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Cubmaster Pete

Backpacking..... with Webelos

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My son's Bear den becomes Webelos I this coming June. Had the idea of taking them backpacking overnight. Ice Age Trail is near our community.

We would only hike a mile or so in, stay overnight, come back next morning. Very low key, dads stay in tents boys would stay in the backpack shelter (like a small log cabin) I'd like to expose them to different outdoor activities, keep them interested. Planning process, etc...

Anyone done this before?

 

 

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Day Hikes are age appropriate.   

What you propose is most likely not age appropriate, unless you have council designation of the site.   Otherwise this is prohibited.     

 

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49 minutes ago, Cubmaster Pete said:

My son's Bear den becomes Webelos I this coming June. Had the idea of taking them backpacking overnight. Ice Age Trail is near our community.

We would only hike a mile or so in, stay overnight, come back next morning. Very low key, dads stay in tents boys would stay in the backpack shelter (like a small log cabin) I'd like to expose them to different outdoor activities, keep them interested. Planning process, etc...

Anyone done this before?

Yes! It followed a Klondike Derby.  Weebs with Dads had about a mile night backpack thru dark woods to cabins.  Their packs  contained sleeping bag, clothes, personal gear. The sled they pulled  over snow contained  water, cooking gear, and food.  Council sent out a guy beforehand to see if cabins had smoke detectors as each cabin had a wood stove.  Next morning, a hardy breakfast, clean up, and backpack to cars. A lot of fun and a great adventure.

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1 hour ago, RichardB said:

Day Hikes are age appropriate.   

What you propose is most likely not age appropriate, unless you have council designation of the site.   Otherwise this is prohibited.     

 

BSA age appropriate guidelines mention Backpacking-Overnight Backcountry. We would not be in the backcountry  (less than 20 mins from automobiles) and the scouts won't be carrying gear for a muti-day trek. Realistically we would be out there for less than 18 hours.

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13 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Get a hold of council and ask them to approve the site.

I will check, although our Scouts BSA troop has stayed here before. I'm guessing it already is. State Park land..

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7 hours ago, Cubmaster Pete said:

I will check, although our Scouts BSA troop has stayed here before. I'm guessing it already is. State Park land..

Don't take that for granted. Troops don't need any council approval for camping locations.

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Sad part is that we feel the question has to be asked, or needs to be asked.

Challenge is that scouting (universal) is local and rules are made at National.  There are Scouts BSA troops out there that likely do not have the wherewithal to do a mile hike and overnight camping.  On the flip side there are many Webelos (AOL??) groups that have enough depth of experience to do an effective backpacking trek

My input, but then I'm a bit of a pirate, would be that if you feel the group can handle this adventure, go forth and enjoy.

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I have taken Webelos to the Boudary Waters for a 5 day trip. 4 dads and their scouts and had a great time. Didn't call it a Webelos trip though more of 4 families getting together for adventure.

Are you concerned about liability? Those boys are young but should be able to go a mile with dads help.

Here is a similiar thread 

 

 

 

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That's a great thread, thank you!

1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

My input, but then I'm a bit of a pirate, would be that if you feel the group can handle this adventure, go forth and enjoy.

We think alike  ☺️

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I'm with TMSM, just do a group trip and don't call it scouting. Or call it unofficial scouting so that families understand liability is on them. I guess I was a bit of a Pirate as well. We took our Webelos to a state park for five nights each summer. I did inform Council and the only suggestion they had for us was do a swimming test so we would know each scouts skills, even though the park we attended had a Lifeguard. We acted like scouts with uniformed flag ceremonies each morning and evening, but the parents knew it was unofficial. We had a blast. 

If the parents are going, then just do it. It's really more for the adults experiencing a group of youth on camping trips. Everyone will have fun because a 1 mile hike will not take much time at all.

