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ItsBrian

How Does Your Troop Camp And Share Campsites?

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Didn’t know what else to put as the title so please excuse it.

Anyway, my troop has recently shared a cabin with another Troop. We noticed how we were completely different and did things different (nothing wrong with that).

They used paper products, we used mess kits. They used plastic cups, we used refillable water bottles. The adults did a decent amount of cooks, we have adults only supervise. They take their time on a Sunday, cooking a full meal and not leaving until 12, we have a quick meal and leave by 8-9. 

My biggest issue was their Leadership, I had to track down people from their troop, that I knew nobody in it, and basically had to just say “You’re on KP”, and so on. The SPL wasn’t really doing anything, the past SPL / Troop Guide was. 

They were the host so we went with whatever they do, but we used our own mess kits. 

Otherwise, it was a great weekend. I’m not saying the troop is horrible or bad or anything, just how I never realized Troops are that different and it’s different for each troop. 

Im not saying my troop is better.

We got invited back for next year so we must’ve done something right.

Edited by ItsBrian

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Yes, every troop is different. You should have seen it somewhat at summer camp and camporees. But as you pointed out, you really see it when camping with someone.

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Our troop operates a lot more like yours. Although, there are occasions when the boys will ask to use paper products instead of mess kits.

Anyway, this is what shared activities, camporees, conclaves, and jamborees are for ... so scouts from different units can get together and compare notes.

Edited by qwazse

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Each troop has its own flavor; spiced with the experiences and maturity and knowledge levels of both the boys and leaders. I have seen troops that are run with military precision and discipline. I have seen troops that lean a bit more to "Lord of the Flies." I think the hope would be to accept and learn from both sides of the spectrum. I think it is more difficult for a more precision oriented troop to accept the more "slack" troops you sometimes find. For example, our troop uses its own mess kits, but not standardized or anything. Also, we don't have any problem leaving way late. (I am not in any rush to get back to the grind after the fun of camping! ;)

I think asking the boys to keep an eye out and see what they can learn from the other troop is a good idea as well, and have them report back during a gathering time. It not only shifts the focus from "we're right and they're wrong" but gets them thinking about what they are doing and how they can do it better. 

It is tough though, when alternating something like latrine duty at summer camp and the other troop did not do their day, making it harder on my troop. But a friendly word to the Scoutmaster was all that was needed. He was embarrassed for his boys and started to get fired up and was going to give them a chewing out, but I let him know it would probably happen with my troop at some point during the week so he should not sweat it. I let him know to just pass it along to the SPL and step back and see what happened, good or bad.

That same troop, btw, had a really good idea for fulfilling the lashing requirements. There was some bamboo poles lying around. A couple of scouts lashed them to make a fishing rod rack for all the rods the boys brought. I had not seen that before and thought it was a pretty good idea. So we learned from them on that piece. 

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1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

Wait...there are other troops out there??

I just learned that this weekend! I thought all those other campsites were for display. :)

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You just saw the difference between boy led and adult led. 

Edited by Back Pack
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Our Troop cabin camped one time a year - in January.  Had you shared the cabin with us, you would probably have noticed a lot of similarities.  The adults cooked - we used paper products.  It is the only outing where the adults cooked for the Scouts and we used paper products.  Most of this was due to logistical issues - the cabin had a kitchen with stove, oven, refrigerator and sink.  The camp had a no coleman stove cooking in the cabin (and read coleman stove like you would read bandaid - as a generic term rather than as a brand).  With 5 patrols and one stove, it would have taken most of the day for each patrol to cook their meals.  By the time the 5th patrol was finished cooking breakfast, it would have been about time for the first patrol to start lunch.  The sink was a standard one-compartment kitchen sink.  Not very conducive to washing dishes for 60 people.  So it was decided by the adult leaders that they would cook as a reward for the Scouts hard work over the year, leaving us with more time to be outside skiing, sledding, tobogganing, snowshoe hiking, etc..  They also decided clean-up would go much quicker if paper products were used.  

It would be interesting to see what this other Troop does the rest of the year.

