Troop 308 Outdoor Program
Scouting is effective whenever we take advantage of this truth: The place where Scouting works best is also the place that boys want to be the most, the outdoors. There are a number of good reasons why the outdoor program is so special, here are four that are especially good:
- The outdoors is the best place for learning outdoor skills. How could it be otherwise? A Scout who tried to boil a potato on the gym floor would be in hot water for sure-not to mention the boy who tried learning to swim by reading a book.
- The outdoors is a great place for learning something about living with others. When Scouts walk on the same trail, cook and eat together, and share triumphs and troubles together, they are going to find out some important things about patience, respect for other points of view, doing their full share, making a friend more easily, and saying no without losing one. Skills like these are among the ‘personal growth’ skills we want from every Scout. The outdoors is where they grow up best.
- On the trail, or in camp, boy leaders will be challenged by the real thing-getting their patrols fed and sheltered, keeping them warm and safe, solving the problems they can solve, and knowing how to get help for those they can’t. It’s a time when leadership skills can deepen, patrols grow closer, and the Troop grows stronger.
- The outdoors is also a place where a Scout can get closer to the natural world around him-the land the forests and their wildlife, the lakes and rivers, the mountains and the seas. Here, in the outdoors, he will learn of the ‘outdoor ethic’-the understanding and respect for the environment we all share and he will develop an active concern for its health and a willingness to work to keep it healthy.
Troop 308 believes in the Outdoor Code, and follows the principles of the “Leave No Trace” program. Troop 308 practices the Leave No Trace principles during all Troop activities, outings, hikes, and camp-outs.
Troop 308 has a very active outdoor program and all boys and adults are encouraged to participate. Our program includes monthly weekend camp outs, annual long term summer camp, high adventure camps, day hikes, service projects, and other outdoor activities. Yearly Troop 308 sponsors a family outing, and we encourage all families and family members to participate.
Annual summer camps are an important part of the scout’s ability to advance and we encourage all who are able to attend to do so. Summer camp gives the brand new Boy Scout an opportunity to accomplish many of the requirements listed in the first three badges of rank, Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class. For the older scout, summer camp becomes an opportunity to explore and accomplish merit badges and/or explore venues not easily accessible during the year.
In order to best serve all scouts and to recruit the best leadership for the camp, we must put a deadline on registering to attend. Any scout who desires to go to a scheduled summer camp must make their wishes known no later than May 1 of each year. We announce a Scoutmaster for summer camp, typically in the fall preceding each summer camp. This Scoutmaster-In-Charge works with the Patrol Leader’s Council (PLC) and the scouts to determine the summer camp opportunity they wish to have.
Additionally, all scouts wanting to attend summer camp must complete a weekend camping trip within the troop format. Summer camp dates and plans are made and announced months in advance, giving even the new cross-over scout multiple opportunities to accomplish a weekend adventure.
High Adventure Bases are another aspect of the outdoor program of Scouting. High Adventure programs have, typically, higher fees, eligibility requirements, and are more strenuous physically. These programs are also announced months, sometimes a full year, in advance. A Scoutmaster is selected to manage, determine eligibility, develop a financial plan and work on ‘tune-up’ outings. Participation in a High Adventure program is based on age, previous attendance in a program, dedication to scouting and to Troop 308, and Scout spirit.
Each of these camping opportunities has different deadlines dependent on the type of program chosen. All information concerning a camping program is announced at the meetings to the scouts and is delivered to the e-mail recipient of record. It is imperative that each scout listen closely to the opportunities announced at each meeting and express their interest to the troop as well as their parents so that participation in a desired activity is not missed.