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David Bizup
(ScouterInAHammock) - F
Another backpacking trip with the scouts on 08/26/2009 06:06:23 MDT Print View

We last backpacked in May, and in 3 more weeks we're going out again. Last time I worried way to much about pack weight. We had lessons, did a shakedown hike, 2 gear checks, etc.. Some of the lightweight training worked (One scout dropped his pack weight from near 50 to below 30 pounds at the gear check). Some of it didn't. Everybody who owned a backpacking stove wanted to carry it, and they brought knives, and stainless folding hobo utensils, and full mess kits, and nalgene bottles, big boots, and ... well you get the idea. But hey, 12 year olds really like cool camping gadgets, and everybody had a good time. So, successful trip.

I lack the free time needed for a lot of that pre-hike prep stuff this time around. We'll do a gear check the day before we leave, and weigh the packs to see how close they get to the weight guidelines (try for the minimum of 20lbs or 25% body weight). Other training is up to the crew leader.

Dave

PS - What's with parents these days? Don't they feed their families Spam? Half the scouts on the last trip said, "Wow, I never had this before but it's really good!" Spam Singles rock!

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Another backpacking trip with the scouts on 08/26/2009 07:48:32 MDT Print View

>PS - What's with parents these days? Don't they feed their families Spam?

A lot of families don't even cook any more. We had Scouts who had never seen oatmeal, never taken a dish from a table, washed dishes, and didn't know how to strike a match (you don't play with fire, a mom told me). My personal favorite, the new Scout who was using the wrong side of a knife to slice a tomato. So many of our Scouts come to us over-sheltered, over-pampered, and over-indulged. But it's fun. When I heard one of our older Scouts, who was the most finicky eater in the world previously, tell a younger scout "just eat it, it's all calories", it was all worth it.

Edited by skinewmexico on 08/26/2009 09:29:15 MDT.

David Bizup
(ScouterInAHammock) - F
Cooking on 08/27/2009 05:52:12 MDT Print View

A year ago a few of us left one troop and started another. The troop we left brought bagged Friday dinners to campouts or stopped at BK on the way, then just slammed donuts Sunday morning so they could rush home. The SM in the new troop makes a point of ensuring that scouts and adults cook real meals every meal. That really improved the scout-like nature of our events.

David Erekson
(finallyME) - F

Locale: Utah desert
Another backpacking trip with the scouts on 09/29/2009 13:18:40 MDT Print View

Dave, your experience was opposite of mine. I stressed about weight, then sent out a list of stuff for them to bring. One kid ONLY brought his sleeping bag, backpack, small tent, and pad. Nothing else. I had to give him two Gatorade bottles. Two other kids showed up with their sleeping bags and pad only. I was planning on lending them pack, they told me in advance they didn't have one, and I know their dad is out of work. I tell you, shakedowns before are absolutely necessary.