Thursday, April 7, 2011

Getting Your New Scouts Started on the Right Path

Trail to First Class has always been one of the most popular parts of our camp program, and certainly one of the most important. Learning basic Scout skills and making progress toward First Class rank makes first-year campers feel good about themselves and about their Scouting experience -- and greatly improves the chances that they'll stay in Scouting and return to camp the following year.

After studying successful programs at other camps and talking to experienced leaders, this year we're making our Trail to First Class program even better, and to call attention to the change we're renamed it Pathfinders.

First, we've increased the staff. Lisa Tuck, who ran our TTFC program last year, is back as director. She is joined by three instructors, who are already working with her to plan lessons and other activities.

We're changing the schedule, with a period each day devoted to each of the first three ranks. A boy who is already Second Class can just come to Third Period, which will focus on First Class requirements; a new Scout can come to all three periods if he wants to, or just to the one that focuses on Tenderfoot. That lets the instructors focus on a more focused set of skills each period, and lets you and your Scouts plan to use their time more productively.

We're adding an optional cooking activity that will fulfill the Second Class cooking requirement, which is sometimes difficult for boys to complete. And we're offering boys who participate in Pathfinders the opportunity to participate in a special outpost camping activity at the end of the week.

Of course, your younger Scouts will still have period or two free to take merit badges, and they can also participate in nearly all of the troop, patrol, and individual acitivities that camp has to offer.

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