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Ideal Week-Long Summer Camp for Venturing Only

venturing summer camp program

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#1 ShootingSports

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 04:29 PM

What would it include with regards to program??? 

 

Looking to advise council on how to put together a successful week long program at summer camp exclusive to Venturing.  Two one week sessions.   

 

Location is scout camp with the following available facilities:

Mountain settings in Pines

Large lake within 5 minute drive

Tent platform camping

Rifle ranges, shotgun range, archery range

Climbing wall

Horses

Pool

 

Thinking outside the box.  What would the Worlds Best Venturing Summer camp have for the daily Programs?


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#2 Stosh

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 09:07 PM

Welcome, looks like you've been lurking for a couple of months, nice to see you getting comfortable enough to join in.

 

I was a Venturing Advisor for 13 years, never went to a summer camp ever with my Crew.

 

The last place I would take a Venturing Crew would be to the council BSA camp for a week regardless of the program offered.

 

Instead: 

 

BWCA entry permit.

 

Yellowstone back country permit

 

Any section of the AT

 

Fishing camp accessible only by airplane 

 

Bike trek that would earn a 50-miler twice each day.

 

Take your week in the winter.  (There are many out there that can attest to the fact that driving up Pike's Peak is quite a thrill.  In the winter it is thrilling on steroids.)

 

Canoe trek down a river staying only on sandbars.

 

If my council asked me to do what @ShootingSports is tasked with. I would politely decline.  

 

However, to be fair, here's my recommendation.

 

Have 1-2 Philmont contingents just for Venturing

Have 1-2 Sea Base contingents just for Venturing

Have 1-2 BWCA contingent permits just for Venturing

 

These people want high adventure, not summer camp. 


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Stosh

 

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#3 qwazse

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 05:56 AM

What would it include with regards to program???

Looking to advise council on how to put together a successful week long program at summer camp exclusive to Venturing. Two one week sessions.

Location is scout camp with the following available facilities:
Mountain settings in Pines
Large lake within 5 minute drive
Tent platform camping
Rifle ranges, shotgun range, archery range
Climbing wall
Horses
Pool

Thinking outside the box. What would the Worlds Best Venturing Summer camp have for the daily Programs?

First: who's asking for a venturers-only summer camp? Like @Stosh, my crew never asked for a summer camp experience. I offer them some isolated location for five or six days, give them a map, and some phone numbers of potential guides. They don't make the calls, we just drive to the site and wing it. Sometimes they just want to hang at a camp and help the ranger dig ditches. The venturers who want to go to a council camp usually want to do so in conjunction with when their troop is going to camp. They do their thing, then meet up with the boys one or two nights. The importance of social time cannot be underestimated with this crowd. In fact, half of my hike plans involve getting these guys away from cell phone reception so that they can have the most uninterrupted meal of their young adult lives.
Second: have you talked to your council's venturing officer's association? Don't look to advise, look to be advised by your leading youth. That social time bit I mentioned? Not my idea. A VOA President told us "we need plenty of structured unstructured time." It is no adult on council's responsibility to plan anything for venturers. So if that's what you're doing STOP NOW. Find those venturers who are willing to commit their time to something bigger than their crew, and walk them through your resources and the weeks when you have them. Direct every adult in council to act only under the authority of the VOA, and in a year or two, you will have a youth developed program that taps into what folks like best about where you all live.

Oh, in working with VOA's you might want to set aside an ample pizza budget.

Edited by qwazse, 19 September 2015 - 05:58 AM.

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#4 Scourge

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 12:39 PM

Camp Hale.  I went there this summer and me and two other venture friends attended the "kiamichi warrior" program.  It's a really fun camp


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#5 ShootingSports

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 01:37 PM

Thanks for input.  I have contacted and I am using VOA at both the local and region level. Held discussion groups with youth within council and outside council. 

 

All of them express interest in "unique experiences"  Really looking for input on idea of program within the council camp setting.

 

Any other suggestions for program? 


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#6 blw2

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 08:10 AM

I'm no venturing expert, by any stretch..... but i'll brainstorm

I'm thinking excursions away from the camp facility.... perhaps using the BSA camp as a base.

 

Is the lake large enough for overnight canoe options?.... maybe 1 or more nights camping on sandbars out at the lake?

 

Scuba in the lake?

 

Mountain setting, so what sorts of trails or off trail multi-night backpacking might be done?.... maybe some off grid rappelling, Bear Grylls inspired stuff?


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#7 qwazse

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 08:53 AM

You are gonna need to work the VOA a lot harder. Ask if any would help develop a program of tier II adventure. They (or venturers they know who would like to start something big) might spend a day with you walking through camp and thinking up program ideas. (Food provided ... you might even have to work in dutch oven cooking and an overnight.)

