You plan for camp the whole year, you prepare your Cubs, you make sure they know what’s to be expected, what to bring, how to prepare, you send the Cub Scout camping checklist to the parents, you tell them how important the kit list is…
Then you arrive at camp in the middle of January, it’s so cold that you can see your breath when you breathe out…
But fear not – you’ve taught your Cub Scouts to be prepared!
They’ve brought everything that was listed on the kit list… haven’t they?
So why does one of them have a thin, summer sleeping bag and no ground mat? Why does another not have a hat or gloves and the third has no waterproofs??!!
I’m sure any of you who are Scout Leaders are familiar with the above scenario and this is actually what happened to me recently on a camp earlier this month.
It doesn’t matter how much you prepare the Young People and their parents, there will always be at least one who doesn’t have something vital…
The key is to try to minimise the amount this happens.
How To Prepare
Make sure that you get the parents involved.
They need to understand the importance of the kit list and that everything on it is important and vital.
You need to come across as caring but also authoritative – after my experience last month, I wrote an email to the parents of the ‘guilty’ Cubs that in the future if the correct equipment isn’t brought to camp, then the Young Person may be sent home if it is deemed that the lack of the equipment could be dangerous to their health.
You can find detailed kit lists for summer and winter camps here.
Be Prepared Even If Your Cubs Aren’t
It’s a good idea to have a few spares.
You could keep a couple of ground mats, perhaps a 3-4 season sleeping bag for winter camp and a few old jumpers, hats and gloves in addition to a couple of rain jackets.
Hopefully most of the Cubs will come prepared, especially if you’ve been drilling it into them all year…
As I mentioned before, it’s highly likely that you’ll have some of them who are missing something – the key is to try to minimise the number of Young People who are missing something and to minimise the amount of things they are missing…
Then, hopefully, your spares will be enough to cover the missing items.
Always hope for the best and prepare for the worst!