Troop 49 strives to offer at least one outing and/or overnighter of some sort each month. Generally, the outings cost $15-20 each to cover the cost of food and transportation. The Scouts typically plan the outings with guidance from adult leaders. Part of the process involves planning the meals which they cook themselves, the activities while they’re out there, and the evening’s entertainment. Parents are welcome to attend and observe any scouting event.
A few of the basic pieces of gear a Scout needs for outdoor experiences are a sleeping bag, good hiking boots, a water bottle, a sleeping pad to keep him up off the ground, a mess kit, and a flashlight.
Summer camp is a milestone for a Scout, where they will learn a lot of their Scout skills, get to bond with members of their patrol and troop, and maybe even earn a merit badge or two. Boys who attend summer camp their first year are significantly more likely to stay with the program than those who are unable to.
The troop sends, on average, one adult for every five Scouts in attendance at summer camp. The troop pays for the adult leaders. Some parents find that the Scout’s first year at camp is a good experience to try flying alone, and let their scout go with the other boys in the troop. As an adult at camp, there may be an (optional) defined program of activities for you, or you may be left to your own devices. Each camp is different. It may be an opportunity to catch up on some training, or bring a book and catch up on some much-needed relaxation time.
Homesickness. A Scout’s first year at camp is most likely a completely new experience for him. Almost every Scout experiences homesickness his first time without mom or dad for a full week – one reason many parents choose to get the experience under his belt in year one. A homesick Scout requires the attention of the Scoutmaster, adult leaders, camp staff, and family members at home. Once a Scout leaves summer camp due to homesickness, they’re not likely to return. Especially for first-time summer campers, the following preventative measures are effective:
Don’t tell your Scout that if he doesn’t like it he can come home.
Don’t promise regular phone calls. Camp life just doesn’t support it, and there may or not be signal to make that happen.
Say positive things about what camp life is expected to be like.
If he wants to bring something special from home to help, like a special pillow or family picture, encourage him to do so.
Recognize that homesickness is common and that the adult leaders have managed this successfully many times before.
Medical forms are provided in the welcome packet. If not, they can be downloaded from http://www.scouting.org/filestore/HealthSafety/pdf/680-001_ABC.pdf. Each Scout and adult is required to have one on file before they can go on any outing. Only parts A & B are needed for our troop outings. Part C is required to attend summer camp, and must be signed by a physician. The health forms must be updated yearly.