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Ideal Summer Camp - more Patrol Method


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36 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

@RememberSchiff, sorry, but this does not meet the country-club merit-badge-mill motif we are going for.  Gotta shave off as much Troop & Patrol work as possible to maximize the number of merit badge classes a Scout can attend and be awarded!!! (I did not say earn)

C'mon, man! Get with the revenue program!

Is 2 MBs at camp ok?  :)

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22 minutes ago, 5thGenTexan said:

Is 2 MBs at camp ok?  :)

As long as the instructors and counselors mentor Scouts to meet the requirements as stated, then sure.

This should be a different topic, though...

Summer camp is supposed to be a week in the woods "under canvas", with all that entails...

“A week of camp life is worth six months of theoretical teaching in the meeting room.” BP

It should focus on "...making camp, putting up a shelter, cooking over a fire, exploring our surroundings without getting lost, learning about the natural world and how to use what it provides, constructing things with pieces of tree and rope, tracking, and finally gathering socially around a fire."

https://scoutmastercg.com/essential-scouting-skills/#:~:text=The skills Baden Powell (BP,provides%2C constructing things with pieces

Here are some tenets of an ideal summer camp:

- separate patrol sites

- patrols pitch their own tents

- patrols plan their own menus, do their own shopping, cook their own meals (if possible, over a wood fire!!), do their own dishes, store their own food

- the PLC chooses the activities they want to do, and the adult leaders help them develop a support plan to make it happen.

- a swimming hole

- a place to shoot (if Scouts want to have that activity)

- a campfire (or three) with songs, skits, cheers, and general silliness

- map and compass work, with some hikes to distant places

- exploring the natural world...water, rocks, soil, trees, plants, flowers, insects, fish, mammals, birds...  stalking them to learn about their habits and behavior (I am really good at stalking rocks and trees!)

- ropework and pioneering, building structures that are actually used around the camp, not just a gateway

etc, etc, etc... the focus should be on the activities themselves, under the patrol method, rather than individuals going to school-like classes taught (in general) by Scouts who have little to no experience or skill in those things, and only geared toward getting a piece of cloth

The focus of the summer camp program is not advancement.  Advancement should happen as a result of the program.

What you get in most council-run summer camps is just a poor shadow of the ideal, and our Scouts' development suffers for it

 

 

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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13 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

 

Here are some tenets of an ideal summer camp:

- separate patrol sites

- patrols pitch their own tents

- patrols plan their own menus, do their own shopping, cook their own meals (if possible, over a wood fire!!), do their own dishes, store their own food

- the PLC chooses the activities they want to do, and the adult leaders help them develop a support plan to make it happen.

- a swimming hole

- a place to shoot (if Scouts want to have that activity)

- a campfire (or three) with songs, skits, cheers, and general silliness

- map and compass work, with some hikes to distant places

- exploring the natural world...water, rocks, soil, trees, plants, flowers, insects, fish, mammals, birds...  stalking them to learn about their habits and behavior (I am really good at stalking rocks and trees!)

- ropework and pioneering, building structures that are actually used around the camp, not just a gateway

etc, etc, etc... the focus should be on the activities themselves, under the patrol method, rather than individuals going to school-like classes taught (in general) by Scouts who have little to no experience or skill in those things, and only geared toward getting a piece of cloth

The focus of the summer camp program is not advancement.  Advancement should happen as a result of the program.

What you get in most council-run summer camps is just a poor shadow of the ideal, and our Scouts' development suffers for it

 

 

Go ahead and start another subject. I enjoy these discussions and can talk hours about it in person.

The whole idea of Patrol Method is to put scouts in situations where they have to make difficult decisions from  the interactions with patrol mates. I learned that the preparing meals is the most intense patrol activity that exposes the scouts true character. And usually forces them to learn better habits of  interacting  with other people. We didn't always go to a camp where the patrol prepared the meals, but we made sure the patrols were independent so they would have to rely on each other to get through their day.  I was told many many times by parents that you took our boy to summer camp and brought us back a man. What did you do? Wasn't me. It was him. 

