Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Three Falls -- The Place for Older Scouts

Maybe it's because our Webelos program is one-of-a-kind ... and our Trail to First Class program is so good ... and we offer so many great merit badges ... but people sometimes overlook how much Three Falls has to offer for older scouts.

* The Three Falls Adventure Trek. Okay, so maybe it needs a catchier name. This week-long program for scouts 13 and older starts with two days in camp for climbing on our 57-foot tower; Low COPE and teambuilding; black powder rifle shooting; frontier skills at Fort Lockwood; and field archery. Then the crew takes off for a three day, two night backpacking trip into the Chumash Wilderness. The week finishes with mountain biking on some great trails.

For scouts planning a Philmont Trek or other long term backpacking experience, it's an opportunity to fine-tune their backpacking skills: Our Trek staff is chosen from older staff members with previous Philmont experience, and they teach Philmont-style methods and Leave No Trace principles. Along the way, the crew learns leadership skills drawn from the BSA's Kodiak syllabus, and can earn Camping and Geocaching Merit Badges.

Space is limited, so sign up early!

* Frontier Survivor. Our exclusive hiking award gives scouts the chance to experience some of the best hikes in the Lockwood Valley/Mount Pinos area, while still participating in nearly all of our regular camp program. It involves three morning or evening hikes followed by a night sleeping out under the stars near North Falls. There's a Polar Bear Swim in there too, just to keep things fresh. Frontier Survivor is recommended for experienced hikers 12 and older, though some of the hikes are open to all.

Those who complete all the requirements receive the coveted Frontier Survivor neckerchief and slide.

* Climbing. At 57 feet, our climbing tower is one of the tallest at any scout camp in the county, and we believe it is the tallest at any camp in California. We offer Climbing Merit Badge, of course, but also night climbs that are open to all.

* BSA Lifeguard. Offered every week for older scouts.

* Merit Badges. We offer 35 to 40 merit badges (it varies from year to year). Older scouts will be particularly interested in Eagle-required badges like Swimming, Lifesaving, Environmental Science, Camping, First Aid, Citizenship in the Nation and Citizenship in the World. But don't overlook some fun and challenging options like Cycling (mountain bike option); Welding; and Metalwork. Most of these have minimum age and/or rank requirements.

* Staff. For your 14-and-older scouts, camp staff can be an opportunity to take their scouting experience to the next level. Applications are taken in fall for the following summer.

Three Falls -- The Place for New Scouts!

Three Falls offers one of the best -- we actually think it's the best -- Trail to First Class programs of any camp in California.

Designed and run by veteran troop leaders, outdoors enthusiasts, trainers and educators, our Pathfinders program is engaging, active, and fun for your younger scouts. Not a lot of sitting around here: your scouts will spend their time tying knots, building fires, sharpening knives, taking hikes, swimming, playing games (with a purpose, of course); there's even a cool overnight in the tepees near Fort Lockwood.

To give you the maximum flexibility, Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class skills are all taught separately, at different times. A brand-new Scout can take three periods and work on all three ranks, while a Second Class Scout can take just the First Class section, leaving the rest of the day free for merit badges.

While it's understandably a popular program, we provide enough instructors to maintain a ratio of about one instructor to eight scouts, a perfect size for active outdoor learning.

Let us help get your newest scouts off to a great start with their Scouting adventure!

Three Falls -- The Place for Merit Badges

Merit badges are only one part of Boy Scout summer camp, but for a lot of people, they're an important part.

Some people assume that because Three Falls is a smaller camp, we offer a limited selection of merit badges. Nothing could be further from the truth! In 2018, we offered 36 different merit badges -- that's more than a lot of larger camps -- check for yourself.

We have the usual summer camp badges -- you can see a list here -- but also some you might not expect:

Citizenship in the Nation -- limited to older scouts
Citizenship in the World -- limited to older scouts
Cycling -- Mountain bikes. This one is limited to older scouts because it's tough -- ride 52 miles in 5 days, on back roads and trails in the Los Padres National Forest.
Metalwork -- Blacksmithing at Fort Lockwood!Pottery -- we have three potters wheels (just added a third) and a kiln
Space Exploration -- Build and launch honest-to-goodness model rockets.
Welding -- Taught by master welder Jack Compton!

We could go on, but you get the idea -- there is really something for everyone, even the old scouts who have already earned most of the typical summer camp badges. And we change the list a little each year, so there's always something new.

And, because we are a smaller camp, class sizes are conducive to scouts actually learning something -- which unfortunately isn't always the case at larger camps. Most of our classes are limited to 8 or 12 scouts at a time.

If merit badges matter to your scouts, take a look at Three Falls!