Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Join Our Staff in 2013

Without a doubt, what makes Three Falls one of the best camps in Southern California is our staff, which is simply the finest around. If you'd like to be part of our elite team, we invite you to apply now.

We're not going to kid you: It's a big commitment and a lot of work, but it will also be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. It's much more than just six weeks at camp: You'll become part of a team of dedicated, friendly, and enthusiastic individuals who will become some of your best friends for life; you'll sharpen your skills; and you'll experience the rewards of impacting the lives of hundreds of scouts.

Parents: We know that teenagers have many other opportunities over the summer, whether it's going to camp with their troop, taking a class, or participating in sports, or even going on a family vacation. It's asking a lot of a young man or woman to give up most of their summer to be at camp. But camp is also one of the best growth experiences they can have. They'll develop greater independence, responsibility, and people skills, and every day they'll see the rewards of hard work and service to others. We hope you'll encourage your son or daughter to take advantage of this unique opportunity.

We also need a few adult staff members to fill specific supervisory positions. If your work schedule and family responsibilities allow you to spend an extended time away from home, we welcome your application.

Deadline to apply is December 15 (earlier than in previous years). We will contact applicants by mid-January to schedule interviews. Individuals who are hired for staff will be expected to participate in several pre-camp training sessions, attend Staff Week, June 17-22, and complete other requirements in preparation for camp.

The staff application is available to download from the council web site (scroll down to find the form).

Friday, September 21, 2012

Reservation Form Available

The Camp Three Falls 2013 Summer Camp reservation form is now available on the Ventura County Council Web site. Click on the Camping tab, then select Summer Camp, or follow this link. A number of troops and packs have already made reservations, and we are hearing lots of positive interest out there, so we expect that 2013 -- our 80th anniversary -- is going to be our biggest season in years. Get your reservation in soon to ensure your choice of camp dates!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Why Go to Three Falls?

A lot of troops are already discussing plans for next summer, and many will be choosing summer camps in the next few weeks. Naturally, we're hoping that many of you will select Camp Three Falls.

I'm not worried about troops that have been to Three Falls recently -- people who have been to Three Falls, like Three Falls -- and I know they'll be back.

If you haven't been to Three Falls in a while, you really ought to take another look. A lot has been happening in the last couple of years. Here's a sampling of what's new, and what's in the works for 2013:

-- A lot of people didn't like the blue tarps we had been using under the tents for the last several years, and I don't blame them. Those blue tarps are gone now, replaced by proper plywood tent platforms.

-- Last year, we were granted access to 1,000 acres of wilderness land owned by US Borax. This summer, we started building an access trail. The trail will eventually lead to a wilderness campsite that will be used as part of our older boy program (see below).

-- We added a cardboard canoe race to our list of activities in 2012. It was a huge success and will continue in 2013.

-- Our shotgun/black powder range has been completely rebuilt and expanded.

-- We now have a functional, easy-to-use online merit badge signup system that makes it much more convenient for troop leaders to manage their scouts' merit badge registration.

-- We received a grant this year for purchase of additional mountain bikes and will be offering an expanded cycling program in 2013. We have Cycling Merit Badge under review; the current requirements can't be completed in a week of camp, but the merit badge is undergoing revision by BSA and we are hoping that the new requirements will lend themselves better to a camp environment.

-- We are adding kayaking, including the new Kayaking Merit Badge. We've had four kayaks donated so far, and are actively looking for more.

-- Photography Merit Badge will be added in 2013. The class will take photos of camp activities and put together a slide show to share with the camp on Friday night, and a photo CD for troops to take home with them.

-- Leaders who have brought their troops to Three Falls rate our Trail to First Class program as one of the best they have found at any summer camp, and we keep working to make it even better. It's more than a skills class -- it's a fun and exciting introduction to the full summer camp experience for your younger scouts.

-- We're planning an older boy program for 2013 that will include hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, Low COPE, rendezvous skills, and trailbuilding, with part of the week spent out of camp on the Borax property and the Chumash Wilderness. We are finalizing details, but we are excited about this one. If your older scouts opt in to this early, they can help us tailor the program to meet their needs and interests.

-- Next year is Camp Three Falls' 80th anniversary, so naturally there will be a special anniversary patch and other cool souvenirs. A belt buckle is rumored.

We’ve got other new activities and programs in mind, but those are the main ones that are locked-in so far.

Of course, we still have the best staff of any camp you are likely to find; outstanding food, including our legendary Friday night deep-pit barbeque; and a beautiful setting only about 100 miles from the Ventura County Council office in Camarillo.

Bottom line: We may not be the biggest or best-known camp in southern California, but you won't find a more dynamic camp; a camp where management is more focused on continuous improvement; or a staff that will work harder to give your scouts the most memorable summer camp experience they can possibly have.

Let us know if there is anything we can do to be of assistance to you.