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MattR

Removing summer camp focus from merit badges

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When I was a scout "75-79" merit badge and skill award classes were in the morning slots only. Afternoon and evenings were open camp, or time to work on your badges on your own. We were encouraged to visit every area in camp and at least try every area. Water front, pool, scoutcraft, handycraft, shooting sports, and Eco-con. By doing this we had more chances to try new things, and perhaps taking badges in those area's in the future. If not, just have a more enjoyable camp with doing the fun things you liked.
How many morning slots are there?

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Our Council's camp in Gilmanton, NH is broken up into two parts, Hidden Valley and Camp Bell. HV is a traditional MB scout camp with the classes in the morning troop activities in the afternoon and we eat in the dining hall.

 

Camp Bell is a patrol camp with the scouts having to pick up their food and cook it at their site. The camp provides all the necessary kitchen equipment a standard menu is provided and they get a cookbook also. Only three problems occurred when we go and they are 1) The scouts trying to agree on how something is to be prepared, such as French toast or scrambled eggs and toast. 2) The 15 year old scout who's mom does everything for him and doesn't know how to even peal a vegetable. 3) I have to eat whatever they make because at Bell the scouts cook breakfast and dinner for the leaders. The leaders get together for lunch with the camp director and we cook our lunch.

 

At a pre-camp meeting the patrol leaders select what they want to do for the whole day. Say they choose waterfront for Tuesday then they spend the whole day at the waterfront

 

Our troop alternates camps each year. Some troops do both each year.

I'd be interested in what the patrol activities are.

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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.
Is a Colt single action a pistol? Yes. Boy Scouts are not allowed to shoot it. http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/OutdoorProgram/ShootingSports.aspx

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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!
KDD: My kid struggled through the Citizenships too.

 

I find that most kids who do not fill out their day with MB's at camp end up getting board and a board scout is trouble waiting to happen. Besides I think most boys would rather have to work their butts off for one week than to have the merit badges follow them around the rest of the year. Granted, I come from a highly motivated troop with a bunch of intellectual kids who enjoyed pestering each other about their HW while sitting around the picnic table at camp with the lantern burning.

 

Both my boys earned 5 MB at camp their first year, and under my leadership at camp we had one lad earn 7. That's why I oppose limits on MB's at camp. If you have a gung ho lad--give him room to excel. Life gets crazy with academic pursuits, athletic pursuits; philanthropic causes; career decisions; internships; religious requirements, etcetera ad nauseaum. Let them get the MB's done at camp--saves head-ache trying to fit them in elsewhere.

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Our Council's camp in Gilmanton, NH is broken up into two parts, Hidden Valley and Camp Bell. HV is a traditional MB scout camp with the classes in the morning troop activities in the afternoon and we eat in the dining hall.

 

Camp Bell is a patrol camp with the scouts having to pick up their food and cook it at their site. The camp provides all the necessary kitchen equipment a standard menu is provided and they get a cookbook also. Only three problems occurred when we go and they are 1) The scouts trying to agree on how something is to be prepared, such as French toast or scrambled eggs and toast. 2) The 15 year old scout who's mom does everything for him and doesn't know how to even peal a vegetable. 3) I have to eat whatever they make because at Bell the scouts cook breakfast and dinner for the leaders. The leaders get together for lunch with the camp director and we cook our lunch.

 

At a pre-camp meeting the patrol leaders select what they want to do for the whole day. Say they choose waterfront for Tuesday then they spend the whole day at the waterfront

 

Our troop alternates camps each year. Some troops do both each year.

It's long but here it is

 

Base Camp

 

The launching point for your next Scouting adventure! Base Camp, at the center of Camp Bell, is where you'll get to meet Scouts from other troops, brush up on your Scouting skills, and take on challenges that will put your skills to the test.

 

 

 

"LAUNCH!" First Year Camper Program

 

Scouts will learn the fundamentals of Scouting, including Patrol Method, Scouting ideals, and all the basic outdoor skills. A great way to complete most advancement requirements from Tenderfoot through First Class.

 

 

 

Wilderness Engineering

 

Pioneering like you've never seen it before! Learn advanced techniques and construct the most impressive project you can imagine.

