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Your experience volunteering for Cub camps

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My son and I went to a parent son weekend 2 weeks ago. Had a blast.


Mosquitos tried to carry us away when we first got thre, but some Cutter took care of that for the next hour when temps finally dropped low enough that the skeeters ran off.


Daytime highs were in the mid seventies, nighttime lows were in the low 50's high 40's. It was great! The perfect weather for csamping, wearing sweatshirts and hanging around the campfire!


The only 2 downsides were:


1) My son is a first year Webelos. Most parent son activities were geared more towards the Tigers and Wolves ages.


The camp is rated for 300 people, but a glitch in online signup allowed the system to continue taking reservations until somebody caught it at around 800 people signed up.


Okay, who knew about the online signup? Would have saved me a trip to the scoutshop to turn in the paperwork, Wasn't mentioned on the flyer anywhere!


Now, I will hand it to the staff that - even though we were OVER DOUBLE CAPACITY - they pulled it off. The only drawbacks were the long line at breakfast, and splitting lunch and supper into two seperate shifts. Understandable, but still sucked.



So. Even though the activities were geared towards newer scouts and the crowd was larger than you plan on having, I and my son still enjoyed the camping. We still loved getting in the woods, sleeping in a tent, hanging around the campfires ( at our campsites) as well as the Saturday night Campfire assembly and ceremony.


We participated in two skits and one song.


Okay, I have jaw jacked long enough.


The post was to ask you this: I am thinking of volunteering for parent son weekend or resident camp next year.


What are your experiences doing that?


Did you do it again - or planning on doing it again?



Oh yeah: Capacity was not double the safe amount. There was plenty of room physically. Capacity was over double the IDEAL amount of campers.

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My council puts on a Cub Family Weekend twice a year - spring and fall. I've volunteered there several times, teaching knots and firebuilding. It's a great experience and lots of fun.


The most recent was two weekends ago. There were about 320-340 people there (folks kept signing up right until the last minute on Friday night). Webelos were allowed to show up Friday evening and camp the whole weekend, doing special Webelos stuff; everyone else came in Saturday morning and stayed until Sunday.


For the Cubs and families, especially new ones, it's a great introduction to both the Cub program and the council camps. For the parents, it's a way to expose them to camping and the outdoors, as well as expose them to the opportunities their kids may have at resident camp.


From a staff perspective, it's just fun to see the excitement and the parents and kids working together. At the Cub resident camps I've staffed, there's not always a 1:1 parent-child ratio, but it's pretty close at these weekend events since families are responsible for bringing their own tents. I got a big kick out of several kids who did firebuilding in the morning and then dragged their moms and dads back in the afternoon to do it again.


It was an open-ended program - no timeslots or schedules; program simply operated from 10-noon and 1-5 p.m., and you could do whatever you wanted whenever you wanted. Most traveled with their packs or dens, though there were a few parent-child floaters who wanted to do their own thing.


From a logistical standpoint, the key thing is having lots of activities spread out across the camp, so you don't have a couple hundred people clustered in one or two areas. We had BB, archery, inflatables (moon bounce, etc.), Showmanship-type theatrical activities, a nature hike, knot-tying, firebuilding, parachute games and arts & crafts. We probably could have used some more - smaller "stations" such as flags, Kim's Game, etc. - because we occasionally ended up with two groups arriving at the same time. Trying to accommodate 40 people around a firebuilding platform isn't easy.


You mentioned Webelos activities. This year, we had the Webelos who spent the night Friday team up with an experienced staff member (a former summer camp program director) who helped them cook breakfast on their own on Saturday morning and then do special activity badge-oriented programs with them during the day - he did some Outdoorsman, Naturalist and Readyman-type stuff, talking up the camp's Boy Scout programs as he went. That might be one option for you.


It's a huge testament to your council's staff and volunteers that they were able to handle the extra numbers with little sweat. That sounds like a good team.

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WEll, I will be volunteering as a staff member. Since I have never done that before, I don't know if I will have any say or input, or just fill in a position.


Now, the parent son weekend was around a month after all of the packs roundups, so it was geared more towards first time scouts..especially the younger Tigers and wolfs:


Make a T-Rex head out of a milk jug, glue macaroni noodles into the shape of a dinosaur, make a dinosaur bone mold with plaster, dig up a dinosaur egg.


As for my son, he did do bb guns, archery, canoeing, Tom Sawyer rafting, and skits. As a pack, we hiked around and did the whole campfire and cooking thing.


There is a Webeloree coming up soon, and Cub resident camp in the spring.


He still had a blast, he just didn't do the planned activities.

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Staffing a Cub Camp, of any kind, is simply put, a lot of work.


But, if you enjoy pitching in, and working with Scouts, AND parents, it can also be a great experience.


I always enjoy it when I have families from my Pack at a camp I am a staffer for. It is also fun to meet Scouters again that I have had in trainings.


Just a note - leave your Cub Scout at home, or have him attend as a camper with his mother. You will be there to work. You will not be able to work, and be a camper with your son too.



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I've done three in the past 13 months. And I use to do them alot when I worked for the BSA as well as in college. Lots of work, BUT Lots of fun.


That said, while I plan on being on staff next year, if there is no conflict with OA as in the past 2 years, I will not be doing my normal job of running the campfire. I do not want to make the campfire stale and repetitive so 2 years in a row is good for me.


