Our troop tries to go camping every month with the exception of November (deer season and Scouting for Food). Their winter plan was for tent camping in December and cabin camping in January and February. We got a scout property cabin for February from the council lottery.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t a “scout priced” cabin to be found at the county or state parks for our camping weekend in January. Nor were a couple of private cabins we use sometimes available. There was one county park cabin available in December though, so the plan was switched to cabin camping in December and tent camping in January. The chosen tent camping location was Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park, since they have a full campground open during the winter season.
We didn’t expect a tremendous turnout for January tent camping, but only 3 youth (2 of them my sons) and my husband signed up. So it had to be cancelled. My husband and I talked about suggesting a day hike to the PLC, but the Committee was concerned about the safety of hiking in January ice, so that was scratched also.
With the weekend only about two weeks away and still no plan for any activity, the PLC was given another idea- a camp-in at our chartered organization. The troop has never done this before and they didn’t even realize it was an option. The SPL and ASPL were enthusiastic about the idea, so this is the new plan for this weekend.
And it seems the troop agrees with their youth leaders. We have 12 youth and 2 adults signed up now, which is a very large turnout for a weekend activity for us.
So they are going to arrive on Friday evening and play games in the meeting rooms. Those who want to can work on advancement. After league games clear out, they can go play basketball in the gym. Then back to the meeting rooms to sleep. In the morning they’ll have a cold breakfast, goof off some more, clean up the meeting room, and go home.
I wouldn’t want to do this too often. A troop needs a strong outdoor program. But I think this is much better than everyone just throwing their hands up and doing nothing. Who knows? It might turn out to be one of those activities that keeps some of the ones who are losing interest coming back for more.