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MattR

Removing summer camp focus from merit badges

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Yeah, well, pluses and minuses to everything I suppose. Are you in an area where you can take advantage of outside outfitters for HA experiences? What sort of resources are available to exploit?

 

I think the chances of being everything to everybody is probably slim and likely to result in only mediocre program for everybody. Our council camp is adamantly campsite cooking. There are troops who attend because of that and those that refuse to attend because of it. That's the way it is. If your camp focuses on high adventure to much you'll lose scouts wanting to work on advancement. If your camp focuses on advancement too much you'll lose scouts that want a HA program. Finding a balance results in people complaining camp was too vanilla or too hard or too easy or whatever. I guess the question is what does your summer camp want to be known for?

 

I do like the levels of skill idea. It's similar to what was done at Jambo in the adventure areas.

 

 

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Our council as a big camp at over 5k acres, but the older scouts were getting tired of it and by older I mean 14. The heat the past two summer didn't help. This year we went out of council to a another much smaller dining hall option camp, but was not enough to attract the older scouts. I like the option of going to a different camp each year to keep it fresh even if it means some travel. I don't understand all the details but apparently the OA is requiring us to come back to council camp next year. So looks like we are limited to every other year. They may have valid reasons for their policy, just don't know what they are. Does OA limit anyone else's options ?

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Our council as a big camp at over 5k acres, but the older scouts were getting tired of it and by older I mean 14. The heat the past two summer didn't help. This year we went out of council to a another much smaller dining hall option camp, but was not enough to attract the older scouts. I like the option of going to a different camp each year to keep it fresh even if it means some travel. I don't understand all the details but apparently the OA is requiring us to come back to council camp next year. So looks like we are limited to every other year. They may have valid reasons for their policy, just don't know what they are. Does OA limit anyone else's options ?
Are you sure? How can the OA "require" your troop to do anything? Your unit is free to attend any camp they want. And I mean ANY.

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Our council as a big camp at over 5k acres, but the older scouts were getting tired of it and by older I mean 14. The heat the past two summer didn't help. This year we went out of council to a another much smaller dining hall option camp, but was not enough to attract the older scouts. I like the option of going to a different camp each year to keep it fresh even if it means some travel. I don't understand all the details but apparently the OA is requiring us to come back to council camp next year. So looks like we are limited to every other year. They may have valid reasons for their policy, just don't know what they are. Does OA limit anyone else's options ?
KDD: We were also planning on going out of Council next year. The boys voted in June to go to Camp Pioneer (Cascade Pacific Council) but at our August Committee Meeting we were informed that we had to be in council next year. Is this some new requirement? Since council has two camps we are supposed to go out of council no more than once every 3 years. Seems to undermine the "boy lead" aspect of the program to me . . .

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If I had the opportunity I would change the focus from merit badges to high adventure. Setup a rappelling/climbing area(a real cliff if one is available), a waterfront with small boat sailing, use one of the days to go on a whitewater rafting trip(when I say whitewater, I mean Class IV rapids, where it's necessary to have a guide in the raft with you), possibly setup a ropes course(or take a day trip to a ropes course), ziplines, or even go caving. That pretty much covers the best high adventure activities, BTW I have done all those except for caving.
qwazse: 'Top Shot' fan?

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I'm for keeping the merit badge focus; high adventure can happen the other 11 months of the year. We've taken the boys Kayaking and white water rafting; gone caving; taken week long backpacking trips; gone to ropes courses and used zip lines; all outside of the summer camp experience. We tell our boys that camp is for merit badges, the rest of the year is for fun!

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Our council as a big camp at over 5k acres, but the older scouts were getting tired of it and by older I mean 14. The heat the past two summer didn't help. This year we went out of council to a another much smaller dining hall option camp, but was not enough to attract the older scouts. I like the option of going to a different camp each year to keep it fresh even if it means some travel. I don't understand all the details but apparently the OA is requiring us to come back to council camp next year. So looks like we are limited to every other year. They may have valid reasons for their policy, just don't know what they are. Does OA limit anyone else's options ?
I did not see the paperwork but my CC said she had to sign a document stating we would be in council next year. Maybe they can't require us to stay in council, but maybe they can not allow any elections if we do leave council. I will poke around and see what I find out, I am not in OA so it is all still "mysterious" to me.

 

We have two camps also, but one is only half the size without a lake so it is only used for weekend outings, cubs and STEM camps, training etc. Our big camp runs at least two parallel BS summer programs so technically you can be at a different "camp", it also has a separate Venturing/Explorer Base. I believe OA Is just requiring (encouraging) us to stay in council every other year.

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Our council as a big camp at over 5k acres, but the older scouts were getting tired of it and by older I mean 14. The heat the past two summer didn't help. This year we went out of council to a another much smaller dining hall option camp, but was not enough to attract the older scouts. I like the option of going to a different camp each year to keep it fresh even if it means some travel. I don't understand all the details but apparently the OA is requiring us to come back to council camp next year. So looks like we are limited to every other year. They may have valid reasons for their policy, just don't know what they are. Does OA limit anyone else's options ?
There's a difference between requiring and encouraging. From what I understand, you're saying the OA will not hold elections in your troop unless you agree to their "requirement" of attending the council camp. That is WRONG!! Your CC should never sign any agreement like that! Have your COR contact the Scout Executive in your council ASAP. This is NOT kosher. The OA is there to support your troop program, not to run it.