 

 

 

Wilderness First Aid

 

Learn how to help when something goes wrong in the woods. Work on First Aid Merit Badge or go above and beyond to develop techniques that can make all the difference when help is hours away and there's no easy way out!

 

 

 

Leave-No-Trace Trekking

 

A two-day program with an overnight outpost, you'll learn how to travel responsibly in the backcountry and explore the far-reaches of the reservation. You can even complete requirements for Camping or Environmental Science merit badges or work on the Leave No-Trace Award.

 

 

 

 

 

Search and Rescue

 

Learn the basics of how to help when someone gets into trouble in the wilderness and practice all the skills you need to get everyone out safely!

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Challenge Valley

 

"Physically fit and mentally awake" - that's what Challenge Valley is all about. Your patrol must work together to get the most out of your outings and to have the most fun. You will need extra clothes and sneakers - that you don't ever want to see again - to take on the extreme obstacle course.

 

 

 

Ultimate Patrol Challenge

 

A real "Adventure Race"! Use GPS to get from one obstacle to another and tackle mental and physical challenges with your patrol.

 

 

 

Extreme Obstacle Course

 

The Obstacle Course is intimidating to even the most fit Scouts in your patrol. Scouts will stretch their abilities and their perceived boundaries as they struggle through this grueling course. They'll climb, run, crawl, sprint, and swing through the muck. They'll need to bring some old clothes and shoes to participate in these events!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Climbing

 

 

 

To set a goal and overcome obstacles experienced on the way to achieving that goal is one of the most amazing things – and it happens all the time in Scouting! In happens every minute of every day in Camp Bell’s extreme Climbing program! Where you consider yourself a ‘rock monkey’ or as someone who has never even considered confronting a destination higher than six feet in the air, the indoor climbing barn offers challenges of all levels for climbers of all experiences. All you need is the will to do it and the support of your Patrol. Once you have mastered the interior walls, head to the wall made of granite in the GSR backcountry. Or, head straight up into the ropes, towers, trapezes and zip lines of the COPE course. Any way you choose to get there, you will love the view from the top!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Equestrian

 

Cowboys of the Wild West were some of the original American heroes. Come to the stables of Camp Bell to become acquainted with some of the skills which made these Cowboys great! A mastery of horsemanship and cattle driving skills which are unmatched today were essential skills for life in the western terrirtories of the 1800s. This experience will challenge Patrols and excite the imagination with the lore of the Wild West. The Camp Bell stables feature twelve well-trained trail riding horses and two dynamic and fun Staff members. When you come to the stables, you will see what caring for horses is all about, and you will see why they make such great companions. Chances are, you will make some new four-legged friends before long!

 

 

 

 

 

Foxfire

 

The rural towns of the Appalachian mountains are home to rustic, self-reliant communities and hard working men and women. Through the early 19th and 20th centuries, these small-town folks cultivated the skills they needed to survive; from metalworking to lamp-making to storytelling. A few decades ago, a group of journalists from a small school began to chronicle these dying arts in the Foxfire book series and created a set of a dozen books loaded with interviews, instructions and stories. At Camp Bell, Foxfire is our metalworking shop. At the Foxfire area, you will hear real folk tales of the American past and learn how to bend raw metal into something useful. The experiences you will take from Foxfire are the legacy of the days of America’s past.

 

 

 

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Logging Camp

 

BACKWOODS WOODCRAFT

 

Experience the challenge of yesteryear! Scouts will meet our Logging Camp foreman and after receiving the camp training course on woods tools they will be given a series of projects to complete. These projects will vary based on the skill and age of the Patrol. Some include:

 

? Make a mallet

 

? Build a rustic bench

 

? Carve a knife, fork and spoon from a branch

 

? Create a three-legged stool

 

? Craft a rocking chair

 

Totin’ Chip is quite necessary for work in these parts. But, we can teach it to you if you have forgotten or are starting out new. Woodwork is a Merit Badge the most daring can participate in, if desired. Or, just enjoy the day working with the tools!

