area.

2) At a camp done for the express purpose of using the aquatics facility.

3) For the Webelos and their parents on a joint camp-out.


As a Scouter, often for training courses. The pavilion serving as the launch point for the scheduled activities.

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There are two places that we camp that have pavilions. One is a church summer camp that rents its sites off season and the other is on property of an old time scouter (75 years in scouting!) who retired to to a farm in the country about 35 years ago and built a camp site with lots of land around it. Lets troops use it for free if it isn't hunting season.


A local troop uses it for their weekly meetings during daylight savings time. When we camp at these places we use the pavilion instead of a dining fly and it is useful for some program activities. We hold our annual planning camp out at the farm and the pavilion allows the PLC to work rain or shine. We were there last weekend and it was beautiful so the PLC met outside the pavilion.


Neither place charges anything extra for the pavilions and other than the planning camp out we the presence or absence of a pavilion doesn't play into our choosing the site.


Personally, I prefer backpacking to car camping but I will never turn my nose up at a shelter (unless it has tires-RVS are a different subject-it ain't camping), a picnic table or a flush toilet.





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John in KC wrote "None of the pavilions in the Council I serve are in campsites. One covers a basketball court, one supports the handicraft lodge, and the largest is for our Cub Scout Family Resident Camp area. It's in lieu of a dining hall, and sits 300 folks at capacity. "


FYI, In Piercing Aroow at the H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation, there is a camp with a pavilion. i have heard that Camp Long is the camp of the futer at Bartle and there will no longer be leader's cabins and each camp will have a pavilion.


I personally welcome the idea because I hate sleeping in the leader's cabin with 7 other adults.


Come on over from Lone Star and check it out. If you stop by during 5th session, come by Fort McHenry and I will buy you a slushi.


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Many council camps have put pavilions in each campsite for safety reasons. The reason given in my council was that they were to be used as a gathering spot during thunder storms. In the past, with severe lightning in the area, they had tried to gather everyone under the main dining pavilions which could get quite cramped for space. Getting everyone under a pavilion also gets everyone out of their tents to prevent them being struck by falling tree branches during the storm, obviously tents don't offer a great deal of protection.


The pavilion in the campsite takes the place of tarps that we had set up as a central gathering spot for all of the normal activities mentioned by others above.

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