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maryj75225

Scouting article - Cub Cold Weather Camping

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Hi, I'm a writer on assignment for Scouting magazine. I'm finishing up a story about winter camping for Cub Scouts. I've interviewed some good sources, but thought I'd throw out a request for any tips Scouters might have, or ideas for cold weather camping activities, or examples of council winter programs that have worked well for Cubs.

 

Also - I'm surfing the various Council websites regarding the Polar Bear Patch, and can't tell whether Cubs are eligible. I know this may vary from Council to Council, but I'm trying to get a sense of whether they are generally available to Cub Scouts. Any thoughts?

 

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My Council puts together a one day snow day camp in the month of January. it runs for four sessions and is one of our biggest hits during the cold months. you can pm me if you want more information.

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Others here are more knowledgeable than I am in regards to what Cubs can and can not do. It is my understanding that Cubs can not camp out in the snow. I could be wrong.

 

As for the Polar Bear Award, that varies from council to council, but usually includes camping out in the snow. In our Council, it's an award put on by the local camp boosters, the Camp Bomazeen Old-Timers. It's called the Cold-Timers Award. You simply need to camp outdoors in the winter time with temps below freezing. It is only available to Boy Scouts, Venturers, and leaders. Below freezing temp is to be confirmed by a member of the Order of the Arrow on the trip.

 

In some councils, it's called the 100 Below patch. Yup, you need to accumulate points based on how cold it got at night while camping in the snow. Every degree below 0F counts as 1 point. When you reach -100F total, you earn the patch.

 

These type of cold weather awards have been covered in past issues of both Boys Life and Scouting Magazine.

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According to the age specific guidelines Cubs and Weebs are not supposed to winter camp.

 

Bottom line in the outdoor skills section.

 

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/ageguides.pdf

 

Unless National has changed that and not updated the documentation.

 

So to answer your question......I imagine they cannot earn polar bear patches.

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Our Cucni runs a 3 day/2 night Cub winter camp every year between Christmas and New Year's. We use the Council's camp that has lots of cabins, some with plumbing, for the event. We also allow siblings to come, so I guess it's actually a Family camp program. We are going in to our third year. The first year we had about 70 people. Last year we had almost 200. It's a great time. The kids work on belt loops and go to the shooting sports ranges. We have done sledding and ice fishing demos on one of our lakes.

 

This year we are actually going to coordinate the belt loop program with the Girl Scout requirements so that sisters can earn stuff too. When you compare requirements there isn't really that much difference between GSUSA and BSA.

 

We have a movie night and the other night is a campfire in our dining hall's stone fireplace. There's indoor s'mores and hot chocolate for cracker barrel. Boy Scouts come up to work with the kids and act as Den Chiefs.

 

It's a blast. Every Council should have one.

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I'd love to help you Mary, but right now (1030PM on Friday the 2d of October), the production server for Scoutsource at www.scouting.org ( http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/Home.aspx ) is throwing this error:

 

Server Error in '/' Application.

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Runtime Error

Description: An application error occurred on the server. The current custom error settings for this application prevent the details of the application error from being viewed remotely (for security reasons). It could, however, be viewed by browsers running on the local server machine.

 

Details: To enable the details of this specific error message to be viewable on remote machines, please create a ( customErrors ) tag within a "web.config" configuration file located in the root directory of the current web application. This ( customErrors ) tag should then have its "mode" attribute set to "Off".

 

 

( !-- Web.Config Configuration File -- )

 

( configuration )

( system.web )

( customErrors mode="Off"/ )

( /system.web )

( /configuration )

 

 

Notes: The current error page you are seeing can be replaced by a custom error page by modifying the "defaultRedirect" attribute of the application's ( customErrors ) configuration tag to point to a custom error page URL.

 

 

( !-- Web.Config Configuration File -->

 

( configuration )

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( customErrors mode="RemoteOnly" defaultRedirect="mycustompage.htm"/ )

( /system.web )

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I replaced all < marks and > marks with parentheses, so the error code was visible.

