Pro’s and Con’s

Another great camp out at Camp Meriwether this weekend!.. Lots of liquid sunshine with a few cloud breaks, but a good time was had by all. The rifle range was fun, the beach hike was a blast and the food was terrific.
It was nice to get some new guys out there and introduce them to camping.. BSA Style.

Which is the topic this time.

We have transitioned pretty much into a backpacking troop, if not taking our show on trails near and far, we at least have moved to the style of backpacking (gear, cooking etc). This camp out we went back to the old pull it out of the truck “Car camping” style. And here is what we found.

The Scouts have taken a liking to backpacking, you can see this in the lack of enthusiasm for setting the “Big camp”. Cooking up meals with big pots and pan and the clean up were laborious .
The amount of trash produced was outrageous. When we backpacked the Barlow Road for 4 days we pulled out 8 to 10 gallon sized zip lock backs worth the trash. This weekend we hauled out 3 hefty XL bags of trash (at that was just the patrols).
Gear. It seemed as though there was a lack of attention payed to the gear this weekend. Using the backpacking model, everything is in your backpack, and stays in the pack till needed. This weekend gear was everywhere. The yard sale was reintroduced. This resulted is an extremely slow wrap up on Sunday.

Now having said all that. It was a great camp out. We had a lot of fun. We accomplished all of our goals for the weekend and there were no unhappy Scouts and Scouters running around. I am just suggesting, and it was confirmed by going through an informal session of Start, Stop, and Continue, that backpacking is what the Troops likes better. It was even suggested (by the youth leaders) that next time we go to Meriwether, we park in the parking lot and hike the quarter mile to the camp site taking away the temptation of “Car Camping”.

There are pro’s and con’s to each type of camping. We enjoy the dutch oven cooking, and can work it into a backpacking plan. But beyond that, we like the simplicity of Backpacking. We like the ease of cooking, cleaning, and managing gear. We like the easy load out and departure at both ends, coming and going. We like challenge, and we like fun. It is always good to reevaluate and learn. What we learned this weekend is to stick to what we like and do well.

Doing what we do well makes it fun for everyone and an enjoyable experience.

Happy Scouting!

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