Last night at our Troop meeting I gave my annual Summer Camp talk with the Scouts. This is never a popular talk with the parents because I kind of go against the grain when it comes to conventional wisdom regarding “Camp”.
The rub comes when I tell the Scouts that the number priority of Summer camp (aside from being safe) is to have as much fun as you possible can. Do not worry about merit badges. Take a few and have fun.
I harken back to my Scouting days and the memories I have of Summer camp. 1978 at Camp Freedom was the best time I can remember. The fun we had purposely falling out of our canoes, shooting bows and arrows and never earning the merit badge, time spent with my best buddies swimming and goofing around at the water front. Fishing at the lake, singing songs in the dinning hall and just having a great summer camp experience. That’s what it is all about.
Taking away from camp a life time of memories is more valuable than any merit badge. Parents often times view summer camp as an advancement opportunity, and it is certainly there for the taking, but cranking out merit badges without having fun is a waste of summer camp.
I encourage the Scouts to take a merit badge or two, participate fully in the evening programs, make new friends, and emerse themselves in the camp experience.
Our younger Scouts are heading off to camp this Sunday. The older guys hit the Trail at Philmont next week. Both of the trips offer great life time experiences that needs to be taken advantage of. Getting wrapped up in what I get out of it by way of cloth is not the focus and when it becomes the sole purpose you miss out on the wonderful Scouting experiences that are part of camp!
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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