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Tag You're It - Running a Camporee Your Way?


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#21 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 10:32 AM

I am stunned. What happens if after all this investment by OA, your Council decides to sell? Or is this camp in a land trust? Maybe OA should take over Council? Just stunned.

 I do not know all of the details, even when I was a DE. But my understanding is that the camp is in a trust. We ever decide to give up the camp, it goes back to the family that donated it in the 1920s.

 

One of my worst fears is that the camp will no longer be used by the council. The family has developed the area, and McMansions are springing up around the camp. That happened to the original council camp in my home council growing up. The city kept expanding its jurisdiction until the camp was inside city limits. neighbors complained about all the traffic and racket. Even though we were there when it was a swamp.


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#22 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 12:58 PM

Forgot to add right after I quit being a DE and I left the area briefly, the council decided to harvest all the trees in the camp. There was a major protest, especially from those with local Girl Scout connections. The Girl Scouts after a merger clear cutted two camps and sold them off. Council backed down.

 

A few years later new SE comes in. Pro-local camp and spent some money and energy cleaning up the camp and making improvements (remember the year of the big snow storms? Hell froze over not only because the Saints won the Superbowl, but a SE was doing "cheerful service" at an OA Ordeal ;) ). Anyway the topic of harvesting trees comes up again. While their was some initial fury at even talking about it, when he and others went out to the RTs and other Scouting meetings to talk why cutting was needed (fire hazards, needed more usable space for campsites, parking, and new structures at camp), what areas it was going to be done in ( not the entire camp selected areas cleared, but most would be thinned), as well as how it was going to be done ( hand logging; More money to do it, but minimal impact on camp).  People calmed down a bit.

 

But when the word that the loggers cut a little more than they were suppose to, people got ticked off again, until they saw the camp. That extra bit revealed a campsite that hadn't been used in ages ( some of the old timers even forgot about the campsite), and the camp looked nice. With the reforestation program they did, 7 years later the camp looks AWESOME. One new building has been built, and one building is in the  planning stages. That one is trickier due to EPA regs.

 

As for what happens if the council decides to do away with the camp, I'm betting a lot of FOS dollars will go towards buying the camp from the family. Considering that some of the family that gave us the land are still active in Scouting, as well as THE biggest donors to the council love the camp (they renamed the main camp in the family's honor), it may be purchased by volunteers. 


Edited by Eagle94-A1, 05 February 2016 - 01:05 PM.

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#23 SSScout

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 01:53 PM

Yes, it needs a theme.   Emergency response:  First aid demo stations,  State police helo makes an appearance, climbing walls, extrication practice, etc.

Pioneering:   Ignore the G2SS and download the Brits site:  http://www.pioneeringmadeeasy.co.uk/  among others.

Eliminate trailers:   Hike and carry in only.

Cooking:  "Iron Chef" stuff.   OA judges the cuisine.  Over fire, or charcoal or cookstove  classes for judging. 

Nature:   Stations for judging names of trees, animals,  scavenger hunt,  bird spotting,

History:  Civil War camping, Revolutionary war stuff .... contact your local museum.   Canvas tents?  No bungee cords?   No battery lights?  Flint and steel etc.

Communication:   Signaling, lights, flags, etc. 


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#24 walk in the woods

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 03:08 PM

All of the above.  My district runs a Klondike Derby, Spring and Fall camporee every year.  We've never had groups fundraising at District events, Council events are another story.

 

- Have a theme, we've done E-prep with local firefighters working with the scouts on rope rescues and local police/K9 units for example.  

- MBs might be ok if they are of the odder/harder to find variety.  We did an Aviation themed camporee in conjunction with a local airport, air museum and some private pilots.  We typically don't try to get all the requirements done but maybe a few of the harder to arrange requirements.

- Troops are responsible for their troops (tour plans, med forms, permission slips, etc.).  Have a local first aid station staffed by somebody with some sort of credentials.

- We've done a variety of meals from catered to dutch oven potlucks to dump soup.  Most often units are on their own for meals

- For a while we had competitions for scouts to design the event patch but that seems to have dropped off lately.

- We're a fairly small district but site variety is a challenge even for events with only 150 - 200 people.

- Think about some sort of lost-scout protocol.  

 

Feedback from our most recent Klondike included a suggestion from the scouts to have more one-on-one competition between patrols as opposed to scoring competitions on individual events.


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#25 desertrat77

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 06:55 PM

Indeed, the trends in camporees these days:

 

- District/council micomanaging the units

- Little/no competition

- Themes/events that are based on entertainment and goof-off time

- Not much wilderness content (going back to the same established camps and parks)

- Selling a bunch of stuff--tee shirts, plastic junk, food (skip breakfast and buy nitrates and sugar from the snack bar), etc.

- Not much of a challenge, period.

