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thebigJLT3546

Winter camp program ideas

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Last year we hosted our first long term camp over winter break. The program was developed by one of the committee members and she did an amazing job, but with it being our first there are several things I plan on improving on now that I’ve been tasked with planning the show. I will be delegating several of the tasks like food planning and transportation arrangement. I’m still working on choosing the location and I have it down to about three state parks near by.
I’d like to hear some of the ideas y’all have from past camps to add to my program.
Some ideas I have now are:

Merit badges, trail to eagle first year program, a service project for the camp, a movie night, patrol cook off, and troop game night.
I’ve been thinking that taking one day of Mb and doing a troop wide training on first aid even for those that have the merit badge already just as a fun refresher.
What are some things you have done on longer camps that your scouts have loved?

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Posted (edited)

Welcome to the Scouter Forums!
 

Let’s start with the first idea

Why don’t you let the youth do the planning?

our role as leaders is to help them grow. 
Program, what do the youth want To do?

Food, what do the youth want to cook?

Location, where do The youth want to camp?

Right now, my first impression is this is an Adult Run Troop Method troop.  Oh, wait. Those are not methods!

Edited by John-in-KC
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9 minutes ago, John-in-KC said:

Let’s start with the first idea

why don’t you let the youth do the planning?

our role as leaders is to help them grow. 
Program, what do the youth want To do?

Food, what do the youth want to cook?

Location, where do The youth want to camp?

Right now, my first impression is this is an Adult Run Troop Method troop.  Oh, wait. Those are not methods!

I agree with you on a certain level. The troop is very much boy led. I eagled from this troop 1.5 years ago. The boys work hard year round and plan lots of events and do well. Last year's camp the scouts had no input or part of planning process. This gives them a break form planning and puts the stress on the adults and older scouts who choose to help plan just as it would when going to a regular scout camp. The PLC will have the same regular duties as they would at a regular scout camp. I have decided that they will choose a handful of merit badges they are interested in earning and we as adults will do our best to put together a schedule. The menu will be planned by adults and cooked by adults with the exception of one meal which will be the patrol cook off. I appreciate your response. Thank you for taking the time to read and reply  

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49 minutes ago, thebigJLT3546 said:

What are some things you have done on longer camps that your scouts have loved?

I hate to keep piling on, but it seems that scouts don't love doing merit badges. They might feel like they've gotten a step closer to eagle, but it isn't fun. We never do merit badges on high adventure trips and those trips are the best fun.

Rafting on a river is fun. Making a snow shelter and sleeping in it is fun. BBQ in the snow using a big metal trash can is fun. Making a rope bridge is fun. Camping without tents is fun. Making a fire on a frozen lake from a pile of wood stacked 8 feet high is fun.

I admit, coming up with fun stuff is hard, mainly because it has to be different. One merit badge I'd like to see is developing one's imagination. Start with old Boy's Life issues and scour them for ideas, mix in some more, beat them down, build them back up, stir them around, repeat until something good comes out, work on the details, ensure they're safe, cheep and practical, propose them, go for it and then figure out what would make them better next time. Get all scouts in on this and then they'd be ready for life after scouts.

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I am with John on this. Our role as scouters should not be to "give the scouts a break from planning..." 

Not sure what role the PLC would have since the planning, etc... IS their role. After that, it is the Patrol itself executing. 

Comparison to summer camp only highlights the issues with many summer camps.

As a recent transition from scout to scouter I would recommend reflection of your experience in the troop from top to bottom with the guiding question of "What were adults doing that could have been done by scouts?" I say this not to be critical, but as a means for constant improvement. I recommend this reflection to scouters often. 

 

Oh, welcome to the forum!

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@thebigJLT3546, welcome to the forums. You sounded like one of the ‘cool’ adults.

I already replied on the scoutbook forums and won’t pile on here. Except to add: look for ideas in the Boy Scout Fieldbook.

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On 8/5/2020 at 11:11 PM, MattR said:

Making a fire on a frozen lake from a pile of wood stacked 8 feet high is fun

That could be funny indeed!  By the time that 8 foot stack burns down to 1, it will be time to do swimming merit badge.🤣

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1 hour ago, MikeS72 said:

That could be funny indeed!  By the time that 8 foot stack burns down to 1, it will be time to do swimming merit badge.🤣

Nope. It only melted the ice less than 2" at the hottest point of the fire. Water and ice are good insulators. The next morning everything had burned down to the water level and stopped. We built a platform of logs that we stacked everything on top of.

We had scouts working all day collecting logs in several feet of snow. That was a great camp fire.

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