 

To help you understand the market dynamics of this sort of thing, the following started out as a venturers summer program but only blossomed into a viable multiple week program when older scouts were welcomed:

http://lhc-bsa.org/C... High Adventure

 

What might work with the new awards program is not to have a specific program at all. But, offer tier II and tier III opportunities that venturers would have to plan starting the fall before camp. It might include training opportunities in the spring. Some would have to get first aid certification, others life guard certification, others food safety, others campmaster training, large animal care, NRA/NAA safety,  etc ...

 

In other words the Worlds Best Venturing Summer Camp would be one the youth assemble and staff on their own.  You just provide a list of consultants in the area and some suggestions for backdating and minimum skill-set requirements. Each crew provides the program that they want to have and commit to providing/acquiring the requisite staffing for it.


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#8 Stosh

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 09:21 AM

The first time I went to BWCA I used an experienced scouter to train me in the techniques necessary to do it without an expensive outfitter.

 

Possibly that might be an opportunity for the Venturing camp.  Provide specific training on how to do specific high adventure activities using experienced trainers.

 

The Crew wants BWCA.  Do they know how to pack for that, how's their canoeing skills, map/compass work, wilderness camping, etc.?  Equivalent of the Canoeing MB, Orienteering MB, Cooking MB (focused on campfire), Camping MB, and toss in a bit on Bear Awareness, fishing, and other topics of interest they might come up against in the BWCA setting including permit and boat registration paperwork.  Do they even know that only 7 Crew members can go on a permit?  2 on that permit have to be adults.  9 people to a permit.

 

Most Crews might appreciate a focused week-long training session on how to do that type of activity.

 

The next year, maybe it's hiking (Isle Royale, Yellowstone back country,  Grand Canyon and AT are all different experiences!).  Then there's biking packing, hauling, cooking, supplies, bike repair, etc.  The year after that we go with winter camping skills (health concerns, diet, clothing, equipment, skis vs. snowshoes, etc.  Then there's the river/rapids trek with sandbar camping  Whole new skill set over BWCA.

 

The focus for the program is a week of specific training and the rest of the year is focused on using those skills in the Crew's program.

 

with a 6 year cycle of training, the Venturing members can get extensive training in all the different venues while enjoying their time in the Crew.  When they're done and age out, they may not have a Ranger award or Eagle classification to put on their resume, but they will have skills that they might use well into their adulthood years, if not life-long for some.


Edited by Stosh, 22 September 2015 - 09:25 AM.

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#9 blw2

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 10:26 AM

I like the idea of training @Stosh

Personally, i wish that I had had the opportunity as a younger man to have some real hands on experience in true adventure camping.... not just the exercises and demos a lot of scouts get....

emulate something like these survival camping schools that folks pay money to attend

http://beargryllssurvivalacademy.com/

or

http://www.truenatur...ls-course2.html

or similar

 

A week at a BSA camp for some real learning to prepare them for some real adventure.....  I'm in!.... but it's gotta be hands on and full immersion doing, not just demonstrations and lectures.....


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#10 qwazse

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 08:31 PM

The other challenge that youth this age have is that few are in a position to commit an entire week. You may want to consider 4-day programs. Possibly starting on different days of the week.
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#11 ShootingSports

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 12:28 PM

Awesome ideas.  We will hopefully be working with VOA, leaders and professionals to reach these levels.  Love the idea of training, BWCA, make your own adventures, and shorter schedules.  I will post; if this goes beyond initial planning idea.  But again, thanks to everyone for the input.


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#12 Eagledad

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 12:33 PM

I like the idea of training @Stosh

 

This is how our troop got up to speed in high adventure and is the advice I gave to other troops over the years. You would be amazed how many adults in other troop would love to teach their skills and go along on the first trek. Call a few troops and ask for help and they will come. Also, there are a couple of Venturing Crews that love the opportunity to teach their skills and knowledge. The scouts love it.

 

Barry


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"Experience is the hardest teacher. It gives the test first, then the lesson."


#13 Stosh

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 01:04 PM

It's easier and more expensive to hike 9 days at Philmont than on the AT, but without knowledge one has to pay the tollmaster.  Same for Northern Tier and going BWCA on your own.

 

The year I went with my troop, Outfitters were charging about $350-$425 per participant depending on whether one rented canoes or not.  Summer camp was $210 that summer and we went to BWCA for $135/person (9 days and 57 miles) and that included the fishing license.  Knowledge is a wonderful thing.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#14 SSScout

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Posted 27 September 2015 - 04:08 PM

Something like this?  http://bymcamps.org/...teen-adventure/

This is a "package" for teenagers.  The leaders are trained by various agencies and often are graduates of the camps themselves, having "grown up"  in the camps.  Sort of like a "Scout Camp".

 

With some effort, your VCrew can plan, and arrange this sort of thing themselves.  Takes phone calls (why is that so hard for teenagers?), emails, reading brochures and websites.  National Parks, Town Halls, local Churches, personal connections ("hey, my uncle lives in ..." )  and  imagination.  Often, the teen ager has to be REALLY  encouraged to get out of their box ("you mean I can do that?"), and remind the parent that ,yes, they CAN do that.   

 

Good Scouting to you and your Crew!


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