Camping is an important part of the Tay House program. Through campouts, scouts build self-esteem and learn valuable skills, such as teamwork, cooking, and first aid that they can use throughout their lives. For yougnger scouts, campouts provide a valuable oppertunity to complete advancement requirements and older scouts can use camping experiences to build and prove their leadership skills.
Tay House scouts camp outside year-round in all kinds of weather. To ensure our scout’s comfort at all times, it is important to be prepared for whatever nature may throw our way. To help your planning, we have developed the following equipment lists and planning tips. These lists are intended to be recommendations only–the predicted weather and the scout’s personal comfort should always be considered when packing for a Tay House hike.
The troop provides tents, cooking pots and utensils, water jugs, and woods tools (saws, hatchets, etc.). Patrol leaders may ask scouts to transport these items to and from the campout. After the campout, the scout should do any necessary cleaning and airing out of the equipment with which he is sent home and return the equipment to the cabin at the next Monday meeting.
Dates, Times, and Locations
A campout is generally scheduled each month during the scouting year, with the exceptions of November and December (due to the wreath and tree sales) and sometimes February. In general, there are seven campouts or trips each year. Tentative campout dates are usually established in the spring for the coming scouting year and are published in the June Cout of Honor Outlook to help with advance planning.
Western New York has several great camping locations and we try to chose from a variety of them so that we can offer a wide range of camping experiences to our scouts. Some of our favorite camping locations include High Tor (Naples, NY), Cutler Scout Reservation (Naples, NY), Camp Ditmer (Phelps, NY), Webster Park, and Camp Sam Wood (Portageville, NY). Most campouts run from Friday night until Sunday morning with drop-off at 6:00 pm on Friday and pickup at noon on Sunday, though this may vary based on location and activity.
A letter is mailed to all families in the weeks prior to a campout with specific information about the event including the location, driving directions, equipment recommendations, and other important information. Please refer to this letter for specific drop-off and pickup times and locations.
We consider campouts to be required activities and expect all scouts to attend every campout. There are several reasons for this: campouts give younger scouts opportunities to learn and practice important scouting skills that are difficult to master in other environments and older scouts can best develop and demonstrate their leadership skills on campouts, which leads to a greater likelihood of promotion. Patrols are also designed around campout efficiency, with the right number of scouts to be effective. When scouts are absent, the entire patrol suffers.
To help with planning for family events, we finalize all campout dates over the summer and include them in the troop calendar which is mailed to families before the first meeting of the year.
We do understand, however, that scouts and families sometimes have other commitments, planned or unplanned, that may make attending some campouts difficult. When this happens, we first ask that, scouts notify their patrol leader and leaders notify their department's scoutmaster as soon as possible so that we are aware of the absence. Whenever possible, we'd like scouts to attend whatever portion of the campout they can so that they can benefit from the experience and the troop can benefit from their contributions. For example, if a scout has a sports event on Saturday morning, consider dropping him off on Saturday afternoon so that he can benefit from the second half of the campout program.
For most campouts dinners should be eaten before arriving Friday night or scouts should bring a bagged dinner to eat that evening. This is the only food that scouts need to bring and it should be completely consumed on Friday. All other meals are provided by the troop and/or patrols.
For most campouts, patrols are responsible for planning menus. The patrol leader should involve the entire patrol in this planning either during the patrol meeting portion of the weekly meeting or during an out-of-cabin patrol meeting that he organizes. Proposed menus must be submitted to the camping department for approval two troop meetings before the campout. If a scout has special dietary needs, he should discuss these with both his patrol leader and the camping department.
Shopping for campout food is the responsibility of the patrol leader. He is encouraged to involve his patrol in the shopping process whenever feasable. The cost of food for campouts is covered by the annual dues that each scout pays. Patrol leaders should save their receipts and submit them to the camping department for reimbursement, which will occur after all of the troop camping equipment issued to the patrol has been returned.
Parents are responsible for driving their sons to campouts. To minimize the burden that this causes, we try to select camping locations that are within an hour of the City of Rochester. Further, we ask patrol leaders to arrange car pooling for their patrol members so that no parent needs to drive to a campout more than once.
The Patrol Campout Packet contains all the forms patrol leaders need to plan and run a successful campout. The packet helps patrol leaders plan a menu, track attendance, organize carpooling, manage equipment, and track inspection points. Patrol leaders should complete the packet with their patrols during a patrol meeting. The packet should be ready for review by the Camping department two meetings before a campout.