Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
gwd-scouter

Summer Camp schedule-fill it up or leave free time?

Recommended Posts

In the past, our Scouts have been expected to fill their entire day, every day, at summer camp with merit badges or some other activity. They have also been directed toward what merit badges to take.

 

I am inclined this year to let the scouts have more autonomy in scheduling their time.

 

First, a short description of our Camp's summer program.

 

Our camp has an all day program called Pathfinders for new Scouts and it is a wonderful program. Scouts are formed into patrols and stay together throughout the week, with hands on activities in knot tying and lashings, cooking, first aid, nature identification, swimming, etc.

 

Older Scouts have opportunities for High Adventure and leave camp every day to do rock climbing, caving, white water, etc.

 

There is also a program called Adventure to Eagle which has a bit of the high adventure with a couple of Eagle required merit badges thrown in and some instruction and advice on how to make those final steps toward Eagle.

 

None of our Scouts has ever done the High Adventure or ATE, always opting to just simply do merit badges.

 

Each day is broken up with 3 merit badge sessions in the morning, lunch, then 3 sessions in the afternoon. There are some twilight badges offered (fingerprinting, mammals, etc.), and other acitivities such as mountain biking, nature and waterfront in the evenings.

 

If Scouts choose not to fill up their schedule, their free time during the day would be mostly hanging out with other "free-time" Scouts, playing frisbee or other pick up games in the meadow, or just resting in camp. They wouldn't be able to go shooting or to the waterfront as there would be merit badge or other planned sessions going on at that time.

 

So, what do your Scouts do? Do they fill up their schedule? Plan blocks of free time? And, do you as leaders influence their choices in any way?

 

By the way, from reading other posts I realize our Council's camp is not necessarily run the same way as others around the Country, so I guess this post is mostly for those of you who attend similar camps.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you need a combination of both scheduling AND free time. Let the scouts go to their MB and advancement classes, but never underestimate the value of free time at summer camp. This is the time for the boys to walk in the woods with a buddy, find a frog, throw a fishing line in the lake, sit back on a log and read a book, hit the trading post, etc. You can overschedule to the point where camp is no fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a big believer in having the boys signed up for something for every activity session. Free time in Camp can lead to problems. Boys getting into mischief and homesickness are two bad outcomes.

 

Idle hands are the Devil's workshop!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if i was put in charge of the troops summer camp organization i would make sure the young men are occupied the good part of the day but have enough free time where they can choose to do something totally up to them. If they are in activity sessions all day all week it will get boring and seem just like school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like a good mix of planned activities and fun time loosely planned stuff that the scouts can get into. "Who out there thinks their patrol/troop can lash together a trebuchet that can toss a waterballoon further than anyone else? A target? how about the camp director's cabin". ;-)

 

Free time is good too keep it simple and safe.

 

AK-Eagle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We encourage the guys to put together a pretty full schedule, but leave enough free time to chill out, work on MBs, and practice at the rifle, archery or shotgun range. For first year guys, we pretty much make sure they are booked with stuff - mostly handicraft MBs and some time in the lake (our 1st year program isn't that good, IMHO). I believe a busy mind is the #1 counter to homesickness. As the guys get older, we give them more autonomy. We remind them that it's there opportunity to advance, not the adults.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep 'em busy. Not sitting around on chairs listening to some MB counselor, but active as much of the time as possible. I want them to fall to sleep as soon as they return from the campfire.

Incidentally, at the risk of hazing, I now plan to sing to them if they don't go to sleep. Here's the song:

http://home.usachoice.net/vcei/tbp-words.htm

Enjoy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and packsaddle sends that song to all the Wood Badge Bears out there in radio-land... ;)

 

John

(ducking and running)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Note to self.........only come by Packsaddle's campsite for morning coffee....do not..DO NOT stop by at lights out. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm the Troops alarm clock.

 

Start out with bellowing "GOOD MORNIN', CAMP XXXXX!" (ala Good Morning Vietnam). If that don't work, its followed by "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" from "Oklahoma"-at the top of my lungs!

 

Troop has threathened to learned how to play the Bugle!

 

Bunch of music critics!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Troop has threathened to learned how to play the Bugle!"

 

Bring a bugle next camp - next time someone threatens to learn how to play the bugle, hand that person the bugle, the bugling merit badge book (I think it's combined with the music merit badge book), look them straight in the eye and say "You're on".

 

CalicoPenn

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aardvark - That sounds like our camp. I do the same, except replace "Oklahoma" with "The City of New Orleans" ("Good morning America how are you? Don't you know me I'm your native son...").

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×