 

The bottom line is I cannot get to the G2SS right now, to read it as it applies to Cub family winter camping.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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Twin Rivers council has the "Snow and Do".

 

Teaching ice fishing was one of my WB tickets.

 

I've brought kids overnight W/ a tour permit to a heated council cabin, every boy having a parent there. We went sleigh riding but don't let National know I'm sure the lawyers would think sledding too dangerous and abolish it. Was admonished here for calling it family camping.

It really was a great time DO cooking, sledding, ice fishing, "Cremation of Sam McGee" around the fire with popcorn from DO.

Cabin was so warm kids had a hard time sleeping.

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Lets look at things from a different point of view. I am not trying to bend/break any rules but I think we are getting tied up in trying to knock someone down instead of helping.

 

First off, my council has a polar bear patch for anyone who is camping out when the weather service notes a drop in temp below that of 32 degrees. Does there have to be snow on the ground. No. Not like it would last in NC anyway.

 

Besides that, where does it say that cold weather camping is strictly snow covered. Around here if the temp is 50 degrees, then most of the cub parents will consider it cold weather camping.

 

MaryJ74225

 

My suggestion is to remind people that it is better to sleep only in your underclothes. Wearing several layers and extra clothes will cause you to sweat and get cold, thus causing hypothermia. But remember to put your clothes in the sleeping back with you. Then they will be toasty warm and not icy cold when you go to put them on.

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I am kind of wondering what national will call camping.

 

We don't have too many cubs with a sleeping bag equal to Upstate NY winters. Remember we held 2 Winter Olympic games here.

 

This trip we did was just right with what amounted to the kids spending all day outdoors and sleeping in a heated building at night. Kind of like home except the kids went outside and I keep my home about like meat locker all winter. Fuel oil costs money y'know.

 

At that age most of my kids had a theme type sleeping bag , I don't know if Barney or SpongeBob is equal to old man winter.

 

Despite all that I know they had a safe, fun time "camping" in the winter on a "Freezeout".

 

 

For Boy Scouts I do not think you are camping unless it is under nylon, canvas, or a leanto that you humped a pack to.

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Bending the rules???????

 

She should contact national and find out for sure, you saw the link to the age specific guidelines. It says no.

 

MOST cub parents are clueless in the outdoors. Winter in the northern half of the US is dangerous. I cannot begin to tell you how many Cubs show for a winter hikes (20 degree Air temp, no wind chill) in tennis shoes and sweat pants. Growing numbers of city dwellers think shorts are ok even when the temps dip into the teens, had a mom show up to a thanksgiving hike in shorts, temp was 35. She ruined the outing for the group with her complaining

 

We do the winter safety lecture before each outing. We do turn scouts away for not having appropriate gear/attire.

 

IMHO It would be negligent for The Scouter to encourage it.

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Miss Mary,

 

Now that scoutsource is back online...

 

From this chart...

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/ageguides.pdf

 

Winter camping is never an age appropriate activity for Cub Scouts, Tiger-Webelo.

 

Now, what constitutes winter camping up in Iowa, the Dakotas, or Michigan is a completely different matter from what constitutes in in Florida, South Texas, Arizona, or southern California. Those are places with year-round moderate climates.

 

In fact, there is a winter sports activity in G2SS dated this August. Points back to H&S Guide #34415. I think, before you look for examples, you should swing by whichever set of cubicles the National Health and Safety folks occupy.

 

Then, I think you need to visit with the Camping people. What are their thoughts on the matter of winter camping 7-10 year olds?

 

Frankly, I think you need to revisit with your editors about this article. Is this something they really want written?

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Hmm, our Cubs camp all winter in South Florida, never knew it was a problem. We've been out on days when the temp doesn't even reach 80... What badge does that earn you? :)

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Thanks everybody for your thoughts - very helpful. The kind of "camping" I'm writing is in cabins, so my first task is to clarify the terminology in the article, and explain why Cubs aren't ready for tent camping in the winter.

 

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