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Indian Nations CouncilThe Greatest Show on Earth


Because of the extra measure of freedom that a campout affords they boys and the virtual impossibility of a single leader to keep his eye on all of the boys all of the time, policy requires that at minimum one adult should be present for every three boys.  Who this person must be is not specified beyond the fact that he must be 21 years or older.  AT LEAST AT FIRST, TRY TO MAKE THE RATIO ONE TO ONE.  This presents a problem for some families with single parents or whose fathers must travel for a living and, therefore, seldom are able to make the campouts.  If you are camping with a Boy Scout troop, an Assistant Scoutmaster could serve in this capacity but this should be planned for in advanced.  A neighbor, a grandparent, an uncle, even an Eagle Scout no longer in Scouting could serve in this capacity.

Given the importance of the outdoor program, the national office encourages several overnight campouts during the year.  It is best to consider only spring, summer and fall as seldom are they boys equipped in either gear or skills to cope with a winter campout.  Campouts may be conducted on a den, pack, district, or council basis.  The Boy Scout program can lend you an invaluable hand in putting on these campouts.  Webelos Woods is an excellent way to introduce the boys to camping.  If you are camping with a sponsoring troop, they can help you plan the campout and provide much of the gear which you may not have.  In addition, Webelos Woods provides the boys a day long program geared to their interests and abilities.  Occasionally, your Den may be invited, again by a sponsoring troop, to a council camporee.  These too are excellent programs although the activities tend to be geared to the Boy Scouts' interests and abilities.  Finally, a troop may invite you to go with them on their own campout.  Do not assume that the troop will provide you with a program.  You may have to plan your own activities for your boys with interaction with the troop at specified times during the weekend.  All of these encounters with the Boy Scouts not only serve to help you with your needs for camping equipment and know-how, but also expose the boys to the activities and fun of Boy Scouting.  It is a much more complete picture of what a troop is and does to see them in an outdoor setting learning and participating as patrols in challenging outdoor programs.  Visits to a meeting at night at a church can only give them a hint of the real fun and excitement of Boy Scouting.

In planning and preparing for your own Webelos overnight campout, use the scope of the Webelos program as a guide.  The Webelos program is the last step in Cub Scouting.  Cub Scouting is a family oriented program that attempts to expose boys to many new and exciting concepts and skills within the context of the family's community and own religious beliefs.  These ideas and skills are presented to them through crafts, activities, and games that emphasize fun.  In particular, the Webelos program continues this tradition, but begins to stretch the limits.  In the earlier Cub Scout years, the Den Leader's home is the focus of activity.  In Webelos, because of the crafts and new skills involved, the boy may spend part of the den meeting in the leader's garage working on basic repairs or wood working skills.  Another part may be spent in the back yard rigging a tarp tent.  The focus of the meeting has expanded from the kitchen table to include the back yard and the garage on a fairly regular basis.  The outdoors is more an integral part of the Webelos Scout program than it is in either the Wolf or Bear programs.  Whereas before, many times the moms lead the younger Cubs in the den meetings, now in the Webelos program dads are encouraged to go with their sons on campouts.

But even as the scope of the Webelos program is larger than the rest of Cub Scouting, it does have its limits.  Keep in mind that one of the goals of Webelos is exposure to new ideas and skills, not mastery.  The same thing is true of camping.  Campouts are basically car camping where the boys are introduced to the basics of site selection, tent raising, bedding, fire building and simple cooking.  They will complete, finesse, and expand these skills as Boys Scouts, not as Webelos.  But early exposure will help make that eventual mastery easier.

Webelos Leader Outdoor Quiz

1.How many Webelos father-son over night campouts are permitted in a year?

2.Who is responsible for the Webelos Scouts on the overnight?

3.Who is responsible for the planning, organizing and leading the overnight?

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