My blogging friend Kiff (Jabbering All Day Long) got me thinking about this subject yesterday morning after reading his latest post on family camping. He listed a few things he had learned during that trip and thought it be fun to share some of my camp lessons.
Scout Camp sounds like such a great idea. The thought of tenting in the great outdoors is inspiring. The thrill of teaching the youth new skills or participating in cool activities is enough to excite even the most stoic leader.
But as any seasoned Scout Leader will tell you – camp seldom runs exactly as planned. I’m not suggesting that anarchy reigns free. It’s more like the Scout Leader’s ability to adapt on the fly is put to the test!
Here are a few things I’ve learned about Scout Camp.
1 – Murphy is the patron Saint of all camps (Scout Leaders too). If it can go wrong it will, in direct proportion to weather conditions, distance from home or civilization, and … well anything really.
2 – The last Cub will fall asleep on the first night of camp no sooner than 4 hours before the Scouters need to be up.
3- The leader-in-charge of the above said Cub camp will fall asleep no sooner than 1 hour after the last Cub. This ensures that the Cubs aren’t faking sleep to trick the leader into letting his/her guard down.
4 – The need to “use” the facilities during the night are directly proportional to the distance to the “facilities”. This will also be intensified with the addition of certain weather conditions – x2 for rain x4 for cold and x16 for snow!
5 – It only rains at camps that I directly plan. If I just attend the weather will be wonderful. The more that I’m involved in planning the more volatile the weather will be. The very first Cuboree I ever planned received a record amount of rainfall for the first weekend in June!
6 – The one exception to the above point is when a winter camp is planned to teach how to build snow shelters. Then a freak warm spell will melt ALL snow prior to the camp followed by a freak blizzard the day after the camp to replace the lost snow.
7 – Fire extinguisher Dry Chem is NOT a good seasoning for cooking. Long story involving dirty camp stove, lots of flames, an over excited Beaver Leader, and a cheese sauce. Don’t ask!
8 – Raccoon’s like to make nests in archery range hay-bales. ALWAYS CHECK prior to opening fire. Just trust me on this one.
The funny thing is that these challenges don’t take away from the experience but make it more endearing. I enjoy telling and retelling these “war” stories and remembering with pride how situations were overcome with sticktoitness and ingenuity (and the occasional naughty word when the Scouts aren’t listening).
So until next time –
Be safe, be prepared, and keep Scouting!