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Activities for Cub Camping

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I would like to ask, what is it that you fine folks do with your cub scouts when you go camping. We have some new council programs that are available when we use the council sites, but what kind of activities do you like.


Before anyone says it, I have taken my BALOO training. I am just looking for additional activities

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As stated in your BALOO training, it depends on what is available at the site you are using.


We don't usually use council camps for our Pack Family Campouts. We use Youth Group Camp sites at local County, and State Parks.


We like to hike, fish, swim, work on Junior Ranger programs, and sit by the campfire after a long, fun day. We visit nature centers, and go on ranger led programs. We have even done an off-site visit to a nearby Scouting Museum. If we are at a local park with few facilities, we will put together a program. Usually it involves doing things at different stations. We have also done our rocket shoot at Family Camp.

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Cast around and find someone (Park Ranger, UC, Amateur astronomer, local college prof, friend) who can talk about the stars and planets.

Pray for a clear night at your campsite and set up a telescope to look at Jupiter or Saturn. Mars is kind of boring unless you have a REALLY powerful 'scope, but Saturn's rings or Jupiter's colors and moons are kinda cool in a good portable amateur 'scope.

Tell stories about the stars, how the Big Bear up in the sky has a long tail but here on earth his tail is short (Iroquois). How to find the North Star (why is that important?). Stuff like that. An easy hour of sky watching is neat stuff for Cubs (stay up late!).

Check the local Almanac to see when the next meteor shower is predicted, try to time your campout for that weekend.

It is not adding to the Astronomy Belt Loop, as the defined requirements don't even ask the Cub to LOOK at the sky! But such a night out looking up can lead to the Belt Loop.


You're already outside, and awake after the campfire, lead'em over to the meadow and LOOK UP!

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two ropes -- start knots, leave no trace (as game), camping, camping, camping being outdoors -- have mini camps. Make camp gagets. If your guys a blood and guts types moulage practice first aid. Learn to swim.Cubs can do so much more than we ever expect. Short Backpack trip - Cub carries about 10% of weight and they hike to the camp site the parents take the rest and have it there ready (not up and done) have them help with tents, dining flys ect... Make bark boats with leaves and sticks they find on ground and have a race. Have then build a little log cabin villiage with sticks, leaves ect.. they find. These are just a few things my guys loved.

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Here's a few things we've done at our Webelos camping trips and Cub family campouts, and/or are planning for the upcoming year:


Shoot off water bottle rocket launchers. Frisbee golf. Rocket balloons. Make designs on solar paper. Hike. Swimming (Webelos), fishing, work on hiking sticks (Webelos). Get brown & green paint color cards and have the kids try to find things in nature that match the colors. Teach firebuilding with out a match, even if the kids can't do it themselves on the pack family campouts. Make catapults out of mousetraps.


Have lots games & other stuff (like pieces of rope & knot books) laying around so they can do their own thing a lot of the time (under supervision). We keep about half of the overall time unscheduled, and the kids have plenty to do. We always have healthy snacks available as well.

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Also, here's some books that might be helpful (all available from Amazon):


The Scout's Outdoor Cookbook


Nature in a Nutshell for Kids: Over 100 Activities You Can Do in Ten Minutes or Less


The Kids' Nature Book: 365 Indoor/Outdoor Activities and Experiences


Go Outside: Over 130 Activities for Outdoor Adventures

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We are busy planning our own weekend at the council camp we booked upper and lower floor of the biggest bunk house.


have booked the shooting range for the am and have a BSA trained and certified Range Master in the pack that is instructing the boys(requirement to book a range master if wanting to use shooting range) and renting equipment.They will earn a marksmanship patch.

We are also going to have beltloops such as Geology, astronomy, art, and arrange a geo-caching course they have to find and stamp their papers. I also want to do a cmpass and orienteering course (very basic one) in groups with a leader.

Then we are going to have them prepare their own meals and cook on the fire.

We are going to play some silly games. We are having a committee do this with varouse peolpe in charge of each activity. Also dens are adding their input as to requirments they may need to do and teach over weekend.

Some of these activites require going out to camp before hand to be ready for them to go and all mapped out.

dont' forget the Colors in Am and Pm- chance to meet outdoor flag ceremony requirements.

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Things we've done that went over well:


Capture the Flag


Kickball--kids against adults. Super fun.




Our Cubmaster, couple years back, demonstrated fire building & had the boys compete in building a fire. The object was to build a setup for a safe one-match fire. {the adults handled the matches.}


our council camp has an obstacle course that's also popular, & hikes are always a win.

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Just some food for thought...


After our last Pack Campout (roughly 55 people - 23 scouts), the ONE largest thorn in the "roses and thorns" debrief was that there was very little UNSCHEDULED time for the boys.


Now, I did NOT say UNSUPERVISED, but unscheduled.


One of the joys of camping should be the notion of having the option (or even being taught to) sit on the shore of the lake and listen to the birds and the leaves as they rustle. Maybe practice skipping a stone with your buddies. Maybe a "hey wonder where this trail leads" - with an adult following at a safe distance.


Kids today are WAY more overscheduled than we ever were as children. They need to be taugh (or at least encouraged) to slow down, daydream, etc...


A mud puddle and a stick are great campout "toys".


Laying on your back and taking turns describing what each cloud in the sky looks like to you, is a great campout activity.


Poking at an ant hill with a stick, cathcing bugs, crickets (or fire-flies at night if you're in the right part of the country) - is a GREAT nature lesson.


So is cathing toads, tadpoles, or turtles.


Its those solitary, unscripted moments from youth that spawn a child's creativity. Its also when they are most likely to actually connnect with nature and thus want to protect and nurture it when they are older.


Its good to have activities, but make sure you allot some time for kids to be a kid in the outdoors. BB-guns and knots are great, but so is dragging a stick behind you in the dirt to see what kind of "snake trail" you can make.



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