Unstructured time is both and good thing and a bad thing. Boys who see this time as an opportunity can have a great time, but other boys see it as "nothing to do" time and are bored and will eventually find something "to get into".
I do like the idea of taking MB's over again if one has enjoyed it the first time.
When I was a scout at summer camp, I don't remember there being any activity being "booked". The swimming hole was always "free swim", the rifle and archery ranges were always drop in (sometimes there was a line and you had to wait a bit). Same with the boats, get in line and take the next free one (and there were plenty so I never remember waiting - except during the canoeing MB class). Yes the MB classes would "book" time on the ranges and such, but the classes were small so they wouldn't take up the whole rifle range, or use all the boats. Until I got to this forum, I never even heard of the concept of "troop swim", or the idea of a camp having specially designated "free periods". If a scout decided to work on three MBs, that was considered a heavy load and he was warned by the scout master about leaving time for fun. In our troop, no one was allowed to take more than three at summer camp - most only did one. Yes there was a schedule (meal times, lights out, camp wide events, etc.), but most of a scouts time was unscheduled.
To be honest, scout camp today sounds to much like school to be fun for my taste. Way to much structure! No wonder people find it "stressful".
It is also a problem with the boys all going different directions and the over-controlling SM not knowing where everyone is every minute of the day and can't drop in to the MB session to make sure the boys are staying on task.
Any given Saturday when I was growing up, my parents had no idea where I was or what I was doing while hanging out with my friends. I didn't think the SM needed to either. My opinion hasn't changed over the years.
Same with me. I think the SM and ASMs only had a basic idea where everyone was. If they saw us changing into bathing suits and heading off with towels, they figured we were going to the swimming hole. If we had our fishing poles, we were going fishing. They usually asked us where we were going, but sometimes the answer was "I don't know, run around for a bit". If you had a first aid MB class at 2:30, it was the scouts responsibility to remember and get there on time.
Same at home. My parents wanted to have some idea of where I was and who I was with. But often all they knew was "I'm going bike riding with Charles." Too which they would reply: "OK, dinner is at six."
Edited by Rick_in_CA, 30 July 2015 - 01:38 PM.