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LauraT7

Campouts, 1 nite or 2?

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Our troop has a habit /tradition of one night campouts. we usually leave very early Sat ( 7 or 8 am) and are back Sun around 11 - 1.

Often the boys bring a sack lunch, esp if it is a hike or bike trip. Our campouts are very activity oriented - for example - Bike all day, set camp, eat, campfire, sleep - breakfast, break camp and go home.

 

It IS difficult, at best, to get the adults home from work, get the stuff packed up and ready on the bus and out in time to set up camp on a friday, make or eat dinner, etc before dark. We live in a bedroom community of a large city, where the ave commute is 45 min or more, and I'd guess most of our parents /leaders don't get home until 6 or later.

 

But I also feel we are shorting our boys - esp to get in that "10 nights of camping" requirement, and that we seldom have an oppportunity to cook lunches.

 

Our boys are surprizingly resistant to change this, too - one of those "we've ALWAYS done it this way" things (Man, I HATE that rut!)

 

How do your troops manage 2 night campouts on school weekends? Do you pack up the equipment the meeting / night before? or do you do 1 nighters, like us? if so - do you do 2 nighters in the summer? (no homework)

 

How do you get leaders off early enough to get the troop out of town? do some leaders join you later?

How do you make it work?

 

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We just leave around 6:00-6:30 on Friday night. Everyone is able to get there on time as most adults leave work around 4:30. As long as they have things packed ahead of time, they should be fine.

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Our troop normally does two nights, we usually leave from the CO (a church) at 6:30-7:00. We have driven 2-3 hours at times, and then we set up camp. The kids have gotten setting camp up in the dark down pretty well. Some parents have quesitoned if the lateness doesnt tire the kids out, well, they are up till midnight (or longer talking in their tents) no matter when we get there.

 

Getting up at 7 to start the day is a whole lot better than starting out for the trip (my opinion)

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Two nights - we leave at 6:30 with the stipulation that everyone eat before they get to the church. Wev'e found that this gives us a full day of activities on Saturday.

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We always go for 2 nights, and when we can take advantage of a long weekend, we go three nights. Attendees are expected to be packed ahead of time (our youngest boys get their packs inspected at the meeting before the campout for the first 2 or 3 times). That makes getting to our departure point a matter of changing into uniform (Scouts and adults), picking up your pack, and going. Lot's of McDonalds being wolfed down in the parking lot before everyone gets there. and we do a light snack requiring little or no prep once camp is set up (hard pretzels, to dutch oven cobbler). We leave between 6:00 and 6:30 usually, unless we are traveling more than an hour or so. Then we ask people to be ready to go by 5:30, but that's rare.

We run in cycles: When new quartermasters are appointed, it's the scouts causing us to leave late if we do. Once the quartermaster is comfortable with his job, if we are late, it's one of the adults who holds us up.

 

To do 2 night camping, it takes some effort by all involved. but I'm with the group that think it's worth the effort to get camp set up Friday so Saturday can be devoted to activities.

 

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Our troop does 2 night camping. We, also, are in a large metro area. We meet at 5:00 on Friday, load the cars and go. The patrol gear is checked on the meeting before the campout and the trailer is loaded. We stop to eat on the way to the campout. General drive time ( excluding dinner ) is usually 1.5 hours.

 

The troop lanterns are packed last, and lit as soon as arriving. Many of the scouts / leaders also have headgear-type flashlights. There is usually one adult / parent that will need to drive up on Saturday morning, due to football games, etc.

 

We ususally have a Sunday morning activity as well, and stop for lunch on the way back. We generally get back about 1:30 to 2:00.

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We have a different time pressure on campouts, in that we have a lot of leaders who have church commitments on Sunday morning. As a consequence, we usually leave at 5:00 or 5:30 on a Friday and get back Saturday evening. We do have exceptions when we have a two hour or more drive; in these situations (2 or 3 times a year), we will come back on Sunday after lunch.

 

LauraT7, you say you are shorting your boys in the 10 nights of camping requirement. Does this mean you don't go on a weekend campout every month, or go on a long term campout (summer camp, etc.)?

