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Older Scout Summer Camp Attendance

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I was down at camp last night for ceremony. We had 133 FIFTH YEAR CAMPERS who were the subjects of that particular ceremony. That did not count another bunch of campers who were in their 6th year (or beyond) not to mention the staff.


Then again, the Heart of America Council camps 10,000 Boy Scouts and leaders each and every summer on the Theodore Naish Scout Reservation and the H Roe Bartle Scout Reservation.


Give the youth a great program ... they will come and come back. That applies to council camps as much as it does to units.


Friendship and Warmth, John

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What we do is offer the PLC a list of camps to attend, and then offer the experienced scout patrols (usually the two most expierenced patrols) the option of a High Adventure. We then allow them to tell us as a Committee where we need to put our efforts to support their interests. We don't sign up for camp without PLC input, but we rotate through our High Adventure program by which year it is.


ANY scout can attend summercamp, in fact we'd love it if the experienced guys do both, but the National Bases have age requirements so the youngest don't get to go the first time they hear about the camps. We really do run a rotation of Philmont, Northern Tier, National Jambo, and Sea Base. Our older guys love this, and will happily go to summer camp to help with the younger guys.


We also run trips down large rivers, or short (+/- 20 miles) High Sierra backpacks, or trips to Death Valley, or Grand Canyon over long weekends, or Spring Break. Since we are controlling these trips we target the middle ages and up for them.


We have about 60 boys in the troop, and of the 8 college age graduates from our troop (that currently live in the area), 6 of them are ASMs. They understand that they can go on these advanced trips as space permits, and they love doing this. It works for us.

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Land of Bananas,

Home of the beaver,

Where Jim the Moose

Tells all his jokes- HAHAHAHA!


Blue skies, and sandy shores:


To Sandy Beach, Beach, Beach, Beach,

Sandy Beach, Beach, Beach, Beach.


--That's the "Anthem" of Camp Sandy Beach of Yawgoog Scout Reservation (Narragansett Council)...

Yawgoog also has an Alumni Society for those "veteran" campers who come back each year, for many years to come.

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Every year we (the PLC) evaluate whether or not we should go back to the same camp. Usually we choose to go to a new camp, but sometimes we go to the same one. We haven't gone to (either of the 2) camps in our council, in about 10 years(at least). We are about to go to our 3rd different camp in 3 years.


This works pretty well and the % of older scouts that go is about the same as the % of younger scouts. Of course it does have its drawbacks doing it this way (because you don't know your way around camp)



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  • 2 weeks later...

In my troop the older scouts always come. See Camp Horseshoe always has something different going on. Like This year they had a few different themes a few different games.. The older scouts come anyways for the fun of it. We have a few of the guys take a few days off from college to come hang out at camp.. I myself love it; there is always a merit badge going on that they havent done.

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H Roe Bartle here again. in the northern end of the ozarks in central missouri.


I went twice, I'm 22.


the first time I went 2/3 of the campers were over the age of 14. yes, 2/3 were older scouts. trouble keeping older scouts? not a chance. the second time we were younger, but that's because it was all small troops. 25 troops were in camp, and we still had 1/3-1/2 over 4th year.


in our troop we had 20 leaders post high school but not yet with their own kids. our 4th year+ group was half of the troop down with us, and we took 15 first years.


I should note this isn't the local oa camp. I went out to an oa ceremony nights during one of our other camps boy scout sessions. total campers in the ceremony: 150. there were more arrowman not at the ceremony than at it since they all appeared for the campwide crackerbarrel.

total mic-o-say members at each ceremony- easily 800-900. we're beyond standing room and have seating for over 700. this includes another 130 not in the seats being inducted one of the nights. 1000 members is easy for us to get down each session for ceremonies. repeat 6 times for active membership. these are all scouts in their 5th-9th year returning to camp. on our staff 21 is still nowhere near senior. 25 is common.


to say that we draw older scouts back is an understatement.




we had 209 eagles listed in the august council newsletter. that's a unique list from the last one, which I think was June. that figures to over 1000 eagles yearly for the council. (national numbers are 46,000 for 2003)

the campstaff is 80% eagle scouts.

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I went to BS camp for half the week with my son's troop. My son was one of only four first-year campers. Of the 21 boys who went to camp, more that half are in high school.


The thing I noticed was that while the selection of merit badges geared for the older boys was good, the off-hour activities weren't. In fact outside the merit badge program I'd have to say the camp was generally geared toward 11- & 12-year-olds. A lot of little things treated all the boys like Cub Scouts. Probably the best example was the 10 p.m. lights-out time. Get real.


In addition to just lightening up, I think the older boys would have a better time if there were some social things for them. Maybe something like an officers' club were they can hang together.

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