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How to convince parents about summer camp....

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OK, picture this:


Brand new, small troop. 10 total, only 3 are first class or above. Age ranges 11-16.


Found a summer camp that is very reasonable in price ($125)and appears to offer a good program.


Parents were negative on this idea because of cost (remember we haven't had a chance to save all year like most troops, and most of our kids just bought their uniforms and books). I can see their point, and enough garage sales should help with this.


The second reason sort of stopped me. A parent was worried that it would be hot. Well, it's in July in far South Texas, and she is certainly correct that it will be hot. Humid too. And mosquitoes by the dozen, most likely. None of those even crossed my mind as a reason not to go to Boy Scout camp!


Can anyone offer a suggestion on a practical approach here?



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I have to admit we do go north for summer camp in part because of climate but mostly we think the program is better.


Scouts don't pack up and go home because it's cold, hot, wet ect. That shows that you don't have very good Scout skills and were not prepared.


There is no such thing as bad weather. There is only poorly chosen gear and being unprepared.


As an after thought I doubt that that would convince new parents of anything.


The biggest reason to go to camp is learning. Nowhere else will these boys learn as much as quickly as they will at Summer Camp. A good summer camp program will get a boy hooked and keep him interested. All of your boys should go to summer camp for the very reason you stated. They are new to Scouting. These guys will gain a lot just seeing how other troops operate as well as your adults. Think about all the program tips you can get from the other Scouters there.


Summer camp is a must, there are no negatives.


Now, is the real problem money or getting enough adults to go because it's hot?(This message has been edited by Mike Long)

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I'm assuming you've done a camp promotion night for the troop, and that the scouts have seen pictures of the activities that are waiting for them. My suggestion is take however many boys want to go and GO. even if only one or two are going, GO. Conatct the camp program director and hook up with another troop so that the scouts have other boys their age to hang with and GO.


Once you get back, hold a Court of Honor, show slides of camp, present the Merit Badges to the scouts so every sees the advancement that took place. Joke about the mosquitoes, the weather and the food. Let them know that for $125 you had a $1,000,000 experience.


Then be ready for the all the scouts who want to go next year.


Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Sorry, I don't buy the "hot" or "cold" concern. Have you ever noticed all the kids outside playing regardless of the weather? Most camps have lots of trees and water around. Those camps will also be set up to handle potential health risks.


Boy Scouts should be equipped to camp in any kind of weather.


Personally, I don't think you have a response to these parents other than a reminder that the Boy Scout motto is "Be Prepared."

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I agree with AdvanceOn -- boys don't care about "hot". They will be having the time of their life. Adults get hot quickly, kids having fun never know they are hot.


I've had to sell my son on Boy Scout summer camp, but 4-H had him sold on their summer camp within minutes. Look at all the FUN!

Here's what fun at my son's Boy Scout summer camp for all the first year scouts -- swimming in a POOL (not just the lake), working on knots, working on a merit badge like pottery, photograhpy, fishing, space exploration (ROCKETS!). The older boys can take shotgun or rifle shooting, archery, more swimming, more arts&crafts merit badges. In the evening they have outdoor games and indoor games (like a chess tournament).


Some of the parents I know are concerned about their little boy going off for a week without mom or dad. My son's response was "That's the point! To NOT be with your parents." ROFL


A friend asked me if I would go get my son if he called me saying he was homesick. I quickly explained that we don't even discuss that with the boys. The scoutmasters and camp staff are experienced with homesick boys. I'm pretending there is no phone at camp..hehehe. Phone calls? You can't make phone calls!


I've yet to hear anyone say summer camp was a waste of time or money.


Adults see heat, lack of bathroom facilities, hard cots, bugs, bad food, etc.

Boys see fun, swimming, fun, no parents, fun, few (if any) baths, fun, independence, fun, tents, fun, fun and fun!


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Climate is an excuse not a reason. Does your council offer camperships? Can the Troop or CO help with the camp fees?


The cost, while not cheap, is very reasonable for what the Scouts get. My summer camp is $145 and I don't know where you can go for 7 days & get as much for a better price. I would stress what the Scouts will get from the experience of summer camp.


Ed Mori


Troop 1

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You might want to share this article with the other parents.

In fact I think EVERY troop should be sharing this with the parents, especially new parents.



page down until you see "National study shows why Scout summer camp is a quality experience"


Apparently your local councils will have a more detailed brochure or fact sheet.


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Weather? A lot of the finest memories we have about summer camp is dealing with the weather. "Remember the thunderstorm? Remember the Tornado warnings?" Remember the heat?" Most people tend to remember the challenging campouts more than the ones where everything went smoothly.

Two years ago we were camping in July and woke up one morning to 30 degrees and frost!


As far as the $125, where is this camp? Ours is $150 plus transportation

That seems like a reasonable price for a week's worth of fun, food, and lodging!




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My son and some of his Cub Scout buddies may never forget their very first campout, at least the parents aren't forgetting! I didn't even go and I know the story.


The kids were Tigers, just joined Cub Scouting and went to the annual Council Cub camporee around Halloween. A storm front moved in that night. It rained, it stormed, the wind blew, the lightening and thunder was waking up kids. Practically every tent was flooded. The group had gotten the worst possible campsite in the camp --- right next to the lake, out in the open. This area stays wet and mushy for days after a slight rain.


Many parents left in the middle of the night, even though they weren't sure of how to get back home. I patiently waited at home thinking my son and his dad would return at any time during the night. The returned the next day around lunch. Everything they took was soaking wet and muddy. The extra clothes had gotten wet. My son had one somebody else's clothes that were too big.


Five years and many campouts later, this is the first one talked about in conversations. The next spring the campers had temps not above 40 and wind blowing. These 6 and 7 year old boys started asking "what's the weather for the weekend?" before EVERY campout. LOL


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A week at summer camp is a far far better bargan than a day in Orlando watching a dancing/prancing rodent.


But, if cost is a problems, most councils have a campership program that can help. Give your local office a call and see what their requirements are.



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Summer Camp...


Two scouts go into the shower area and as they are starting to get wet one says to the other, "Man! You sure are filthy" the other replies, "Yeah, I didn't get to come to camp last year"





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I agree with Bob - Even if you have only a few campers - GO!!! I've been to camp with over 30 scouts and with 6 scouts, and we all had a good time regardless of the numbers. Of course if you are at a patrol method camp, you may have to fiddle with duty rosters with a smaller group, but things can get done and a great experience will be had.

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Thanks for all your support. In our case, we do have the 2 adult leaders we need, or at least I'm pretty sure we do - I'm onboard, and I think the SM will be too. He's got the worst money problems of any of us, one income and three, count'em, three boys in scouting. But if we can't get some more kids to go, I'm not sure he'll be willing to take the week off work and lose even more income on top of having to pay for his kids to go.


If the heat keeps untrained parents who have no scouting experience home, that's pretty ok with me.


WE all know that summer camp is a fantastic, life-time memory making experience ... but why is that so hard for these parents to get?


Maybe I'm just used to the Girl Scouts - overnight troop camping starts in second or third grade and the idea of an 11 or 12 yearold not being "ready" for summer camp is almost laughable. I know girls are different, but I don't think it's that different.



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Everybody else has said it well. Camp is an opportunity to get the boys into a fun learning environment away from home. Many (make that most or all) of us have had miserable camp experiences at one time or another, and we overcame, and we learned. Go for it.

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