 

Khaliela: No, you can go to any camp you want, or hold your own camp. I can't see how you can be "required" to attend your council camp. Money talks.

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I'm for keeping the merit badge focus; high adventure can happen the other 11 months of the year. We've taken the boys Kayaking and white water rafting; gone caving; taken week long backpacking trips; gone to ropes courses and used zip lines; all outside of the summer camp experience. We tell our boys that camp is for merit badges, the rest of the year is for fun!
Now there's a PR nightmare.... The only time you don't have fun is summer camp??? :)

 

Stosh

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Ok I admit I think some MBs do have a place at summer camp: canoeing, rifle, shotgun, climbing, you know the OUTDOOR oriented ones. Closest I can see to "paper pushing" ones is Environmental Science and possibly, stressing POSSIBLY, Journalism and Cinematography. ES has a large paper pushing component IMHO. One camp I worked at did Journalism in which the folks went out did interviews, reports, etc and published a camp newspaper. It was awesome. As for Cinematography,. again they had the scouts doing actual shows for the last campfire and for camp promos.

 

I do think they need to limit the number you can take. I also think they need to provide opportunities for "free swim," "Free Shooting," "free leatherwork" etc.

 

Don't remember camp games at the 2nd to last camp I worked at, (my boss, who never worked summer camp before in her life, had me working during the campwide games at the last camp I worked at despite me not only telling her that we would have no business in the trading post, but also showing her the sales log showing no business) But those competitions and games were someof the best memories I had. Staff manhunt, raft races, greased watermellon, those were some of the best memories..

 

FYI, 13 years old for COPE is a national standard, can't get around it.

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I'm for keeping the merit badge focus; high adventure can happen the other 11 months of the year. We've taken the boys Kayaking and white water rafting; gone caving; taken week long backpacking trips; gone to ropes courses and used zip lines; all outside of the summer camp experience. We tell our boys that camp is for merit badges, the rest of the year is for fun!
Different troops have different visions for their summer camp. Ours is to return to the exact same spot year after year!

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See, now why doesn't scouting do cool stuff like JoeBob's HA Level system? This is the kind of thing scouts want to do! I would love to see some handguns. As far as shooting sports goes I probably do a lot more than the average scout. I have a homemade slingshot(I haven't shot it in a long time though), a 50lb Ben Pearson Recurve Bow(which I am fairly accurate with), and a bolt action 20 gauge shotgun(my grandfather gave it to me a couple weeks ago, haven't gotten a chance to shoot it yet). Although, with all these weapons and experience I still don't have any shooting sport merit badges.
I can see BSA not being cool with pistols in young hands. The shortness of the weapon makes muzzle control/sweeps more of an issue that with a long gun.

 

But I don't think that G2SS precludes a boy handling an empty Colt single action, learning its functions, and firing five rounds downrange under close individual supervision.

Firing blackpowder on a still humid morning leaves enough smoke hanging in the air that you have to pause between shots to see the targets again. How did the cowboy gunfighters ever hit anything with their second shots?

If you want to get them really 'fired up' about the darkside, invite them to witness the ten foot gouts of flame bursting out the barrel that you only see at night.

(Not suggesting that you let the boys shoot at night...)

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See, now why doesn't scouting do cool stuff like JoeBob's HA Level system? This is the kind of thing scouts want to do! I would love to see some handguns. As far as shooting sports goes I probably do a lot more than the average scout. I have a homemade slingshot(I haven't shot it in a long time though), a 50lb Ben Pearson Recurve Bow(which I am fairly accurate with), and a bolt action 20 gauge shotgun(my grandfather gave it to me a couple weeks ago, haven't gotten a chance to shoot it yet). Although, with all these weapons and experience I still don't have any shooting sport merit badges.
We had a blackpowder rifle class at this years summer camp. They had a small demonstration during flag one morning, they were dressed up in authentic clothes and everything.

"I can see BSA not being cool with pistols in young hands. The shortness of the weapon makes muzzle control/sweeps more of an issue that with a long gun."

Then put an age limit on it, 15 years old sounds about right. That's why Venturing has a handgun program, minimum age is 14.

"Firing blackpowder on a still humid morning leaves enough smoke hanging in the air that you have to pause between shots to see the targets again. How did the cowboy gunfighters ever hit anything with their second shots?" They didn't.

"(Not suggesting that you let the boys shoot at night...)"

Of course not.

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Our boys really enjoyed the week-long camp-wide game. They received "gold" coins for all the activities they attended. My boys were the only out-of-council troop that week. The other boys used their coins up by purchasing "weapons" and "mercenaries" and went to "war" against each other. My boys were never attacked, no intra-council rivalries. Well, eventually all the troops had whittled themselves down to one last troop standing. Thinking they were the last man standing they had forgotten our boys, who still were sitting on a pile of coins. They "bought" up the whole rest of the camp as mercenaries and went after that last troop. They never saw it coming and every other troop in camp was looking for revenge. :)

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I'm for keeping the merit badge focus; high adventure can happen the other 11 months of the year. We've taken the boys Kayaking and white water rafting; gone caving; taken week long backpacking trips; gone to ropes courses and used zip lines; all outside of the summer camp experience. We tell our boys that camp is for merit badges, the rest of the year is for fun!
As well as it should be.

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