2011 Fall Camporee-COPE (cancelled)


Date: 14-16 Oct 2011 Leads: Troop 131 (Will Rodger) and Troop 993 (Eric Wollenbach) Theme: C.O.P.E. and Climbing. Troop 131 volunteered to lead the Camporee effort. The Troop enjoys climbing and is interested in C.O.P.E. Troop 993 has volunteered to organize a Challenge; a set of activities running concurrently with the program and scored separately. Guiding principles: 1. Affordable. Camporee fees should be under $20 per attendee (prefer under $15). Some units are on a very tight budget. 2. Capacity. Historically, attendance at fall camporees is around 800 (Crews, Scouts, Webelos). 3. Program. Activities must challenge and reward youth of varying ages. Webelos program will be additional and separate, but Webelos must have opportunity to participate with Scouts. 4. Relatively close. Camping and program must be within approximately 50 mi radius of Alexandria; under 1.5 hr drive on Friday night. Issues/Constraints: 1. C.O.P.E. courses exist at Camp Highroads, Camp Snyder, Goshen Reservation, etc. BSA rules require a C.O.P.E. director and instructors staff a C.O.P.E. course. 2. C.O.P.E. directors and instructors who supported the 2010 Centennial Camporee are declining requests to assist. 3. Camp Highroads has a C.O.P.E. course (low elements, high elements, and zip line), climbing wall, wooded campsites, and rock outcroppings for climbing. However, they have committed to supporting other scouting units the weekend of 14-16 Oct and cannot agree to host 800 more. 4. Camp Snyder has a C.O.P.E. course (low elements, high elements, and short zip line), but limited wooded camping, and no climbing resources. More importantly, many influential Colonial District leaders had a bad experience the last time they help a camporee at Camp Snyder. Marketing a Camp Snyder program would take sustained effort. 5. Goshen is too far. Few out-of-council BSA camps are closer. Ideas/Considerations: 1. Would it be feasible to construct a temporary low-element C.O.P.E. course? If so, the number venues increases. 2. What would it cost to rent a portable rock wall (or two, or three) for 15 Oct? What are the liability issues? 3. Would BLM (e.g., Camp Wilson, Pohick Regional Park) allow Colonial District to construct a low-element C.O.P.E. course? Of course, LNT principles would be followed. How about city parks (e.g., Fredricksburg)? 4. Would a Monkey Bridge construction/ use/ deconstruction challenge be feasible? Have teams construct bridges in the morning from materials they've provided (and practiced with). Visiting Scouts could observe (test?) the bridges in early afternoon, with camp-wide challenge in late afternoon (will need creative approach to defining rules). Prize categories could include: best teamwork; best use of materials (thrifty); most effective creativity; best recovery from problems ("stuff" happens; how did units respond?); most effective LNT. Status: As of 27 May, the decision was made to use Camp Snyder. Open-field camping as the only alternative. Vision: We were expecting to be using all COPE stations. We estimate possibly 290 Scouts distributed across these activities, with about 20 at the Challenge area (by the archery range) and/or firing range (by the Fort). We are striving to organize the youth so there are no idle periods at the activities; when a patrol finishes an activity, they'll be expected to queue up at another, not sit around and not return to camp.
We plan on two sessions; morning at 0900-1200, afternoon 1300-1600.
Roughly, it works out to:
Low elements 5 Scouts/patrol (average) 1.5 patrols / hour (average) 6 hours 7 stations 315 Scouts served High elements 4 Scouts/hour 6 hours 6 stations 144 Scouts served
Perhaps it takes a patrol to take 30 minutes to go through a low element, and perhaps at least 15 minutes for a Scout to go through a high element.
Our objective is to have tired, happy Scouts by campfire who can't wait to get home so they can brag about the wicked, cool weekend they had. Anyone standing on the southeast corner of the activity field (where we are planning to camp) should see a 13-ring "circus", with Webelos on the side doing their program watching Boy Scouts have a whale of a time.
The number of Boy Scouts at the event will be highly determined by affordability.