scout camp | Scout track | winter scout camp

Tents pitched for a weekend scout camp

A weekend scout camp with snow on the ground.

With all of the negativity surrounding the Boy Scouts of America. Sometimes, we miss some of the great things about the program. I was able to witness some of these this weekend. For the back story, my son had his crossing over ceremony from Cub Scouts to the Boy Scout program last Saturday. 6 days later, we’re packing our truck for his first official troop weekend scout camp. The main event of this weekend’s event was spending a few warm hours at a local indoor gun range. The boys were there to not only throw

A scout practicing shooting at a weekend scout camp.

A scout preparing to throw lead down range.

some lead down range, they were also spent about 45 minutes learning gun safety and the components of a 22LR rifle. At the range, we were assigned 5 bays for about 16 boys. To keep the others entertained, the older boys spent time with the newer scout, like my son, teaching them knots and other requirements for their scout track to the rank, TenderFoot.

This is one of first great things about the Scout program. The program is not adult focused, it is about teach boys to be become men. And not only men, but strong men, leaders of others and mentors. Unlike in Cub Scouts, where the adult leaders guide the boys to their next rank; the boys in the Boy Scouts are required to advance through the ranks themselves. As they learn to become independent young adults, the younger boys also learn to seek out others for mentorship. To complete the requirements for their next rank, they must seek out the knowledge from the older Scouts.

Another value that was witnessed this weekend, was teamwork. While at scout camp, the boys are required to work as a team to accomplish nearly everything, including pitching tents, setting up the kitchen and cleaning stations, cutting wood for the fire and starting and tending the fire. Again, here the older boys are responsible for passing on the knowledge of how to be safe and do these things the correct way. Adults, keep an eye on the “instructors” to ensure that they are teaching the younger boys correctly. But, I walked away extremely impressed. I am also hopeful, that in a year or two, it will be my son teaching the next round of Scouts. That he will have the independence and leadership skills needed to thrive as a adult.

Another great thing about what the boys learned this weekend, is that they can do things that they might not have thought was possible. Two of the new scouts, had never been camping other than in their back yard. I’m not sure who was more nervous, the scout or their parents. That night, there was a bit of in trepidation in the boys. But, by the morning, I had the impression, that the boys felt that they could accomplish much more than they thought possible. They knew how to cut and split wood. They knew how to prepare, cook and clean their own meals.¬†They also knew how to pitch their tent and stay warm in weather that dropped 2 inches of snow and in temperatures that dropped to 19 degrees, with a wind chill of 7 degrees.

Cold weather at a weekend scout camp

Second day at the weekend scout camp

As the father of one, and the Webelos leader of another 4 of these new scouts. I’m extremely proud of all of them. I’m impressed with what they’ve been able to accomplish in such a short time. And I’m anxious to see what other firsts, these boys will experience on their scout track to Eagle. I am confident that they all have it in them to accomplish great things in the world.

This entry was posted in Education. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to scout camp | Scout track | winter scout camp

  1. Andrea says:

    Well my son had a blast out there was very cold and said he didn’t sleep much. But had fun learning to shoot the 22s and a bow. Well I missed him very much but am so very proud of him. He has been thought a lot the last couple of months but has made the best of it.