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Jackdaws

A true "day" camp?

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Last night at our district committee meeting, the D.E. said that other people at the council are kicking around the idea of doing 4-5 Saturday activities in lieu of a week long all day long camp.   And they would allow you to pay as you go=each Saturday. 

 

Obviously from a volunteer stand point you should get more help since adults probably wont need to take a week off of work. 

 

But I have some reservations/questions:

I don't know if it will prepare the boys well enough for boy scout resident camp. I know day camp is not the same as a resident camp, but I am thinking of the boys doing all day of scouting activities consistently.   

 

I know some people see day camp as a week of babysitting.   Now that they are made to attend a Saturday all day event (presumably 1 of their 2 days off) with their child, will they not bother to go?

 

Will they still be able to work on some requirements like they would with a day camp?  My son completed 2 or 3 of his Bear requirements while at camp last summer.  

 

Will people sign up with good intentions and then forget to attend or easily blow it off? 

 

Will the council lose money by letting people pay per day? 

 

 

So I am on the fence whether I would want to do the several Saturdays deal.  I have a weird work schedule (3am-12:30pm M-F and I do have to work a couple Saturday's a year) so weekends are when I tend to try and catch up on my sleep and decompress(if I am not camping).  I have a full scouting plate (Wood Badge, also just promoted to district Membership chair and am on the pack committee) so the summer is kind of a small breather for me.  Well not this year since I have to prepare for the fall sign up nights but its nice to know my Saturdays are free at least.  My husband already isn't that keen on the amount of time I spend on scouting as it is...

 

Obviously I am dedicated to scouting so I would more than likely attend the Saturday sessions, but I don't really see those parents who aren't as dedicated or into it taking a Saturday or two a month to go and be there all day. 

 

So what does everyone think?  What are the pros and cons to you on this idea?

 

Susan

 

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Family first. With your husband and kid(s), plan your family summer (no-scouts) first - vacation, fishing, ball game, visit relatives, go to beach/lake, July 4th, amusement park,...

 

How many Saturdays are left unfilled?

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You know, all of this fussing about "preparing kids for Boy Scouts" is just a little ridiculous.

A good church camp or a week visiting cousins can have the same effect.

The thing that really prepares boys for troop life: aging.

 

If it's gonna be a fun learning opportunity for you and your Cub Scouts, support it. If so,etching else happens to serve better, support that.

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Our council does both week long day camp and week long resident camp for Cubs. 

 

That means our combined scouts could theoretically burn out on Council camp well before they get to Boy Scouts.  Now if they were to add 5 Saturdays to the mix, I could see some of the boys burning out as Bears or Web 1.

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For many, especially scouters, it is hard to string together several free weekends in a row, because, well, we already do a lot of scouting on the weekends, so I'm not sure it would help much when it comes to volunteers. 

 

I have never known anything different than a 5 day week of day camp, from all the way back when I was in a Wolf den in 1987. 

 

Later, staffing day camp when I was a boy scout was a pretty big deal for me. 

 

I've had a son go to cub scout day camp continuously for the last 7 years, always been during the week, some times both sons, and a son attending and a son staffing.  This will be the first year my older son doesn't staff as it conflicts with NAYLE. 

 

I guess it comes down to, how broken is it now?  We all know the phrase, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  I take it a step further, if it is a little broke, be really sure that you are really fixing it and not breaking it more.

 

I don't think you have to worry about the preparedness for resident camp as most of the new scout problems at resident camp aren't addressed.

 

Going back to what I know, some day camp activities require a bit of setup and take down effort.  Ranges come to mind and depending on where your day camp is held, staff may be faced with setting them up and taking them down several times instead of just at the beginning and the end of the week.

 

If you are talking about this summer's day camp, well, it is mid May, is there really time to adjust everyone to a radical new idea?

 

One change I could see to day camp that might be helpful is to include a Saturday.  Every one I've ever been to has been M-F, but adding a Saturday I think would be great for parents.  Even if it was shifted from M-F to Tuesday - Saturday.

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My old council started holding several themed "Twilight" camps from 5:30-8:00 each evening. Shooting sports, STEM, fishing etc. I attended the STEM camp a couple of years ago and it seemed to have good attendance.

 

My crossover is not that thrilled with BS camping right now. He prefers Cub Camping where the adults did everthing. A topic for another post.

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It's interesting to see how differently different Councils handle Cub Scout Camping.  When I was a Cub and Boy Scout 25-15 years ago, our Council ran Cub Scout Day Camp, but different from what you describe.  Each session was 1 day long, and we ran 15 sessions over the course of three weeks.  So each day was the same, but with a new group of Cubs.  Cub Scout Day Camp ran after Boy Scout camping, so they used the Boy Scout camp staff, along with a few additional staff members to cover for staff members who had to go back to school early.  Now, we have Cub Scout and Webelos Resident Camps.  They run fifteen sessions of each, each session being 3 days/nights long.  These run on their own dedicated camp properties (former Boy Scout camps).

 

With that said, as a Scouter I can't offer much advice, but as a parent I can (my children attend other day camps for Karate, Dance, etc.).  I'm lucky that both my kids are gifted, they learn extremely quickly and have a non-stop thirst for knowledge.  They also both seem to do well with structure to their day.  When they aren't in school, they tend to get very bored and flounder around a bit.  So we try to find as many activities as we can to fill their weeks during the summer - summer school, day camps, etc.

