New Scout Campout


Identifier: 20060401-New Scout Campout
Purpose of outing: Advancement of first-year scouts
Advancements: Scout Badge, Totin Chip, Firem’n Chit
Mode of travel: Car
Planning horizon: 6 months (depends on needs of property owner)
Capacity: 45 Scouts, 15 adults
Fees: $5 Gasoline contribution and grubmaster costs
Distance: 90 mi, nearly 2 hrs.
Location: private acerage, Ashland, VA
Contact: Troop 1501, Scott S.
Dates: 2006-04-01
Description: This is the second campout to this particular location within the past two years. The location is a wooded setting on land owned by the Schmetzer family near Ashland VA (not far from Richmond, about a 2 hour drive). The Schmetzers were with the troop several years before moving and have invited the troop to camp on their land pretty much whenever we want. Girl Scout Troop 2761 (led by former SM Tony Waisanen and former Troop Committee Chair Glenn DeMarr) were also camping in the same area. The theme of the campout was and advancement for 13 new Scouts and leadership training for a new Patrol Leader Council. The troop met at 7:30 AM and departure was planned for 8 AM Saturday morning. Actual departure was 8:45 AM, which was not unexpected given the experience level of the boys. Saturday morning departure was appropriate given the necessary route (very busy Interstate 95 South) and need for the new Scouts to set up camp in daylight hours. During the afternoon, the older scouts set up three advancement stations: Totin Chip, Firem’ns Chit and Tenderfoot Physical Fitness and rotated three groups of new Scouts through them with about 45 minutes per station. During that time, the Girl Scout Troop had mapped out a 1-1/2 mile orienteering course. After the stations were complete, the new Scouts were provided an orienteering basics instruction, including distance (pacing) while a group of older Scouts ran the course in advance. The entire group of new Scouts then ran the orienteering course with the Troop Guides and help from the ASMs. Following dinner, both troops participated in a Campfire Program and enjoyed free time. In the morning after breakfast, the troop conducted a service project requested by Charlie that consisted of clearing the brush and overhanging small pine trees from a road leading to another part of the property using loppers and handsaws. Following lunch, the troop departed for the church, arriving an hour or so late due to an unforeseen accident on I95.
Assessment: 1. The Schmetzer property is a wonderful place to camp. Not too far away but definitely away from the city. Open fires for cooking or campfires not a problem. It has been a good place for a Pioneering Campouts for older Scouts (plenty of materials). 2. The station format worked well for first time camper instruction. Training Outlines were easily procured via the internet. 3. Orienteering was a good exposure, but probably a little beyond the new Scouts (First Class requirement). Something like basic knots and a shorter hike might have been more effective during that timeframe. Also, the older scouts should have been better prepared; they trekked twice over a leg of the course because they distrusted their compass and used the trail markings (without realizing the trail looped in one section). 4. Unfortunately, early in the event a Scout fell (while standing on a log) and fractured his wrist. Fortunately, the Scout’s parent was present and Charlie was able to direct them to an emergency care facility. The accident appeared to be a fluke as the group was fairly well-controlled through the campout. It did highlight the importance of knowing the location of the nearest emergency care facility. 5. The Girl Scouts hosted the Schmetzers for dinner; none of the Boy Scouts had offered. Need to ensure the Scouts are reminded to be courteous.