When campouts fail

It seems like an ideal troop outing. A trip to a local ski area for a weekend of snow sports. The slopes are not too steep but still full of fun and challenge. They offer downhill and cross-country skiing trails, snowboarding runs, ice skating and tubing. There are lights for nighttime skiing as well. Lessons are available, and there’s camping on site. The ski area is less than an hour’s drive away, and the cost is reasonable. There should be plenty to do for everyone.

But when only a few Scouts, and fewer adults, choose to attend, the outing has to be cancelled.

What went wrong? Continue reading “When campouts fail”

Just what is “camping,” anyway?

tents_at_scouting_camp_250Boy Scouts go camping. Everybody knows that, right?

Camping is the universal activity that ties the program together. Outsiders are likely to think that camping is the raison d’être of Scouting. It’s been with us since the very first camping trip that Lord Baden-Powell took Scouts on back at Brownsea. Camping is to Scouting as building robots is to Robotics or playing basketball is to basketball teams.

We have previously explored why Scouts go camping. It’s not just because we like camping. Not many boys join Scouting expressly for the camping. It’s because when Scouts camp, they practice leadership, self-reliance, independent thinking and problem-solving that will serve them well as they grow. Continue reading “Just what is “camping,” anyway?”

Scout camping: Three essential elements

tents_at_scouting_camp_250A couple months ago, we wrote about just what constitutes a Scout campout. Scout camping, as you’re aware, is different from ordinary-folks camping because it aims to fulfill a purpose besides recreation and just getting outside. Scout camping is where the values of Scouting come to life and is the end result of a month’s worth of planning and preparation by our Scouts.

In one of his recent podcasts, Clarke Green crystallized the concept of whether a particular activity qualifies as an appropriate Scout campout. Clarke gives three essential elements that must be present in order to be a Scouting activity and not just a weekend in the woods. They are: Continue reading “Scout camping: Three essential elements”