 

Recommend dusting off an old camporee packet from decades ago, and challenge the scouts.   Compete.  Build things.  Camp where there are no fire rings or running water.

 

When they get their camporee patch upon departure, it should mean something.

 

PS.  The camporee site should be rugged enough to dissuade FOS pitchmen, cookie salespersons, WB-bead-presentation-teams, and other loafers, meddlers, and random busy bodies from even visiting.   The scouts get enough of that in town.  


Edited by desertrat77, 05 February 2016 - 07:09 PM.

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#26 qwazse

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 06:25 AM

Add to the themes: one camporee was a canoe trip.
Hasn't been done for a dozen years because the advisor who organized it was thrown so many paperwork hurdles (under the guise of G2SS), he said "never again", but I bet some of you would be up for it.
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#27 Stosh

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 06:32 AM

We had a camporee on an desolate island once.  The port-a-potties on the barge was the real scouting touch.  Biggest complaint was having to haul in water.

 

I think the next year it was suggested we do a Holiday Inn camporee.


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#28 RememberSchiff

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 08:21 AM

If i could change the micro-managing, no-added-value nature of Council to a activity resource provider, I would be a happier scouter.

 

I need and anyone else who plans a camporee

     - a porta-potty contractor (hopefully one that Council has negotiated a contract). I tell Council I need 4 potties + one handicap and they handle it with contractor.

     - Outdoor Sports/Activities resources. I tell Council that I need some archery instructors for event and Council gives me some BSA-certified instructors.

     - water truck/tank. Council provides.

     - First Aid resources (maybe an Explorer Post or Venture Crew)

    

My $0.02


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#29 kwmcc

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 11:01 PM

We've done some pretty good ones over the past few years ... ones that stick in my mind are:

 

Zombie Prep Merit Badge ... twists on First Aid, "Capture the Cure" game (glowing nalgenes filled with glow stick juice, held at night), "Dead Worm" (Gummy Worm) cooking contest, Zombies (commissioners) on the loose 

 

Pumpkin Chunkin ... many small pumpkins lost their lives that day ... trebuchet's only, size and weight restrictions enforced, shooting sports director supervising the "range". Pumpkin carving contest. Pie cooking contest. Pie eating contest. Pies as prizes ... they look at you weird at Costco if you walk in and buy 20 pumpkin pies.

 

Are You Tougher Than Your Scoutmaster ... Patrol vs SM or ASM contests at each station. Jr ASM Eagle Scouts competed against their old Patrols (Jr ASMs cleaned up). I was SM then, and I smoked my patrol at cooking an egg using nothing except what I carried, and no matches or liquid/gas fuel (everyone had a list of equipment to bring to the contest)

 

Shooting Sports ... the person who was going to plan the camporee backed out very late, so we gathered our shooting sports folks, went to our camp and opened all of the shooting ranges (tomahawks to shotguns)

 

Historic ships ... held next to a museum with Revolutionary War boats (oared) and underwater drones. Scouts got to check out the museum (including the drone, and the blacksmith shop) and go in groups of about 10 to row a very, very large rowboat

 

Our unit went to the STEM statewide camporee in NH at the NASCAR track. Very cool, very well organized. Too few porta-lets, but having grey water containers and 55 gallon drums for ashes was a great idea

 

Our statewide in VT was a Civil War reenactment (I missed it with a conflict, but heard it was awesome)

 

The NH event had food stands and stuff on sale. We've never had that at any of our camporees. Once ... once ... our Camp Auxiliary sold hot chocolate and hot dogs.

 

We aren't usually merit badge focused. Generally, ours are Scout Skills (Trail to First Class) focused (with some exceptions ... archaeology MB at the maritime museum)

 

Sometimes our camporees are very rigid (you shall be at event station X at precisely 10:20 am), and sometimes (like the shooting sports event) we just open up activities and let the patrols roam.

 

Our upcoming camporee is being held at a fairground concurrent with a home show. We're going to have a bunch of exhibits set up along the main traffic route for recruiting (monkey bridges, fires, cooking)


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#30 Stosh

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 11:03 AM

We've done some pretty good ones over the past few years ... ones that stick in my mind are:

 

Zombie Prep Merit Badge ... twists on First Aid, "Capture the Cure" game (glowing nalgenes filled with glow stick juice, held at night), "Dead Worm" (Gummy Worm) cooking contest, Zombies (commissioners) on the loose 

 

Pumpkin Chunkin ... many small pumpkins lost their lives that day ... trebuchet's only, size and weight restrictions enforced, shooting sports director supervising the "range". Pumpkin carving contest. Pie cooking contest. Pie eating contest. Pies as prizes ... they look at you weird at Costco if you walk in and buy 20 pumpkin pies.

