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Webelos Properly Dressed for Overnight Campout

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This is a great and productive thread so far. I like the idea of a checklist and a meeting designed to review and pack.


Maybe meeting #1 we have the DC do a presentation. Hand out checklists. Another part of this meeting could be a demonstration of teaching the boys to pitch their own tents for practice.


Meeting #2 boys bring their stuff and we go through it and have them re-pack. Go for a hike around the block or somehting.


Meeting #3 show up on a Friday afternoon to go camping for the weekend! 1 mile hike in, camp, 1 mile hike out.

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Yes, break it into parts

do a little bit, have the DC show how he packs for an overnight campout where he's goin to hike in and camp

practice how to put up tents

we do try to put up tents twice before going camping, once in the daylight and once in the dark by lantern light. or one time inside a large room and one time outside. We always tend to show up to campouts in the dark and the kids need to be able to put up tents by lantern light.



if you are hiking a mile the first time be prepared for adults to have to carry the tents, or break the tent and the tent poles so 2 separate kids can carry parts (tent mates)


expect that the only backpack the kids will have will be their school backpack and you'll have to tie things to the outside of the backpacks with rope and pack very light.

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If this is the first camping experience for some of the Scouts, then I would recommend doing it closer to the car. First of all, some of them might not even own a real backpack. And even if they do, that might be a long ways for the first time, especially if they need to carry tents, food, cooking equipment, etc.


If you want them out of sight of the cars, many state parks around here have "cart" sites, where you park in a parking lot, and they have a cart to haul your gear a few hundred yards back into the wilderness.


Ease them into it. If their first camping experience is negative, then you run the risk of souring them on the whole camping thing. And even more importantly, you don't want to sour any of the _parents_ on camping.(This message has been edited by clemlaw)

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Something to consider for the first year webelos if they do not come in to the den with some camping experience


a daytime camp practice morning.

show up at a local park right after breakfast

set up camp, set up tents and make sure all of them have all their parts and enough stakes

show what you packed

do an activity like knots,

firestarting(depending on where you are)

or play flag football for a belt loop (under sportsman)


have the boys cook a small lunch where they get to see about the equipment you have, and how the campstove works with supervision, eat together

then pack up camp and go home by noon.


then on a nightly den meeting, have them bring back their tents to put up in the dark by lantern light.


and then go on your first campout overnight.



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  • 3 months later...

clemlaw hit it on the head. 99.99999 percent of your Webelos are *not* going to own a backpack aside from an inexpensive daypack for school. The den chief's practical presentation should be geared toward that type of carrying capacity, not a full-fledged backpacking expedition. (That's not to say he can't have the "cool" gear off to the side, and casually demonstrate some of the neato stuff in it later, but focus on what the Webelos can carry in their small packs.)


An aside on backpacks: I've known some kids to show up at campouts with their gear in black plastic trash bags because they didn't own a real daypack, or their parents didn't want them to take their only one out into the woods because they can't afford to replace it. If you run into that situation, hit the local thrift store. The ones in my area all have used daypacks of all sizes for a couple bucks each.


Also, emphasize (especially to parents) the importance of packing clothing in sealed plastic bags inside the pack. Scouts have an automatic rain-attractor built into them - it's true! - so at some point on the campout or hike, their stuff will get wet. Guaranteed.


You can demonstrate this very effectively by having two daypacks set up, one with sealed clothes (and other stuff), one with everything just dumped in the pack. Take a garden hose and spray the packs down - then unpack. "Which clothes would you rather wear?"(This message has been edited by shortridge)

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The starting point should always be to refer to what is in the Webelos Handbook. If you are a den leader, fork out the $9 and get one for yourself. I'm actually having the boys establish the schedule they want for when we work on the activity badges, so long as it works overall for what we want to accomplish. Part of that is the expectation that they have read the chapter just prior to us starting the material. The chapters are very short and easy, but shouldn't we be increasing the responsibilities as they move to Webelos? I'm going to expect them to come prepared.


So, since they should already know what is in the book, the challenge is to give them the material in a different way, or with something extra, or in an activity. My Bear den transitions to Webelos in a few weeks, and as Webelos we will be doing more outings and activities. At tonight's den meeting I started out with a table full of very useful hiking, backpacking, and camping things. The challenge was for them to work together to pick out the ten essentials that they really needed to have with them when we go out for a hike or outing. It was interesting to see what they picked out. Then we went right the the Webelos handbook (and a number of other sources for the ten essentials, like the American Hiker, etc.) to pick out what they really need, talking about each one. They are to start preparing their kits so they have them as we start activities.


The Fieldbook and other sources can be used as additional information and to make it more interesting.

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