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eaglenjake

Summer Camp Tent Inspections

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I'm planning on doing tent inspections for my troop while the boys are off at the first MB class of the day. Just a simple 5 point check off -flaps rolled, bunks neat, no liter that sort of stuff. Nothing over the top. The question I have is does anybody else do this and if so how do you recognize/reward the effort? Back in my day, the SM left a ribbon hanging on the tents.

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I don't inspect the boys' tents and they don't inspect mine. It's a respect thingy.

 

One year we were in bear country and had some problems and the camp asked the leaders to go through the boy's stuff and check for forbidden items. I supervised.

 

It would have been interesting last year when the boys set up their tent(s) they put them together end to end and made one long lodge. :) I thought it was kinda neat. It reminded me back in the day when my patrol had one big wall tent and everyone slept in the same tent.

 

I figure if the boys want to live like animals, so be it. One can't be their mother when they are trying to develop individual independence and self determination. If the boy comes complaining because they can't find something they need in their tent, my standard answer is: "Not my problem. And by the way, what's the Scout Motto?"

 

Eventually they figure it out.

 

Too often boys are coerced into behavior due to self-esteem building rewards, when they would probably be better served by allowing them to make better personal decisions due to self-confidence building instead.

 

Your mileage may vary,

 

Stosh

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Just to clarify-my thought on the inspection was to be able to stand outside the tent since the flaps should be rolled up, and look inside. Nothing more. Either its a mess or some effort was taken to keep it clean. I don't want them coming to me because they can't find something.

 

I'm not looking to build self-esteem or create a reward system. I'm thinking more along the lines of personal responsibility for their surroundings, their gear and the camp as a whole. A Scout is supposed to be "clean" and I'd like to encourage that.

 

It should be easy to keep their tents neat and tidy since they'll wear only one outfit all week.

 

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Doesn't it ever rain in your neck of the woods?

 

There is no way that I would leave my tent with the flaps rolled open.

 

No tent inspections here. The inside of their tent is their own space.

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This topic is near and dear to my heart ... I did campsite inspections for three years as a staffer at my local summer camp. There was an end-of-week "Clean Campsite" award which all the troops vied for. I'd never heard of a camp that doesn't have its staff do inspections, honestly.

 

Some troops thought I was a hard-butt, sure. But the criteria didn't include anything truly demanding. We checked for litter; made sure the latrine was clean, swept and stocked with TP; trash cans were emptied and lids on; checked that the campfire circle was clean and tidy, and fire buckets were full; flags were up, weather permitting; tent flaps were rolled properly (i.e., rolled in, not out, and tails tucked up), weather permitting; all tents were rolled uniformly (i.e., all sides up or all sides down, all flaps up or just front flaps up); no damp bathing suits or wet towels hanging on the outriggers (contributes to wood rot); and that a duty roster, schedule, menu, inspection sheet, announcements, etc., were posted on the campsite bulletin board.

 

Inside the tents, I just glanced to make sure gear was stowed neatly, clothes weren't strewn everywhere, bedding was getting a good airing, etc. A bit of lived-in messiness was OK if there were Scouts hanging out at the campsite working on stuff.

 

All told, it was nothing more than a parent would do to make sure a house was clean and their kid's room was livable.

 

I'd recommend doing inspections at random times during the day - keep 'em on their toes. If you just do them in the morning, they'll know they can be messy in the afternoon. You can make it a patrol competition, too, which gives bragging rights.

 

Some troops really got into it. I'd know I was doing my job right when Scouts would come back from program sessions while I was walking through, see me heading away, and immediately rush to the bulletin board to check their scores - then unleash a heap of loud peer pressure on the one guy whose bunk was complete chaos and took their score from 100 to a 97.(This message has been edited by shortridge)

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At my old camp it was an art, and inspection was a major battle. Winners get to do flags at retreat. Consistency from the commissioners was always a problem and one minute speck of littler in a campsite would be all it takes to knock your unit from perfect to 3rd. Unfortunately, its the stinking adults that get involved and start telling the boys what to do and even doing it for them. Some of these guys would drag their scouts out of the bunk an hour before reveille to get started on cleaning up the camp. Gotta love adults.

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As a SM, I required the scouts to sweep out their tent each morning, roll up the flaps on both ends (weather permitting), and generally put stuff away. No white glove/hospital corners and such. It took ten minutes, got the scouts in the routine of squaring their own stuff away, and was good morale/health/welfare check. I did the same with my tent. No one complained, and clean up was done in good spirit by all.

 

This was required at the various camps I attended as a kid, and didn't seem tough...it was just part of the summer camp routine.

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the camp my son's troop normally attends has staff do inspections of campsite - as another poster mentioned that tents should be uniform so the boys have always kept their tents closed when they are not at site. They have plenty of time later in the day to open it up if weather permits to cool it off a bit before bed.

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Not just at Summer Camp but...

 

Our SPL conducted camp inspections, whenever he wanted sometime during the day. The PLs had the list - no trash, sleeping bags canoed, no dirty clothes, fire ring clean, food stored properly, etc. Some PLs would do an inspection, some wouldn't.

 

 

 

 

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Our camp has the SPLs sign-up to do inspections of other units' sites as part of the competition for the Baden Powell award.

 

The rule on tents is that if they're open to the public they need to be neat, but if the flaps are down they're private and no one goes looking inside.

 

I would definitely have my SPL do this rather than myself.

 

As part of making sure that everybody was doing OK I might have the PLC leaders check with individual tent mates and make an opportunity to take a look at things to gauge how well scouts, expecially newer, younger scouts, were doing keeping themselves together.

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Shortridge- did you work for Philadelphia Council Camp Staff?

 

Camp Commissioners would inspect sites daily and troops would be rewarded. It wasn't a self-esteem type thing, yet a pride thing. After all a Scout is clean.

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Tent Inspection : here you better make sure the tents are closed, unless you *like* Scorpions, Rattlers and Tarantulas in your tents! Might want to shake out those sleeping bags in the evening.

 

If you want to "inspect" something ... at least make is useful....try inspecting socks to see if they are getting changed.

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