First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

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First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

Postby ThunderingWind » Sun May 15, 2011 12:39 pm

For the first time in a very long time in my current Troop's history, NONE of the "New Scout" patrol members are going to
summer camp. This is really giving everyone "in charge" some stress. None of the parents are giving any really good answers and the Scouts keep directing us back to Mom and Dad.

They all are coming to the weekly meetings and several of the outings.

We just do not understand.
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Re: First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

Postby Mrw » Sun May 15, 2011 1:10 pm

I have been with our troop about 14-15 years and we had that happen once. It was a very small group of incoming scouts that year, they did not go to summer camp for various (weak in my opinion) reasons and they were gone by the beginning of September.

I hope yours turn out differently.
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Re: First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

Postby smtroop168 » Sun May 15, 2011 2:52 pm

ThunderingWind wrote:For the first time in a very long time in my current Troop's history, NONE of the "New Scout" patrol members are going to
summer camp. This is really giving everyone "in charge" some stress. None of the parents are giving any really good answers and the Scouts keep directing us back to Mom and Dad.

They all are coming to the weekly meetings and several of the outings.

We just do not understand.


You all need to de-stress. It is not the end of the world if these scouts don't attend summer camp. There may be factors that the parents think are none of the troop's business. If they are coming to weekly meetings/outings, that's good enough for now.
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Re: First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

Postby lambeausam » Mon May 16, 2011 8:01 am

Take a look at the week you scheduled. Is it near the 4th of July? Prime vacation time?

The boys will miss a great week and hopefully attend next year. Especially if they see pictures and hear stories in the fall.
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Re: First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

Postby Quailman » Mon May 16, 2011 9:14 am

Let all the parents know about provisional troop options in your council. Maybe some of the boys can go during a different week
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Re: First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

Postby Billiken » Mon May 16, 2011 10:17 am

My son and two other WEBELOS crossed over in April 2005.
None of them went to summer camp that year with the troop.
(Two of the three are now Eagle Scouts.)

The troop had done no advance communication re summer camp.

We now:
1. Hold WEBELOS cross over in March
2. Send a letter (hard copy/mailed) to every 5th grade WEBELOS' parent in January re summer camp.
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Re: First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

Postby ScoutMomGWRC » Tue May 24, 2011 1:54 pm

My son became a scout in late May and when they asked us if he would go to camp, we said no.
It was $250 and we didn't have that money. We were too late for the early bird discount and my son didn't
have any "troop bucks". We also would have to get him a few basic supplies. We were overwhelmed with the whole
idea. Also embarrassed a bit to say that we couldn't afford it on such short notice.

My son was also nervous since he was new to the group. As the date approached, the older boys really convinced my son
to go. I felt a little more comfortable with the dads who were going and the process of it all.

I took money out of savings. I was not completely comfortable with doing that, but I only have one son and thought that it would
be a great experience.

For a first year scout, it would be awesome to have all the information up front, maybe even a discussion of financial aid in general, so
no one feels singled out or embarrassed. A list of what the troop can loan out for equipment and such....maybe that would help.
If it is a case of the parents not being comfortable with their son going on a campout with the adult leaders, there is not much you can do.
It takes a while for that trust to build.

Oh, it also really helped to have the T21 program explained to me. It was important for me to learn that the camp did something geared toward the younger set.

Good luck. I think my son grew from the experience and he can't wait to go back this year.
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Re: First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

Postby ThunderingWind » Tue May 24, 2011 9:06 pm

ScoutMomGWRC wrote:.......For a first year scout, it would be awesome to have all the information up front, maybe even a discussion of financial aid in general, so no one feels singled out or embarrassed. A list of what the troop can loan out for equipment and such....maybe that would help. If it is a case of the parents not being comfortable with their son going on a campout with the adult leaders, there is not much you can do. It takes a while for that trust to build.

Oh, it also really helped to have the T21 program explained to me. It was important for me to learn that the camp did something geared toward the younger set.

Covered all these items in our many outreaches to the parents and the boys. They are from our feeded pack at the same Chartered Org. Scout money from popcorn travels with the boys in this Chartered Org. They had been with the troop on about 4 outings, two overnights, etc......We gave parents a nice document that covered everything you mentioned and they crossed over in early March. Money should not be a problem as these are families that from all outward appearances should not have an issue/need.

Since this has not happened in the last 20 years, the long term adults that are part of the committee and SM/ASM Corps are troubled. All but one has made Scout and we are making full progress on T21. Now we have to revamp our training schedule to add back in what was going to be covered at summer camp and figure out how to get the boys more nights camping. One night a month is not going cut it when you factor in family vacations, being sick, etc....
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Re: First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

Postby ScoutMomGWRC » Tue May 24, 2011 10:08 pm

ThunderingWind wrote:Covered all these items in our many outreaches to the parents and the boys. They are from our feeded pack at the same Chartered Org. Scout money from popcorn travels with the boys in this Chartered Org. They had been with the troop on about 4 outings, two overnights, etc......We gave parents a nice document that covered everything you mentioned and they crossed over in early March. Money should not be a problem as these are families that from all outward appearances should not have an issue/need.

