Boot camp.. uh, I mean Boy Scout Camp

Avatar for stacy125
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Registered: 03-29-2003
Boot camp.. uh, I mean Boy Scout Camp
6
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 11:01pm
Jonathan (11yo) just got his Arrow of Light which is the bridging badge from the cub scouts to the boy scouts (in case you didn't know). There is a boy scout summer camp experience called Tender Foot Camp. Its suppose to introduce the boys to camping and its suppose to enable the boys to earn their tenderfoot badge (or is it status??).

We went to the orientation this week. Boy, it will certainly be an experience for my boy. He's done a short (2 night) retreat w/religous school and LOVED it but that was a Spa resort compared to what he'll find at boy scout camp. Tender foot camp is only 6 days long but it is intense. The boys have to dress in uniform each night for dinner. They have duties such as waiter duty and clean up (bathroom clean up even). The one thing that may break DS is that the scout master said the wake the boys up a 6:00 AM and go swimming. I'm not exactly sure if this is a daily happening or just a one time thing.

Well, this doesn't happen until August. I 1/2 way can't wait to see Jonathan's reaction to this week and 1/2 way am afraid that he'll HATE this. He agreed to this camp and is now completely looking forward to it. I just hope he feels the same once he's spent the week there in the woods.

Stacy

Avatar for suzyk2118
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Registered: 07-30-1997
Thu, 07-03-2003 - 10:53am
I went (and stayed as a leader at their troop site) because I knew he wouldn't go if I didn't. He's pretty shy, and most intimidated with having to ask a given (specified) adult to sign this or that (each have their own specialities in our troop; there are 22 leaders that all have given responsibilities). So me going helped him through SOME of that. I wasn't thrilled with having to use (exceptionally nasty) latrines the entire week, and the mosquitoes were incredible. Kids looked like they had chicken pox!

The troop goes to an out-of-district camp every other summer; this was that summer this time. We're in St. Louis; this was near Antigo, Wisconsin, 600 miles from here.

Swimming badge isn't just normal swimming (go to meritbadge.com; my ds is a strong swimmer but this wore the whole group out); the toughest part was having to jump in fully clothed, take off shoes, socks, pants, belt, and inflate long-sleeved button-down shirt (be sure he brings one if he's doing the swimming badge) to be a flotation device. We only had time for 2 of the 10 kids to try it (and they didn't provide makeup time) and one made it; the other (not a small kid) couldn't do it. You might seriously want to prep your ds for this if he intends to do it; it's NOT easy (mentally and physically). You can't touch bottom (or see it, if in a lake) and it's nothing like most kids have experienced before. If he plans to do canoeing, teach him about t-boning a canoe ahead of time (at least verbally) - it's VERY hard for these 100ish pound kids!!

I intend to become a leader; I just took the summer as a breather - I was a Cub leader for 4 years, and we didn't finish til late April. I didn't want to do the one whole day and one-whole-weekend-with-camping-2-nights training as of yet! I'll do that in the fall...

Sue

Avatar for stacy125
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Registered: 03-29-2003
Wed, 07-02-2003 - 11:20pm
WOW - That sounds like some experience. I am trying to figure out what you wrote. Did you go so far away b/c you really were sure he wouldn't go or b/c it made it harder to go home? Did you stay nearby? You couldn't stay at the camp - right?? Our camp is only about 1 hr west of here. I'm pretty sure I couldn't stomach 600 miles! LOL.

DS has spent time away from home and LOVED it. The leaders who will be at the camp said they are very particular about the swimming program. DS swims pretty well anyway so I'm not worried about that. He is so excited about it that it sounds like it can only get better.

Stacy

Avatar for stacy125
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Registered: 03-29-2003
Wed, 07-02-2003 - 11:06pm
I've heard many stories of boys not being able to continue b/c of the high demands on time from the local scout troops. Our town has 2 big troops and apparently 2 smaller ones (though one of those smaller ones is a religous group of which we don't belong, LOL). The troop Jonathan has signed up for meets once a wk but you are not required to attend weekly. You also don't have to attend each and every weekend trip (though I think Jonathan wants to go and get away from us! LOL).

He hasn't started attending troop meetings yet b/c I haven't gotten confirmation that his papers have been received. Hmm, well, I'm now prograstinating AGAIN since I have a contact for this troop... ugh, more demands on my time.

Stacy

Avatar for suzyk2118
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Registered: 07-30-1997
Mon, 06-30-2003 - 1:53pm
We just got back. I joined ds10 at Boy Scout camp in Wisconsin (600 miles from home) because I knew he wouldn't go and was already on the fence about Boy Scouts prior to the event.

It was a time of growth for him; he went from crying quietly and miserably hiding under his hat (no one else was aware of him doing this), wanting to quit and go home when we got there Sunday, to deciding he just might not want to go to long-duration, long-distance summer camps by Monday, to then asking if I'd be a leader on Tuesday... I think his most major hurdle was going from wanting to quit due to being petrified at asking an adult leader (Old Goat, in our troop) to sign his book for this or that, to being willing to ask for a conference or a signature. He did 23 things toward Tenderfoot and 2nd and 1st class; he now just needs the 5 mile hike for 2nd class, which we're arranging with another couple Old Goats for this weekend. He's now already done his Tenderfoot SM conference (on the bus ride home) and has his 2nd class one scheduled. He did hang around the Old Goats a lot during free time (helping too, not just sitting around), but pulled his weight during patrol and troop time, and also finished 2 badges, and got 80% done on another (The camp did a pretty poor job of trying to get the kids through the swimming badge within the scheduled time and didn't let them make it up the last day - mostly the part where they have to jump in with clothes, etc., so we were disappointed but the boys were somewhat relieved; after t-boning and swamping canoes, they'd had it!). So he 'grew' this week; he made friends with some older scouts and also got comfortable with at least half a dozen leaders. Now if it only hadn't been 46 degrees and raining as we were packing up Saturday....

Sue

Avatar for cl_janetlh
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Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 06-30-2003 - 11:26am
WTG, Jonathan! Sam earned his arrow of light, but isn't continuing with boy scouts right now. The troops here require a big committment from parents and kids, and it's frequent camping trips, which is tough with Sunday Hebrew School, so I have to say I'm not too disappointed Sam made this decision. It's a shame though, because Sam is not involved in many activities with other kids. Ooops - back to you and J ...

Since J is excited about going, he'll do great! It will be a maturing experience for him. I think it sounds wonderful. Keep us posted!

Janet

Janet


Jewish Family Life

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Registered: 05-02-2003
Sat, 06-28-2003 - 11:05pm
Wow, Stacy. First congratulations to DS for moving up to Boy Scouts. What a special event and I understand that the ceremony is very impressive. That camp sounds like quite an experience. I'm happy your DS is looking forward to it, though I can understand your hesitation. I'm with you in hoping that he enjoys the experience, it sounds like it could be quite remarkable.

Best Always,

Sherrie

Sherrie Rainbow