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ASM4005

Out of Council Camps, For/Against ???

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What are some of the strong arguments for

a Troop attending an out-of-Council summer camp ? We always attend the local camp (same week, campsite, etc.) every year. The SM enjoys Scouter comraderie and familiar settings. I feel there is merit to new offerings for older Scouts.

Need some suggestions and reasons for a new camp in '05. Thanks !

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Our troop goes out of council every other year. A lot of the boys enjoy going to different camps. It kind of breaks the same old routine. They also get to travel to some of the surrounding states, which is something some of them have not done before. Some of the other camps offer merit badges that would be hard to do here at our "home" camp. One of the reasons we go elsewhere is the camp is only 20 miles away, and the boys spend quite a bit of time here. One of the camps that we are looking at to go next year offers oceanography. That would be harder to earn here in landlocked Idaho.

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Ask what the boys want to do.

 

Troop I'm with normally does an in council one year and out of councel the next. Of course that changed this year. The boys voted to go out of council for 2004.

 

I'm for the every other year routine, but my vote doesn't count.

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Growing up, our troop went out of council every year. That was because our council's camp was in horrible condition and had many quality issues. Yes, the council wasn't happy with us. But our philosophy was that we had to give the best program we could for our Scouts, and that meant going to a neighboring council. Now, our council has built a great camp (in the late 80's), and we've gone there every year since it opened.

 

My philosophy - it's up to the boys. They need to do what's best for them. If your council has a good camp, I encourage troops to support it. But if your council's camp has problems, having "defectors" may be the only way to bring the issue to a head.

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The troop my son will soon join does both. Typically, the younger kids go to our local council camp and the older ones go out of council. As I understand it, they went to Michigan in 2002 and Colorado in 2003; Philmont awaits them this summer.

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I was please to see no responses about going to out of council camps "because it is where I went as a boy". I have heard this before and it drives me nuts.

 

Several units in my district go every other year to an out of council camp for same reasons as others listed here. A couple I can think of take the older scouts to other camps. Beside program differances, the type of camping is an experiance that should be offered, ie forest, flat land, mountain, dessert, etc. Giving it to the older scouts is a lure to keep them active and to give the younger scouts something to look forward to.

 

Bottom line, share with the PLC what you believe should be accomplished at camp and let them know the options. They'll usually decide wisely.

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The Troop has established a tradition of going to the same in Council Summer Camp every year, always during the 4th week of camp. Its set just perfectly so I always miss my anniversary. (MrsGreyEagle is a saint)

 

I have brought up the possibility of going to another Camp at Committee meetings, within 3 hours are Hawk Mountaim, Ressica Falls, Nockamixon, Treasure Island and I am sure a few others but the answer is always the same, we know the staff, the locations, and the program.

 

Don't get me wrong, its a wonderful place. But after being there for over 10 years, I think another Camp would be nice for the troop. In the meantime, I guess its back for this year. I am sure it will be a great year, Outdoor Thinker is down for Camp Commisioner so I know it wont suck, but variety would be nice as well.

 

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I see no problem with going OoC (Out of Council) from time to time, as long as you are supporting your home council through FOS and Popcorn.

 

Here is a thought if any professionals are reading this....how about Ambassador Troops between councils. Troops pay their regular council fees to their home council and then attend a different council camp as Ambassadors.

 

They would be special guests that would promote scouting brotherhood, share information about scouting in their council, bring home new ideas, make new friends. During the week they would give a presentation about their home summer camp, and when they return, give a presentation about the camp they visited.

 

Among other benefits the home camp does not lose any money from the unit going out of council, the boys get a special priviledge, both councils gain program knowledge, new friendships are formed etc. etc.

 

So what do you think?

 

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays,

The Bob White brood

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Since I've been in the troop, we've gone to in council twice and out the other 3 years.

First 2 years, we went to Camp Manchester in KY. Then we went to Joy(which isnt a big Joy, haha;)).

Last year we went to a camp in Southern MO. This coming year, we are going to Joy again because it is High Adventure year. I will most likely not be in attendance there though because I hope to be heading to Georgia for Ranger Camp though I'm not sure yet.

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Thanks for all your helpful comments !!!! I like the possibility of suggesting to the SPLC that the older Scouts consider new camp surroundings and challenges, while the 1st and 2nd year Scouts stay in council.

 

Where might you suggest we look for a week of High-Adventure camp(Life/Eagle Scouts)that is within a day's roadtrip of Southeast Missouri ?