I've been told I have a " strong back, weak mind," so grunt staff is for me next year ;)

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I just finished working on a council-wide cub camping event and had a blast. As others have stated - plan on working hard, don't plan to "split time" between staff and son, and plan on having a great experience.


As far as input goes - since you may not have worked staff before, I suggest being a grunt staff worker with a servant's heart. Help with anything you are asked of and do it with a smile and cheerful spirit. Evaluate your experience and note the experiences of the campers. Next time the opportunity arises to staff an event, ask to be part of the planning committee and relay those experiences to aid the committee in improving the event.


I'm still a little tired, but seeing the joy in the Cubs' and parents' faces made it all worthwhile.

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As you've probably heard, volunteering can and will be a lot of work. But the reward is well worth it.

As the new guy, you'll just be assigned tasks to keep camp functions running. ( water, setup, tear down, etc.)The good news is that your district personnel will see a Scouter who wants to help and will tuck your name away into the mental rolodex for future events, and then, out of the blue, they're asking you to be on the planning committee.

I was asked to serve as the Cubmaster for our Cub Scout day camp this year. I absolutely had a blast, It was great seeing all the boys from the pack walking by and waving or shouting at me. I wasn't a huge fan of all the planning meetings from January through May, but I have a greater appreciation for the time and effort that goes into planning a week long camp. You would be surprised at all the little details that you have to think about.

Go sign up and do it,you'll be glad you did. Just remember... 2 Advil in the morning BEFORE you start the day at camp!

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I have been Program Director at our district Cub Day Camp twice.


While it was enjoyable, I found the work to far exceed the reward. I sent 6 months in prep and did not receive a single thank you, well the DE did. for all the effort I received a bucket load of complaints from the times it ran, location and activities.


I have come to the conclusion that the day camp is expected and taken for granted. I don't believe the parents understand that we are volunteers.


Got a fortune cookie the other day that fits. "He who expects no gratitude shall never be disappointed".

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Scoutfish........A piece of personal advice.


volunteering is good and noble. But wait until your son is in the Troop first. You need to spend his cub years bonding with him and sharing the experiences. In a couple of years he will be in the Troop and you need to step back and let him enjoy his Scouting journey without dad always being there.

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Sorry your time as a CSDC PD was not rewarding. I know that it was tough planning and prepping, but from the survey of Cubs I got 95% of the Cubs had a great time, 4.9% had a good time, and only 1 had a lousy time. That 1 is generally negative anyway, had him in my den the year before, and I put it downas just having one in the bunch.


You also offer great advice: wait until son goes into a troop to help out as you need to bond. My rule in volunteering for these events is A) I'll help with prep work the day before the event and B) I'll do the campfire. This last event was interesting in that my Wolf actually finished his work early and went to camp with me to prep. THAT WAS FUN. But during the day, with the exception of playing messenger 2 times and getting a wet suit for a BSA 'guard working rowing , I was with him until campfire.

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I just finished helping out at a Cub Camp, and like yours someone at Council liked the sound of the cash register going off. We had over double the amount of people the camp should hold. It was an amazing thing to see.


Anyway, I assisted the RM on the BB range. Got to the range at 8:00, and never left until 6:30 that night. Lunch was eventually run out to us around 2:00 in the form of leftovers. We had Cubs up to our ears, with never a break for 10 hours.


And I loved every minute of it.

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Irsap, COOL!


Thing is, if you really enjoy it...is it work?


In my new role as CubMaster, I am the one who goes to every meeting early, and I am the last one to leave. I set up tables, fetch the dry erase board( no extra room in the CO, so it's in the scout shed out back), I greet everybody, lay out a tble of paper work at the entrance - upcoming event flyers, adult/youth scout applications, any and all flyers for pow wows, trainings, activity consent forms, etc...

I answer questions all night long from parents whan I am not helping the den leaders.


At campouts, I start setting up a day or so early. I set up the "kitchen" and dining hall. I get the fire site ready. I make sure proper equipment is in place. I also hapen to pull the scout trailer too.


No, I do not have to do al of this. No, nobody expects me to.


I do it because I enjoy it. I love running the campfire ceremonies, I love hiking with the scouts. I laugh and joke with them all the chances I get.


I love to teach them how to work with pockets knives, tying ropes, making fires, learning about all different kinds of things ( any subject - though none come to mind right now) .


So, is it work?


WEll, I'm still trying to decide! :)

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I've been volunteering at Cub camps and activities for almost 20 years. I endorse the idea of having your son attend with his mom or a grandparent. My boys were great going with their den leaders, but I enjoyed it more when I went to council camps where I was able to be with them.


I get a great kick out of seeing the look on the face of a Scout at the archery range, when you work with him to increase his accuracy and he hits the target (after four missed shots).


I don't mind the cold at our winter activity day when I see them flying down the sledding hill or playing snow golf.


Our Belt Loop-a-Looza was a big hit last year and we're looking forward to a bigger event next summer.


Its really satisfying, seeing the kids and parents together. At our latest event, I was asked "So do you guys do this every weekend?" They assumed we were a crew that traveled around from district to district, putting on events! In some ways, if we're that professional, that's flattering :-) However, I quickly pointed out that all the 40+ staff, youth and adults were volunteers. It is an easy assumption to make - in our council, all of the council run events & camps have paid staff. District events are all volunteer - but parents don't really know the difference.


I love Cub Scout camping!

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