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ianwilkins

What are scout summer camps in the USA like?

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Wait, Hedgehog, are you saying that the lake/camp in the film is literally a BSA camp that your troop uses? If so, you're the winner of the awesomest-thing-ive-heard-all-day award.

 

 

Exactly.  Although the camp doesn't publicize it, the movie was filmed at the camp.  The Camp Crystal Lake sign is in a display case at the Trading Post.  Looking forward to 2018 when our Troop will be there on Friday the 13th.

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We had three hot days at camp this week. The clouds opened up this morning. My first year camper program where all my boys are are body surfing in the mud...in their full uniforms. It's a good thing I won't have to listen to irate parents until we get home Saturday noon. I sometimes wish I was eleven again, it sure looks like fun.

 

Ian, this was not part of the camp program, and I don't think it would be at any other camp either.

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We had three hot days at camp this week. The clouds opened up this morning. My first year camper program where all my boys are are body surfing in the mud...in their full uniforms. It's a good thing I won't have to listen to irate parents until we get home Saturday noon. I sometimes wish I was eleven again, it sure looks like fun.

 

Ian, this was not part of the camp program, and I don't think it would be at any other camp either.

 

Yes, but neither was our explorers sneakily pulling an all nighter and/or sleeping in a nearby field on the last night of camp. Was I angry? Not a chance, no one is going to remember the night Ian sent them to bed on time are they? The night stargazing however... If nothing else we're in the business of making good memories. Like you say, if I could have laid in the field stargazing with them, and not been tucked up in bed so I was awake enough to drive the minibus home...damn straight I'd have been there with them.

 

We had a massive mud fight last year. As you say, not on the programme. Probably didn't do the local flora much good, and a few entries in the accident book read "there's mud in your eye", but...sometimes it's good to let the programme fly out the window and let anarchy reign for a while.

 

Ian

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@@Stosh now I see why you "put money into reducing the cost of the BSA uniform for the boys."

I would have enjoyed mud surfing as a scout as well.

Or last week even.  :) 

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My boys are not band box boys, every stain is gotten on a campout, service project, or fund raiser. Some are because they were just having too much fun.

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I think what surprises me most about American summer camps is the way BSA puts so much emphasis on the patrol system and yet summer camp, the way you describe it, is both very rigid in terms of signing up to do merit badges and the like but also very individual, ie not patrol based. It seems like such a contrast!

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I think what surprises me most about American summer camps is the way BSA puts so much emphasis on the patrol system and yet summer camp, the way you describe it, is both very rigid in terms of signing up to do merit badges and the like but also very individual, ie not patrol based. It seems like such a contrast!

 

BINGO!  You are exactly right.  And if the Patrol Method were to begin to get traction once more in the BSA program, summer camps will suffer even more.  

 

The summer camp I was at last week prided itself in being one of the country's premier BSA camps.  The MB staff was extremely questionable, the food was mess hall marginal, the tents were non-existent, the boys had cabins that slept 4 boys (1/2 a patrol), and to top it off, only one of my boys wanted to go back next year.  They were all first year scouters, they had nothing else to compare the camp to.  Taking a 5 day canoe trip at 1/2 the cost sounds better than 90% of the camps in the US.

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It's the massed catering side of it I find really strange. For our scouts part of the fun of summer camp is that they get the food they like, cooked the way they like it. So they plan the menu in advance and then each patrol cooks breakfast and dinner on an open fire. They love it :) Particularly good this year was the meat balls and garlic bread done from scratch. Although we did discover for our veggie contingent that making meat balls from soy mince is a bit tricky getting it to bind together....

 

The only exception this year was one evening they had all been out hiking during the afternoon and were caught in a downpour that was only just this side of biblical.* While they sorted themselves out, hung wet kit up to dry, took hot showers to warm up etc the adults cooked dinner for them. We need to stop being so nice! Still to their recipe though.

 

*Seriously. Some Girl Guides camped just through the trees from us had a couple of tents washed away when a new stream established itself straight through their camp site.

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As I mentioned, I have first year scouts so we went with the mess hall camp.  It was the first time in many, many years I was at a mess hall camp and the whole time I was there, it reminded me that it's going to be many, many years before I go back.  As a kid of that age, I thought the school cafeteria for lunch was a really bad idea.  Getting the "treatment" 3 times a day was/is horrendous.  I do have to admit that living off salads and walking around camp as much as I did, it dropped me 6#'s.  That's a good thing.

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