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For our March Pack meeting we will be working on Camping Preparedness. We have many new scouts and families who have never been camping. What are some ideas you would do to keep it not only informational/learning but also fun? 

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Very cool.

Have you done a camping trip with a pack? It's not like camping in a troop. 90% of the campers either have never camped or have very little experience. Most will have to borrow any gear they bring. And meals are easier done for the whole pack because finding gear and cooks for smaller groups is a challenge. I'm a big believer in freed time, but cub age families really need more planned activities, even for free time. Those Tigers are as cute as can be, but they are slippery little devils if they are busy.

As for how to present it; the presentation needs to be fun, funny and entertaining. or you will find yourself spending more time trying to quiet down the scouts.

I will work on some ideas.

Barry

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1. Have a handout with a list of gear AS WELL AS a list of household items you can substitute.

2. Have someone bring gear as well as household items to substitute.

3. Talk about what to look for if purchasing gear.

4. EMPASIZE THAT HOUSEHOLD ITEMS CAN BE USED IF THEY CANNOT AFFORD CAMPING GEAR.  Major emphasis. I had someone bring all their latest greatest gear, and it was scaring some of the parents. Had to tell him to emphasize he has been camping for several years and accrued this stuff over time. I had to show the how to use household items.

5. Tents. Set up a tent to demonstrate. BUT emphasize each tents is different and you need to borrow or buy one in advance to set up in advance and make sure you have everything.

6. MAKE IT FUN!

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Very cool.

Have you done a camping trip with a pack? It's not like camping in a troop. 90% of the campers either have never camped or have very little experience. Most will have to borrow any gear they bring. And meals are easier done for the whole pack because finding gear and cooks for smaller groups is a challenge. I'm a big believer in freed time, but cub age families really need more planned activities, even for free time. Those Tigers are as cute as can be, but they are slippery little devils if they are busy.

As for how to present it; the presentation needs to be fun, funny and entertaining. or you will find yourself spending more time trying to quiet down the scouts.

I will work on some ideas.

Barry

With the group we have now we have not gone camping with them yet. But will at the end of March. We have some scouts who are nervous about camping. Last year we did a similar pack meeting letting them practice putting tents up and showing them items needed to go camping letting them answer questions about what they think they should bring. Basically I went through each rank finding things to talk about. It was a small group but to me it seemed very boring for them. This year I want to give them some different ideas since we have a lively bunch. Keeping them still listening to us talk isn't going to cut it. We have 39 scouts and this is our first big group since 2018. 

I'm looking for some hands on activities they may can do or other ideas. 

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8 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

1. Have a handout with a list of gear AS WELL AS a list of household items you can substitute.

2. Have someone bring gear as well as household items to substitute.

3. Talk about what to look for if purchasing gear.

4. EMPASIZE THAT HOUSEHOLD ITEMS CAN BE USED IF THEY CANNOT AFFORD CAMPING GEAR.  Major emphasis. I had someone bring all their latest greatest gear, and it was scaring some of the parents. Had to tell him to emphasize he has been camping for several years and accrued this stuff over time. I had to show the how to use household items.

5. Tents. Set up a tent to demonstrate. BUT emphasize each tents is different and you need to borrow or buy one in advance to set up in advance and make sure you have everything.

6. MAKE IT FUN!

 

 

 

I thought about bringing our Pack trailer and getting some items out of it to show to the Scouts. Our Parents are good and ready to go. Just got to encourage some of the younger scouts that this will be a fun experience. Looking for fun ideas to share with them.

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I once did a Tim the Tool Man Taylor skit for a pinewood derby announcement. Tim tries to show Al how to make a pinewood derby but uses all the wrong tools (chainsaw) and makes a mess. The skit was just to make a boring announcement fun and was not a how-to of making a pinewood derby. We did that on a Saturday. That was 25 years ago, so I don't remember much of it, but you could do something like that with a clumsy character trying to show how to set up a tent with a straight person fixing the mess.

Barry

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1 minute ago, Eagledad said:

I once did a Tim the Tool Man Taylor skit for a pinewood derby announcement. Tim tries to show Al how to make a pinewood derby but uses all the wrong tools (chainsaw) and makes a mess. The skit was just to make a boring announcement fun and was not a how-to of making a pinewood derby. We did that on a Saturday. That was 25 years ago, so I don't remember much of it, but you could do something like that with a clumsy character trying to show how to set up a tent with a straight person fixing the mess.

Barry

Love it.... That is an awesome idea. I think I may have two leaders who would fit perfect to do this for our scouts. 

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Hands on activity would be a giant bin with stuff and a backpack. They need to go to their packing list and pack their backpack. Without real gear can be bean bags (of different sizes and weights) labeled with the gear item. Also include items not to take (make these bean bags big and heavy) Addition to the idea is to include putting on the backpack and then walking a "trail" marked with tape. Can be done as a relay too. Instead of bean bags, cardboard boxes of different sizes or some other representation.

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On 3/7/2022 at 1:25 PM, Eagle94-A1 said:

2. Have someone bring gear as well as household items to substitute.

A good example ... sleeping bags.  If this was 1920s scouting, few would have sleeping bags.  You'd use a wool blanket ... or what you had around the house.  A sleeping bag is really a zipped bed comforter.  ... And lately when camping, I do sort of use my excess equipment to make a real bed with a fitted sheet around my air mattress.  Sometimes I use my sleeping bag more as a comforter.  ... but then again I'm getting older and like extra ground padding.

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I can't think of anything better than the tool man thing that @Eagledad suggested.

Other than that, hype the fun things. Talk about the campfire. Roasting sugar, skits, the whole thing. While they won't cook their meals they can help decide what they want to eat. Give them 3 options and have them vote. If you're experienced with dutch ovens and are willing to make a cake or brownies, tell them you're going to bring an oven - and the whole cake thing, of course.

If they feel good about sleeping and food, that should cover most of their fears.

 

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We do a Pack meeting with various stations explaining camping basics, setting up tents, what to pack, how to stay comfortable, etc.

I often run the "camp comfort" station and try to make it fun for the cubs with goofy stuff like putting on different kinds of hats and having them pick which one is best for the cool Northeast 40º nights we get around here. I'll bring a bunch of random hats like a Super Mario hat, old airplane pilot hat, straw cowboy hat, etc., and end with a lightweight but warm beanie. We talk about staying warm and dry. Uncomfortable kids (and adults) can quickly grow to dislike camping.

Make it fun, and have them participate. I've done tent setup contests, grab a random tent and see if a den can work together to set it up having no idea what it's supposed to look like. The kids who know tents end up showing the ones who are new to camping how to do it, but everyone feels accomplished when they get it done.

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I don't know if this is "fun" but a lot of young or new scouts and even adults are hesitant to camp because of fears and worries. Fewer parents are coming to scouting with much previous exposure to the outdoors so it is all new to them as well and harder for them to reassure younger scouts.  Good prep covers some of these areas and normalizes them. Bathroom issues are what they are but you can do what you can to dispel concerns. Personal night lights -- cheap battery votive candles or mini led light strings give kids some sense of control. It's something unobtrusive they can leave on all night if they need to unlike a flashlight or lantern. A lot of people are freaked the first time they hear a fox shriek or an owl hoot. There are plenty of apps where you can play a guess who game. One camp out I heard three different owls call. I thought I was the only one who noticed. I got a huge kick out of the cubs who came up to me in the morning to tell me they also heard them. Bear Aware is a big deal by us. In general, most kids find animals interesting so don't just cover the scary do's and don'ts, talk about bears and how cool and smart they are. We had a state BEAR educator come to one of our meetings and she had some fun handouts.  

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