 

With that said, our weekends during the summer are often busy.  We go camping, have family obligations, family vacations, etc.  So for my family, if we were used to a Cub Scout Day Camp, and it switched to a series of Saturdays, it wouldn't really fit our needs.  We'd try to make arrangements for our son to attend as much as possible, because we love Scouting, but I question how successful we'd be.

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You know, all of this fussing about "preparing kids for Boy Scouts" is just a little ridiculous.

A good church camp or a week visiting cousins can have the same effect.

The thing that really prepares boys for troop life: aging.

 

If it's gonna be a fun learning opportunity for you and your Cub Scouts, support it. If so,etching else happens to serve better, support that.

 

^^^^^

THIS!!!

 

My first year as SM we went to camp just 2 hours away from home. ALL the boys had been to day camp every year since they were able to. Many more had gone away to other camps (YMCA) during the summer before crossing in to Boy Scouts, so every boy had been away at least once, all of them had more time at day camps than @@Stosh could ever have. ;)

 

The results? Out of 45 kids that went to summer camp that year, ALL OF THEM got severely home sick! Day camp familiarity did not help one bit.

 

@@Jackdaws, the way to make the weekend camps work is to 1) make sure you know your costs up front, 2) make sure you get your volunteer pool aligned up front, 3) do your homework as to what the kids want in terms of games/activities, and 4) look at your local calendars (school, religious, community, natural vacation times, etc.) to make sure you are avoiding natural low attendance times. For example, our council learned long ago that the first two weeks in June the vast majority of Scouting families are on family vacation. They moved camp to the last part of June and attendance rose 80%!!!!

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I have never had to deal with homesickness before 10:00 pm.  Day camp is day care for Cubs.  Sorry, no other way to explain it. 

 

My council is doing Cub Scout resident camp this summer for the first time.  If they aren't prepared to handle hundreds of homesick Cubbies, they are going to lose a ton of boys to the program.  As usual they haven't thought this through very well.  Handling an 11 year-old boy's homesickness is tricky, an 8 year-old's?  Well, even Mom isn't going to do well with that one.

 

For me the odds of Cub resident camp being successful is pretty ify.

 

There's a major difference between challenging boys at a mature level with some serious opportunities, At the Cub level that same challenge is setting them up for failure.

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For Cubs entering Web1 we had 2 night resident camp and Web2 4 night. Seemed to work well, of course a DL or Parent had to attend and 2 deep was covered by combining Dens.

 

I didn't have a homesickness problem but my little devil had a electronics withdrawal problem. Gone are the days when you could go off the grid for a few days, these days employers expect and demand you to be available for communication 24/7, no excuses. Maybe we should have a law, but then that would be "government regulation" and we can't have any of that can we? It never ceases the amaze me how we built this great country without smartphones.

 

Anyho, a 20 minute fix of Angry Birds seemed to fix up Taz and then things went smoothly. Maybe if I didn't have that thing with me there wouldn't have been an issue but he knew it was there and available.

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I will undoubtedly have my son in something next summer no matter what.  He is already signed up to attend our district day camp at the end of June.  Lord its going to be hot as heck here in Florida.  I prefer an earlier camp but it is what it is.  

 

Next year we may attend the webelos resident camp @ Camp Shands.  They have a new aquatics center that everyone is excited about. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vq4pIjTEO2o

 

They may try a pilot district to see how it goes.

 

Susan

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Round here a Saturday camp would not work.  Alaskans are out of town in the summer.

 

During the school year our cub scouts are over scheduled.  I don't see how you would get consistent attendance.

 

Our cub camp runs Tuesday* through Friday.  It is a cub scout resident camp but is a close enough drive and offers the day time programming to day campers.

After our first year of resident cub camp the den leader came back with such stories of 8 2nd grade boys in a cabin at resident camp (in the midnight sun) that our Pack developed the 'tradition' of not sleeping over until WEBS.

(The open hours sugar shack was one of the big problems.  Other pack 'traditions'  limited the boy's purchasing.)

 

* As a den leader I would provide a play date day (join my family and my boys) for kids who needed care on the Monday.

 

(I do think spring break and Christmas break are great times for additional council and district offerings for both cubs and scouts,   But nothing happening during those times...)

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Personally I'd like to see our day camp, actually be all day.  It starts at 9 and pickup is 2;30  so even though my son has sold enough camp cards to get day camp for free, he wont be going.  I can't go in to work 1 1/2 hours late and get off 4 hours early. 

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In our council, Cub day camp and resident camp is offered from Tigers to Web II, but it's suggested that Tigers attend day camp, Wolves and Beats attend a 3 day, 2 night resident camp, and Webelos attend a 5 day, 4 night resident camp. Our pack, however, keeps Wolves at day camp, and Web I with the Bears at the 3 day, 2 night camp, and only the Web II boys go to the longer resident camp.

 

For my family, Saturday "camps" wouldn't work, and I can't imagine too many people wanting to devote several Saturday's of the summer solely to day camps. Carving out a week seems reasonable enough, but losing several weekends would be enough for my family to say no.

Edited by Lenae
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I know of no one that has the luxury of 4 or 5 Saturdays in a row that are free for such an activity in the summer time.

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