Thursday, July 29, 2010

Scouting's Best Kept Secrets

There's an old saying that is still repeated by scouts and scouters throughout the world and that saying is,
"What happens at camp, stays at camp."
Well, I am going to expose exactly what happens at camp and use Johnny Scout as a classic example for this post.
Johnny Scout is 11 years old and is going off to camp for the very first time.
It's his first time away from family for more than a couple of nights.
The first activity Johnny faces is check in or registration and the medical staff review his physical and medication documents.
Johnny then marches to his camp site and quickly changes into his swim trunks for the BSA swim test which will certify that Johnny can out swim the freshwater croccodiles and piranhas that are imagined in the lake.
This test is required if Johnny wishes to take a canoe, or rowboat out into the lake.
What, Johnny in a canoe or boat without an adult!?!
Yes, that can happen when Johnny has the proper instruction and meets the swim test requirements.
Johnny can also have the opportunity to swim the mile.
During Johnny's week of summer camp, he will also visit the shooting sports range and learn to shoot a .22 rifle, or shotgun, or a compound bow. He even may get the chance to try a black powder rifle.
Johnny, shooting things!?!
Why not? With proper instruction, Johnny will learn to safely handle firearms and could quite possibly earn a marksmanship badge.
Summer camp may also find Johnny hanging 4 stories in the air off a zip line and riding that through the woods.
Johnny may take several nature hikes, make new friends, sing songs, cook over a campfire and become a master at baking a fruit cobbler.
Johnny will within one week's time have stories to tell as big as Paul Bunyan's blue ox, Babe.
Now here's the secret: Everything Johnny does at camp is under the watchful eyes of instructors and camp staff and he will have the time of his life provided he tries his best (this isn't the secret yet).
Johnny will return home showing some signs of growth (physically and mentally - this isn't the secret either).

The Secret: Anywhere in the BSA where a boy chooses to go camping; he will have fun, learn, and grow. And that secret is known by scouts and scouters all over the world.

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