 

Are You Tougher Than Your Scoutmaster ... Patrol vs SM or ASM contests at each station. Jr ASM Eagle Scouts competed against their old Patrols (Jr ASMs cleaned up). I was SM then, and I smoked my patrol at cooking an egg using nothing except what I carried, and no matches or liquid/gas fuel (everyone had a list of equipment to bring to the contest)

 

Shooting Sports ... the person who was going to plan the camporee backed out very late, so we gathered our shooting sports folks, went to our camp and opened all of the shooting ranges (tomahawks to shotguns)

 

Historic ships ... held next to a museum with Revolutionary War boats (oared) and underwater drones. Scouts got to check out the museum (including the drone, and the blacksmith shop) and go in groups of about 10 to row a very, very large rowboat

 

Our unit went to the STEM statewide camporee in NH at the NASCAR track. Very cool, very well organized. Too few porta-lets, but having grey water containers and 55 gallon drums for ashes was a great idea

 

Our statewide in VT was a Civil War reenactment (I missed it with a conflict, but heard it was awesome)

 

The NH event had food stands and stuff on sale. We've never had that at any of our camporees. Once ... once ... our Camp Auxiliary sold hot chocolate and hot dogs.

 

We aren't usually merit badge focused. Generally, ours are Scout Skills (Trail to First Class) focused (with some exceptions ... archaeology MB at the maritime museum)

 

Sometimes our camporees are very rigid (you shall be at event station X at precisely 10:20 am), and sometimes (like the shooting sports event) we just open up activities and let the patrols roam.

 

Our upcoming camporee is being held at a fairground concurrent with a home show. We're going to have a bunch of exhibits set up along the main traffic route for recruiting (monkey bridges, fires, cooking)

 

Welcome to the forum,   Too bad the rest of us don't have events like this, there's no standards out there to operate from. 


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#31 vumbi

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 12:40 PM

Wish I'd thought about the zombie idea. I was asked once a long time ago and I had just gotten back from a very pleasant primitive camping experience and when my response was to suggest a primitive campout in a remote place where there were no amenities, the two district people looked at each other and thanked me and said they'd give it 'careful consideration'.

I guess they're still considering it.


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#32 Ankylus

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Posted 18 August 2016 - 08:24 AM

We actually had this happen to us two years ago. They came to us and one other troop at the last minute and asked us to plan it, and so we did. (To Krampus’ point, there is no substitute for planning, especially long term planning.) Then the second troop pulled out at the last minute and left us holding the bag. So this year we just told them we would organize the whole thing, and we are doing so. This is fortunate that nobody else wants to do it…that way when District tries to micromanage we can just tell them “our way or the highway”—meaning we leave.

 

The Camporee is in March, the location is already reserved—a council camp not far from town. I think that is an important factor—a close location. That makes it easier for other troops with less strong programs to make it and increase the attendance. So that would be the first thing I would demand is input on the site selection. Also, this particular site has wonderful facilities. It already has a rifle range, a shotgun range, an archery range, and a rock wall.

 

We are fortunate that we have all the resources to conduct these activities ourselves. We all the equipment and certified personnel required by and in accordance with the G2SS. And all the scouts love these, in general. Accordingly, these are “must haves” for us. I see this as “fun/challenges for older scouts rather than simplified games at the Weebs level”.

 

I agree on the patrol competitions, the selling and soliciting, the merit badges, the tour permits, and the health forms. None of that. It would never have occurred to me that merit badges would be offered at camporee…that’s what merit badge fairs are for. I would except the OA because I think our OA chapter is insufficiently active and I would like them to raise their profile some, depending on what they use the money for. Ours does not currently do this, but I would not necessarily be opposed. But definitely no Girl Scouts, especially their cookies. I would require at least Class B uniforms, but wouldn’t police them.

 

I like the idea of patrol awards rather than troop awards and patrol flags. CalicoPen’s suggestion of the cracker barrel is excellent. We do that and it goes a long way to helping build cohesion within the district. We also have a chili cookoff and ice cream social on Saturday evening. Each troop cooks a batch of chili and brings it along with their ice cream to the social. Each troop gets a table and then everyone is allowed to circulate and sample the chili and ice cream. Big hit, and it again builds cohesion. It also really allows the scouts to see their friends in other troops in a scouting context, which I think is good. Similarly, District provides hot dogs and hamburgers for Saturday lunch, which again is good for socializing.

 

Agreed-no FOS pitches.

 

Didn’t occur to me to not have a religious service. We usually hold it right before the awards on Sunday morning.

 

We are trying to build participation, so we wouldn’t have a minimum participation cutoff.


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#33 JasonG172

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 03:43 PM

 

around here, camporees are dumbing down into merit badge college and/or Webelo recruitment weekends.

 

 

Man that really Suxs, I am very sorry to here this!


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