At last night’s troop meeting, the scouts asked me about the itinerary for the Camporee that is coming up next week. I said “When are we leaving? I thought you said that we were going up on Saturday and only staying one night. The tour plan is for 2 nights, we can change it if you want.”
“No, what is the schedule for the day?” asked the SPL.
Here I realized that I didn’t forward that information onto him from the Camporee director. So I gave them what I had from the email
Activities start at 9, new scouts work on advancement, older scouts talk to MB counselors about any MBs that they may want to take later on. Then lunch at noon. After lunch, camp-wide Capture the Flag tourney, then dinner, with a Dutch Oven contest and potluck. Then Chapel service, followed by Campfire program at 8 pm, back to your site by 9, lights out at 10. Up the next morning to eat, pack up and be out of camp by 9 AM.
“That’s it? So for $9, plus whatever our food costs, that’s it? I think that we can do our own more exciting thing for cheaper, and make sure our guys learn the 1363 way” stated one of the PLs.
The other PL and SPL looked at him and they agreed. “OK, but we can’t cancel an outing…we need to get out” said the SPL.
So I offered up some guided questions…
“Well, if the new guys need to learn those skills in an outdoor environment, how can we accomplish that? If we don’t go to Camporee, where should we go on short notice?”
I then asked “How does a quarterback get good at his job?”
“Practice” they said
“OK, so how can we get the new guys some practice?”
They kind of looked at me, and I said ”What about making next weekend a day event? And have the new scouts practice. You guys can use my house and my backyard, if you want. Since we are behind the grocery store, it may be a great chance to get the new guys some practice into not only planning, but buying, then cooking, then eating their meals, and then the cleanup…it’s just a thought.”
That sounded good, and then I let them know that my house was open for whatever. They put the preliminaries together of what they wanted to do, and I told them that they should put the program together for the event. The plan is to meet at my house on Saturday afternoon, then do some fire building stuff, then dinner, then tent-work, campfire, then crash in my backyard. The next day, make breakfast, clean up, knots and the break out to home around noon. It’s a simple plan, but the key is that when presented with something that didn’t work for them, they came up with an alternate plan.
The next comments that came were, “we still need to camp out in the woods”…um, ok…
So I made a suggestion…have a camp-out a couple weekends later. Here’s a couple weekends that we can do something, but if you need me to make some calls, let me know.
After that, they discussed some places to camp, and I said that I would call them the next day. The SPL came to me and said, “can we go to Dunbar?”
“We sure can…I don’t think that I will have to call and make sure it’s available that weekend,” and I laughed. *note: Dunbar is the troop’s campground, 100 miles north of Green Bay. My mother owns the land and she has donated use of it to the troop.
So, I am really proud of what the guys accomplished…with a little guidance, the boys made plans for 2 weekends of getting outdoors.
The tide is turning, big time….