Our troop has an organized camping activity of some kind every month, varying from primitive to pretty comfortable. Here are some hints, rules, and guidelines to keep in mind:
Scouts in our Troop who have signed up and were at the meeting before the trip can come on the trip. Some trips require advance sign-up. Some activities have age or rank limitations on them, to make sure that the participants can handle what we will be doing.
Brothers and sisters not in the Troop should not participate, per BSA policy. There are several reasons for this, including: this distracts from the Scouting nature of the event, it places an added burden on the adult and junior leaders, and it may not be a developmentally appropriate activity, especially for younger siblings.
For the Adults: We must always have two-deep adult leadership on any Scout activity. Parents are welcome and encouraged to come on trips, as long as they follow our troop and trip guidelines. All adults must have completed BSA’s Youth Protection Training to take part in troop activities. (Remember that Scouting is supposed to be a boy-run organization!)
You MUST be at the meeting the Tuesday before the trip. This is when we plan menus and duty rosters (see below) as well as make sure we have the payments, drivers, and camping arrangements, plus we give information on what to bring, when to show up, etc. PARENTS who are planning to attend should also be at this meeting. All troop paperwork (including current Health/Medical form and any registration paperwork) as well as trip fees, must have been provided to the appropriate Troop Committee member no later than this planning meeting, in order to be eligible to take part.
Each Patrol plans a Menu and a Duty Roster. The Menu should be healthy food, which involves preparation–we do not just want to open a can or box and eat out of it! Each meal must include at least one fruit or veggie, preferably more. The Menu needs to fit with the food budget for shopping, as well. NOTE: No Pop-Tarts, no Sodas/Soft Drinks.
Each member of the Patrol has Duties during the trip, as is on the Duty Roster. For most meals, this involves either Fire building, Cooking, or K.P. (cleanup). These duties rotate so that everyone usually has every job at least once.
One member of the Patrol is the Food Shopper and needs to get a check from the troop and go shopping with the Patrol food list. It is important for the SCOUT to be doing this, not just the parent, as it is a rank requirement and a valuable learning experience. Some hints: Buy generic brands; buy ingredients, not prepared products; do not forget the paper towels. Usually, the shopper should also bring the cooler chest to transport the perishable food.
For the Adults: We have to file a Tour Permit with the Scout Office whenever we travel out of our District (9-county area). For this Permit we need to know who is driving, as well as insurance information. The trip coordinator will collect this information.