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high adventure troop requirements?

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We're planning on hiking Yellowstone in 2015. I want to make sure that any adult volunteers for the trip are fully trained and registered (obviously). I also wanted to set some training criteria for the boys (and adults) as well though. I have a couple firm criteria, must be 14 yrs old or older, must be an active fundraiser for the trip, must commit to the trip first meeting of 2014, everyone is responsible wholey for their own gear in their backpack, and must attend the training backpack trips.

 

We'll be backpacking approx 10 miles a day while in Yellowstone.... for 4 or 5 days. I want to make sur ethe boys and adults are ready for the trip. I'm thinking 2 progressively longer backpacking trips per month over the 9 months leading up to the trip. But, what if a boy misses a training trip? What if an adult misses a training trip? What other criteria should be put in place?

Obvious items such as backpacking gear, and knowledge how to use each piece of gear, packing lightly, etc etc should all fall into place during these training trips. We're a good backpacking troop as it stands now, but there is always room for improvement.

 

I guess I'm looking for help developing a program that will weed out those that aren't really ready for the trip. I'm also concerned about some of the adult volunteer's I've received. I know these adults aren't ready right now, but just want to go because it "sounds cool to do". I think some boys arent' ready too, so I want to make sure the boys are ready to make the commitment for this trip.

 

What kind of criteria do your troops have for a high adventure trip such as this? In a nutshell, we're backpacking in the back country of Yellowstone (yes I'm familiar with backpacking in bear country), we're looking at approx 10 miles per day, for up to 5 days.

I don't want to be too strict, but I want to make sure we're all ready and committed to this high adventure trip of a lifetime.

 

thanks all! I appreciate any thoughts on this.

Mike B

Scoutmaster T-31

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I'd make the first shakedown basic for gear, and the second shakedown hike an extended distance, say 15? 15 in one day will point out to the adults any weaknesses for 5 x 10.

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I edited... I meant to say 2 training trips per month leading up to it.... anyone thing that's too much? We'd have at least one outing per month anyway, but I'm thinking an extra backpacking trip for the boys and adults going to Yellowstone.... the younger scouts would be optional for these treks...

 

I also want to bestow upon some of the adults that have volunteered (read NOT currently scout leaders) that this is a serious commitment to the troop and not just a one time deal... My "core" leaders are all committed, trained, etc, and honestly that's all I really need, or ever had for backpacking trips too.... but I dont' want to turn away anyone that is committed, but I need a display of that commitment... I dont' want to rely on an adult being there and have them back out last minute, or worse for them to be a hindrance, or get hurt due to lack of training during the trip

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Age is such an arbitrary measurement. There are some 12 year-olds out there that are more mature than some 45 year-olds.

 

There are some 14 year olds that can handle the rigors of a hike better than MOST 50 year olds. :)

 

There are some sofa scouts that can't handle a thing as well.

 

Each boy needs to be evaluate according to a set a criteria that is set to help the boy, not hinder him.

 

Okay, he's 14, active in sports. Works his butt off on fundraising and attends all the shakedown hikes, but his Body Mass Index puts him into the Overweight category. Oops, sorry, you can't go. Of course the BMI is a bad indicator because the kid is a football player and it is heavy muscle mass, not fat. :)

 

Be careful in what rules get made up for the event, they may come back and bite you.

 

So the 14 year-old mentioned, can't go and so his 3 buddies figure that without him they might as well hang out at home with him. So now you're down by 4 scouts. Oh, by the way two of them are your PL's. So you can domino yourself into abandoning the trip.

 

While this scenerio may not seem plausible in its entirety, maybe some of it might.

 

My suggestion would be a few guidelines and a review board of 3 boys, 3 adults.

 

Is the boy physically able and mature enough to handle the trip? What kind of financial assistance will he need to get the costs covered? Then have a SM conference with the boy and then to "keep it honest" have the boy review the issues with the board. The general rules can be set up to guide the board, but nothing locked into stone that because he has all the requirements except one for FC he can't go, and that one requirement may have nothing to do with hiking or HA trips. And because Joe can't go because of something, but Pete's parents are putting the pressure on and he's woefully short on everything, and but he's allowed to go because the parents threaten to quit.

 

Whatever you do, don't fall prey to the possibility of "painting oneself into a corner". :)

 

Notice none of this advice locks into stone, just some things to think about.

 

Stosh

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also I'm thinking requirements such as:

 

14 years old

First Class or higher

physically able to hike 10 miles per day for 5 days

Orienteering badge

first aid badge

camping badge

wilderness survival badge

only able to miss 1 of the training trips (reasons for missing more than 1 will be considered)

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If you are doing 2 backpacking trips a month, I would ramp up to 15-20 miles a day. Learn to do without all the extra weight. Since your next to Sea Level, I would make sure your hiking as high up as possible to have the Scouts/Adults understand altitude. That's your big issue.

