As the snow blows, it is time for warm thoughts of swimming, sweating, shooting, and laughing with a few mosquitos mixed in.
All Cubs and Webelos Dens should be planning to go to summer camp. There are day camp options and overnight options.
Day camps emphasize a week-long (M-F) of activities with a Friday night sleep over. These activities are designed to deliver key parts of the excitement that we promise during recruitment.
Overnight camps involve less days but more hours of camp life. This is a great option for parents who want their Cubs to experience summer camp, but can’t afford an entire week off of work.
The requirements for adult participation are set forth in the Guide to Safe Scouting, (along with all the safety rules for all activities), specifically shown in this link is the information on overnight camping practices, which are more stringent than walking around the camp during the day.
All scouts, parents, and tag-alongs need to have a completed health form to able to attend. See the Cub Scout Camp page for more information.
One of the biggest concerns in scouting is whether we “have sufficient adults to meet the requirements of the Guide to Safe Scouting.” This implies that the Guide has a set ratio. You will even hear scout leaders speak as if there were written instructions about the ratio. The answer to this is a bit more complicated. We are required to have 2-deep leadership on all outdoor outings and overnights. That leaves an implication that 2 adults could take 60 Cubs. This is clearly unwise. For certain types of activities there are set ratios, such as Boy Scout and Venturing rappeling is 10:1 and different aquatic activities have different ratios. In Cub Scout Camping, one parent (or adult family member) must camp with each Cub (some exceptions for solo Cubs with designated proxies for parent, but only one Cub per adult under this exception).
Outside of these activity-specific ratios, the exact numer of adults necessary is just listed in the Guide to Safe Scouting as “sufficient leadership.” This is at the discretion of the Chartered Organization to decide. Many Chartered Organizations feel that 5 Cubs to 1 Adult works well. For more mature Cubs, this ratio can be fudged in favor of more Cubs. (See this old conversation from 2012 on a non-BSA website on the topic.)
Your Camp Director at each location can give you better guidance as to what ratio makes sense for their specific activities.
Remember a Cub’s attendance at Summer Camp is the best indication whether the Cub will return for the next year of scouting. Parents are the biggest roadblock. Camp costs money and takes effort. Gently remind parents why they signed their Cubs up for scouting and why the Cub wanted to join. The Cub wanted to have fun with his friends. The parents want the Aims and Methods of Scouting to benefit their son.
Some families find that the day camp experience is not the challenge that their more mature Cubs require. Camp Kiktheweund’s Adventure Camp is now available to more Cubs. This is a great option for Cub who want the challenge of overnight camping. Find the challenge that is right for your Cub.