First Year Camp Programs (T-1st)

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First Year Camp Programs (T-1st)

Postby WVBeaver05 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:10 pm

This wasn't exactly related to MB age restrictions so I sort of pulled it off as a new topic since I think it deserves some discussion.
scoutaholic wrote:Most camps I have seen offer a TFoot-1stClass program, but it is usually not a good program for the boys.

I don't think I have ever taken a boy to summer camp who still needed ALL of the TFoot-1stClass requirements. The program at camp covers everything they can (and sometimes pretends to cover the things they can't) during the week. Why would a 2nd Class scout who has just a few requirements left on 1st Class want to attend 12 hours of classes where they repeat all the things he has already done?

These types of programs would be much more helpful if they would make a schedule where the boys can attend one day to do all the 1st Aid, another for Knots/Lashings, etc.

From what I have seen, the boys would be better served by taking 1st Aid, Pioneering, and Orienteering MBs. This will cover most of the same material, AND get them some MBs. The few TFoot-1stClass requirements not covered by these MBs can be covered individually in camp or with troop at another time.

Our summer camp has a schedule for the requirements that are being covered. Usually in half day blocks. And it is considerably more than 12 hours. More like 30.

I have found them willing to work with a SM who has a Scout below 1st Class that needs to pick up a few requirements. I did it a couple years ago. However, even with the good things, our program still needs work (IMHO).

The effectiveness of the skill instruction varies significantly by instructor and some just don't measure up. They need to work on this. The best way I have found to mitigate this is for SMs to volunteer to help. I also find that even when I don't help (and may not even have a Scout in the program) that I spend some time observing and make sure that I include my feedback in the end of week review that I turn in.

But this is no excuse for Scouts advancing without the appropriate skills. In the program they TEACH (usually). It is still up to the Unit to ensure that the skills are mastered before they are signed off.

So, in short, for our Camp, there is room to improve but the Scouts are learning skills. If they weren't, then I would be sending my Scouts to Merit Badge classes, not wasting their time.

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Postby Quailman » Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:41 pm

I demonstrated whipping a rope to a first year scout in our troop a couple of weeks ago. A second year scout who was watching asked if I'd do it again and teach him. I looked in his book and it had been signed off after supposedly having been covered at last year's summer camp. He said they talked about it but only fused rope, not whipped.

At least he was open about it and wanted to learn. Some kids would have thought "I already have it signed off."

It was Camp Constantin, on Possum Kingsdom Lake, near Ft. Worth.
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Postby wagionvigil » Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:25 am

We have been using SM and Assts. To help with our pathfibder program. It gets the adults involved during the week and They cannot complain if they are the ones teaching the skills. Pathfinder usually has a staff of two plus the leaders they get to help. We sign off nothing BUT give the scout a list of requirements that were covered each day. It is up to the Troop to actually do the sign off back at camp. " SHow us what you learned today"
We are also incorporating First Aid MB in the Program. SO if a scout is a swimmer he gets most 2nd and 1st class finished and Swimming and First Aid MB. Not Bad for the first year.
Last edited by wagionvigil on Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby smtroop168 » Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:40 am

I have used these programs in the past. The best one was at Camp Sinequipe and was run by an Eagle Scout who had all the MBs. They focused on Tenderfoot, some 2nd class and didn't cover much about 1st class except as part of Swimming and First Aid MBs. They got to rifle shoot, archery, canoe and even horseback ride.

Last year we ran our own in camp, using one of the periods after lunch. All 4 boys were able to complete Tenderfoot and 2 MBs vice having multiple items signed off across 3 ranks. Made a big deal of it at their 1st COH.
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Postby Chief J » Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:36 am

The programs are there to provide training in the scoutskills needed for the early ranks. Our camps program is designed to teach the skills and provide time to work on mastering the skills during open program. The program also encourages the participation of the SM or ASM to work with and review the concepts with the Scouts. In addition to the program and letting the leaders know what skills were covered, they also tell the leaders that they should test the skills before signing off in their books.

In addition to the scoutskills, our program incorporates Leatherwork and Swimming merit badges.

Finally, our course is geared to the first year camper and participation is encouraged but optional. If a Scout has completed many of the requirements, this program will only be a review and may not be the best place to spend his time during camp.

If you have an established program in your troop, you may want to think about using the camp's program or not.

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Postby jr56 » Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:24 pm

A good program is at Camp Tesomas, in Rhinelander, WI. They have 1 hour sessions scheduled throughout the week. A boy can select which hour to go to, if he knows what requirements he is missing. The camp offers two types of sessions for each requirement offered. A session where the skill is taught and practiced, and another session on a different day, where the boy can go to demonstrate the skill he has learned, and get it signed off.
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Postby WVBeaver05 » Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:06 pm

jr56 wrote:A good program is at Camp Tesomas, in Rhinelander, WI. They have 1 hour sessions scheduled throughout the week. A boy can select which hour to go to, if he knows what requirements he is missing. The camp offers two types of sessions for each requirement offered. A session where the skill is taught and practiced, and another session on a different day, where the boy can go to demonstrate the skill he has learned, and get it signed off.