 

Where are you hiking in Yellowstone? What entrance are you coming in at? I spent 4 summers working there.

Since you are doing 18 hikes, one or two misses wouldn't be an issue. Though, towards the end you might want to make sure the final ones are attended.

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also I'm thinking requirements such as:

 

14 years old

First Class or higher

physically able to hike 10 miles per day for 5 days

Orienteering badge

first aid badge

camping badge

wilderness survival badge

only able to miss 1 of the training trips (reasons for missing more than 1 will be considered)

Whereas this is not in undeveloped area, a certain amount of pre-education is necessary. A boy well versed in FC should be able to do map/compass and basic first aid without having to do a full blown MB on it. When I went to BWCA canoeing, I expected, swimming MB and canoeing MB, but both applied directly to the trek.

 

I'm thinking the shakedown treks are good, but nowhere near important is the DAILY personal treking necessary to build the conditioning of muscle and weight endurance. Going out on treks 4 Saturdays in a row is not the same as 10 miles a day, 4 days in a row. How you get the boys to do daily, on their own condition is vital and virtually impossible to measure.

 

By the way, did you know Central Wyoming Council has a BSA summer camp 6 miles outside the east entrance of Yellowstone? The whole troop could go, do summer camp there and the older boys could go on into the park for HA. Just a thought.

 

Stosh

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Two training trips a month for nine months? And why the 14 age limit? Two weekend trips with a couple of one day hikes is plenty for everyone to learn their gear and their physical limitations. Our troop is a adventure troop for all scouts, we only limit scouts by age when required at BSA camp like Philmont. We don't even use the BSA camps in the Northern Tier so we can take youngers scouts. A scout should be limited by skills and physical/mental maturity, not age or rank. We provide twice the training weekends required incase someone can't make a training trip. We do a progressive payment plan withe a deposit at the beginning to get commitment at the beginning. On average we experience about a 40 % drop out rate for various reasons on long range planned trips, so we also sign up alternates who pay and train with the crew. We have never left an alternet home. I do encourage fitness training at home, especially the adults. We have found that fitness training is hard to enforce. But most boys are pretty fit and can do OK if they did ok on training hikes. Adults on the other hand need to do some fitness training. I would also suggest you plan the first day to be a 5 mile trip, it allows the body to adapt to the gear. I think 5 days is a perfect for a trip like this. If you are thing 50 mile award, add a couple longer days. Be careful not to take the fun out of it.

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How Many Boys do you Have Total in your Troop?

How Many Will have the required Merit Badges By then?

Sounds like Your trying to Limit the Group...Sounds like You may leave out plenty of Scouts in your Troop..>Start Excluding to many people from Treks and You may Find your troop dying...It is Boy Scouts not training for Special Forces.

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Keep in mind that yellow stone has maximum group sizes for back country treks.

 

Philmont doesn't require anything beyond 14 and first class and the BMI.

 

Merit badges don't prove a thing other than the boy can run a check list and if they were earned at summer camp then he was at least semi conscious when the subject was broached.

 

 

 

Something seems odd here.

 

So are the adults planning this?

 

I would like to discourage you from taking a large group into the backcountry.

 

I think your trek training is overly ambitious. So you have two trek trips a month plus the normal troop outing.....That leaves the boys and their families one weekend a month together. I know that I would have a rebellion on my hands.

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I always get a bit nervous once people start making up rules for the boys.... It's a totally obvious "flashing red" sign "with warning bell/alarm" of an adult-led program.

 

Stosh

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I always get a bit nervous once people start making up rules for the boys.... It's a totally obvious "flashing red" sign "with warning bell/alarm" of an adult-led program.

 

Stosh

Well maybe, but how do they know if they have never done it before. That is what forums are for. That is why he asked. Boy Run is an aquired taste, very few adults do it right their first time. Barry

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Am I the only one who sees the that this will damage the rest of the troops program???????

 

Two weekends a month backpacking with the unit PLUS a regular troop outing. I imagine the regular troop campouts will suffer.

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Am I the only one who sees the that this will damage the rest of the troops program???????

 

Two weekends a month backpacking with the unit PLUS a regular troop outing. I imagine the regular troop campouts will suffer.

Well there is no reaction like an over reaction. You don't know enough to whether this trek will damage a troop program. This troop could have 150 scouts in it with only 6 scouts interested in the trek. Learn the art of asking questions so you can make an informed opinion. Barry

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Am I the only one who sees the that this will damage the rest of the troops program???????

 

Two weekends a month backpacking with the unit PLUS a regular troop outing. I imagine the regular troop campouts will suffer.

So your not concerned that the Scoutmaster and the core group of leaders getting burned out or losing focus on the rest of the troop?????

 

What your saying is true that the troop could be 100 member but it could also be 10?

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