 

Also, remember it's the boys' program, and it's a democracy where consensual decisions are arrived through persuasion. If you see advantages to the boys in changing, talk to the boys and explain how and why it is good for them. If they change, great! If they don't, well, it may be a bad decision but it's theirs. They learn from the consequences of their decisions, both good and bad. Also realize that if the current PLC is unwilling, but the most of the troop wants to change, the boys can and will elect different leaders.

 

Beyond this, it becomes management by adult fiat. Boys will quickly lose interest if they lose ownership of their troop and program.

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We do 2 nights. We leave between 6:30 & 7 PM Friday and return around noon Sunday.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Most of our weekend campouts are one night affairs. Leaving on Friday evening is advisable if the trailhead or location of the activity is some distance away. It is also a good idea if the activity is at a significantly higher elevation. This gives bodies a few more hours to adjust to the elevation. Given the involvement of so many of our boys in sports, pushing Friday departures would seriously cut into partcipation.

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We camp every month. That's the boys' favorite part of the program, and we won't short them on that. Until this year, we have always done 2-nighters for our typical monthly campouts (other than High Adventure and Summer Camp). We meet at the church at 5:00pm on Friday and leave from there, returning Sunday by about noon. Dinner Friday is bring-your-own, the other 4 meals are planned at the Patrol level.

 

This year, we have decided to change two of our three winter campouts to 1-nighters, to allow us to set up camp on Saturday morning, in the daylight, rather than in the dark of night. It should also be much easier to keep 40+ boys (and accompanying adults) warm and dry on a single night.

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Compass -

 

It isn't that the boys' decided it - it's just a habit that they have kept up. We have just started with "boy lead" programming after many years of dictatorship. It's hard for even the boys to realize what this means after many, many years of being a "boys club" run by a few "big boys" and not a true BSA troop.

 

Even the boys resist change, when they have been with the troop for 3 or 4 years and have ALWAYS done things a certain way.

 

We are not shorting the boys their ten nights, we DO go to camp - in fact last year we went to TWO camps, and a few of the boys attended both! But one night campouts do make it difficult if other activities sometime prevent you from attending every campout - see what I mean? We try for 1 campout a month, but it doesn't always work out that way. poor planning and short notice mean trips don't always pan out. Again - it's something we are working on.

 

We had a couple of boys last year who were ready for first class - except for that 10 night bit - they missed a few campouts. If we HAD done a few 2 nighters - they would have had their first class a few months earlier.

 

Plus, I agree with some of the others, that if we were ALREADY THERE on Sat AM, we'd get to do alot more stuff.

 

Esp on District camporees, where we have missed openings and information by coming in on the day of the activities, or where we waste half the morning setting up camp instead of DOING.

 

We also tend to cut down on meals prepared by doing one nighters, which the boys need for advancements. Breakfast, LUNCH and dinner. with one nighters, they usually only cook Sat dinner and Sunday breakfast.

 

 

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All of the troops campouts are 2 niters, we leave at 7:00 pm Friday night, a few of us "ASM" can just make this if we leave a little early fom work, after camp is set up the patrols have cracker barrel, summer sausage, cheese, crackers, trail mix, etc. Cracker barrel has been as early as 8 and as late as 12 depending on drive time and how long it takes to get set up. We return at 11 or later if we are more than 2 hours away. I am trying to sway the troop to return later, after lunch, Morning is a quick breakfast pack up, police area, a quick service, and leave, no cooking just bagels, donuts, or coffee cake.

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Strange thing is that I never ever thought of a one night campout !!

Think it would be too much like hard work.

When I had a Troop the Patrol Leaders Council, must have been as unaware as myself. It never ever crossed our minds.

The Troop my son is in does have Day outings or a day when they practice some skill.(Mainly cooking, as they love to eat ) But all camp outs start on Friday night and normally end after a light breakfast on Sunday. We parents are requested to pick up our beloved offspring at 8:30AM,in order that everyone can get to church.

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