Sounds good, except that I would argue that the Troop needs to be the one to sign off.

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Postby jr56 » Sat May 03, 2008 1:00 pm

Good point. But, if that is what a troop really wanted to do, why take their 1st year scouts to a council camp. Just conduct your own summer camp. Or, only have the boys go to the learning sessions, and not the sign off ones.
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Postby WVBeaver05 » Sun May 04, 2008 8:05 am

jr56 wrote:...Or, only have the boys go to the learning sessions, and not the sign off ones.

That is the way the 2 Summer Camps that I have recently been associated with have done it.

The way I interpret the steps of advancement (leans/tested/reviewed/recognized), the First Year programs fill the learning part. In fact, the Adavancement Committee Guide states:

A Scout may be tested on rank requirements by has patrol leader, Scoutmaster, assistant Scoutmaster, a troop committee member, or a member of the troop. The Scoutmaster maintains a list of those qualified to give tests and to pass candidates.

So, I don't really see how a Scout could get signed off in the First Year program. Unless a designated person attended, and still I think it is appropriate to separate Learns from Tested. Although there are some case where it may be appropriate to combine them.

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Postby pipestone1991 » Sun May 04, 2008 8:50 am

Our camp offers a T-foot program called FROGS for 1st years. It helps them finish up T-Foot and also helps them with 1st year Pipestone (council award). It helps with the general reqs for the award such as plants, insects, etc. and makes sure they complete at least one merit badge.
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Postby jr56 » Sun May 04, 2008 10:36 am

Wayne,
Your comments about the scoutmaster determining who signs off the boys requirements are right on the money.
Have to agree with you, unless the scoutmaster is willing to allow staff members at the summer camp to sign off on requirements for the boys in his troop, it shouldn't be done.
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Postby wagionvigil » Sun May 04, 2008 10:38 am

In our camp the SM is given a check list of requiremnts covered for each boy in our first year program and then the Troop signs off not the Camp counselor
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Postby milominderbinder2 » Sun May 04, 2008 8:48 pm

wagionvigil wrote:In our camp the SM is given a check list of requiremnts covered for each boy in our first year program and then the Troop signs off not the Camp counselor
That's how we do it too.

It's the best of both worlds.

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Postby Bill Pitcher » Mon May 05, 2008 10:36 pm

Our camp does the same thing. A check list is handed to the SM or Adv. Chair at the end of the week showing what was covered. The SM (or one of the others listed above) sign the requirement off at a future troop meeting. A scout attending the first year camper program may be in a crowded class, or not paying attention, and therefore may not learn the skill.
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Postby Quailman » Mon May 05, 2008 11:03 pm

wagionvigil wrote:In our camp the SM is given a check list of requiremnts covered for each boy in our first year program and then the Troop signs off not the Camp counselor


That's what our SM does. It might as well be the camp staff, since all he does is look at the list and sign the books.
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Postby Chief J » Tue May 06, 2008 9:38 am

wagionvigil wrote:In our camp the SM is given a check list of requiremnts covered for each boy in our first year program and then the Troop signs off not the Camp counselor


ditto here in the GPC

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Postby WVBeaver05 » Tue May 06, 2008 10:48 pm

Quailman wrote:
wagionvigil wrote:In our camp the SM is given a check list of requiremnts covered for each boy in our first year program and then the Troop signs off not the Camp counselor


That's what our SM does. It might as well be the camp staff, since all he does is look at the list and sign the books.

Ouch! Why? See the highlighted section below.

Bill Pitcher wrote:Our camp does the same thing. A check list is handed to the SM or Adv. Chair at the end of the week showing what was covered. The SM (or one of the others listed above) sign the requirement off at a future troop meeting. A scout attending the first year camper program may be in a crowded class, or not paying attention, and therefore may not learn the skill.

Learns then Tested.

I will sign them off as soon as I can. Sometimes the same day they learn it. But, I have had Scouts come to be with something like "...we learned two half hitches and taut line hitch today...will you sign it off?" I hand them a rope and say show me. After a couple of these they make sure that the know it before asking. Then I move to the next part (how many SMs skip the part about describing when it is used?). Had one group come from camp and say, "...we did all the first aid..." Quick check found that they didn't know any of it. We taught it again and they learned it that time. (And I sent a note to the Camp Director - First Aid is too important to not really teach!!)

And on and on.

Learn, then test, and then when "passed" and only then sign off. (As per the procedures.)

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