Summer camp: after you’re home

Now that summer camp is over, you’re rested and have your dirty laundry (and your son’s) all washed and put away, it’s time to tidy up the odds and ends needed to close out your camp experience and lay the groundwork for next year.

  • Evaluate how you did financially.  Take into account your total costs beginning with the camp deposit and ending with the final settlement with the camp office. Don’t forget to add incidental costs such as gas to tow the trailer, fuel for your stoves and lanterns, merit badge books and other supplies.  Also, figure in how much your scouts spent on program costs at camp – materials for scoutcraft projects, ammunition for shooting sports, etc.  Then, you can come up with the actual costs and cost per scout so you’ll know how close you came to your budget estimate as well as what to plan for next year.
  • Be sure your advancement chair files all those merit badge and rank advancement reports with your council service center.  Post them using the online advancement system but be sure to follow up with signed copies of the advancement reports from boards of review, if you held them during camp.  It’s always easier to get signatures from your committee members at the time of the BOR.
  • Ensure that all troop equipment is accounted for, is in good condition, and is properly put away.  Anything that needs repair or replacement should be attended to. Your youth Quartermaster should take the lead, but the adult equipment coordinators need to be there to help.
  • Hold a post-camp meeting to evaluate how things went, review procedures used and gather suggestions on what to change for next year. How did your youth leaders do leading the troop?  How do you enhance their training prior to next year’s summer camp? Remember, your goal is for a 100% youth-led troop, free from adult interference.
  • Send an e-mail or note to the camp director.  Let him or her know how everything went. Express your appreciation for the hard work by the camp staff. If anything or anyone stood out that really made for a great week, be sure to mention it.  If anything that you regret took place, be sure to mention it and describe how you have dealt with correcting it.

It’s just as important to follow up after summer camp as it is to prepare for it. It’s really the first step in planning for next year’s experience.

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