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Cub Scout Day Camp Vs Resident Camp

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Our council has two Cub Scout summer camping programs:


1 The Cub Scout day camp program has a separate day camp organized by volunteers ata cost of $80 for a four day program.


2.  The council had a four day three night resident camp that is organized and staffed by paid employees. Cost is someth like $175 if I'm remembering correctly.


My experience with the Cub Scout day camp program is that it's an ennormous drain on volunteers resources.  It takes huge amounts of time by volunteers to organize and staff with volunteers.



Personally,  my bias is to eliminate the day camp program and just offer the resident camp.  There are already districts in our council that no longer offer Cub Scout Day Camp.

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My son did both (Day and Resident) camp this year; he's a rising Webelos II Arrow of Light den scout.  I do think he got more out of the Resident camp experience, though the did different things at the two for the most part. Not sure if I'd eliminate Day Camp though.  For many families it may be the only option, especially since the younger boys need to have a parent along to camp.  Mom and/or dad may not be able to take off work for Resident camp.

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Every council does things differently.  I have been told by folks who have went to resident camp that the staff by this point are not as energetic and have negative attitudes, programming is done last minute, and that even though there are paid staff, they still want parents to volunteer to lead activities. One person would rather day camp to resident. Another actually goes out of council to resident b/c it's closer, and they have  much better program.


One council has a paid staff for their day camp, offer multiple weeks, and offers a discount if you go multiple weeks. However they charge $250+ per week. That's more than some Boy Scout resident camps.

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""It Depends""


In our District, we have the good fortune to have a number of really dedicated-to-Scouting folks.   They love doing the camp thing, and , if it is a lot of time and effort, it can be seen as a  labor of love.  Somebody will know who stores "that" piece of equipment or supplies . 

 Our Cub CD this year is also our District Camp Chair. She worked out a deal with a resident school for "at risk " youth (they teach carpentry and other building skills) to use a portion of their 50 plus acres for Day camp. We have cut down trees, cleared ground, planted grass, killed PI,  set up piles of straw bales for archery backstops and generally made an old tree farm into a campground that will be used for CSDC, Webelos Weekend, maybe IOLS,  close in Troop campsite...  

Our extra large, economy size Council has a very nice overnight CSCamp, but it is  more than an   hour drive from our District area (one of 26 in our Council).  It is on a 400 acre property  that is also used for Woodbadge, OA ordeals, public school events,  MB days , COPE course, Range officer training, and lots of other things.   It was purpose built for Cub  stuff, with a stockade, a pirate ship, and lots of woodsy trails and fields for Frisbee and such.  It has been equipped with barracks, tent platforms, a formal lodge for meetings.   Folks coming to the Nat Jam and touring our NatCap are often overnighted there.  CWBSnyder:  http://www.ncacbsa.org/members/group.aspx?id=118926   and   https://www.facebook.com/CampWBSnyder

So, "it depends"   .  I think it is very neat that someone came up with the idea of a day camp for Cubs.   It is fun, serves a purpose, they actually learn something at it (I would hope!), and a lot of the Cubs are encouraged (if it's done right) to  go on in Scouting. 

Like much in Scouting, "the work is done by whoever shows up".   If you have the fortune to have folks that love the idea of Scouting, stuff gets done.  "It Depends"....

Again, we have the opportunity to give our kids an opportunity they would not get anywhere else, from anyone else....

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The council area we're in does several different camps.  

1.  Twilight camp.    One week per district, run by the districts.  Mon-Fri, usually 6pm-9pm.   Volunteers only.   $100 per week, includes patch/t shirt/programming/activity fees/insurance.  Eat before they come, no meal breaks.

2.   Day camp.  One week per district, run by districts.   Mon-Fri, usually 8:30am-4:30pm, some programs have early/late sitting for a fee.   Volunteers only.  $125 a week, includes patch/t shirt/programming/activity fees/insurance.  Bring your own lunch.   $25 before/after care

3.   Webelos/Cub resident camp.  (used to be just Webelos, but enough parents threw hissy fits, and so they added Wolf/Bear)   One week, at Boy Scout camp at Camp Shands.  Run by council, paid staff.  Ran at the end of BS camp.   $150 for 3 days, $235 for 6.  For adult (required):  $80/120.  Includes patch/t shirt/meals/activity fees/insurance/tent and cot to sleep in. 

4.   Aquatics camp, weekly camp, run by half volunteer, half paid.  Runs throughout the summer (after the council day camp for that district is completed.  They run twilight camp during the first week of aquatics.  Time frame is roughly that of day camp).   this is for Cubs and Boy Scouts, up to a certain age.  $225 a week if paid early, $240 for late up to the week before, $255 for the week of.   $25 before/after care.  $40 busing (from across the river, 2 locations to drop off)   Includes Tshirt/patch/insurance.  Activity fees additional.