 

Our Troop had over 16 Scouts earn their Eagle in the last 2 years and I want them to stay active and excited with the program. This is one way to attack that challenge.

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This year for the first time, in who knows how long, our boys selected the summer camp. We gave them a sheet with details on 6 different camps. One of them is our council camp and the others are all within a few hours drive. The overwhelming winner -- out of council. This means we'll have camped out of council 5 times in the past 6 years. Although I view this as a loss for our council, we do sell popcorn (mostly) and the parents have been pretty generous to FOS.

 

One could make the argument that statistically the odds were against our camp -- 1 out of 6 opportunities, or a 16% chance of staying in council. However it wasn't a random selection and the truth is the boys dislike our camp's facilities. The waterfront is bascially a large stagnant pond, the dining hall is cramped and hot, and the shower house gets pretty rank. The other truth is that they enjoy travelling to other places. They bypassed the camp we've attended (and enjoyed) for the past 2 years and selected one we've never been to. The kicker is, they chose a camp which uses patrol cooking instead of a dining hall -- and they were well aware of that fact.

 

My personal vote is to do both. Attend in-council every other year, or have two camps: in-council for the younger Scouts and out of council for the older boys. I was actually hoping they would choose the council camp this year. It would be nice to be close-by for a change, and our OA lodge has the best call out ceremony I've seen so far. However, it's their choice and I'll support them 100%.

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When I was a Scout, we went to our local Scout camp. It had a history, a good swimming pool, good outhouses, a good program, and many of the extras. I never recommended it to the Scouts I worked with as an adult for several good reasons.

 

We were in a different Council that just happened to have three good Summer camps at the time. The Scouts asked and got to choose their camp each year. They had attended all three camps and favored one in particular. So, my first reason had to do with acceptance of the choices of the Scouts.

 

One summer, we had a Scout transfer in from another council just north of us. He recommended his old camp, the Scouts voted on it and off we went. On our return, they evaluated their experience. The camp was poorly run without many of the features of their own camps. The Scout that recommended it fell from favor because of his lack of judgment. The second reason is that my own early experience may have been as clouded as that Scout's, so I was happy to learn from his mistake.

 

My third reason has to do with my own sentiments for the things of my youth. I realize that they are personal and experiences cannot be recreated for others. I don't want to impose something that probably does not exist anymore and would not translate into the same experiences today. I found that we were able to make plenty of our own memories that were independent of my own and I am sure they are equally cherished.

 

As a Scout, I attended a couple of other camps. I disliked both of them, so that made my initial camp experience even more special. I didn't believe that anyone else could do it better. I later saved $60.00 of my own money and went to Philmont. I reversed my earlier conclusion. Fuzzy B.

 

 

 

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I tried to stay away from this one, but could no longer.

The Troop I work with now, was the same Troop my brother and I grew up in. Our Troop did NOT attend summer camp when we were Scouts. Don't know really why, but hey, I was just a Scout.

When I became an adult leader many years ago, I was aware of "summer camp ", but our Council's camp had a horrible reputation. 1) WW II era pre-fab buildings for structures, 2) Staff got lousy pay and turnover was almost 100% each year, thus no STAFF SPIRIT, 3) programs disorganized and lacked supplies, etc., etc..

Sixteen (16) years ago I was invited by a fellow Scouter to attend their summer camp with his Troop. They attended an adjoining Council's camp. In short, it was outstanding. Staff, property, equipment, supplies, food service, programs, were all OUTSTANDING.

The next year, my Troop attended a different camp in this same neighboring Council. Again, an outstanding experience for Scouts and Scouters. They have several camps and many programs. With so many choices, we've been attending there ever since.

Yes, I tend to be bias, and although our home Council's camp has improved, it still can't come close. I've worked out at our camps for years, and our OA members do many great things out there as well. It just can't measure up.

Since we have Troop camping trips, Camporees, training, OA, and service projects out at our camp, I'd rather our Troop go to summer camp elsewhere. And we do.

So, although I support our local Council's camp, I'm still ridiculed for NOT attending it. It's not a problem for me, the Scouts get a much better program out-of-Council.

 

sst3rd

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Allowing Scouts to pick and choose among camps is a great idea. Aside from the benefits to the scouts, competition among the camps for campers will make them better. If a camp is having a hard time attracting campers, the council needs to figure out why and make improvements.

 

I like SST's approach: work to improve your local camp, but if it's not up to snuff, go elsewhere.

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