Quantico Winter Campout


Identifier: 20071208-Quantico Winter Campout
Purpose of outing: Basic scout skills
Advancements: Basic scout skills
Mode of travel: Car
Planning horizon: 3 months
Capacity: 36 Scouts / 20 Adult Leaders (19 vehicles)
Fees: Campsite fee at Lunga Park: $1 per person per night
Distance: 30 mi / 45 min
Location: Lunga Park Reservoir and Recreation Area on Quantico Marine Corps Base
Contact: Troop 1501
Dates: 2007-12-08 - 2007-12-09
Description: Saturday Logistics: Rendezvous at MUMC. Planned 7AM show, 7:30 departure. Actual departure: 8:10 Less than an hour drive to the Lunga Park campsite – 33 miles. Entry onto the base requires only the driver to have a photo ID (military ID not req’d). No Group camp sites were available. We coordinated camping in individual campsites at the “Pine Camp Area” for nominal fee of $1 per person per night. Occupied campsites 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 on the point overlooking Lunga Park Reservoir. Picnic tables and fire pits available at each site. Water at common locations. Pit toilets short walking distance from campsites. Parking available on the site. Saturday Day Events: Upon arrival everyone set up their Troop/Patrol Dinning Flys and then their personal tents. Completed Service Project for Lunga Park – lead by Brian Hamalton – with Scouts successfully replacing safety/weight limited swing-set parts at each of the five campsite play-grounds. Adults setup the Klondike Skill stations after lunch – lead by John Gawalt – 6 stations with 2-3 adults or Senior Scouts per station as coordinator/trainers: First Aid / Fire Building / Ice Rescue / Compass Skills / Lashings and Knots / Ax Yard. The Scouts were divided into 6 Patrols which allowed approximately 30 minutes at each skill station. Older Scouts created a GPS geo-cash and compass game that was a great hit with the Scouts. And we can’t forget the Klondike Claim Jumper antics with all the gold nuggets of Scout trivia provided by the adults. Saturday Evening: Meal preparation required an early start due to the early winter sunset. Scouts ate by Patrols. Adult leaders prepared a cornucopia of Dutch Oven meals based on the Chili cooking theme along with some excellent desserts to include the ever popular cobbler. Sunday: Prepared breakfast, broke camp, and packed up the vehicles. The Senior Patrol Leader lead the Troop on a hike to the Lunga Rod & Gun Club where we participated in a memorial service for COL Pastino along with short Church Service lead by the Troop Chaplains-Aide
Assessment: ? Maps. Detailed maps to the campground are not necessary but having a big picture map helps drive orientation. Lunga Park info and maps were available at the following Web site URL: http://www.quantico.usmc-mccs.org/Semper_Fit/Lunga_Park.htm ? Tour Permit. Our tour permit was coordinated and completed by Troop Activity Chair. ? Meals. Good call declaring a Campout Meal Theme ... ensured Scouts were prepared to support new cooking experiences. A warm breakfast during the winter season was also important as cold Pop Tarts are insufficient in warming a chilled Scout. Adult meals were phenomenal. Gained weight on this campout thanks to our outstanding Grub-Master. ? Medical Forms. Our Medical Forms were coordinated and brought by our designated Medical-Master. ? Patrol Advisors. Adult leaders acting as Patrol Advisors were a key element in the success of the campout. Fire building was a popular event with all the fire pits and wood made available through the chainsaw work. ? Comments from Parents: o I liked the cold and little rain we had. It was probably the best organized and executed large event I've participated in. The Scouts were always busy; accomplished a lot (service project, MB work, had fun, etc.). Food was awesome (the adult food anyway). Campsite was primo. Campfires were all well under control. o I had a pretty good time considering the weather. Saturday afternoon was really nice with all that late afternoon sun. The scouts were all pretty well organized as usual, however there was one or two groups that came through the problem solving station that were more interested in goofing off than learning. o The weather was what it was. The food was great, as always! o The one observation/comment I think is important is that the Gators are a small patrol with not enough regular members to be really effective on the things required to camp. All of the duties that are usually done by 5-6 or so boys fell on 3 this time. I think the Gators just got worn out having to do so much with three. You can only push teamwork so far with a small patrol and they are not as experienced as the others. I think that it might be a good idea to divide the Gators up among the other Patrols, maybe let them pick a cadre they would like, depending on age. I know TJ has some areas that he needs to advance in as do the other boys in the Gators and it might help for them to be with the more experienced, motivated boys. o Adults need to check the Patrol Action-Packers, not only for completeness, but sanitation and cleanliness of cooking gear. o The only lesson I can think of is a recurring one. The Troop/Patrol equipment (Action-Packers) were in fairly poor shape, again. I think the only way to fix that is with thorough preparation at the meeting or two that precede the outing, and more discipline when packing up. I don't think I saw any patrols properly clean and sanitize their cooking equipment after meals and before pack-up. o I think there should be an inspection of all the Action-Packers to prevent this in the future. o Some Scouts are still washing their dishes at the water source. o On the positive side, the new Scouts cooked much better meals this time, and we seemed to have more adult participation.