DS and DH went to Webelos resident camp, as a Web 1.   They had fun, but said you can tell the people running it were burnt out.  There were classes without leaders, by that point.

DS did aquatics camp for 3 years.  He had fun the first year; the second year he was mostly rained out.  The third year, he got to pick his own classes (due to age) and was bummed.  He had outdoor cooking, but the only cooking they did was make a pancake inside the trailer. 

Never did twilight camp, but we worked day camp, either as a volunteer to help or as the CSDPD for 4 years.  (One year, we even did two district camps, because they were short handed at one.)    After seeing all the politics and whining behind the scenes, I am pretty much done with that district, and for now the council.  Now that we've had some change (people leaving), maybe I'll go back to help out next year. 

The prices are getting outrageous.  There is so much pressure from council to turn a profit, it's ridiculous.  I was told that we didn't need to buy more than one pencil per boy for the whole week.   They used to hand out cups with each camp, but that practice has stopped, due to rising costs.   For my daycamp, I had $10 per scout for activities/supplies--which included printing, office and medical supplies, etc.  Another $3 per scout went to port-a-potty rental.  They spent $7 per scout for the patch/tshirt/cup.  The rest--pure profit.

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... For my daycamp, I had $10 per scout for activities/supplies--which included printing, office and medical supplies, etc.  Another $3 per scout went to port-a-potty rental.  They spent $7 per scout for the patch/tshirt/cup.  The rest--pure profit.


I helped staff Cub day camp for my district a couple of summers in a row.  Our council took 18% off the top, wanted full approval of all expenses, and any cash left over went to them, too.  Felt like a scene outta Goodfellas:


Staff: "We need this money to put on a quality program."

Council: "@(& you, pay me."

Staff: "But we have to rent four pavillions at the county part..."

Council: "*(@# you, pay me."


"BSA Insurance" ... yeah "insurance", that's not a mob racket... not at all.

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Our council went to paid Cub Scout Day camp directors this year for a 'more uniform experience' across the council. Fine, but they are still sending out desperate calls for volunteers to staff the events. And the cost went up, which isn't inspiring parents to volunteer. Resident camp is simpler for the pack to attend, fewer parents needed.

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Day Camp $75 for 4 days.


Resident Camp $135 for 65 days/nights.


Our pricing seems pretty reasonable. High number of volunteers drive this, few paid staff. Many donations of gear, time, equipment, etc.

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In our Council each District runs a CS Day Camp for 5 days, for $120/week (if you register early, siblings <11 yrs old at $5/day). "Camperships" are available that cut the cost in half (and we have very few takers for the discounted rate).  Resident camp is run over a long weekend on a Council-wide basis. The Resident camp is a long drive for many to get to, the Day Camps are set up close (<30 minutes) from the Districts. We start with Tigers, and even have siblings as young as 3 years old in Day Camp. I personally don't think Wolves or even many incoming Bears are ready for a Resident Camp experience.


I recently signed on as CD for our District's Camp starting next year, and had this year as a transition/training year. We just finished camp, and averaged about 115 campers, 20 siblings, 45 adult and 45 youth volunteers per day. It was a struggle to get the volunteers on board this year, with many signing up very late, but it worked. Yes, it is a huge amount of work for the volunteers, especially the "key staff", but for most of the kids and many of the adult volunteers I get the sense it is the best week of their summer. I have two Cubs and I know that they love it. Archery, BBs, scout skills, science, crafts, sports, and dens full of kids shouting their "den yells" as loud as they can throughout the day. There is no other comparable camp experience in our area. It does take the dedication of a bunch of people who really believe in the program to pull it off. 

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Mention "Cub Scouts" and you get amazing responses. We always schedule "Specials" . These have included (in past years): the State Police Rescue Helicopter, lots of fire trucks and F&R personnel in turn out gear, Hawks and Eagles from rescue places, RC model aircraft (including jets!), homing pigeons, hot air balloons, big trucks from construction sites, cranes, professional archers, parrot circus,the Army Corps of Engineers (big trucks and a building stuff class!. We had to do NOTHING!), Embassies have sent

exhibits and crafts, NASA sends astronauts to talk about space exploration, model rocketry,

astronomy/telescope club (in the middle of the day? Yep), Star Wars club in costume, model T club builds a

car in 15 minutes, farm equipment, fishing gear, Scales and Tails (state parks), Civil War re-enactors,

and more, but I can't remember them all. Someone has to think and ask.... They will come!

Edited by SSScout
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