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UncleP

SHOULD NEPHEW GO TO SUMMER CAMP, OR IS IT TOO SOON

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This young man NEEDS Scouting more than I can tell you.  He is where I was at that age.  My Dad was a career military man, and I was the fat little bookworm who preferred to be curled up with a book than playing outside.  Scouting changed my life.  ABSOLUTELY YES, go to summer camp.  As mentioned above, enroll him in the "First Year Camper" program (goes by various names at different camps).  That will take up half his day.  At the end of the week, he can have most of the requirements for T-2-1 completed.  Let him take one merit badge of substance...the "craft" MB are more for the first year camper, basketry, leatherwork, metalwork, etc.  I took Rowing, because I was a fish in the water.  If he's not a strong swimmer, (which will become evident at swim check), let him sign up for the instructional swim class (which MAY be part of the T-2-1 program).  You must be classified as a "Swimmer" to take any of the aquatics MB at most camps. First Aid and/or the Nature MB group is another one that is good for first-years.  I would stay away from the MB that can be earned at home.

 

Thank you again for taking a special interest in this young man.  It sounds like he needs you.

Edited by scoutldr

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I agree to the above. Yes, yes, yes. 

 

My son volunteered to clean the campsite latrine first day of camp. While he collected many scouter atta-boys he  later told me "better the first day than later in the week". He would have never learned that  at home!

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My nephew has joined boy scouts. 

 

He is "Scout" rank, and working for "Tenderfoot".  They will have Summer Camp in July,, and I was wondering:

 

1.  Should he attend or is it too soon (experience might overwhelm him)?

 

2.  If he does go to Summer Camp, any advise on how to get the most out of the experience.

 

I took some of the advise from this forum, and got my nephew a scout handbook and fieldbook.  I also suggested that he start an Excel Spreadsheet to log in all of his activities (hikes, night camping...).  I and my nephew discussed things, and we made an agreement with each other that - a) he would try scouts for at least a year, and b) not worry about advancement but instead take things one day at the time.

 

I really want this to work for my nephew, so any suggestions are welcome.

 

Thank you

Of course he should, if he doesn't have any mental problems that would prevent it.  The Handbook has spaces to log in all of his activities. The spreadsheet would be a nice backup.

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Remind him to take a picture or scan his signed pages as a backup as well. No need to tell them that now.

 

A new boy can really benefit from ACTUALLY reading the book, :)

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Our troop hangs out at night at camp.  There are at least three or four chess games, a checkers game and a couple of card games including an interesting one where you play without people telling you the rules (which I've never figured out).  A couple of guys bring books to read.  I can't think that our troop is that much different from the rest.  

 

Have him do the First Class skills.  Our camp includes rifle shooting and archery, a 5 mile hike and a lot of swimming as part of that.  If he is a good swimmer, swimming is a great badge (and there is some overlap with the First Class skills) and it is Eagle Required.  That is the badge we usually tell our First Year scouts to take.  Actually, some of the guys like the basket weaving merit badge because they make a stool with a woven seat that you bring home.  I saw one scout working on his on night and it looked really difficult but came out great.

 

I know scouts that like your son get easily upset and can mad at the world.  I came to camp mid-week last year and one of those boys had just about had it and I could tell by taking one look at him.  After about 10 minutes of talking and solving a couple of problems, he was all smiles and ready to go back into the game.  It is amazing the infulence that a caring adult can have on these boys.  As Assistant Scoutmasters and Scoutmasters, "these boys" really become "our boys."

 

To quote Stosh - tell him the first rule is to have fun.

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Yah, I think your approach is right on, @@UncleP.  Uncles are special people, eh?  Thank you for bein' there for your nephew.

 

All the advice you're gettin' is very good, eh?  Da one thing I'm goin' to suggest is that yeh let da Scoutmaster know about the lad's temperament when he gets overtired.  Camps can be a bit of a sleep deprivation experiment, eh?  Lots of folks around to late at night, early mornings with reveille, lots more physical activity than in a boy's typical day. 

 

Sometimes it helps for first year lads to get "strongly encouraged" to get more rest, and for da youth and adult leaders to know about overtired behaviors.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

 

Beavah

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YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( and yes I'm shouting at ya! ;)  )

 

Seriously though, I did not go to summer camp my first year. I didn't find out about it until about a month before camp and couldn't' come up with the money. My peers who went had such a huge advantage on me when they came back, not only rank wise, but also acceptance-wise with the troop, That I eventually became discouraged and quit. Only by being reminded of some cousins' troop did I get back in.

 

That played a big factor in me sending my brand new scout. He joined a Troop of 12 boys and ALL 12 of them are going to camp! It's hard enough being new, but imagine being new and missing the biggest bonding experience of the year? I didn't want that for him so even though he is pensive about it, he is going. 

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1.  Should he attend or is it too soon (experience might overwhelm him)?

 

2.  If he does go to Summer Camp, any advise on how to get the most out of the experience.

 

 

Thank you

 

1. Depends on this Webelos leader and if he/she prepared him for Boy Scouts.  My son is a Scouter (1st year Boy Scout) and he was prepared for Summer Camp

2.  Trailblazer Program (if the camp has one) Swimming and FireSafety.  There is enough time for Merit Badges

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