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Summer camp on our own, cost estimates?

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Our local camps are in the $450/wk range. We're choking on that because a lot of parents can't afford it. Plan B is roll our own summer camp: 4-5 days (around a weekend so parents don't have to take much time off), skills in the morning, some type of fun activity in the afternoon, patrol cooking. So, for younger scouts it's about skills and fun and for older scouts it's leadership and fun.

Anyway, cost estimate so far is $20/day for food, $5/day for camping facility, double all that to cover the fun activities. $250 for 5 days. For anyone that has done this, is this even close? My guess it depends on the activities. A trail ride would be fun one day. We have access to some kyaks and a lake. We have loads of hiking nearby.

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We did a 5 day/4 night summer camp on our own durng COVID.  $10/ person was the cost to use the camp for the entire week, and it was a primitive camp. Food was less than $8 a day, and our guys can currently get a weekend for $20.  We were able to use another troop's canoes for free. It was well under $100

I would talk to the Scouts and see what they want to do. Also make sure the schedule is flexible. The only thing we had fixed is Thursday Night BORs because we had committee members drivng in to do them. Our bike trek took longer than scheduled, and wore them out. So we had free time afterwards instead of an activity. The forecast had rain the night of the survival shelters, so we moved nites. Again schedule was flexible except got BORs, and we had 3 that night.

Just make sure everyone is on board with no MBs. My CC and Scouts want MBs, even the 2 who do not need them.  Good luck

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We did a unit camp during 2020 (COVID), when all other Summer Camps in our area shut down.  Eleven adults and thirty Scouts.

We rented a local campground for the week, had parents and leaders as "staff", and (after looking at what a lot of our Scouts needed or wanted) offered three MB programs in the morning including Wilderness Survival, Environmental Science, and Mammal Study.  We were going to do Motorboating, but had some mechanical issues with the boat, so could not.

The actual primary focus, and most of the "heavy lifting" was coordinating Cooking MB requirements.  Scouts camped and cooked by patrols, and the week was divided into three "cooking sessions."  We had six patrols camping, so there were eighteen Scouts who worked on these requirements.  Sessions one (Sunday dinner to Tuesday lunch) and two (Tuesday dinner to Thursday lunch) were to focus on Cooking MB, session three (Thursday dinner to Sat Lunch) was for Scouts who needed cooking requirements for rank.  Scouts submitted menus and shopping lists for all sessions prior to camp.  First session shopped before camp.  Second and third sessions used one afternoon of camp to shop for their sessions.  We had eleven adults attend (not all for the whole time), so for each meal, a different adult went to a patrol as a guest, and to provide the "evaluation" for Cooking MB.  Smashing success!  Scouts enjoyed the challenge.  Adults got to know Scouts better.  Everyone had "skin in the game."

Afternoons were "free time" for Scouts, but adults always "staffed" fishing, canoeing, swimming, or Scout skills (primarily Totin' Chip and Firem'n Chit)  Many worked on building survival shelters to sleep in on Thursday night.  Older Scouts often "hung out" in their hammocks just breezing the time away.  And they loved it.

(Note:  We really didn't do "swimming."  We had an area on the river suitable for getting wet, so we had each Scout wear shoes a life jacket while in the water, and treated it as a boating activity without boats 😜 .  They didn't care.  In fact, I think it made them feel a bit more comfortable in the water.)

Our Friday night closing campfire, we brought out lots of alumni and families, and did a Scout planned campfire with each patrol contributing one skit, one song, and one cheer. We also had two Eagle presentation ceremonies.  (The Eagle families brought individual servings of ice cream and cupcakes for everyone.)  About sixty people total at the campfire.

One afternoon, we did a float trip on the river.

Our older Scouts, most of whom had been to three or more Summer Camps, said this was the best summer camp they had ever had.  I agree 😜

We did all of this, including campground rental, food for all sessions, and supplies, for about $220 per head (original estimate was $300 per head).   By far, the biggest expense was campground rental ($7500).  But this was a special place that really added to the experience.

If we did not have to rent the campground, the cost for food and supplies was, for the entire week, about $65 per person.

One of the ways we saved oodles of money was, at the end of each session, we gathered all food items left over, and each cook for the next session would take items which fit their shopping list, or they'd make a substitution on their menu to use an item left over (A Scout is Thrifty!)  For example, if there were five apples left over, and a Scout had put bananas on his menu, he'd just take the apples as a sub.

Hope this helps with thinking, costing, and planning...

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