 

 

 

EXTREME LUMBERJACK

 

Prove your manly strength as one of the roughest and toughest of characters to wield an ax or a two-man saw! Refresh your skills with woods tools while earning the Totin’ Chip Award and possibly even the Paul Bunyan Woodsman Award for extremely motivated Patrols. Forestry Merit Badge can play a part in this adventure if you want to learn about the types of trees which are best for this kind of work! Together, as a Patrol, you will fell a tree and finish the lumber for a specific task in the campground. Then, you will certainly get into the Lumberjack spirit with some timber sports which include the springboard, speed crosscut and lighting a match with an ax! Leaving the Logging Camp feeling quite accomplished as you journey down the road to Four Corners and back into Main Camp!

 

 

 

 

 

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Mountain Man

 

Understand how the Mountain Man lived by spending a whole day living and working alongside our very own Mountain Man deep in the woods. While there, he will teach you to hunt, trap and shoot as the real trappers and fur traders did over a century-and-a-half ago. Scouts will try their hand at shooting the black powder musket, throwing tomahawks and hunting along the action archery course. Each Patrol will cook a delicious stew for lunch and lean into one great story after another of the Mountain Man’s adventures down through the ages.

 

Special Patrol Challenges:

• "Man vs. Wild" Wilderness Survival challenge

• "Buckskin Rendezvous" Leatherworking

• "Lewis and Clark Expedition" overnight exploration

 

 

 

Native American

 

To fairly understand our place on this continent, we must explore and understand those who have come before us and who still reside among us. The deep lines of heritage are unshakable and provide great lessons in loyalty for us all. Whether through attire or behavior, the Natives have given us a rich history of celebration and sacrifice which denote much compassion and eagerness to live well and as one. Indian Lore Merit Badge will provide a framework to understand and enter into the livelihood of these true Americans in a most unique and fulfilling way.

 

Activity options include:

• Native Games

• Dance competition

• Nature and Weather: "One with the Earth"

 

 

 

 

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Aquatics

 

 

 

The aquatic program at Camp Bell takes place on beautiful Manning Lake. Each member of the patrol will take his swim check at the beginning of the program day. Morning water sport games help the staff evaluate each patrol member's competence in the water. The activity chosen by the patrol may not be appropriate for all its members, however, each boy will have an opportunity to accomplish a goal of his own and participate in the patrol activity chosen. Camp Bell has terrific sailboats, motorboats, kayaks, and water-skiing.

 

 

 

Sailing

 

Take one of the two patrol-sized, Hunter 170 sailboats for a majestic ride around Manning Lake. Become masters of the high seas and let the wind take you away.

 

 

 

Swimming and Lifesaving

 

Based on the skill of the members of the patrol, these patrol activities will be combined to provide a complex challenge to all the boys in the patrol. A patrol made of learners through advanced swimmers will spend the day practicing strokes and rescue techniques. Each Scout in the patrol will be working toward individual goals while the whole patrol sharpens its skills in teamwork and aquatics. The final result will vary from Scout to Scout and patrol to patrol, but strong swimmers will have the chance to earn a merit badge or two while learners will strengthen their skills with the support of the patrol.

 

 

 

Kaykaing and Snorkeling

 

This is a patrol activity that includes snorkeling and kayaking. Scouts will set anchor in the middle of Manning Lake and then go snorkeling throughout the lake.

 

 

 

Water-skiing and Tubing

 

This patrol activity is fun for the whole patrol but provides a particular challenge for the older boys. The patrol will participate in great activities as part of their time in the boat and all swimmers will have a chance to water-ski.

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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.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Ridge_Mountains_Council

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Our Council has 1 Camp...60 Acres spread out in the Red River basin..Most Unusable because it is River Bed...Dining Hall is Located at Top of Camp ( Non-AC but working on it and Meals are Out Sourced)..a Raised Pool and Shower House..use to be flooded a lot..Someone finally coughed up enough money to raise it up high enough It does not flood anymore..A Pavilion with Adult Restrooms and Trading Post Elevated in case of Floods..Archery and BB Gun Range (very rarely Floods)..A Corral no Stables (Flood Area)..Medic Shake and Quartermaster Shack ( Now Staff Lodging).

