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Board Game Cabin Camp 2016

posted Dec 18, 2016, 1:22 PM by Michael Hartford
We rented two cabins (Otter and Wolverine) at Kiwanis Scout Camp. The cabins were divided between "older" Scouts (Werewolf and Nighthawks patrols) and "younger" Scouts (Flying Penguins and Knights of the Round Table patrols). The division worked well for most daily activities, though we gathered as a troop for lunch and dinner at alternating cabins.

There are no cooking facilities in the cabins, and cold weather precluded relying on propane stoves, so the Scouts opted for cooking over campfires. This proved to be challenging, though; starting the fire was difficult on Saturday morning because of damp kindling (SM and ASM ended up doing the bulk of the work), and the Scouts had minimal experience cooking on a fire (poor temperature control was the primary problem). The menu could have been better planned for the cooking techniques chosen: pancakes are difficult on the campfire for an experienced cook, breakfast burritos would have been a better and more forgiving choice; lunch grilled cheese sandwiches were burned because Scouts didn't wait for the fire to burn down; supper was successful because it involved heating water in a coffee urn in the cabin. In the future, matching the menu to the cooking techniques, or opting for appropriate cooking techniques (hot water, crock pots) would be more successful.

Breakfast started slow: younger Scouts were assigned the task of starting the fire, and lacked leadership from older Scouts. The fire didn't get going until after 9 AM, and the pancakes weren't cooked until 11 AM. When breakfast was served, Scouts grabbed food and scattered rather than eating as a unit. After a brief discussion about the importance of eating as a unit, plans for group meals for lunch and supper were made and we had very enjoyable meals at the table.

Activities consisted primarily of playing board games and building forts inside the cabins. There was minimal outdoor program (chopping wood, building and tending the fire, some exploring of the camp area). Most Scouts retired early on Saturday night, probably owing to a late Friday night and early rising on Saturday.

Big lessons:

* Set up duty roster BEFORE camp, and make sure jobs like fire building are assigned to the Scouts who can be most successful
* Plan menus that can be cooked with available resources: simpler campfire meals, crock pot meals, hot water meals, etc.
* Personal gear management continues to challenge younger Scouts, with several post-camp lost-and-found items; encourage and model good gear management habits, like keeping all personal gear together.
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