Camping Trip Guidelines
Our troop has an organized camping activity of some kind every month, varying from primitive to pretty comfortable. Here are some hints, rules, and guidelines to keep in mind:
Who can participate:
Scouts in our Troop who have signed up and were at the meeting before the trip can come on the trip. Some trips require advance sign-up. Some activities have age or rank limitations on them, to make sure that the participants can handle what we will be doing.
Brothers and sisters not in the Troop should not participate, per BSA policy. There are several reasons for this, including: this distracts from the Scouting nature of the event, it places an added burden on the adult and junior leaders, and it may not be a developmentally appropriate activity, especially for younger siblings.
For the Adults: We must always have two-deep adult leadership on any Scout activity. Parents are welcome and encouraged to come on trips, as long as they follow our troop and trip guidelines. All adults must have completed
BSA's Youth Protection Trainingto take part in troop activities. (Remember that Scouting is supposed to be a boy-run organization!)
You MUST be at the meeting the Tuesday before the trip. This is when we plan menus and duty rosters (see below) as well as make sure we have the payments, drivers, and camping arrangements, plus we give information on what to bring, when to show up, etc. PARENTS who are planning to attend should also be at this meeting. All troop paperwork (including current Health/Medical form and any registration paperwork) as well as trip fees, must have been provided to the appropriate Troop Committee member no later than this planning meeting, in order to be eligible to take part.
Each Patrol plans a Menu and a Duty Roster. The Menu should be healthy food, which involves preparation--we do not just want to open a can or box and eat out of it! Each meal must include at least one fruit or veggie, preferably more. The Menu needs to fit with the food budget for shopping, as well. NOTE: No Pop-Tarts, no Sodas/Soft Drinks.
Each member of the Patrol has Duties during the trip, as is on the Duty Roster. For most meals, this involves either Fire building, Cooking, or K.P. (cleanup). These duties rotate so that everyone usually has every job at least once.
One member of the Patrol is the Food Shopper and needs to get a check from the troop and go shopping with the Patrol food list. It is important for the SCOUT to be doing this, not just the parent, as it is a rank requirement and a valuable learning experience. Some hints: Buy generic brands; buy ingredients, not prepared products; do not forget the paper towels. Usually, the shopper should also bring the cooler chest to transport the perishable food.
For the Adults: We have to file a Tour Permit with the Scout Office whenever we travel out of our District (9-county area). For this Permit we need to know who is driving, as well as insurance information. The trip coordinator will collect this information.
- For specialized trips (like backpacking, etc.) information will be given during meetings. For regular trips, follow the packing lists in the Scout Handbook or in the Troop guidelines. Remember to bring eating utensils, flashlight, personal toiletries, Handbook, poncho, and appropriate clothing. Wear your uniform. You can bring a personal tent or borrow a troop one. Bring a campstool if you want to.
- DO NOT BRING: You should not bring sheath knives, aerosol cans, or dangerous items. You should not bring a lot of snacks, junk food, etc. NO SODAS. NO IPODS, CELL PHONES OR ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT. We camp to get away from it all not to carry it all around with us!
- Consider packing your gear in gallon-sized ZipLoc bags. This keeps the clothing organized and helps keep it dry if it rains. Pack your sleeping bag into a trash bag to keep it dry and clean. Try to pack in a backpack or bag that can be easily carried.
- We meet at Friendship Presbyterian Church at the announced time to pack and leave. Please be on time. Scouts need to help the Quartermasters load the troop gear.
- We wear our full uniforms when we travel to and from trips. Uniforms make us look sharp, reminds us we are Scouts and are a group, and lets others know who we are.
- All passengers must wear seatbelts in the vehicles.
- On many trips, we bring a sack meal along or eat at a McDonalds or similar restaurant. Be sure to check on this ahead of time.
- For the Adults: The trip coordinator needs to know which adults are planning on driving on the trip. Scouts may not drive. Adults are encouraged to combine/consolidate/carpool whenever possible so that we do not have a caravan of half-full vehicles. Drivers should provide cell phone numbers to the trip coordinator; sometimes we use walkie-talkie radios to communicate between vehicles as well.
On the Trip:
- The Senior Patrol Leader, Patrol Leaders, and other youth leaders should be the ones making sure that work gets done. Adults should work with the youth leaders rather than do things for the Scouts.
- On trips, we eat as a Patrol. Adults eat with the patrol, but don't have to do any work (except for general supervision and occasional direction) . There should be a prayer before each meal. Usually, we let KP eat first, and cooks serve, then eat last. Patrol members are responsible for bringing their own plate, cup, bowl, knife, fork and spoon. We have some of these in the Chuck Boxes but their cleanliness is variable. Each Patrol member does his own personal-dishes KP. Patrol KP involves washing dishes, putting away food, and picking up the area.
- The Chaplain Aides are responsible for preparing and leading a chapel service on each trip.
- We usually return Sundays around lunchtime, depending on the program and the distance. When we are underway back to the Church, Scouts will be able to use the drivers' cell phone to call their parents with our estimated arrival time. However, Scouts must help unload the vehicles and put the troop gear back in the shed prior to being dismissed. Usually, any leftover food can be taken home by interested Scouts.
- Scouts need to travel to and from the camping trips with the troop. Except in extreme circumstances or with prior Troop Committee approval, Scouts and adults may not travel separately, arrive late, depart early, or leave for other events during camping trips.
- Scouts are expected to live by the Scout Oath and Scout Law at all activities. Disobedient, dangerous, illegal, violent, and/or stupid behavior will not be tolerated. Adult leaders reserve the right to send any Scout home, at the parents' expense, in the event of serious misbehavior.
- Any changes from this general script will be announced at the meeting(s) prior to the trip. If you have any questions, check with your patrol leader, the senior patrol leader, the Scoutmaster, or the adult coordinator of the trip.