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KoreaScouter

Our summer camp: On a scale of 1 to 10...

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Got back Saturday night from Summer Camp. Four leaders took 12 Scouts from the troop (over 50%, but would have had more if it wasn't for vacations and summer moves). Plus, I had two Scouts and one leader on camp staff.

 

- Five of our six first-time summer campers received their Tenderfoot badges at the closing campfire, and our Scouts earned a total of 43 merit badges. We came home with some partials, but not too many.

 

- Very little homesickness; family night/campfire on Wednesday helped take care of that.

 

- No injuries, and the skeeters weren't too bad.

 

- I advised all our Scouts to do the academic work for their merit badges before leaving for camp, since the camp environment isn't conducive to report writing and bookwork. Guess what? Most of them didn't. Fortunately, we took our troop-owned folding picnic tables, which made the "homework" a little easier.

 

- Best campfire skit: A first-year Scout from another troop took one of the food-handling rubber gloves from dinner, inflated it, taped it to his stomach, and became "UdderMan", a summer camp bovine superhero. We were in stitches! It was original, virtually impromptu, and delivered brilliantly (in good taste, too). I promise you, you will see this lad on television in 15 years.

 

- First Class Trail portion was a disappointment, despite promised improvements. It was pretty good at TF requirements, but dropped off markedly for 2C and 1C. It didn't follow the schedule in the camp handout, and was arranged so that every Scout had to go to every session, no matter what his personal advancement status was. I've heard of a "station method" of doing FCT, where you have a knot station, a first aid station, a map/compass station, a citizenship station, a nature station, and so on. Have any of you seen this, and how does it work?

 

- We were a little heavy on staff. I say this only because one of my two Scouts on staff spent a lot of time hanging out in our troop campsite...happy to see him, but he seemed "underemployed".

 

- Our dining hall had half the seats it needed. For the first two days, the camp director ran it "boot camp" style (i.e., "throw it down your neck and get out", at high decibel levels). At a leaders meeting, we suggested another method which reduced the stress considerably.

 

- Some Safe Scouting violations; adult tobacco use near Scouts, axe yard compliance when the OA ordeal was chopping firewood, occasional buddy system lapses, adults in youth latrine (inadvertant; we camped in an Army training area complex and soldiers from other training areas who normally use the shower/shave buildings didn't know BSA rules). Again, no injuries or incidents, and with that many "moving parts", slipups are bound to occur; these were not by design. Have any of you seen these things at your camps?

 

- I took a notebook computer to track advancement data, but it doesn't have TroopMaster on it. One of the other Scoutmasters did have TM on his, and it seemed to make his life a lot easier.

 

- I got jumped by the DE for serving my troop watermelon one of our families brought out on family night; if I had told him I had it, he would have gone and gotten additional for all the other troops. Wasn't trying to hide it, just didn't think it was a big deal. I take his point, but am not losing sleep over it.

 

- We enforced a mandatory daily "showers before lights out" rule on our Scouts, and I'm glad we did. Made 'em change clothes too, so they looked (and smelled) as nifty as possible all week.

 

- Bottom line: Scouts had a good time and got a lot accomplished, made some new friends, and have a newfound appreciation for their mothers, home cooking, air conditioning, and washing machines.

 

KS

 

(PS: I give it a 7.5 overall)

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Korea,

My Troop leaves next Sunday for camp so I'll let ya know how it went.

 

Why was you DE on your back about a watermelon? Sounds like the lack of anything better to do.

 

The SS violations are bound to happen no matter how hard you try to prevent them. As long as no one is harmed in any way.

 

Sounds like you had a good camp!

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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I'm surprised that your DE is even in camp. Every summer camp, our Troop puts together a "Crackerbarrel" for each night. Something simple like watermelon, or something more involved like a cobbler or SMORES. The Scouts plan it and do it. Every Troop in camp does this. Sometimes neighbor Troops combine. Maybe it's just traditional at this Council's camps.

 

We leave for camp in a couple of weeks. The camp we go to rarely disappoints. I'll report afterwards.

 

anderson

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KS,

I know all about the military training areas and scouting use. Being on an extended campout in the balkans, I will miss out on camp this year. DE is way out of line on the watermelon thing. My troop routinely has treats for the troop. One new concept was popping corn over coals. Feeding seems to be a problem with your camp and ours last year. NOLDSCT from the Adironacks would know about how Camp Portaferry does a great job, so did the Blue Water Council (Michigan) in the 80s. Scouting oversees is much different than other places. Thank you for giving the program to those scouts. By the way, our DE is at camp the whole summer. Pretty user friendly, seemingly unlike yours was.

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Thanks all for your feedback; I'm looking forward to reading your reports, too. I like the idea of a nightly cracker barrel before lights out...I may try to work that for Fall Camporee over here.

 

Double Eagle, appreciate the comments about Scouting overseas -- it is more difficult. We may end up in Europe and Transatlantic Council next summer after our little vacation in Korea.

 

About the watermelon: who knows, but if that's the worst thing I did during the week, I consider it a compliment!

 

KS

 

 

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My Troop is heading to summer camp in Sunday (7/8/2002) & I am going on Saturday (7/6/2002). I'll let you know how it went when I return!

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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We have been back from summer camp for two weeks. We have a brand new Troop with only 11 year old Scouts. The last time I was at summer camp was in 1972 when I was a Scout. I would have to rate our experience as an 8. The Dan Boone Program (First Year Scouts) was handled in a Patrol Method. The program was 5 days 3 hours each day, either in the morning or afternoon. It seemed to work - everyone in camp could hear the boys yelling the Law, Oath, Motto and Slogan twice a day!!

 

Home Sickness - We didn't have any. All the boys have been together since Cub Scouts and as Webelos we camped at least 3 times a year.

 

Merit Badges- We learned a little about which badges to recommend and which would be to difficult for first year Scouts. We do have some partials.

 

Family Night - Our camp has family night on Friday night. We had someone from every family attend. We chose to eat in the Mess Hall and decided that next year we would go with a Troop picnic instead.

 

We thought we did good with getting the boys to take 3 showers during the week!!

 

We attempted to have a cracker barrel each night but the boys were to busy with the night time activities.

 

The most difficult part of the week for the boys was adjusting the the amount of freedom they were given. They kept asking can we do this or go here and we kept saying it's up to you!! Dinner or lunch or your merit badge session is at this time just make sure you have a buddy and are on time. I think this freedom did more to help them grow than anything else they did during the week.

 

I would give the week a 10 if it wasn't for the Troop we shared the campsite with. On Monday they left a fire going in their fire ring with nobody left in camp. We had a heated discussion with their leadership because we used to much water when we put out their fire. They asked us on Tuesday if they could leave hot coals in the fire ring in order to facilitate the starting of their evening fire!! Of course we said no.

 

Each and everyone of our Scouts want to go back next year!!

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