Since I am a gear junky and live by the axiom that “If you take care of your gear, it will take care of you”, I am always aware of where my gear is. Particularly when it comes to the Friday nights that we are departing on camp outs.
We have a tool called a shake down, where we inspect and inventory all our gear for a particular camp out. It is pretty effective, but there has to be some level of understanding of the importance of the process in order for it to be truly effective. Scouts that think it is yet another drill or a forced activity will not grasp the importance of the shake down and will not take it serious. Those are the same Scouts that will fail to have certain gear or leave behind something important to themselves or the Patrol.
The shake down for the Scouts and Scouters that understand it’s importance however gain time well spent going through gear, refining packing lists, cross leveling gear, inspecting and repairing or modifying the load. They go into the camp out prepared and have familiarity with their gear. They know where everything is and are able to retrieve gear in the dark and when its cold better than the Scout that is unsure if he brought it and has no idea where it is.
The shake down allows for the Scout or Scouter to know where his gear is. Friday night is not the time to figure it all out.
The Boy Scout Motto is BE PREPARED. The Shake down is a tool for preparedness and should be used each and every time you get ready for the next adventure.
Have a Great Scouting Day!