 

We sold our Camp Horizons which had a Lake...years ago..

 

Due to Drought we had to cancel Aquatics because the state park we bused to for aquatic Merit Badges was to low to safely do anything

 

Honestly Camp Perkins is suited for Cubs and Webelos (but even they are bored after 2 days) and Day Events.

If we don't improve facilities I am afraid National will look at Shutting Us Down..and Frankly Most Troops and Crews go elsewhere anyways.

Shoot out of State Camps send us Flyers because they Know our Camp Sucks So Bad

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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.
99 - You're splitting hairs and ruining the fun.

 

BSA doesn't allow pistol training and independent firing (on a supervised range) for personnel under 14. True.

If you can show me where that means that a boy can't fire one or two rounds with an adult by their side (rear), I'll consider taking the activity off site.

 

How do you use pistol shooting to entice scouts to hang around past age 14, if their only frame of reference is xBox?

I'm glad you're not in my chain of command.

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Our Council has 1 Camp...60 Acres spread out in the Red River basin..Most Unusable because it is River Bed...Dining Hall is Located at Top of Camp ( Non-AC but working on it and Meals are Out Sourced)..a Raised Pool and Shower House..use to be flooded a lot..Someone finally coughed up enough money to raise it up high enough It does not flood anymore..A Pavilion with Adult Restrooms and Trading Post Elevated in case of Floods..Archery and BB Gun Range (very rarely Floods)..A Corral no Stables (Flood Area)..Medic Shake and Quartermaster Shack ( Now Staff Lodging).

 

We sold our Camp Horizons which had a Lake...years ago..

 

Due to Drought we had to cancel Aquatics because the state park we bused to for aquatic Merit Badges was to low to safely do anything

 

Honestly Camp Perkins is suited for Cubs and Webelos (but even they are bored after 2 days) and Day Events.

If we don't improve facilities I am afraid National will look at Shutting Us Down..and Frankly Most Troops and Crews go elsewhere anyways.

Shoot out of State Camps send us Flyers because they Know our Camp Sucks So Bad

Is 60 acres correct ? I'm sorry.

 

I am sure you have really nice camps closer than ours, but if you can handle the drive it does offer a lot. At 5,200 acres it is only half the size of Summit. Going this weekend for climbing training.

 

http://www.stlbsa.org/camping/properties/s-bar-f-scout-ranch/Pages/default.aspx

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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!
E92, I was commenting on Khaliela's statement: "We tell our boys that camp is for merit badges, the rest of the year is for fun!"

And I agree, the citizenship merit badges were by far the least enjoyable.

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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.
BSA doesn't allow pistol training and independent firing (on a supervised range) for personnel under 14. True.

False. Boy Scouts on Scout trips may not shoot pistols regardless of their age. Venturers and Sea Scouts may. That's not "splitting hairs" that's just the way it is.

 

If you can show me where that means that a boy can't fire one or two rounds with an adult by their side (rear), I'll consider taking the activity off site.

I've already done so; all BSA gun policies are in the Boy Scouts of America National Shooting Sports Manual I linked: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/Outdoor%20Program/pdf/30931_WB.pdf

If you didn't read it, there's reason #1 you shouldn't be in charge of a shooting program.

 

How do you use pistol shooting to entice scouts to hang around past age 14

You don't, because they're not allowed to use them. Every troop in the country engages boys without pistols, if yours can't you've got a "you problem.". BSA's experiment at Jambo doesn't give you license or freedom to repeat it where you please.

 

By the way, they can't shoot "high powered" rifles, either.

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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.
Blue Ridge's HA programs are awesome, Powhatan base camp is terrible.

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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.
99: As much as I might like to disturb your weltanschung, it's not worth my time to quibble with you about dual registrations, etc.

 

Like I said, I'm glad you're not in my chain of command.

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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.
Weltanschauung: a comprehensive conception or apprehension of the world especially from a specific standpoint.

German, from Welt world + Anschauung view

First Known Use: 1868

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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.
Never really wanted to apprehend someone's worldview, not my job; just shake it up a little.

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