Camping is an important part of the Scouts BSA experience. The scouts learn skills that allow them to be stronger and more confident in their abilities and they also learn leadership skills along the way. The best part is that camping is FUN!!!
Camping is also scout-led, so the adults role is to ensure safety, but not tell the scouts what to do. This is the way they learn! We are a scout-led troop so that means all of the Scouts are expected to be fairly self-sufficient. There are always at least two trained adults present. The adults are always engaged with the Scouts, but the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) - the elected scout - is in charge of the Troop. If adult Scouters are asked a question, we will ask that it's directed to the SPL. The Scouts set up camp, run the program, cook the meals, and everything else that happens at camp. Also, please note that Adults tent in a separate part of the campsite from the Scouts. The adults are CPR trained and we have a very well stocked first-aid kit.
The Troop typically camps on the third weekend of the month, but occasionally that date gets moved. The troop pays for the camping and food normally, with the exception of Summer Camp which is usually less than $400+/-. Your son can fundraise throughout the year to pay for that. Summer camp can be completely paid for by encouraging your scout to participate in the fundraising activities. This teaches the scouting value that a scout is THRIFTY.
When traveling to/from camp, it's always in Class A/Field uniform (without the neckerchief). See below for details. The scouts meet at the trailers which is on the side of the Parish Center where we have our meetings around 5 or 6 on Friday (time will be announced). They will return on Sunday morning usually before noon. They will contact you when they are getting close to let you know when to pick them up.
Before the first camping trip, fill out the BSA Annual Medical Form. Parts A & B are required to be turned in before your first camping trip with a copy of your insurance card and shot record. Before summer camp or a high-adventure camp, Part C will need to be completed with the physical. The medical forms are required to be completed and updated annually.
Prior to camp, an email will be sent out confirming who is going and who the adults are that are attending as well as any camp-specific reminders. There will be an emergency point of contact as well. Please do not expect to hear from your scout during the camping trip. We want them to be focused on the camping program and "mentally present" at camp, not playing on their phones and "zoning out" and distracted. They will be having fun!!!!!!
For weekend camping, we typically meet at 5:30 at St. Paul near the scout trailers. That time is usually announced in the email. At the end of the camping trip, we will post in the GroupMe about the estimated time of arrival back at St. Paul. It can fluctuate based on how quickly the troop packs up the campsite in the morning and how long the driving trip takes to return. It's usually sometime around 12 pm +/-.
Packing for Camp
When packing for camp, we have prepared some helpful checklists to help your scout "Be Prepared".
Bring a sack dinner to eat in the car on the way to camp on Friday nights
Packing in a duffle bag or hiking backpack is idea. Suitcases are not ideal in camp.
Make sure that you are not packing for your scout, though because they will not know where their stuff is in the bags AND what do they learn if you do it for them????
For all of our campouts, Scouts need a non-disposable water bottle (like a Nalgene), silverware, and a mess-kit or reusable plate, bowl, and cup.
They should have a sleeping bag, and a sleeping pad and pillow, if desired.
The troop supplies tents. they should not bring their own tent. They will tent with at least one other Scout.
If possible, we suggest a folding camp chair for campfires and sitting around the campsite.
If they want insect repellent, please make sure it is not aerosol! The troop supplies sunblock.
If the camping is water-related, they should bring a modest swimsuit or dry-fit clothes, a towel and real water-shoes, not flip-flops.
Pocket knives are allowed, but only if the scout has earned the "Tot'N Chip" and the blades must be less than 3' long
No personal food is allowed in camp. The scouts eat what the troop eats. No sodas are allowed either. No food is allowed in tents.
Electronic devices are allowed in cars while travelling, but not in camp. They must stay locked in the travel vehicles when we get to camp. That includes phones and games.
Go to Academy or Walmart to buy your camping gear if you do not have it already. When camping, the troop provides tents and food for the weekend, so it's really just personal gear (sleeping bags, clothes, water bottle, toiletries, etc.) that your scout will need to bring. No electronics at camp, but they can be used while traveling. They should always bring their Scouts BSA Handbook as they will sometimes be working on items in their handbook while they are at camp.