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Camping, How Often?

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I am new to Scouting, my wife grew up in it, and I had never heard of it growing up. She more or less told me when our first son was born that he would be in Scouting, and I would be a leader. Well, 7 years later, and we are in.


Our Pack is dying, we joined before realizing that. And immediatly after stepping up as Tiger Den Leader last Sept I went through Wood Badge. I am now the Cubmaster.


Trying to create our Pack Schedule for next year and I was suprised to get a ton of pushback from other leaders over wanting to go camping more then twice. I wanted to plan a Pack Campout every quarter so that families who missed one could still go. Other leaders told me this was against Council policy.


My DE said he had never heard of such a restriction and as long as I filled out the Tour Permit and it was approved we would be ok. Other leaders in our Pack don't think so.


Many of the people I talk to in our Council just think that this is the norm everywhere. However, I work with some guys in another council; and they don't have this restriction. I am thinking about rocking the boat and seeing what it would take to get our Council to reconsider and lift the restriction. Are any other Councils out there restricting their Cub Scouts to two Pack camp outs per year? Is this really normal?


BTW, here is a link to Longhorn Council's site that shows the restriction:



I just wanted to get some feedback before I started something.

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So it may be that the other leaders are not really against camping more often, but that they are just following the rules?


And let me say: I think the 2 times a year cap is a load of crap[!


But realistically, I do know that in alot of cases, if you can actually get a family to camp more than 2 times a year..you are 1 step away from walking on water!

Alot of families are just topped out after camping twice as apack , then camping at least 2 more times at Parent/son and Resident camps. THis isn't even counting camporees or Tiger days, or other events. Then add in family vacations, weekend trips, holiday visits ( Tanksgiving and Christmas).


How about school or rec league activities? Basketball? Soccer? Baseball?


And even the non scout family members can affect things: Daughter at ballet or gymnastics? How about piano, cheerleading, or Softball?


So here's the thing to do:


Go camping outside of te pack. If you and a few other families go camping as just a bunch of families that happen to be friends..the council can do nothing about it. You may be a scouter 24/7, but a leader does clock in and clock out.


Matter of fact, I am friends with afew of my leaders and parents. I was friends with them before my son or myself were involved with scouting. We;d go eat out together, go bowling, four wheeling sometimes, fishing, etc......


Camping is not a scouting exclusive event.


Just do not make the camping around scout advancement. But...some stuff you dfo can count towards advancement such as if your Webelos age son prepares a meal or cleans up after the meal. Maybe he build a fire lay.


Maybe your Bear age son gets in some practice time with a pocket knife under your supervision.


Maybe the boys find things to add to their collection while they happen to be camping.

These things can be counted towards their scouting, but are not limited to only happening while at an official scouting activity.

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Very well written policy. Interesting though as during our BALOO training we were taught that we should plan a pack fall, winter and spring camp out. Summer is for council camps. And our pack does that, we offer free fall, winter and spring camps for our cubs. The summer council camps are pricey. So it's nice to offer the alternatives.


It would be intersting to understand why the limit.(This message has been edited by fred8033)

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I never heard of a limit, but at a pack level, going camping twice a year is just about all anyone can hope for. I think if you can achieve a fair level of participation twice a year you are doing something right.





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fred, how do you handle winter camping? I live in the South, but even here it gets easily below 40 degrees at night in Jan and Feb. Most of the families I know (me included) are not prepared or willing to spend the kind of money it takes to get equipment needed for those kinds of temps.

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Our pack, which my son just crossed out of, did 3 campouts a year, all highly attended. We did 1 in October, 1 in December, and 1 in April.


We're in South Carolina, but our Dec campouts have been known to get a little chilly. Our first Dec campout with our Pack got down to 28 degrees, but we always told parents to NOT use the cheap sleeping bags. Never had any complaints or problems.


I can't imagine a council restricting the number of campouts that Cub Scouts take. That's ridiculous.

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Winter camping in Nc isn't so bad..depending on your location. Dcember and January are really not that bad.


Especially this year!


February we camped out and it was a high of 67 and we woke up the next morning and it was 27 degrees . WEll, it was 27 degrees by the time we got the DL's phone to take a charge. By that time, it was almost 7:30 am. So it was probably 25 degrees at 5:45 am.


So, I have a 20 degree Coleman sleeping bag. Sleeping in a pair of compression pants and a tek shirt was enough to kep me completely toasty. My son slept in his 20 degree bag with regular pajamas and was fine too.

Biggest thing you hate is having to get out of your tent to pee in the midle of the night when that cold! :)


So, anyways, the Webelos den went camping and only 1 scout complained: A Webelos younger brother who slept in a " Bob the Bulder" sleeping bag ( which is about as much a sleeping bag as two layers of nylon with a papertowel sewn in between them) got cold.


My 20 degree Coleman sleeping bag came from Wal-Mart for a $35.00 My tent is a 3 season tent, but with a $12.00 tarp/ rain fly, it can keep out wind and rain as good as any other high $$$$ tent.




Anyways, my poinyt was this: You can camp in winter without spending alot of money to kep warm and dry. Winter in most places is not like Mt Everest.


But summer? In the humidity capitol of the East Coast( NC ) ? Now that's a diferent story. YOu can dress warm when it is cold, but when it's hot, you can only take so much off before you violate YPT! :)


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Personally I think the 2 campouts /year is HORSE HOCKEY!


But if you include the other council camps into the schedule, you may have something.


Curious to know who is on your council camping committee, as I bet you have none with recent CS expereince on it with those rules. I know we have folks on ours who say "Cubs don't need to camp." And yes that is an actual quote that I personally heard form one member.


I know I actually lost a family b/c they said we didn't camp enough.


Now I do have a legitimate way to put the 'OUTING IN SCOUTING:" HIKING! I'd look at all the local parks and see which ones have trails and facilities that families may be interested in using. Make day trips out of it.

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Thanks for the replies.


My intention for planning a campout every quarter is not to try and get everyone camping 4 times a year, but to give people four chances. Most of our cubs are in Soccer or Baseball, or both, so trying to schedule a campout that everyone can go to is next to impossible.


it is good to hear that this is a crazy policy. I will be contacting the council to find out what it will take to change it.



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More camping tends to be a good indicator of an excellent program.


Cannibalizing your program by offering more than families want to do just invites poor attendance.


As a Scoutmaster, I started by scheduling two outings per month, but most boys and families weren't interested in doing that much so they just chose the one they were most interested in. Often that meant poor attendance at both.


A noble effort and plan! Experience will tell you how that idea works in practice.

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It is hard to get parents to sign on to camping even once a year in my experience.


I have been in my current pack for about 4 years now, since my older son was a bear and my younger son was a tiger. Younger is a Webelos. I am the cubmaster.


In that 4 years, I can't recall our pack having ever camped. when I took over as cub master I asked about it, and they said "we just aren't a camping pack" ok well I want to change that.


I asked around and had a couple parents take baloo training. I even went and retook it. everybody is all gung ho and want to plan a trip and really excited and kids are looking forward to it, then nothing. nobody can go or a bunch of other excuses.


Our CC is a former eagle and grew up in the council directly south of us. he booked us a camp spot at a Boy Scout camp (with in our council bounderies, but technically belongs to the council to the south of us, Tour Permit?) for next weekend. out of the 30 or 35 scouts in the pack, I think 4 or 5 are going. Mostly Webelos, and one tiger, who happens to be my nephew.


Parents didn't even have to do anything. pack payed for the site, just show up and camp.(This message has been edited by beardad)(This message has been edited by beardad)

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