The Value of Scout Summer Camp

Picture this: DSC_0051-4

  • Boys splashing into a cold lake on a hot day
  • An archery bow stretched tight be a small hand and aimed at a colorful bull’s-eye 30 feet away
  • Hikers on a brush-laden trail stopping to admire a spider forming its web in a tree
  • Teams of two paddling wildly in a six-boat canoe race on a shimmering lake

These are the images of Boy Scouts at summer camp.  Hidden within the camp adventure lie the true benefits of a boy’s week at camp.

Camps are removed from the hustle and bustle world of mass information, media and technology.  This type of “protected environment” provides a significant opportunity for growth among young men.  Time seems to take a different meaning when the day is not filled with television, radio, video games and visits to local malls.  This is the starting place for change.

At camp, boys have time to consider and reflect on their place in life.  Strong personal values and character are shaped as young boys are encouraged to take part in decisions that impact others, contemplate their relationship with God, reflect on personal values, and participate in patriotic activities regarding American citizenship.  DSC_0215

At camp, boys gain a positive sense of self-worth and usefulness through serving others.  Majorities of boys serve their peers at camp through helping clean up campsites, helping clean up after meals, and serving food.

Scout camp is a place where caring and nurturing relationships are developed and deepened.  In the camp environment friendships don’t stop at the peer level.  Adult leaders develop respect and trust among Scouts as they mentor skills and share knowledge.  Also, many boys mention that they talk with an adult leader for advice during camp.

Young boys seldom consider “school learning” to be exciting.  Learning at Scout camp is a different story!  Summer camp is an outdoor classroom in which boys test themselves.  They test their skills, as well as their courage to try new things.

Scouts are productive and creative at camp.  Young boys are motivated by the concept of mastery.  It is the basis for what has driven the extreme popularity of video games.  When coupled with learning useful life skills, this need results in truly productive outcomes.  Almost all Scouts work with others on a badge or task, or complete a merit badge while at camp. SONY DSC

Camps are structured to encourage boys to spend time working and playing socially in ways that may seldom happen outside of camp.  Majorities of Scouts collaborate with other youth on accomplishments, participate in group decision-making and activities, and help resolve interpersonal conflicts.

Parents see the difference Scout camp makes.  A clear majority of parents of Scouts who attend camp say the camp experience resulted in a change in their sons.  They agree their sons have fun, are safe, and learn and test new skills.

Make sure your Boy Scout does not miss the opportunities of Scout summer camp.  Visit the Council’s website, or contact your local Service Center to get dates and registration information.  The “hidden value” of Scout camp will benefit your son for a lifetime!

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