Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Patrol Meeting and Camp Out Info

A note to Parents:

Hello, all, a few quick quick reminders:

Patrol Meeting tonight at 6:30.  We will be finalizing plans for this weekend's camp out at Bountiful Peak and going to either Dick's or Wal-Mart to purchase the food. 

For the camp out, boys need to come to my house at 3 on Friday with their gear packed. Let them pack their own stuff using the packing lists provided in their handbooks; if they don't know where the list is, the book is conveniently provided with both a table of contents and an index;)  It's ok if they don't pack as efficiently as we would, that's how they learn to do it better next time.

For Dads accompanying sons, there are a few things to keep in mind:
  1. Camp Site: We're going to a Forest Service fee area/campground. There is limited space and parking. Please plan on carpooling and sharing tents; I have room for 6 in my van.
  2. Tents and YPT: The troop recently purchased two six-man tents that we will be taking. I don't have a final count of boys attending yet, but this will definitely be sufficient for them. I will also bring a third large tent, so lodging is covered for everyone. Additionally, there is a BSA policy (part of Youth Protection guidelines) about no adults in boys' tents and vice-versa. The only exceptions are emergencies, or if a boy and his dad (and no one else) share the tent.
  3. Patrol Method: We're going to let the Patrol do its own thing, they'll cook and clean up their own meals, pitch their own tents, etc. Now that they've had some practice, we want to see how well they can operate with limited adult input. The Patrol Leader (KN) is in charge, not any adult.  In this way, we use the Patrol Method and let the boys lead each other. Yes, they will make mistakes and won't do it as well as if we're holding their hands, but there is much more to be gained in doing it this way.
  4. Adults are responsible for their own food. We can grill some burgers if you like, or throw something in a Dutch oven.  Please call me if you have a preference, otherwise, K. and I will make something up for the grown-ups, most likely tin-foil dinners and oatmeal/fruit for breakfast. Please pitch in a few bucks to cover costs.
  5. Timeframe: We will come home Saturday after lunch.  This is to fulfill First Class cooking requirements 4a/b/c/d/e (plan and cook three meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner).
  6. Instruction: K. and I will have instruction on day/night land navigation, and a few other odds and ends. We will also be having scoutmaster conferences for those who need them.  At night, we'll do some stargazing and learning about constellations, so if you have a pair of binoculars, bring them.They are much easier to use than a telescope in this situation. Hopefully the back side of the mountain is dark enough and far enough removed from the city to see things like the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way.
  7. Program: We will have a short campfire before lights out. Plan to sing a couple patriotic songs, and wax spiritual.
  8. It's for the boys: Please remember that Scout camps are not intended to be father/son camps; there are specific objectives for the boys to meet and most involve our standing back and letting them work through challenges. We're there if needed, but we need to avoid the impulse to step in and correct, unless there is a real safety issue involved. The outdoors is the lab where they put into practice those things K. and I have been teaching them all year, from building a fire to leadership.
  9. Finally, as far as the dads-have-to-go-camping-with-11YOS rule, in my opinion even if you can't come until 9:30 and have to leave at 6:30, that's ok.  It meets the standard, and still allows your son to have a great experience.
There will be Boards of Review this Sunday after church. Every Scout is ready to finish Tenderfoot, and so should plan on attending IN UNIFORM; some are ready to finish Second Class as well. BORs begin at 4:00, so they'll have to run home, change and run back.

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