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First Resident Cub Scout Camp

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So I just wanted to see what I could get with the wealth of knowledge here on the forums...


My son will be going to his first, and only, Cub Scout Resident Camp this summer. He is SUPER excited and just can't wait to go. I understand the living situation with the tents they provide. I understand the food situation. What I do not understand is how the program works.


Will it be like the family campouts where we meet up at Gilwell field for opening and flag ceremony, then are given a schedule that takes us from one activity to another for 45 mins of fun and learning? Or, will it be like they just have stations and you go to them as you want/need? Or, will it be longer times at the stations so the kids get the most out of it? Additionally, will they get to go back to a station, if they liked it more than something else they are doing?


Will there be free time?


Finally, what is the difference between the long and short option? We are doing the short option and I just wonder what will the people who stay for the longer one be doing that the Scouts who did the short option won't be doing.


Sorry for all the questions, I just REALLY hate going in blind to things and hope I can gain some insight before we go.

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The program will depend on the camp.  I take from the information you provided that this is for Webelos scouts.  The real answer is, it really depends on the camp culture, camp director, etc.


I will give you an example of how one of my council's Webelos camps ran their program.


Sunday - camp tour, check in, swim test - evening campfire

Monday - set time activity periods at stations like, archery, bb guns, waterfront swimming, nature, scout skills cooking, handicraft

Tuesday - set time activity periods at stations like, archery, bb guns, waterfront boating, nature, scout skills knots, handicraft - evening foil meals in camp

Wednesday - set time activity periods at stations like, archery balloons, bb guns crazy targets, waterfront choice, service project, scout skills choice, handicraft - evening water fight

Thursday - set time activity periods, build your own den schedule from activities above, plus more activities such as hiking, boy scout camp tour, readyman, swimming hole, arrow of light program - evening scavenger or staff hunt

Friday - open program, take a buddy to any program area in camp, take some adults and go for a hike (hikes leave the camp) or go to the swimming hole (a shallow stream, my youngest son's favorite activity) - evening campfire

Saturday - get up early and depart, the staff is looking forward to their day off!


There are two standard flag ceremonies per week day, morning before breakfast and evening before dinner, uniform expected, dens sign up for flag duty.  Lunch / siesta usually two hours, gives plenty of time for camp service project (my oldest son built nice toilet paper rolls holders for latrines, so much better than a nail!)


I think they run a pretty good program there.  The design is to adjust from that structured day camp program that the scouts and parents are used to, to a less structured boy scout camp program where you get to choose your own adventure.  A den leader doing this right will turn the Thursday schedule over to their scouts and give them advice like, maybe you should start the hike in the second period, as it is better timing for lunch, and besides, everybody else starts it at the first period and it'll be crowded!


My oldest son went with me the first year, he was the only one from his pack so we teamed up with a pack that had three full dens of Webelos where he fit right in and they appreciated the extra adult as well.  His second year he talked the webelos in his pack to go back to that camp and he went with his leaders and not me, had even more fun I think!  New pack, my younger son and I ended up the only ones again, this year, he is going again, my wife is going this time as there are only three scouts. 

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...I hope they know...well it is for just regular Cub Scout resident camp. I do not know of any Webelos resident camp in our area. Only thing I know of for that is the Webelosree that I am putting together for my district. So since it sounds like it varies I will just have to ask and hope someone knows already and can give me a heads up before I show up there. My son is the only Scout going from my pack, so far (fingers crossed more sign up).

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Our council's cub resident camp confuses me, it is hard to tell if it is considered family camp or resident camp, I mean, it is a resident camp, yes, but they don't go with den leaders, they go with parents, which is understandable for 1st-3rd graders I suppose.  My older son went 3 times, after tiger, wolf, and bear (yes, after bear he did two camps).  The year after the tiger, the program was great, but each year following, it wasn't quite as good as the previous year.  My younger son isn't as into camping, he went to that camp the summer when he was a tiger after joining in spring but he wasn't quite ready for it so we didn't go back.  He was also the only one from his pack to go.  A major difference in philosophy between the cub camp and the webelos camp is that the cub camp liked to put all the singles and doubles together in a group.  The webelos camp liked to put the smallest and the largest together, so the den of 1 joins the pack with 3 dens of 7, which I think worked out a lot better.