May I suggest good-ol campfire cooking instead of the typical backpacking meals like oatmeal in the pouch. Bacon, eggs, potatoes and coffee. Something about cooking on a campfire that really brings out the romance of adventure in nature. Save the minimal stuff for the 5 mile backpacking trip next year. You can carry a skillet for a mile.:)

Barry

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16 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

I'm with TMSM, just do a group trip and don't call it scouting. Or call it unofficial scouting so that families understand liability is on them. I guess I was a bit of a Pirate as well. We took our Webelos to a state park for five nights each summer. I did inform Council and the only suggestion they had for us was do a swimming test so we would know each scouts skills, even though the park we attended had a Lifeguard. We acted like scouts with uniformed flag ceremonies each morning and evening, but the parents knew it was unofficial. We had a blast. 

If the parents are going, then just do it. It's really more for the adults experiencing a group of youth on camping trips. Everyone will have fun because a 1 mile hike will not take much time at all.

May I suggest good-ol campfire cooking instead of the typical backpacking meals like oatmeal in the pouch. Bacon, eggs, potatoes and coffee. Something about cooking on a campfire that really brings out the romance of adventure in nature. Save the minimal stuff for the 5 mile backpacking trip next year. You can carry a skillet for a mile.:)

Barry

Yes, parents are going. And I would rather cook out there than eat freeze dried stuff, or sandwiches.

I sat down with them (boys) and I asked what does everyone enjoy the most, they all said camping. I suggested a "backpacking" trip and they flipped out. Parents are on board too.

This all stems off my oldests AOL experience that has been less than stellar. That's a whole other topic (If you ask nicely, I might tell you) Anyways, he was jealous of what we are doing, and told me he wants to come be in our den. He crosses over in February, and he is very much looking forward to Scouts BSA

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Cubmaster Pete said:

Yes, parents are going. And I would rather cook out there than eat freeze dried stuff, or sandwiches.

I sat down with them (boys) and I asked what does everyone enjoy the most, they all said camping. I suggested a "backpacking" trip and they flipped out. Parents are on board too.

This all stems off my oldests AOL experience that has been less than stellar. That's a whole other topic (If you ask nicely, I might tell you) Anyways, he was jealous of what we are doing, and told me he wants to come be in our den. He crosses over in February, and he is very much looking forward to Scouts BSA

 

 

I remember (during the Reagan years) taking a Webelos den with my Explorer post on an overnight camping trip.  We did hiking, rapelling, and climbing.  Great chance for the Explorers to do instruction and move from doing to teaching.  They had a blast (Explorers / Webelos / Parents).  As the Webelos and parents talked with the Explorers we talked about an upcoming outing (the next month) which involved a ferry to a barrier island, hiking up the beach a few miles and camping behind the dunes for a couple of nights.  They tagged along and very much enjoyed the experience.

Go have adventure, THAT is what will make Scouting continue to be great.

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15 hours ago, Cubmaster Pete said:

We would only hike a mile or so in, stay overnight, come back next morning. Very low key, dads stay in tents boys would stay in the backpack shelter (like a small log cabin) I'd like to expose them to different outdoor activities, keep them interested. Planning process, etc...

Anyone done this before?

 While to a Webelos it may be "backpacking," I do not think it is. I remember my old council having a mega event where people had a choice of either carrying their gear 1 mile or more from the parking lot to their campsite, or using the "4th Marine Division Delivery Service" to drop off their gear at some point at their campsite. We had a number of families carry things in.

So I have seen Cubs carrying their own gear a mile or more to a campsite. I know when my youngest was a Webelos, he was ticked off that his older 2 brothers were going to go backpacking on the AT, and he could not go. To prove his point that he was capable of backpacking with his brothers, on a pack camp out that included hiking, he wore his pack and carried everything but his hammock and tarp. He did about 6-7 miles that day. And the only reason he didn't carry the hammock and tarp was good trees to hang in were few and far between. ;)

 

I would make sure that the campground is approved by your council for Cub Scouts, if they even have a list. I know my council does not have one, and packs in my district use the OA's WHERE TO GO CAMPING BOOK as their guide on whether the campground is approved or not. Sadly I have met a few council level Scouters who have stated, "Cubs don't need to camp."

 

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