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Troop Tents at Summer Camp?

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Our camp has gone to leaving the tents up year round. With a full size awning over each tent, the life expectancy is as long or longer than tents torn down and set up each year.


Plus, the camp is available for use year round, ready to go. My troop prefers the canvas wall tents; personal insect screens and bug spray take care of what bugs we've got, and there is room for the scouts footlockers and gear. It works for us. Plus, camp is so rough it'd be hard to find tent spaces for 800 scouts.


What bothers me about this cost shift is, where does it end?

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Stosh wrote: "The staff time, energy, storage arguments don't really carry any weight. When my boys show up for camp they get a long ridge pole with holes, two poles with spikes, a tent, 2 floors and a 30 gal bucket of wooden stakes.


The staff only delivered and picked up the tents at the beginning and end of the week. I can't see how this is such a drain on staff time and energy because they have to do check in/check out inspections anyway.


Camps with a ton of specially built platforms in neatly arranged layouts and tents that stay up all summer long, then at the beginning and end of the season it's going to be a big job setting them up and taking it down. But if the campers put up and take down tents, then staff may in fact have to take down maybe a dozen tents all summer long.

Like I said I don't see how this constitutes a major drain on the time and energy of camp staff if done right."



I'd wager your experience is atypical. I've never encountered the type of tent which you describe except in books. Every summer camp I've visited used canvas wall tents with heavy wood elements - platforms, outriggers and 4x4s to sit the platforms on. Add two upright poles, one ridgepole, the canvas and two cots, and you're talking a lot of gear that has to be transported to each site and set up by the staff. A troop of 11- and 12-year-old boys can't do that on their own.


The camp you attend sounds great. But trust me - a camp that uses platform tents requires a lot of time and energy on the part of the staff. It's at least two days during staff week that is not spent on training or program prep. And not just time-consuming at setup or takedown, but during check-in times, too. As troop numbers adjust and you come up a tent short in one campsite, you've got to either dismantle another tent, toss it and the wooden parts into a truck and haul it over to the new site, or - if you're lucky - get four sturdy staffers to pick up the entire thing, lift it onto the flatbed and drive it over, settling it down intact. (A huge time-saver.)

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We have only gone to summer camps with canvas tents on platforms & cots. I think it's great and adds to the summer camp experience. We camp every month for the rest of the year in Troop dome tents that the Scouts set up, sleep in, and pack up. It makes it summer camp to be in a canvas platform tent and gives us a nice change from setting up our own tents. To me, and to the Scouts in the Troop, the canvas tent is summer camp. It's an integral part of the entire experience, along with the chaos of the dining hall, merit badges, and being a uniformed Scout with 450 others.


If the camp we are currently attending (not our Council camp) were to do away with canvas platform tents, we'd find another camp.

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Our Camp has invested a lot in ensuring strong OA and Tribe of the Lone Bear programs co-exist.

This generates two workforces that augment the Camp Staff in setting out pallets for floors and distributing and erecting Tents for set-up and the reverses at the end of the season.


Frankly, while I love my personal tent and my Exped mattress. I'd rather pay an additional $20 and put the UV damage on the Camps canvas tent, have more air available, be able to use a cot w/o damaging anything and get the "Camp" experience rather than just another seven days in my own tent. Our camps cabins during Camp season are reserved for Staff.

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Gunny, what's the Tribe of the Lone Bear?


I agree the OA can help with setup, but there's only so much that can be done. It's useful work, certainly, but it can come across as mere gruntwork or busywork, not the types of lasting, meaningful service that the Order is based upon.


My old camp has begun leaving the square platforms in the campsites year-round - stacked up in out-of-the-way areas - to help speed setup. Should be interesting to see how it works. Folks who have never been involved in that type of work have no idea of the logistics and time involved.




Mods: Can someone delete the spam?

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shortridge, The Tribe of the Lone Bear at Camp Arrowhead, Marshfield MO , Ozark Trails council is a descendant of the Tribe of the Mic-O-Say originated by H.Roe Bartle and operates out of the Heart of America Council, see Mic-o-Say link here http://hoac-bsa.org/Camping/HonorCampingPrograms/TribeOfMicOSay.aspx ,see the History page especially.

See ToLB Link here http://www.tolb.org/ you may need to copy and paste I didn't make the link live unless posting does it for me.


In my humble opinion, It is another organization which within Scouting uses additional motivators to incentivise (sp?) character development within those youth who choose to participate in the additional Scouting opportunities offered by the Tribe. While the OA can very much do the same thing this utilizes differing frameworks and has been a great program for several of my Troops Scouts who while OA members and participants aren't as motivated by the OA program as they are by the ToLB program.

Our Troop participates in both the OA and ToLB programs.(This message has been edited by Gunny2862)

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