Friday, 24 February 2012

Why Scout Camp is Important Part 2

So we have now covered the four major reasons that parents use when they don't want their son to go to Scout Camp. Again the most important reasons why parents don't send their Scout to camp is because of:
  1. Its too expensive.
  2. Its too much like school.
  3. My son gets homesick
  4. We can't accommodate Scout Camp into are schedule because of.....
Now I realize that these reasons can be reasonable for certain Scout families but for the majority of families if they want their son to go to Scout Camp they will find a way to do so. It may mean sacrifice or a change of plans but out of the majority of Scouts I;ve taken to Summer Camp the majority come back and say that camp was the best part of their Scouting experience for that year. While there are challenges behavior issues, and immaturity issues for some Scouts at camp we as adults must realize that most problems related to developmental milestones pre-teen's/teen's into a young man. 

So the next step in showing the importance of camp is to explain what the real purpose of Scout Camp is. The purpose of Scout Camp is as follows:
"Scout Camp isn't defined by making progress towards progressing in Rank, earning merit badges or other advancements/awards, or even always having a structure out come of a activity. Scout Camp truthfully is about having a Scout take a moment away from the hustle and bustle of the real world and have a chance to be with nature at its finest glory. Nature gives our youth the time to figure out and learn many different skills that not only put you closer in touch to nature but also aid in the development of a youth from a youth to a young man."
Well based upon this purpose of Scout Camp you can see that Scout Camp isn't about the purpose most youth or adults realize. It really is much more complex of a situation than that. Truly when examined closely the purpose behind Scout Camp requires the use of a multi-dimensional model to accurately and fully describe the purpose. On the other hand the purpose of Scout Camp can be turned into several concrete items, subjects, ideas, or whatever else you want to call them. These ideas center around what the BSA or Boy Scouts of America has developed as the "Aims of the Scouting Program". Before expanding upon how the "Aims of Scouting" related to the purpose of Scout Camp we probably need to list the three aims of any age division in the BSA. These three dimensions include:
Character Development:"Refers to the change of growth of a young man in regards to moral strength and character."
Citizenship Training:"Defined as the learning, understanding, and acceptance of the obligations he has to other people, to society, and to the government that presides over that society."
Personal Fitness:"For the purposes of the "Aims of Scouting" fitness is a three tiered idea that includes development of physical fitness, development of mental fitness, and finally the development of emotional fitness."
Since we are now done defining the "Aims of Scouting" now we need to work on the development of how these three aims relate and connect with the purpose of Scout camp. One quick reminder about the importance of Scout Camp is that in no way is it purely about teaching the boys to be expert outdoorsmen but it is to help the young men develop good values, leadership, citizenship, fitness, and to prepare them for adulthood.

For character development we are talking about learning the skills of successful outdoorsmen and work together through the Patrol Method. Learning skills of those that are successful in the outdoors helps the scout to gain self-esteem, to gain confidence, and finally to develop a attitude of "Yes I Can Do This, No Matter What People Say or Think!" While on the other hand we help to develop the character of each boy through the use of the Patrol Method which allows the boy to see that to have a character or personality rooted in morality we must learn that we as individuals can't do everything ourselves.

Citizenship training help's the boys to understand their role in society and at the same time learn how other people society can help the individual accomplish more and act as a true citizen of earth. The individual boy develops better citizenship is through living in a group of young in approximately the same peer age group. On the other hand we have society's role to the individuals which allows for natural leaders to go from follower to leader and to have followers have better respect for other people in their life.

Finally theres fitness which again has three tiers including physical fitness, mental fitness, and emotional fitness. For physical fitness the purpose of camp is to show the youth that no matter who you are you can find a way to achieve a higher level of physical fitness. Next in regards to mental fitness Scout Camp's purpose leads to the Scout having and developing more cognitive awareness, creative problem solving, and more advanced rational thinking. Finally emotional fitness helps to accomplish the purpose of Scout Camp is that by using the Patrol method to work together as a team. This helps because as the team builds better teamwork people usually become a more accepting of person how to deal with the various levels of responsibility. Also emotional fitness helps the youth to develop better self-control, emotion management, and finally learning to deal with the emotions that young men have when put into a "gang" like structure. Instead of using the word gang we as Boy Scouts use the word Patrol. Even though people say that all gang's are bad if you look up the definition then you will see a gang can be of a positive nature or as usually used as a negative organization.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark West
Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1316, Troop 1616(aka 669), Troop 125
Tustumena District/ Denali District/ Eklutna District, Great Alaska Council
NSJ '05 Youth Participant NSJ '10 Subcamp 7 Youth Staff NSJ '13 Subcamp Staff
WSJ '07 Youth Participant WSJ '11 International Service Team(IST)
Eagle Scout OA Brotherhood Honor Big Horn Denver Area Council NYLT QM Philmont AA '08

If you are paid to do Scouting, you are called a professional. If you
are not paid to do Scouting, you are called a Volunteer. If you pay to
do Scouting, then you are called a Scouter

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