Do Cub Scouts go camping?
Yes. Our Pack generally holds three camping events each year. We have outdoor tent camping events in the fall and the spring. We also have a winter camping event which is indoors. All camping events are optional but are very fun and exciting for the scouts. They always have a blast.
Who can go camping and how do I sign up?
All camping events require that at least one adult accompany each Scout. Most camping events are open to the entire family. Some winter camping venues do have minimum age requirements due to safety reasons. The Pack plans out where the camping event will be held months in advance and gives all our Scouts and their families plenty of time to register for the events. The Pack also provides complete logistic information (what to bring, when to arrive, where to park etc).
What is winter indoor camping?
Our winter indoor camping is held at a different place each year. These are overnight adventures to various museums or sites within an hour or so drive from our area. Each event is a little different and each facility we go to offers various activities. Some examples of recent winter overnight events...
- Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
- Philadelphia Zoo
- Pocono Environmental Education Center
- Battleship New Jersey
- Liberty Science Center
What equipment do I need to bring to winter indoor Camping?
Each facility is different but typically just a sleeping bag and fitted sheet, pillow, toothbrush and other basic toiletries.
Is there an extra cost for winter indoor camping?
Yes. The cost varies based on the venue but it is typically between $50-75 per camper.
What is outdoor camping like?
The picture at the top of the page provides a glimpse into what it's like. The Pack travels individual (or car pools) to a campground. There will be other Cub Scout packs there as well as Pack 99. We are assigned a campsite and as you arrive you pick a spot and set up camp. Our pack will all be together at the same site. Each site has a fire ring and tables. Some have covered pavilions. All sites have shared bathroom facilities (toilets, running water etc). We cook together as a group over the fire. The Pack is responsible for bringing most food, firewood and meal supplies.
Each family sleeps in their own tent. All Scouts must be accompanied by at least one adult. As with all Cub Scout events camping is a family event and family are more than welcome to attend.
Outdoor camping at the Cub Scout level is not too rugged. You typically will not need to walk too far from the parking lot to the campsite (maybe 5-10 minutes, some sites even less).
Where do we go camping?
We go camping at either dedicated scout camps owned and operated by Boy Scouts of America or to other group campgrounds such as YMCA camps. We do not go to public campgrounds, state parks, RV parks, or places like that. All the campgrounds we go to provide a full schedule of Scout related activities.
What equipment do I need to bring for outdoor camping?
- Tents - tents are rated by the number of people. Keep in mind that a 2 person tent will not comfortably hold 2 people. You generally want to determine how many people need to use the tent and then add an extra person for storing gear and having a little extra wiggle room. A 4 person tent works great for one or two scouts plus an adult. In addition to a tent it is also a good idea to bring a basic blue tarp to put under the tent to help prevent water getting into the tent or punctures.
- Sleeping bags - these are rated by temperature. The temperature rating is a survival rating, not a comfort rating. If you have a 40 degree bag and the overnight temperature drops to 45 you will wake up cold. Extra layers of clothing or an extra blanket can help. A warm hat (knit or otherwise) is a great thing to bring along as well.
- Air mattresses or pads. Not as necessary as a tent or sleeping bag but really very highly recommended. There are three kinds of solutions here. A traditional thick (4+ inch) air mattress that you inflate with a battery operated pump is OK. There are camping pads that are a combination of air and/or foam are great and the preferred choice of those who camp frequently. These can be pretty expensive but if your Scout plans on moving on to Boy Scouts it is a good investment. The last option are foam roll-out or fold-up pads. These are inexpensive and will not leak but provide the least support.
- Flashlights with fresh batteries are a must have.
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, medications).
- It's not a bad idea to bring a couple of garbage bags or very large zip lock bags to store dirty or wet clothing or bedding.
- A chair for the campfire.
- An extra change of clothing. Just in case.
- Fishing gear if you want to go fishing. Adults do need a valid fishing license.
- Depending on how much gear you have and how far our campsite is from the parking lot campers may want to bring a wheeled cart, wheelbarrow, or wagon to help haul gear.
- Hiking gear. A backpack of some sort, water bottle, simple first aid kit.
What will the weather be like?
Our Pack goes camping in late September or early October and again in late May or early June. The temperatures can fluctuate but it's usually not too hot or cold. The important thing is to watch the weather forecast, especially the night-time low temps, and prepare accordingly. The camping events are held rain or shine. If rain is in the forecast it's important to bring an extra change of clothes, extra shoes, and ponchos.
What do we do during outdoor camping? What is the schedule?
Most outdoor camping runs from Friday evening around 5 PM until Sunday around 10 AM. Campers can arrive either Friday evening or Saturday morning. If you plan to arrive on Friday it's best to arrive while it is still daylight. Setting up a tent in the dark is a challenge. No meals are served Friday evening but there typically snacks provided by the pack.
Saturday the pack has breakfast at the campsite and then we start our scheduled program for the day provided by the campground. The schedule typically runs the entire day with a break for lunch. There are a variety of activities on the schedule (rock wall climbing, shooting, archery, crafting, boating, fishing etc.) At some campgrounds there are Scout specific activities for specific adventure requirements. There is down time in the schedule where the Scouts can simply explore the campsite and enjoy the time with their friends. This downtime is also a great time for the adults to take a break by the campfire.
Saturday evening the pack makes dinner and enjoys an evening around the campfire. At scout campgrounds there is typically a large gathering of all campers Saturday evening where the scouts have an opportunity to perform skits. Sunday morning we have breakfast, pack-up camp, clean-up camp and head home.
Do I have to go camping?
Some of the required rank adventures are easier to complete by attending camping events but technically it is not a requirement. However, of all the activities our Pack is involved in outdoor camping is probably the most memorable and exciting. The Scouts always have a great time.
What is the meal situation at outdoor camping?
The Pack handles most food. At some camping events we do buy Saturday lunch from the mess hall. Saturday and Sunday breakfast and Saturday dinner are almost always group cooking efforts at our campsite. We cook over the campfire whenever possible. Breakfast is typically cereal, bagels, fruit, juice and coffee. Dinner is typically burgers, hot dogs, foil packets, mac and cheese etc. The pack provides all this as part of the cost of camping but the campers are all responsible for assisting in the meal prep and cleanup process. The pack also provides campfire snacks (s'mores and stuff like that).
You can bring your own snacks but the #1 rule is that food does not belong in tents. We always keep food stored securely in coolers or plastic tubs in a car overnight. You do not want to be visited by a bear or raccoon in the middle of the night.
What sort of amenities are provided at outdoor camping?
Each campground has bathrooms. Some are better than others but they all have toilets and running water. The campground provides each pack a campsite which consists of a fire-ring and flat ground or wooden platforms to put up tents. That's about it. There is no wi-fi and cell coverage is not guaranteed.
How much is outdoor camping and how do I sign up?
The cost varies but it is typically 35-70 dollars per camper for the weekend. This includes food and all the activities which are run by the campground. The pack will communicate all sign up details well in advance of the event and will provide all details about where we are camping etc. We typically find out exactly where our campsite is at the campground a week or two before camping.