Summer Camp in the South?

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Summer Camp in the South?

Postby fritz1255 » Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:25 am

Big discussion at Roundtable last night about traveling long distances to summer camp. One scoutmaster stated that they were looking at going to a southern locale next summer (we are located right along the Mason Dixon line). After suffering through a couple of days of 90+ weather at our camp this past summer, I gotta ask: what provisions are there at camps in say, Missisippi or Alabama for the heat? While our kids did just fine, the adults were covered with sweat and miserable for most of the two to three 90+ days. Having previously lived in Louisisana and Alabama, I would imagine that 90+ degrees is the norm for July, and it would be miserable with no escape from the heat.
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Postby Quailman » Wed Sep 12, 2007 9:30 am

I've been to summer camp twice in Texas. While it's not Alabama or Mississippi, you can almost see them from here. It was surprisingly not as torrid as I expected. The camps offered SM lounges that were air conditioned, and free swim every afternoon (for all - not just SMs). I only went in the SM lounge once, for about ten minutes to cool off.

The one along the river allowed you to help with the swimming MB program. All right, they didn't really expect you to help - you just kind of soaked in a corner of the swimming area.

Nights weren't too bad - we just slept on top of our covers with both ends of the tents wide open. The only problem here was that one of the camps had a very high population of daddy longleg spiders. They favored the inside of the canvas, especially up near the peak, and occasionally during the night one would lose its grip and drop onto the bare skin on my chest. I'm sorry to say I got used to that after the second night.
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Postby scoutaholic » Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:49 am

I've not been to summer camp in The South, but if 90+ temperatures are the question I've seen plenty of that.
Temperatures in July and August in Utah are normally 90+ and often 100+. The higher altitude and lower humidity may make it a little more bearable, but the key is planning and preparation. Use sunscreen, wear a hat, drink lots of water, use (or make) shade, avoid strenuous activities in the heat of the afternoon, etc.
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South

Postby riverwalk » Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:07 pm

Yeah, the humidity is as big a concern as the heat. Here's the best advice I can give, and I think it addresses a nationwide concern in our Program (IMHO). Most of us aren't properly hydrated anyway, and this can lead to heat emergencies more quickly in long term camps. We might not see it individually, until Scouts return home. So get acclimated and hydrated well before camp; minimize sweets and soft drinks at camp (even though BSA counts on the income from this); watch for heat stress; and let parents know to be alert after camp.

Heat has a cumulative power on us. Drink water, have fun, drink more water. Do I do it properly, no, but I am getting better about it. :wink:
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Postby wagionvigil » Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:40 pm

I have camped in VA in July and it is not pleasant. Survivable? yes! But Pleasant? No!
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Postby Chief J » Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:43 am

As some at the 2005 National Jamboree had eloquently put it:

"Drink water or die" - this was the sign on a stack of water bottles free for the taking on the side of the road in the Southern Region.

I agree with all, the best way to deal with the heat is to make sure you are properly hydrated. If you begin to drink water when you are thirsty it is too late.

In addition to proper hydration, taking steps to reduce sunburn and direct sunlight on the skin help also, lightweight, loose-fitting long sleeve shirts, hats, sunglasses, etc. all help deal with the suns effects.


Back from my days in the Army, a medic once told me, "once a heat casualty, always a heat casualty" basically, you will be more likely to have a reoccurance of a heat related illness than someone who has never had a heat related illness.

Best Regards,
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Postby Quailman » Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:33 am

...and it's not just during the day taht you have to be careful. My 14 year-old son went on three consecutive "death marches". He managed the Tuesday 5 miler and Wednesday 10-miler with no problem, but around mile nine of Thursday's 15 miler he fell victim to dehydration and had to drop out. They departed around 7:00 each evening. The importance of drinking plenty of water was stressed, and he did drink a large amount, but still it wasn't enough.
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Postby WeeWillie » Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:53 am

Do not assume that Scouts from other regions are any better prepared for hot weather summer camping than you are. All summer camps have are required to updated their risk analysis and remediation plans (don't know the official BSA term). Call the Council Programs Department and ask for a copy of the Leader's Guide and any other info they have on policies and procedures to prevent heat injuries.

Start preparing now. If you have overweight Scouts or Adults have them get a new physical. Include a note advising the Dr, PA ... that the Scout or Adult will be camping in hot weather.

Get in shape. Have the troop do Personal Fitness MB prior to camp to get them in better physical conditioning.

Ban black clothing.

Think positive. At least the water in the lake or pool will be warm
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Postby FrankJ » Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:48 am

There are a multitude of camps in the southern Appalachians that are hot during the day but cool down at night. Woodruff & Rainey Mtn in GA, Skymont in Tenn. & Daniel Boone NC just to name a few.
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Postby SM-890 » Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:26 am

Our troop enjoys Camp Sydney Dew in the NW part of Georgia. We go the last week of camp in July and the numbers are lower, so the boys get extra attention from the staff.
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Re: Summer Camp in the South?

Postby LSR » Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:48 pm

fritz1255 wrote:Big discussion at Roundtable last night about traveling long distances to summer camp. One scoutmaster stated that they were looking at going to a southern locale next summer (we are located right along the Mason Dixon line). After suffering through a couple of days of 90+ weather at our camp this past summer, I gotta ask: what provisions are there at camps in say, Missisippi or Alabama for the heat? While our kids did just fine, the adults were covered with sweat and miserable for most of the two to three 90+ days. Having previously lived in Louisisana and Alabama, I would imagine that 90+ degrees is the norm for July, and it would be miserable with no escape from the heat.


90+ degrees? Looking to do a little Winter camping, 'eh? :wink: Summer camp in Louisiana can get a tad.....stuffy! The pool and the lake (Scouts were flipping the canoes to get in the water. They were VERY well drilled for the merit badge!) The SM lounge was air conditioned. The sites had electicity and most folks had fans for the night. Ditto the other posts on water (and pay attention to electrolytes!) Have some pedialyte on hand in case you do have a dehydration problem.
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Postby LSR » Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:56 pm

SM-890 wrote:Our troop enjoys Camp Sydney Dew in the NW part of Georgia. We go the last week of camp in July and the numbers are lower, so the boys get extra attention from the staff.


North Georgia is absolutely beautiful! I went to North Georgia in Dahlonega about a million years ago.
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