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We had a small campout in my backyard just to introduce the boys to the concept and this weekend is our first 'big' campout. We are camping in the local county forest preserve.


We don't have a strict schedule. Mostly just optional activites for the boys to choose if they want.


I have "challenge hike" cards where 2 or more boys can pick one, choose a trail and go do the challenge (challenges are "find and examine a tree stump" "identify poison ivy along the trail and as a vine on a tree", "identify 6 different trees" etc.)


We have a forest preserve environmentalist taking us on a couple of group hikes to learn about different ecosystems.


I'm also setting up "stations" around the camp that the boys can experience at their leisure. (knots, first aid, carving, kickball).


I have several 'fireside chats' plan to discuss Leave No Trace, Hiking Safety, etc. (5-10 minute chats, 4 total over 3 days)


We are also (as a group) going to learn how to safely build a fire, pitch a tent, etc.


So, about 6 hours of "formal" stuff, 16 hours of sleep and 26 hours of free exploration.


Am I missing anything??? Is this too much?? too little??

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Good luck! Is this your troop or your pack?


Sixteen hours of sleep? Uhmm ... that's optimistic. ;) It'll be more like 10 by the time they get done with it.


What is your plan for meals? Boys cooking? Campfires or stoves?


No matter what the age, trim those "fireside chats" down to 5 minutes, max. Better yet, make them activities. Do Kim's Game for a hiking kit, use an LNT game to teach one of those principles.

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This is a mix of Webelos and young scouts (all with moderate disabilities) so developmentally they are younger. We aren't specifically trying to complete any activity badges or T-2-1 requirements but I will record what they do get done. We have 1 Web and 1 scout who love the feeling of accomplishment from learning all the skills so they are pretty far along their trails but most of the boys are happy just to be there and need multiple exposures to the skills before they will be able to start to get them. (Knot tying for a kid with fine motor issues and 'identifing' for a blind child are unique challenges.)


As far as 16 hours of sleep, most of the boys must sleep at least 8 hours (either their meds are sedating or the nature of their disability causes them to need more sleep).


Thanks for the games suggestion! They will like that much better :)


We are doing a few different things wrt to food. Friday is tinfoil packets for dinner (where the boys put meat, potatoes, veggies in, seal it up and put it in the fire) and smores for a treat. Sat is cold bfast (the boys picked cereal) and walking tacos using a camp stove to heat up the prepared meat. Dinner is hotdogs on sticks and dessert is a dutch oven cobbler. The boys are doing all the cooking (with help as needed).(This message has been edited by SpecialScouting)

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We had a great time :)


I kept reminding them to think about what they liked and didn't like about what we (the adults) chose to have for them to do because they are in charge of next month's campout. That lead to a huge debate among the boys on the merits of peanut butter and jelly vs. grilled cheese :)


Our 3 boys that wanted to earn "stuff" (activity badges and rank advancements) were able to get a lot done. But my favorite part is one Webelo, who prior to this really struggled with friendships and any physical activity. He actually told his mom "Hurry up, I need to see my boy scout friends." AND he helped build the fire, carved Ivory soap, played kickball and even (to his mother's great shock) tried to do our night hike. He only made it about 200m before he decided he had to leave but that is 200m more than he has even done!! He is insisting that next month he is going to sleep in a tent for the first time ever!!


I love my scouts :)(This message has been edited by SpecialScouting)

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Personally I wouldn't leave a lot of free time. I'd plan activities for boys to do together as dens. Keeping boys busy is a main key to avoiding problems. If you don't keep boys busy, they will find activities of their own to do, with fighting and arguing two examples of the kind of low quality play boys make for themselves rather commonly.

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That is absolutely awesome!


Any of us could toss out some advice, but truth be told, we don't know your group of boys like you do.


And anybody with a particular "spoecialty" may not act exactly like somebody else with that specialty, so again, nobody knows your boys like you do.


Standing up and applauding! :)


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Great job for pulling it off. I second the comment on advice...you are the man on the spot. But the forum is great for getting ideas.


I have heard pros and cons to the free time argument. I hate to regiment the boys but some times too much free time has devolved into some pretty hairy situations. Our Troop seems to have evolved into providing boys 2 or 3 choices during "open time" so they can choose to whittle, swim, play a game or whatever but they need to commit to something to stay out of trouble. Just a thought.


How did the parents of the boys react? It was a big step for some of them as well I am sure.

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I recall my mom when I was 10 teaching me how to make a grilled cheese sandwich saying "every bachelor needs to be able to at least cook a grilled cheese sandwich for himself; learn to do an omelet and you'll impress a girl someday."

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