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ASM4005

Out of Council Camps, For/Against ???

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Our troop has always gone to the council camp and frankly I don't think has ever considered going out of council. Personally I like the idea of the in council/out of council schedule every other year.

 

SA

 

 

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Every year at annual planning in August the boys begin discussing where they want to go to summer camp. They pick 3 for the PLC to research, and the decision is finalized by October. In the four years since my son has been a scout, the boys have never been to our Council's camp (although it often make the top 3 - as #3). The reasons they prefer to go out of council are that they want to explore other areas of the state or nearby states, all their OA activities and service are at the Council camp, other places offer merit badges and activities they'd like to try, and it's just too familiar. There's nothing wrong with our Council's camp. My son went there one summer as a provisional camper and had a super time. It's a nice place. Our boys just want to move around. This year, they are going to Oregon for summer camp - talk about out of council! Since we are not a high-adventure kind of troop, this is big stuff - as well as a sneaky way for the more adventurous boys to introduce the reluctant ones to the idea of high adventure ("Hey, you flew across country - why not try..."). They are also promoting doing the outdoors badges like backpacking, wilderness survival, etc., since Oregon is an entirely different climate from the southeast.

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I second Twocubdad's thoughts. I think going OoC is just fine and the boys seem to really like it. Letting the magic of the free market work should indeed provide both the carrot and the stick for the camps. Camps with greater merit will be the choice and others will improve or go away. Great approach!

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I am not opposed to going OoC every other year. I've heard nothing but really good things about our council's summer camp. I took my Webelos II son to visit a troop earlier this week and was visiting with some of their leaders. I was told that they NEVER go to our summer camp! Have not been since '94. It's too boring for older scouts. I didn't say anything, but wanted to ask how they could make that judgement if they had not been there in 10 years. It reminded me of a kid refusing to eat something because he is convinced he won't like it. You never know until you try it. Maybe it has changed in 10 years....ya think? The thought of going away for a full week to a camp 2 or 3 states away was not enticing at all to my son....yet. I think it would be boring to go to the same place year after year. Rotating one year in and one year out and hitting different camps on the out years seems like a good balance.

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rlculver415, What preparations did you make and how did you get your troop out to Oregon? I would love to take the guys out there but we flinch at the cost. For the same money I could take them to Costa Rica.

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For an out of council camp, that isnt one of the ubercamps, check out Cowles, in Eastern Washington, almost Idaho, we have a COPE course, climbing tower, one outpost, building a second, and several other features, did i mention over 900 acres, and you get the spend the week with me, come on thats the best part right there

http://www.inwc-bsa.org/camping/cowles.htm

http://www.scoutcampsusa.com/cowles/cowles.html

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I look at this question from several viewpoints.

 

When I was actively working with my Troop as an ASM, I was the SM for summer camp. I took the troop to camp for 7 straight years. For the first five we went to the same in council camp. Then in year six, we went out of council (out of state). This involved a 12 hour train ride (most of our scouts had never been on a train, some had never even been out of state). The situation is this; 21 scouts and 3 leaders with full gear plus troop gear in patrol boxes, on a train, having to get off at a 2 minute train stop, What an adventure! It made the Keystone Cops look like a precision drill team. It was a magical trip and worth every bit of time and work it took to pull off. In year 7 we went back to the same in council camp as before, but in the intervening years they have gone OoC twice more.

 

We are very lucky that our council has 5 camps, with 4 of them offering summer camp programs for scouts. Each of them is different and has its pluses and minuses. They all have thier own niche and each offer a few unique programs the others don't. So letting the scouts make the decision of where to go is the only option for our Troop.

 

I said I was looking from different directions.

 

For the last 2 years, I have served as the OA Lodge's Camping Advisor, and I was actively promoting ALL of our council camps and camping in general. Our Council camps have a large number of OoC Troops that attend each year and we welcome them eagerly.

 

Now I serve as the Council's Outdoor Program Chairman. My committee is tasked with putting together the outdoor opportunities for the entire Council. Our focus is to make sure that every unit has a quality outdoor program and I am really looking forward to this new challenge.