That's awesome. It sounds like a very organized,thought out approach. :)

ThunderingWind wrote:Since this has not happened in the last 20 years, the long term adults that are part of the committee and SM/ASM Corps are troubled. All but one has made Scout and we are making full progress on T21. Now we have to revamp our training schedule to add back in what was going to be covered at summer camp and figure out how to get the boys more nights camping. One night a month is not going cut it when you factor in family vacations, being sick, etc....

Since you have things planned out so well and have gone above and beyond (IMO) in passing out information, then I think you shouldn't be worried or troubled. My only advice is to ask the parents very directly what's going on and or explain to them what will be missed. You mention that the parents are giving good answers. What are they saying?

I do have a question, more for myself, since I am only one year into this.... you mention needing to revamp a training schedule. I am not certain what this means? Do the boys in your troop work independently or do they have a schedule they are on?
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Re: First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

Postby ThunderingWind » Tue May 24, 2011 10:58 pm

ScoutMomGWRC wrote:I do have a question, more for myself, since I am only one year into this.... you mention needing to revamp a training schedule. I am not certain what this means? Do the boys in your troop work independently or do they have a schedule they are on?
We are using a programmed T21 schedule that takes all the advancment items and breaks them up through out the year and so that roughly a year after a boy crosses over, he makes First Class. We edited out that stuff taught at Summer Camp and inserted more training for items that seem to need more (First Aid, Knots, Pioneering and Map & Compass). Now we will have to add back in what was going to be taught at the sumer camp T21 program.

As for the "good answers, they are just too canned and without sincerity. One family told they are moving. Then we found out they are moving from one apt bldg to another in the same complex so the complex can refurbish the building. The complex is doing all the moving.
another told us swim practice. But the coach is a Committee Member and has stated that the boys can go to camp. We even plan for a Friday night pick up so they can go to the Saturday afternoon swim meet (has been like this for many years here). These answers are just not sitting right with the Committee and since I am the New Scout Patrol ASM, I am the target of the Inquisition.
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Re: First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

Postby smtroop168 » Wed May 25, 2011 8:01 am

Good Grief....you provided them the needed info and the new scout parents have made their decision. If you keep pushing and doing FBI background checks on why not you'll have a bigger problem than not going to summer camp in that you'll have no new scouts to worry about since they will have left your troop and possibly scouts all together. There goes your JTE GOLD!!!

I realize this puts a chrimp in the troop's quest to make everyone a 1st class in a year and keeps them from making Eagle at 13 but to quote SGT Hulka..."Lighten Up Francis"
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Re: First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

Postby ScoutMomGWRC » Wed May 25, 2011 8:46 am

I like that your troop gives the opportunity for the boys to reach 1st class in a year. My son is a tenderfoot because it has been very difficult to get some of those things you mentioned completed.
However, explain to the families that the things gained at summer camp will help them to make rank and if they still can't/won't go.. then don't revamp your schedule. They will just have to wait until next year. I am sorry you feel like you have to "answer" for them. My troop seems to be a bit more laid back.
If the families don't want their boys to go yet, then they don't.

Hang in there... it sounds like YOU are doing a GREAT job and if people aren't responding to that, you can take your talents to South Beach ;)

Give the committee the answers the families gave you and specifically to the swim coach, maybe he can reiterate to the boy that it is ok if he goes to camp...
short of that, I don't think there is anything you can do.
Last edited by ScoutMomGWRC on Fri May 27, 2011 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

Postby smtroop168 » Wed May 25, 2011 2:05 pm

TW.....

I think (and hope) all units strive to establish practices which provide scouts the opportunity to advance to 1st class in their first year. However, Scouts advance (or don't) at their own pace. This is one of the major hurdles to get over from Cub Scouts. This is why we have 13 y/o Eagles and 18 y/o Life Scouts. Scouts don't have to wait for the Group Troop Program to cover any requirement. I've got kids shoving their books under our noses every meeting to get a requirement done. I had a very nice email from a scout who turned 18 and never advanced past 1st class. He told me that he knows I talked ad nauseum with him about advancement, but he said he gained so much more from the program in terms of personal growth and the ability to go out on his own and take care of himself. He went to summer camp 6 times. Remember Advancement is only one of the Methods of Scouting, so don't beat yourself up because a few 11 y/os don't go to summer camp.
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Re: First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

Postby Quailman » Wed May 25, 2011 6:08 pm

I was reading this thread and thinking that I'd point out that rank advancement isn't the be-all and end-all of summer camp, or even of scouting. It's one of the methods, which smtroop168 just pointed out. My oldest aged out as a Star scout and had similar experiences, going to all the summer camps. He was a whisker away from Life for about eight months.

