Greetings, Troop 271,
Thank you to everyone who came out for the Court of Honor on Thursday and participated in the discussion of what we should do with our summer.
Deciding on camping priorities
To recap: Our Scoutmaster has proposed that, instead of going to Gerber for summer camp as usual this year, we should consider creating our own summer trip. We set aside (for now) all discussion of where we would go and what we would do on our own, and focused more on simply deciding what, if anything, we want to do about summer camp.
Some of the key points that came up in the discussion included:
- Creating a trip of our own would be an excellent opportunity to try something new and adventurous.
- Camp Gerber’s programming hasn’t been as good in the last couple of years as it was in the past.
- We would be able to choose which merit badges to work on, but the whole troop would be working on the same badges during the trip.
- We would not have Eagle Quest for new scouts; however, older scouts could teach younger scouts most of the Eagle Quest skills.
- There are other Scout camps in Michigan and throughout the US that we could try.
- Gerber is dependent on regular campers for revenue; abandoning them this year may make programming even weaker in the future.
- We would not be able to do OA ordeals on our own.
- We don’t necessarily have to choose one or the other; we could try to do both.
As discussion progressed, five options for next summer emerged:
- Gerber as usual
- Choose our own adventure instead of Gerber
- Try a different Scout camp or BSA destination instead of Gerber
- Do both Gerber AND a weeklong adventure on our own
- Do “enhanced outings” (4-5 day trips over long weekends) during the spring and early summer, and go to Gerber in July
The boys’ decision
We put this to a vote among the boys by ranking their top three options, and they voted overwhelmingly in favor of continuing to go to Gerber while also having a new adventure. Their first preference is to do both Gerber and an additional weeklong outing in the early summer; second is to do Gerber and “enhanced outings” in the spring.
So, adults, now it’s up to us! I’d love to see us pull off some bigger adventures, but either of these two options will require a lot of extra planning (and probably fundraising) to pull off. And, frankly, it’s going to need some folks who aren’t already on the Committee to step forward and be willing to spearhead the organization (with plenty of Committee support, of course).
Here are some of the tasks I would envision the Adventure Planners doing (this is a sketchy list, to be considered as a starting point):
- By October 31:
commit to being an Adventure Planner (we’ll need 2-3).
- By November 30:
decide whether to do a weeklong outing or several shorter outings; establish dates; make sure there is enough commitment to participate from both boys and adults to make the trip/s feasible.
- By December 31:
work with the boys to decide where we’re going and what we’re doing; create a cost estimate so we can determine what fundraising (if any) will be needed.
- Starting January 2 (you can have New Year’s Day off):
plan logistics: reservations for travel and lodging, food options, etc…
Act this month
First things first: please let me know by October 31 (sooner, if possible) if you are willing to be an Adventure Planner. Once we have at least a couple people in place for that, we can move on to the next steps.
On a personal note, I would like to say that I am pretty excited about this. Camping, exploring, trying new things and testing limits a bit is such a huge part of what Scouting is all about. I’m looking forward to what the troop comes up with!