 

I guess to sum up;

I say whether your Troop stays in Council or travels to camps far and wide, please go camping, please let the scouts decide where they want to go and make every effort to support that decision.

Thanks

Blaster531

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We do a five year rotation. We have two council camps that are in the mix of the rotation, but the Scouts pick the other camps we go to. This seems to work for them. They do not see a more then once, with the exepction of this year when they are going back to the camp we went to last year. They liked it that much. I also have half my troop going to the Jamboree in 05, and they wanted to save some money for that, so last years camp made it easy for them.

Dancin

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Interacting with an out-of-council troop is a great experience for both the troop that goes to the camp and the staff that runs it. It gives both the camp, and the local troops there a chance to learn about scouting in other parts of the nation. Last summer, working at Camp Davy Crockett (Sequoyah Council, Tennessee) we had troops from Florida, Texas, Kentucky and many other places. Every troop, if they can afford it, should go to an out of council camp once in a while. It is an experience that not only the troop will enjoy....

 

it's amazing what you can learn from 12 kids from Texas :p

I'll never look at SPUD (the game) the same way.

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Packsaddle - sorry it took a while to get back to Forum. I apologize for being unclear - Oregon is this summer's trip. We are using the services of a travel agent friend and will be flying both ways and renting vehicles to finish the trip to camp. My committee's particular job in this venture is fundraising. As you can guess, popcorn won't cover all of it. Several boys have worked hard and earned their airfare and camp fees - I am totally impressed, especially since we're still raising money. We are now setting up a special campership fund for those who are struggling financially, and are urging any and all to contribute to that (especially those who've finished paying their own way!) We are currently waiting to hear from the Oregon camp about any special items the boys may need to bring. Our troop committee has relied on the Summer Camp chair and the Fundraising chair to help the boys implement their plans - and yes, we both really do have committees. (We are blessed with a CC whose first question on any new venture is, "How can we make it happen?") Right now, everything seems to be progressing along nicely. I'll be happy to give you a report on how well it actually worked in July, if you'd like.

 

As to Costa Rica, well, we never even thought of there. How much would that cost? Passports are about $45. Hmmm...

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Rlculver,

 

Which camp in Oregon?? And where are you coming from? I might be able to help with some of your questions.

 

Blaster

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dancinfox

 

you are from michigan, and looking to save some money? Check out my summer camp. Last year was my second (non-consecutive) year on staff at Camp Hiawatha in Munising, in da U.P. Our rates are the lowest in the state. IIRC it's about $130 per scout. 100% patrol camping and patrol cooking, we offer tons of merit badges....sorry, couldn't resist the little plug there.

 

 

Up here Hiawatha is THE summer camp. There are no othre really convienient options. We get a lot of repeats and a few out of council people too. Actually, we had a troop from Elk Rapids last summer. We have also had troops from Detroit are and Chicago area councils, and visitors from Zimbabwe and Denmark.

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Blaster --

 

The troop is going to Camp Meriweather (sp?), southwest of Portland. Have you been there? We're coming from the west coast of central Florida.

 

rlc

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We're sending a few older Scouts to an OoC Camp(Camp MANCHESTER on KENTUCKY LAKE) this year prior to our Troop going to our *In Council Camp*. These older Scouts will be participating in a *High Adventure Program* that our council doesn't offer or promote as of yet. This might spur the Troop into looking outside the home Council Camp for more exciting and rewarding experiences in the future.

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Sometimes is out of Council for us. Anything in SE Texas spells misery. Camp Strake (Houston) in middle of July is like an oven with 110% humidity that comes with the full compliments of mosquitoes. SHAC has other Council Camps in Texas' Hill Country and we do take advantage of them.

 

By the way, does anyone have any recommendation for a decent camp within a 10 - 15 hours drive from Houston that is fairly comfortable (65-75) at night and tolerable in the day (85-90 degrees)?

 

We have been to Sid Rich, Constantine, Buffalo Trails, Cherokees, Orr, Strakes, Brosig ... .

 

OneHour

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