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Ideal Summer Camp - more Patrol Method


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Just now, OaklandAndy said:

And more revenue is the reason why most camps don't use this model anymore?

Yes, many councils have created the merit badge mills, which parents love because their Scout gets lots of badges fast, and they can get their Eagle quicker, and move on to the next college-resume-padding activity...

Merit badge mills get a lot more attendance.  Our council is a perfect example: small camp offering 75 merit badges.  60% of our council revenue generated by the camp...  A fairly industrial operation, camp is stuffed to the gills with people.  And there are other camps very much like this...

They went from giving the customer what they need to giving the customer what they want.  Now, that is how our society is based.  (Which is why we have an epidemic of obesity in this country.)  

Rather than BSA (and councils) saying "This is how the program works, enjoy!",  they say, "What do you want?  Maximum merit badges?  No meal prep? Tents set up in advance? Individualized instruction? Troop sites versus patrol sites? None of that pesky patrol stuff?  No worries, we have got the perfect place for you!  That will be $500 per head, please."

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12 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Our council is a perfect example:

I believe my council runs the same way, however, with me never experiencing Scouting until I was an adult volunteer, I thought this was the way things were supposed to be. The way you describe it sounds much more exciting and fulfilling. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, OaklandAndy said:

I believe my council runs the same way, however, with me never experiencing Scouting until I was an adult volunteer, I thought this was the way things were supposed to be. The way you describe it sounds much more exciting and fulfilling. 

It is...Scouts want fun activities, not academics.  Parents want academics and merit badges earned.

Fun is our hook, built around patrol-based activities where we slip in all the character, citizenship, fitness, and leadership opportunities.

I challenge you to sit in on the First Aid class at your camp, and see what I mean.  Rarely is this one counseled to the requirements.  To elaborate, each Scout must complete the requirements as stated.  So, can you imagine how long it would take to teach and evaluate just requirements 1, 11, and 12??

1. Demonstrate to your counselor that you have current knowledge of all first-aid requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks.

11. Demonstrate the proper procedures for handling and immobilizing suspected closed or open fractures or dislocations of the
 

  1. Forearm

  2. Wrist

  3. Hand and Fingers

  4. Upper leg

  5. Lower leg

  6. Ankle


12. Describe the signs and symptoms, proper first-aid procedures, and possible prevention measures for the following conditions:
 

  1. Anaphylaxis/allergic reactions

  2. Asthma attack

  3. Bruises

  4. Sprains or strains

  5. Hypothermia

  6. Frostbite

  7. Burns—first, second, and third degree

  8. Concussion

  9. Convulsions/seizures

  10. Someone who is unconscious

  11. Dehydration

  12. Muscle cramps

  13. Heat exhaustion

  14. Heat stroke

  15. Abdominal pain

  16. Broken, chipped, or loosened tooth

 

(Sorry, formatting is all messed up on those, and I dunno how to fix it.)  @InquisitiveScouter   Fixed or better?, I recommend you first cut and paste into a word editor, edit accordingly, and then cut and paste into post. ~RS

And I routinely see classes of 15 to 25 Scouts in First Aid at camps...  Basically, the instructor demonstrates the bandages in #11, or lectures on the items in #12, and then signs everyone off.  And that is wrong on so many levels...  Primarily, to earn any merit badge, each Scout must individually complete the requirements to earn the badge, unless it specifically says you may do it with help/assistance/or another Scout.

Here are a couple of examples for those:

Canoeing:   8. With a companion, use a properly equipped canoe to demonstrate the following:

Pioneering:  9. Working in a group, (or individually with the help of your counselor) build a full size pioneering structure, using one of the following designs in the merit badge pamphlet:

Edited by RememberSchiff
fixed FA MB requirements format
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I know the camp I went to in the 1980s and worked at in the 1990s was mixed. With the exception of 2 classes ( Astronomy and Journalism) all MB classes were during the day. They did have "extras" at night time, i.e. First Aid and CPR certification, Hunter Safety, etc, one or two nites. Also some classes did have a 1 night program, i.e. Wilderness Survival, Camping, etc. While we wanted MBs, we wanted fun more. In fact we were told never to take more than 5 classes so that we could have at least last period with free swimming, boating, and shooting sports, so we can have fun. Night time had a mix of campwide activities: campfires, campwide manhunt games, camp carnival, troop and/or campsite own, etc. 

When i organized our COVID-19 summer camp, I used the European model of troops picking their own program as a model. I talked to the PLC, got their input for activities, and organized it. But we were flexible. we moved activities around based upon weather and the conditions the kids were in (the morning bike ride turned into a morning and afternoon bike ride exhausting everyone.) The only Set activity we would not change was the BORs. We had 4 or 5 BORs scheduled for the last nite, and had the committee driving in to do them. Could not be rude to the committee. Everyone had a blast at it,  but many do not want to do it again because they want MBs.

I personally hope that next year, whatever camp the Scouts decide on, has a high adventure program my younger two would be interested in. But I think Youngest will want MBs. Middle only needs Cooking now.

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12 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

When i organized our COVID-19 summer camp, I used the European model of troops picking their own program as a model. I talked to the PLC, got their input for activities, and organized it. But we were flexible. we moved activities around based upon weather and the conditions the kids were in (the morning bike ride turned into a morning and afternoon bike ride exhausting everyone.) The only Set activity we would not change was the BORs. We had 4 or 5 BORs scheduled for the last nite, and had the committee driving in to do them. Could not be rude to the committee. Everyone had a blast at it,  but many do not want to do it again because they want MBs.

This is the ideal!!

This makes me happy 😜  Except for the final clause of the last sentence...that one makes me a bit sad...😞

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And for our older Scouts this summer, after summer camp we are cycling over five nights on the Great Allegheny Passage!  I wonder if we can camp at @qwazse's house the night before we hit the trail?

There might be a free dinner and beverages at Hofbräuhaus in it for you 😜

 

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4 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

When i organized our COVID-19 summer camp, I used the European model of troops picking their own program as a model. I talked to the PLC, got their input for activities, and organized it. But we were flexible. we moved activities around based upon weather and the conditions the kids were in (the morning bike ride turned into a morning and afternoon bike ride exhausting everyone.) The only Set activity we would not change was the BORs. We had 4 or 5 BORs scheduled for the last nite, and had the committee driving in to do them. Could not be rude to the committee. Everyone had a blast at it,  but many do not want to do it again because they want MBs.

We did a similar camp style during Covid, and honestly, I think it was the best summer camp we attended.  The Troop & patrols bonded.  Yes ... many more partials and less complete merit badges, but I think it was a better style and likely closer to aligning to the methods of scouting than most summer camps.

We patrol cook which helps provide an experience outside merit badges which is challenging and fun.  

The Troops/scouts I am most surprised by and the ones that hang out at the trading post with cell phones plugged in just watching videos (or playing games).  It is not many scouts (as a percentage) but I always wonder at that point why even come to camp.

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