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Adamcp

Winter Camping

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This past weekend, our troop just had its first Winter Camping experience since I've come on board as SM.  I would consider it to have been a success. We're in a winter-y part of the U.S., and there was indeed snow on the ground.  The boys had proposed the outing in their Annual Planning Meeting back in June, and I wondered whether they would hem and haw their way out of the event once the cold was actual, rather than conceptual.  Much to their credit, they did not hem or haw, and we had a representative group.

 

The Roses? They handled the cold without any complaints. Really. None. They managed a camp with low-impact cooking, so there was no frigid clean-up. They did a 5 mile hike on a section of trail new to them (chosen by the Scouts, of course), which was fun since the new trail spiced it up even though the camping was at the local Scout Reservation that they otherwise know well.

 

The Thorns? None really. No frostbite or the like, but also only cold, no real wind or weather to fuss over.

 

The Buds? That's what I'm looking for. After the hike, cooking dinner was fast, and we all sat around the campfire for several hours. Pretty cool (pun intended, I guess). Are there any other things that your Scouts do at Winter Campouts that they enjoy doing (and that I could lob their way for the Patrol Leader Council to bat about).  The snow had really iced over, so there wasn't really even an option for a good old-fashioned snowball fight. I think the Scouts are proud of themselves for managing a campsite on a really cold night, and privately seemed to smirk when I too heard their other family members whine "I would NEVER do that!", but I think that novelty will wear off real soon, and I would hope that this Winter Camping (since it was NOT in a cabin, which we've done to death) would not fade back away.

 

Thoughts?

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There's something to being that troop who always sees the cabins from the outside.

 

Lots of options for the future: survival weekends, Klondike derbies, snow shoes, ice fishing .... Really depends on where you are and the type of winter.

 

My favorite: Outdoor video projection of a Steeler's playoff game.

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I like the snowshoes and the ice fishing ideas!

 

As for your last suggestion, if only we had a football team in our state which played into the Winter months!  Although I know at least one of my scouts is a Steelers fan, so he would love your suggestion!

 

Thanks much.

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Nothing wrong with "cabin" camping in the winter time, especially for the first time out.  They will learn about wet cloths and be in an environment where they can dry them out if possible, they can play games and get to know new boys (we invite area Pack Webelos II boys to the event, and if some boy didn't bring enough warm dry clothes, he doesn't get sent home.

 

Some of the toughest winter camps are when the temperatures are just below freezing.  The snow melts, the boys get wet and the cold becomes dangerous.  Give me -10o because the boys know to be ready.

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  Give me -10o because the boys know to be ready.

 

Good point.

 

And yeah, my issue is not with the Cabin camping.  We do that, too. I just appreciated the novelty of the boys' experience this weekend and want to support it. Thanks.

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Congrats for helping them get out of their comfort zone.

 

 

If they used tents, next time try without.  On calm cold nights, I like to just throw down cowboy style.  Our favorite winter campout is using the old horse shelters at Scout camp - 3 sides and a roof, open to the front, straw fluffed up about 2 feet deep.  Wonderful to lie there and watch it snow.  

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Congrats for helping them get out of their comfort zone.

 

 

If they used tents, next time try without.  On calm cold nights, I like to just throw down cowboy style.  Our favorite winter campout is using the old horse shelters at Scout camp - 3 sides and a roof, open to the front, straw fluffed up about 2 feet deep.  Wonderful to lie there and watch it snow.  

 

Great idea! I will show it to the Scouts.

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We had our annual winter camping trip the first weekend in January. The neighboring Council has a camp on one side of Blue Hills in Milton, MA (just south of Boston). We take 2 Adirondack shelters for the night, and the camp has a nice outdoor program- skating rink, snowshoes, sleds, ax yard, outdoor cooking area, tomahawk, archery and bb ranges, etc. Availability of some programs became a little limited due to the weather. We got about 10-12" of snow- it started just before the boys started to make lunch. Temps got down to 6F overnight. The younger boys had some serious bragging rights for school on Monday morning, and they all learn the value of packing properly for the weather.

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The ultimate winter camping..... meadow crash!  Don't need a shelter, don't need straw, don't need to haul a tent, just a -35o sleeping bag and waterproof mat.  In the bag is the best part of the whole weekend.

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