The Troop plans regular camp outs just about every month of the year. We go on them; rain, shine or snow! These are teaching times that are important for rank advancement and skill acquisition. They are also fun times. Boys learn to setup a tent and create a safe camp area, cook and eat over a camp fire, navigate and hike through the wild and many other skills that will serve them throughout their lives. For more details on these camp outs, please refer to the Troop calendar. Take a moment to review our Historian reports as well.
What kind of camping equipment does my boy need?
Bottom line: don’t go crazy buying every item of equipment for your boy’s first campout. The troop or scout leaders can loan equipment during the first few months of your boy’s scouting career until he decides that Boy Scouting is the program for him.
Most parents buy a few items at a time. After a few campouts, your scout will be able to give you input on the items that he wants. At that point, you can touch base with one of the Assistant Scoutmasters to obtain guidance on what items are necessary vs. what items are just “nice to have.”
Many items can be found second-hand at Goodwill or Value Village. Purchasing backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, etc. at REI or Sportsman’s Warehouse can be expensive, especially if you have nothing to start with. Just keep in mind that synthetics are the material of choice – cotton will get wet and won’t dry out. Second-hand shops can provide an alternative.
In general, keep these points in mind:
It rains or snows on many of our camp outs. Clothes and sleeping bags that dry out easily are preferred. This means synthetics. Even 5% cotton in a shirt will keep it from drying quickly once the rain stops. A synthetic sleeping bag can be wrung out and will still provide much warmth. This is not true of down (which is much more expensive anyway). A good set of rain gear (pants and jacket) is one of the best items you can buy. It is much better at keeping a scout dry than a poncho and provides another layer for warmth even when it is not raining.
Over-packing is much more common than under-packing. The vast majority of our campouts last one night. In general, this does not even call for a change of clothing unless the boy gets wet. If he has good rain gear, this should not be an issue except for socks. Remember, he has to carry all that weight. Be sensible when following the packing list; giant flashlights and cans of aerosol bug repellent add up.
Also note that consumer electronics, aside from walkie-talkies for troop communication and GPS units for navigation, are prohibited on camp outs. Leave at home the MP3 players, Walkman’s and electronic games.
Summer Camp is the highlight of the scouting year. It is a great opportunity for scouts to earn rank advancement and merit badges in addition to having a lot of fun. Scouts should make every effort to attend summer camp, especially during the first few years of membership. Scouts who do not attend summer camp are less likely to stay in the program and tend to fall behind their peers in rank advancement.
Troop 313′s current program is to attend summer camp in our local council for two years, then go out-of-council the third year for variety. In Council camps are Camp Grizzly and Camp Easton. In the past, our out-of-council summer camps have included Camp Parsons on Hood Canal and Camp Meriwether on the Oregon coast.
Every summer, the troop offers a high-adventure outing in addition to summer camp. In general, this outing is open to boys who have achieved the First Class rank and also have earned pertinent merit badges, such as First Aid and Swimming (for a water-based high adventure).
To learn more about the history of our high adventures or details on this year’s adventures, visit our High Adventure page or contact either the Scoutmaster or Committee Chair.