As far as the program went, it was very much like a day camp during the day, you just ate breakfast and dinner there, and slept at camp.  The cub programs generally ran Friday, Saturday, & Sunday.  Friday - camp tour, swim test, campfire.  Saturday, program, Sunday program & evening campfire.  Flags in the morning and evening, before breakfast and dinner, uniform expected.  Not wildly different than the first two program days of webelos camp really. 

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As others have said - the answer to the question will vary by camp.  Our Council has two one camp that runs fifteen 3 day sessions of Cub Scout Resident Camp.  They have another camp that runs fifteen 3 day sessions of Webelos Resident Camp.  They have another camp that runs one 3 day session of Webelos Resident Camp, following by one 3 day session of Cub Scout Resident Camp.


The dedicated CS Camp (Campers stay in themed cabins) is like this:

  • Day 1 - Check-in mid-afternoon, Swim Test, Dinner, Campwide campfire
  • Day 2 - AM:  Either Ranges (Archery & BB), Waterfront (Boating & Swimming), or Nature Hike and Obstacle Course.  PM:  Switch to another area.
  • Day 3 - AM:  Switch to the last area you haven't done.  PM:  Open Program (revisit ranges, waterfront, etc. but also additional things like crafts are offered).
  • Day 4 - AM:  Go Home after Breakfast (mid to late morning).

The dedicated Webelos Camp (campers sleep in camp tents) is like this:

  • Day 1 - Check-in mid-afternoon, Swim Test, Dinner, Campwide campfire
  • Day 2 - AM:  Work on two Adventures you selected (two classes, roughly an hour or so each); PM:  Open Program (Ranges, Waterfront, etc.)
  • Day 3 - AM:  Work on two Adventures you selected (two classes, roughly an hour or so each); PM:  Open Program (Ranges, Waterfront, etc.); Campwide campfire
  • Day 4 - AM:  Go home after Breakfast (mid to late morning)

The camp that offers one week of Webelos and Cub Scout Resident camp (campers sleep in personal tents) is somewhat similar, but programming begins on Day 1 after the opening ceremony (which happens after swim tests and health checks).  They also have open programming in the evening of Day 2.  On Day 3 in the afternoon they have campwide games.  I think they have more open programming in the evening of Day 3, but I had to leave early so I'm not 100% on that.


I think my main point is that as you can see, different camps do it differently, sometimes even within the same Council.  Your best bet is to check with the Camp Director and/or Program Director for the camp.  They should be able to provide you with a copy of the high level schedule by now.

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What the what?


Our Council chooses to use only the Cub Scout Family Camp option as found in the National Camps Standards.  It's a 1/1 adult/child experience. 


Our council does 2 days, 1 night, "day camp on steroids".  We welcome them, do a flag opening, get them to our open air dining shelter, do the esstential talking (safety briefs and such), do the emergency drills, then have lunch.  Program day 1 is four stations, including our pirate ship "aquatics" area (really more a water park).  Day 1 is B-Bs, carpentry (toolbox), rope making, and time playing in our castle.


After dinner, open time at the water park and trading post, then  campfire.


Day 2 is archery, an obstacle course (checked out by the Regional COPE director for age appropriateness to 9 year olds), "The Lost Mine" (another play activity), and the water park.


The afternoon is some belt loop time, then closing and away they go.


Did I mention it's hot in the summer in Kansas City? ;-)


Edited by John-in-KC
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Wow, well there really does seem to be a big difference between the councils. I guess you do what you got to do for your area. So I guess I will have to just make contact with the camp coordinator. Thanks for all the information!

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To all who might read this now or in the future, remember - you aren't restricted only to your Council's camp.  Our excellent camps are open to anyone who wants to make the drive to East Central Wisconsin or Michigan's UP.  I can tell you that if you and your son are interested in making the trip, we can fit you into a three day session any time from when the sessions start in June (19th-22nd) through the last session in early August (10th-13th).  Our camps are beautiful, and the camp staffs rock.  Anyone in northern Illinois, Wisconsin, eastern Minnesota, or eastern Iowa - I'd say our camps are worth the trip.


If you live further away, check out nearby Councils if your camp experience isn't quite what you'd like it to be.  We have great camps across this country, although not always within your local Council.

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Kia Kima has a great Resident Camp and it isn't Family Camping at all!  Only adults there are adult Leaders, if the parents wanna come they do.

Free Time is normally after all the classes are done and after dinner.

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