The fun of summer camp is what these boys will miss out on the most.
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Re: First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

Postby Mrw » Wed May 25, 2011 8:37 pm

My only concern would be that the boys missing summer camp lose interest because they did not get to go when all the others did. It is about the fun and engagement.

We have opportunity for each boy to earn First Class in a year, but really very few of them do.
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Re: First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

Postby ThunderingWind » Thu May 26, 2011 8:08 am

I understand that "getting Rank" is not the ultimate goal. And we do have boys that do not make First Class in the time frame we lay out. We know each boy is different. Of the four that crossed over, one still has yet to complete his Scout rank. He is
academically slower than the rest and will take a few more weeks to get the description of the badge out in an intelligable manner.

I was told this troop has had a boy or two not go to camp each summer, but the fact that this year is it 100% of the new Scout and 60% of the rest of the troop has the committee worried that something is going wrong.

Personally, nothing is going wrong.
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Re: First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

Postby ronin718 » Thu May 26, 2011 8:55 am

WOW!!! If TW were to try to bring this concept to my troop, they'd run him out of town. A training program to get boys to First Class in one year??? My troop believes it's up to the boys to determine their advancement pace, but until recently they were encouraged to go at a slower pace. When we were in our first year, we caught so much flak from the SM because our son was advancing one rank every three months. Didn't matter that we were only taking advantage of the program the troop was providing, they weren't used to boys moving that fast. My son earned Star at 13 months, Life at 22 months, and Eagle at 39 months in the troop.

When we joined the troop, the typical age for earning Eagle was 17. Today, we have more 16 y/o Eagles, with several boys tracking on the "accelerated" path to Eagle. Perhaps not quite as fast as my son, but on pace to earn Eagle at 15 y/o/a. I like to think my boy blazed that trail, but perhaps that's too much credit in one basket. However, considering many of these fast burners are boys coming out of patrols he lead, circumstantial evidence makes me go "hmmmmmm"...

And yes, I hear the question, "How to you keep them involved after that?" We do it with an energetic HA program. We always offer two different HA treks in the summer for the older guys. In addition to the Big Three, we also go to Alaska, Maine, and the Cascades. This year we have five crews doing the CHASE HA Sailing camp. By providing variety in the HA program, we keep the boys interested and involved.
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Re: First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

Postby Reasonable Rascal » Thu May 26, 2011 11:02 am

ThunderingWind wrote:I was told this troop has had a boy or two not go to camp each summer, but the fact that this year is it 100% of the new Scout and 60% of the rest of the troop has the committee worried that something is going wrong.


perhaps you have a camp selected that is not appealing for the boys. Is there enough to entice returning campers, or have they pretty much done everything the camp has to offer?

We attended the same camp for 2 years, then decided upon a mini-high adventure (modest size camp about 575 miles away, with 2 nights going out, and one coming back, and 2 national park visits while traveling). This year we are returning to the previous camp of years past because there is more for the boys to do without resorting to the "older Scout" program. I think if we return there next year as well we'll have a half dozen boys seeking to fill the 12 slots they allot each week for that program (Spade Ranch, they call it).

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Re: First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

Postby ThunderingWind » Thu May 26, 2011 11:14 am

I think the camp the troop is going to offers a solid program. They are part of the Personal Water Craft test so that got a few olders boys excited. Not much in the way of merit badges and specials is missing. The only thing I see missing is a long hike/backpacking offering.

Anyway, since this is the first time in a long time for this troop to ahveso many not go to camp, they are worried and asking a lot of questions.

Ronin178: Training program, FCFY, T21 program - what ever you wnat to call it. We use the rank stuff need to fill the Patrol (and sometimes Troop) instruction time of each meeting and camping trip to at least start teaching the boys the skills they need. Some do move faster, some do move slower. But we offer it none the less so they can. And we tell the boys and parents this when the come for the official "Troop Visit" for the Arrow of Light.
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Re: First Year Scouts NOT GOING to Summer Camp

Postby smtroop168 » Thu May 26, 2011 12:38 pm

ThunderingWind wrote:I think the camp the troop is going to offers a solid program. They are part of the Personal Water Craft test so that got a few olders boys excited. Not much in the way of merit badges and specials is missing. The only thing I see missing is a long hike/backpacking offering.


What week are you going to Rodney? I'll be there 26 June-2 July. With 100% of my new scouts. :wink:
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