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trainerlady

Need a good midwest provo BS camp

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Due to our previously planned family vacation my son will miss his first BS summer camp. He crosses over in a couple of weeks to an area troop. The troop camps the first week of summer camp at our council camp. I know the staff member that runs the provo program at the camp and several other camp staffers and they all tell me that the council's provo program is not a great set up. I want his first BS camp to be a good experience, not a bad one.

 

He has done several CS summer camps and church/YMCA camps so staying at camp "alone" shouldn't be a problem. I know some camps are better at provo than others, but don't know which ones they are. We live in SE Michigan, I don't mind driving 3-5 hours (council camp is 3.5 hours away) for a good experience.

 

I'm also considering volunteering at a camp too. As a BSA employee there is an expectation that we volunteer. I am not a helicopter parent, just using my gas wisely. If I drive a long distance each way to drop and pick-up and need to volunteer, I might as well stay where he goes.

 

We have also considered asking another local troop to take him with them later in the summer, but we aren't sure how that'd fly either.

 

Your thoughts and suggestions will be appreciated.

 

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Well, it's been 30 years since I've been there, and it's more than your five hour drive, but I have many fond memories of Many Point Scout Camp:

 

http://www.manypoint.org/

 

I'm pretty sure they put together provisional troops. Now that I have a Tiger Cub in the family, it looks like I'm eligible to take the family to the family camp, so we'll probably be checking it out next summer.

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Not sure what council you are in in SE Michigan but Camp Frontier (Pioneer Scout Reservation - gets called Camp Pioneer a lot) run by Erie Shores Council is a great camp. There are quite a few troops from Greak Sauk Trail Council that go to summer camp there. I don't have first hand experience with the provisional camper program, my son was too busy this summer to use his free SPL provisional week, but here is what I know. Provisional campers are handled it two ways, they either can join a troop there for their week, you can either set this up yourself or the camp can sometimes help to make the match, or there is normally a provisional troop during week 6 of camp. Not sure if it will remain week 6 this year since they are adding a week 7. I believe the adult leadership for the provisional troop are volunteers but I could be completely wrong on that.

 

The fee to the camper is the meal plan A (dining hall) fee regardless of what the troop they are staying with is doing, so if you go with a plan C (troop plans & purchases menu) then you do have an additional cost of eating with the troop. If staying with a plan A or plan B (camp menu/troop cooks) troop it would just be the fee.

 

If you want him to focus on a T-2-1 type program this is Troop run with camp providing some supplies and supplemental programming. So if this is the focus you want you would have to go with a troop willing to have him work with their new Scouts on this. If you aren't concerned with this in particular and more looking at fun and merit badges, there is plenty to be had of both, there are a ton of non MB activities offered throughout the week, multiple outpost programs, and just about every merit badge is available.

 

If you want more info their website is www.psrweb.org

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Much closer to you and 100 years old. Owasippe Scout reservation in Twin Lakes Michigan

 

www.chicagobsa.org

They don't list provisional camp but if you a willing to work I am sure they can work it out. They do have provisional backpacking trips on the North country trail too.

 

 

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This is just an observation, but if a camp had a good first year scout program, that would seem more important that the quality of its provisional program. The scout is going to be spending most of his time with that group, and in some sense, those scouts become his patrol for the week. Granted, he is missing out on the opportunity to develop relationships with his home patrol, but that is going to happen any time he goes as a provisional.

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The hills of Osceola are calling me today,

Come back along the Scouting Trail, their voices seem to say.

I dream of woodland valleys, and pathways that I know,

And answer, O-sce-o-la dear, I'm coming back to you.

 

H Roe Bartle Scout Reservation, Osceola, MO

 

www.hoac-bsa.org

 

No other camp need be considered.

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AS EJCrimmins suggested, Erie Shores Council's Pioneer has a very good provo program. I've known the SM for the last couple years and he's terrific. I don't know if he's doing it this year. The camp is really well set up for 1st and 2nd year campers.

 

Another option is to get in touch with a nearby troop and see if your scout can go with them. We had a scout from our town, different troop, come with us this year becasue of a conflict with the family vacation and it worked out well for everyone.

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Many camps with provisional camping don't allow 1st year campers. There is a reason for this. Your son is inexperienced and needs the leadership and fellowship of his troop.

 

I strongly engcourage him to skip the family vacation and go to summer camp. Get used the that, the older the get the less they want to go on a family vacation anyway.

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