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What Do You Look For In A Summer Camp?

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#21 oldisnewagain1



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Posted 10 May 2015 - 02:23 PM

Good food and lots of it

Staff willing to accommodate reasonable request in a friendly timely manner

A camp that makes the troop feel welcome

and I'll agree with Tahawk

Reasonable price (relative to value) 

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#22 danbrew


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Posted 13 May 2015 - 05:38 PM

We have a group of Scouts do research on area camps and then present the results to the troop, including the promotional videos that each camp offers (most do have these).  The Scouts put together a matrix of # of merit badges, # of additional offerings (COPE, ATV, etc.), waterfront activities, etc. and then we distribute this to all of the Scouts and they vote on the camp.


We are in the Chicago area and we've gone to Camp Tesomas in Rhinelander several times - excellent camp.  We're going to Tomahawk Scout Reservation in 2016, also an excellent camp.


Ultimately the Scouts have to decide - as Scoutmaster I do my best to keep the adults out of the decision making process, although I

think about dining halls and amenities for the adults.  In an ideal world, the camp the Scouts pick will offer some of those adult amenities like internet access and decent cell phone coverage.  If so, great.  If not, maybe that adult goes to town for a few hours to take care of work that can't wait for them to take off a week. 


I go back and forth on the dining hall issue - you really want to implement the patrol method, cooking every meal at camp is a good way to go about it, although I can see the viewpoint that cooking three meals a day for each patrol can take some time at a camp.  So... we do tend to lean towards those with a dining hall and the Scouts like that.  I could probably push the issue a bit with them, but the Scouts get that dining halls are easier and will probably have better food.


As an aside, we have a Scout that can't make our scheduled summer camp and is instead going with another area troop to their camp.  He tells me that he is working on 7 Eagle required merit badges at that camp.  I lol'd a bit and told him that was very unlikely and that he should probably do a little research on the camp to ensure he wasn't disappointed.  He lol'd right back at me and told me, no, he was sure he could work on 7 Eagle required merit badges at that camp.  Guess what? I did some research on the camp and, sure enough, they offer a program where a Scout could work on on 7 merit badges from 6:30a until 5:45p.  Ummmm... I was astounded.  Yes, some of the Eagle required have prerequisites.  But, still, 7? Holy cow.  While I'm not the world's most experienced Scouter, I've typically seen four or five.  I know there are a lot of folks out there that will say "we have a rule that a boy can only do..." and those that try to limit Eagle badges at camp.  I understand the sentiment there, but if the boy does the prereqs and has a MB counselor sign off on them, well, that's what the Guide to Advancement says.  So while I am a little surprised, I'm not planning on getting in the way of it. 

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 06:11 PM

My current troop is not a Boy Scout troop - yet.  My prior troop regarded Summer Camp as a great opportunity for cooking.  Iron Chef Thursday became a big highlight.   We went to a council camp every other year and usually ate lunch in the dinning hall/tent to: 1) have some contact with the camp culture; and 2) make it easier to make schedule events before and after lunch.  


And yes, dan, the Merit Badge Mills grind shamefully on.

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#24 Walter Shannon

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 09:52 AM

First of all, I am looking for new friend in a summer camp and for new adventures =)

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#25 Stosh


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Posted 07 November 2017 - 11:58 AM

I personally don't "look for anything" in a summer camp.  I don't select it, the boys do.  Every year they can go to any summer camp they wish.  Last year the boys went to Camp Freeland Leslie and had a great time so I was told.  I was unable to attend.  Where they are going next year, I don't know.  They haven't told me yet.

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