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3 minutes ago, CalicoPenn said:

Our Troop cabin camped one time a year - in January.  Had you shared the cabin with us, you would probably have noticed a lot of similarities.  The adults cooked - we used paper products.  It is the only outing where the adults cooked for the Scouts and we used paper products.  Most of this was due to logistical issues - the cabin had a kitchen with stove, oven, refrigerator and sink.  The camp had a no coleman stove cooking in the cabin (and read coleman stove like you would read bandaid - as a generic term rather than as a brand).  With 5 patrols and one stove, it would have taken most of the day for each patrol to cook their meals.  By the time the 5th patrol was finished cooking breakfast, it would have been about time for the first patrol to start lunch.  The sink was a standard one-compartment kitchen sink.  Not very conducive to washing dishes for 60 people.  So it was decided by the adult leaders that they would cook as a reward for the Scouts hard work over the year, leaving us with more time to be outside skiing, sledding, tobogganing, snowshoe hiking, etc..  They also decided clean-up would go much quicker if paper products were used.  

It would be interesting to see what this other Troop does the rest of the year.

Heck I would use paper plates too! But, your sort is sort of different. It was preplanned that it would be paper products, adults cooking, etc. I believe this is a every camping trip for them.

Wish my Troop did this for us.:laugh:

And yes, I’m really curious how it’s on other camping trips.

Edited by ItsBrian

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Interesting on the paper stuff.  Due to trash and mounds of debris we moved away from paper products many years back.  Admittedly the cabin with the single kitchen is a one off.  Don't do a lot of cabin camping below the Mason Dixon line.  We are a larger troop and typically camp with 4 to 6 patrols (sometimes patrols combine for an outing) with 35 - 45 scouts camping.  Even  with no paper products, 3 pot method, etc still have to police up a bunch.  Scouts bring mess kits etc etc

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On 1/21/2018 at 2:02 PM, ItsBrian said:

Didn’t know what else to put as the title so please excuse it.

Anyway, my troop has recently shared a cabin with another Troop. We noticed how we were completely different and did things different (nothing wrong with that).

They used paper products, we used mess kits. They used plastic cups, we used refillable water bottles. The adults did a decent amount of cooks, we have adults only supervise. They take their time on a Sunday, cooking a full meal and not leaving until 12, we have a quick meal and leave by 8-9. 

My biggest issue was their Leadership, I had to track down people from their troop, that I knew nobody in it, and basically had to just say “You’re on KP”, and so on. The SPL wasn’t really doing anything, the past SPL / Troop Guide was. 

They were the host so we went with whatever they do, but we used our own mess kits. 

Otherwise, it was a great weekend. I’m not saying the troop is horrible or bad or anything, just how I never realized Troops are that different and it’s different for each troop. 

Im not saying my troop is better.

We got invited back for next year so we must’ve done something right.

Well, IMHO, at least in terms of the kitchen, your troop did it better.  IMHO, Scout campers should be using mess kits and  refillable water bottles, and the scouts should be cooking for themselves.  

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15 hours ago, CalicoPenn said:

Our Troop cabin camped one time a year - in January.  Had you shared the cabin with us, you would probably have noticed a lot of similarities.  The adults cooked - we used paper products.  It is the only outing where the adults cooked for the Scouts and we used paper products.  Most of this was due to logistical issues

We camped in a cabin in December with the same logistical issues. The scouts decided that each patrol would cook a different meal. They did set up wash stations and each scout cleaned his own mess kit. Because the scouts were cooking for so many there were some adults that did some "constructive questioning." Some of it was a bit more than I'd have liked but it all worked out well, the scouts learned some good things about cooking for a big group, we ate well and we had a lot of fun.

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2 hours ago, Tampa Turtle said:


For water bottles we advocate Smartwater Bottles and reused them over Nalgenes. YMMV.

May I ask why you do that?

Edited by ItsBrian

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42 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

We backpack a lot and (the bigger ones) are a lot lighter per liter than the trusty old Nalgene. And if you leave it behind it is no bog deal. Mostly because the screw threads match the Sawyer Squeeze water filter. They are pretty sturdy...I haven't cracked mine yet though I might get some new ones after a year or so (you can clean them with denture tabs).

The only downside is you might lose the cap so boys also get the smaller size with the 'sport-sip" cap and swap them out.

The same with the bowls (I actually use an ugly plastic lemonade container) it is all about the backpacking weight and all most of us do is boil water on backpacking trips so we don't really need a mess kit. (I do have a few...my wives old GSUSA one, a 1972 Army one, and a Serbian one with the scariest spoon, fork, and knife set ever made. I only use those for car camping)

It started with being light weight and showing the boys you can be thrifty with scout gear. Save your money and get a good sleeping bag instead.

Ah, that makes sense. I would understand for a backpacking trip like that.

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