Barry

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2 hours ago, 5thGenTexan said:

Is 2 MBs at camp ok?  :)

Back in the day, I came home after a week at Provisional with just 2 incomplete blue cards, Rowing and Canoeing. I had a great time outdoors and that was fine with my parents and scoutmaster.  :)

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2 hours ago, 5thGenTexan said:

Is 2 MBs at camp ok?  :)

I remember a scout who spent TWO weeks at the rifle range, and archery range. Those were the only two mBs he earned. Said it was the best summer camp he had.

Another scout spent a week fishing, and he already had the fishing mB!

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I wish we could get back to patrol method summer camps. Sadly I do not see this happening as the current structure is too ingrained in parents, Scouts, and many, many Scouters. I have had parents tell me that if they are paying for camp they will be picking the classes that he can get the MB at camp, otherwise it is not worth it. I have Scouts who enjoyed their COVID-19 summer camp, which used the patrol method, tell me they do not want to do to again because of the limited MB we worked on.  And I had a scout retake a MB because it was fun, and another Scouter told me he was wasting his time.

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55 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

I remember a scout who spent TWO weeks at the rifle range, and archery range. Those were the only two mBs he earned. Said it was the best summer camp he had.

Another scout spent a week fishing, and he already had the fishing mB!

One of our local council camps does weeklong tracks so the scout can come either with a troop or patrol or on their own and do a week of marksmanship or aquatics or climbing, etc. They used to run an ATV week that was popular but I haven't seen it in a few years so maybe that's no longer in G2SS. 

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Maybe what we did is wrong, I don't really know...

My kid is signed up for Astronomy and Fishing.  He is also going to take the Second Class uhhh class and First Class class.  He is working through the requirements with the Troop. but I think, based on his personality, he will benefit from experiencing and learning the information from someone else.  He needs things 2, sometime 3 times before it sinks in.  Also going to take instructional swim.    Then I think there is like 4 hours of whatever till lights out.

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3 hours ago, 5thGenTexan said:

Maybe what we did is wrong, I don't really know...

My kid is signed up for Astronomy and Fishing.  He is also going to take the Second Class uhhh class and First Class class.  He is working through the requirements with the Troop. but I think, based on his personality, he will benefit from experiencing and learning the information from someone else.  He needs things 2, sometime 3 times before it sinks in.  Also going to take instructional swim.    Then I think there is like 4 hours of whatever till lights out.

That  sounds pretty good to me. Fun.

Usually camps do the swim test first. How good of a swimmer is he. I had several scouts scared of the idea of a test and it turned out they were good swimmers. I have also had scouts that learned a lot in instructional swim.

Barry

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@5thGenTexan, I agree with @Eagledad. A couple of MB’s and mastering basic scout skills is a great start. I’m told that down your way, maximizing time swimming is essential to beat the heat.

For my family, who spends a lot of time on water, those instructional swim periods took a load of of my mind.

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5 hours ago, Eagledad said:

That  sounds pretty good to me. Fun.

Usually camps do the swim test first. How good of a swimmer is he. I had several scouts scared of the idea of a test and it turned out they were good swimmers. I have also had scouts that learned a lot in instructional swim.

Barry

He definitely needs the instructional swim.  :)  

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So you're telling me that Summer Camps used to be a place that troops would basically go camp out and work on merit badges for a week, all being patrol-led with MBC assistance?

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21 hours ago, yknot said:

They used to run an ATV week that was popular but I haven't seen it in a few years so maybe that's no longer in G2SS. 

ATVs are at our summer camp ... so I think they must still be allowed.

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1 hour ago, OaklandAndy said:

So you're telling me that Summer Camps used to be a place that troops would basically go camp out and work on merit badges for a week, all being patrol-led with MBC assistance?

There are some camps left where this is still the model.

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