Boy Scouts of America is one of the foremost educators of camping for young boys ages 12 through 18. Even before a child is old enough to be a boy scout the organization has activities for younger boys that help them develop good camping techniques. The other organizations are known as Cub Scouts and then Webelos Scouting. The organizations for the younger boys familiarize the boys with the basic skills in camping and they practice with activities called day camp in their younger years. By the time the boys are 11 and 12 they are going on overnight camping excursions with troupe leaders and other volunteer parents. The experience is a very bonding one.
A boy that becomes a part of the Boy Scouting organization learns leadership skills and gets training during each of their camping trips. The groups of boys of any general area are called a troupe and they develop a bond with each other similar to a school sports team or a fraternal order. The key to their training involves camping quite a bit. Some troupes plan a camping trip every month during the school seasons and up to every week during the summer.
The skills that are taught on a camping trip are things as basic as gathering kindling and wood for a fire and the different structures of building a fire to making a rope bridge to cross a ravine! Camping for a boy scout is an exhilarating experience. While camping they have the opportunity to build something and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing it to completion.
When a Boy Scout leader takes their troupe out camping he will supervise the older seasoned members in training the younger members of the troupe in the various camping skills so that as boys advance from Webelos Scout to Boy Scout, they will have a new trainer. This is how the cycle continues. While camping, a scout will learn basic first aid and then pass off the skills learned to a merit badge counselor and receive a badge recognizing them for the completion once mastering that particular skill. A volunteer parent with particular knowledge of any certain camping skill can, with the help of a merit badge guide, and approval by the adult scout master, pass the boys off on the skills that they have learned to do well.
When a boy scout goes camping he learns skills that help him feel accomplished. When he learns a new skill he will be rewarded with recognition and respect. If you were to ask a boy scout which knot to tie a boat to the dock and which one to tie around themselves or another catastrophe victim they would be able to show you. The reason they know is because they learned valuable camping skills step by step. Each new camping trip builds on the previous camping experiences. The skills are then further engrained into the boy’s mind during the process of passing a skills test and then teaching those skills they have developed to the other boys in their troupe.
So the next time you see a Norman Rockwell picture of a group of scouts around a campfire singing campfire songs, you can bet those boys are tired from spending the day learning valuable skills that create the heroes of tomorrow!