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One of the best components I have come across in a camporee is something that works well in a religious retreat/camporee, but may not work in a district camporee. My dad and a scout leader, both now passed away, came up with the idea of forming new patrols made up of boys from all the Scout units attending the camporee. In other words, you end up with about 8 boys or so, all from different units or at the most 2 from the same unit. Adults distribute the boys after the morning flag raising ceremony. Boys are lined up by rank and somewhat by size, then distributed into patrols. Adults watch carefully to make sure the mix is right. This makes sure there are no super patrols of all 18-year-olds; it usually develops new friendships; it helps boys discover who has leadership skills and it teaches patrol teamwork with a bit of surprise to it. I realize that at district camporees it's unit competition, which is ok for that type event. But for a religious camporee/retreat, I have to say I like the new patrol format the best. === Another thing I like is the idea of "spirit" awards - a small medallion or piece of wood - adults give these to boys who show good Scouting spirit and then the boy can trade it in for a small piece of candy at the trading post. The boys don't know about this until the day of the camporee so they can't go around asking for spirit awards. -- These are just 2 camporee ideas I can share. I will be glad to share more. I'm with a group planning our 28th annual retreat and camporee.








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The best camporee I attended was with the Highline district of Chief Seattle council in 1972. It was at the army's Yakima Firing Range in Eastern Washington.


First, the army transported all the participants to the camporee. We were all in the canvas covered army trucks sitting on wooden benches along the side. So much for seatbelts. At one time, the convoy pulled over and everyone got out to stretch their legs. One of the military yelled, "Hit the bushes!" You can imagine hundreds of scouts lined up alongside the highway taking a leak.


At the Firing Range, the military put on quite a show. Big guns were firing from 20 miles behind us, over our heads to the targets in front of us. Then came the attack helicopters, mortars, and ground assault. It was way cool.


I haven't been to a camporee since 1974, but I don't know how anything could top that camporee. How often does the military demonstrate it's might to a bunch of kids!

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