Most everybody has heard this song. The classic ballad of the reluctant camper listing all the things wrong with good old Camp Grenada. I’m sure many parents have received something similar in a letter from camp. I know one youth that actually took a picture of herself being “sad” at camp in an attempt to guilt a rescue mission.
Strangely this post isn’t about homesick campers (perhaps kind readers could one day share tips for homesickness). It’s more about parents being able to peek in on what their campers are doing at camp. Traditionally letters from camp arrive AFTER the camper is home from the camp. So we end up wondering what is happening, are the kids having fun and so on. Add distance (say CJ13 in Alberta) to the mix and now you have a bunch of “kidsick” parents.
So how do you as a leader keep the folks at home in the loop? How about Twitter? The first time I heard of this idea I didn’t even know what Twitter (gasp!) was, let alone things like hashtags. I was helping transport a visiting Scottish scout troop and I couldn’t understand why the leaders kept handing their mobiles (cell phone) to the youth. Once they explained that they had created a hashtag so the parents could share (albeit from a distance) the adventure their children were having, I was sold. What a great idea!
This weekend as the campers arrived at the week-long Cub Camp at Camp Everton there was a sign posted. The message was simple – Follow us @EvertonCamp . Of course that was what I did (my youngest son is staffing for the 3 weeks of camp) and all week I’ve been treated to small snap shots of camp life. I also plan to share these moments with my Cub parents in hopes that they will support the camp next summer.
Yet these are just 2 examples of using twitter while at camp. The feeds are loaded with groups sharing their adventures. If you get the chance you should check out @EvertonCamp . By the looks of it they’re having an awesome week. No Hello muddah, hello faddah tweets so far!
Be safe, be prepared, and keep Scouting!
Ken (aka Leader Daze)