From a drawing by Baden-Powell

Outdoor Program

Everyone we talked to said that the reason young people join Scouting is for the adventure in the outdoors. When asked about their camping record, 66 percent of larger troops said they went camping twenty-five or more days a year. More than 93 percent went to a Boy Scout-operated summer camp. In many cases, it didn’t stop there; these troops were also participating in the national high-adventure programs, climbing mountains, or swimming in the sea. Most successful troops don’t just have an outdoor program; they have outdoor adventures, developed with imagination and many other resources. The most important attribute of these troops is that they kept their promise to provide outdoor experiences for their boys. They planned, prepared, and carried out the activity as promised. Yes, we hear you, Scoutmaster with the eight-boy troop and five adults. You say you don’t have the resources to do this kind of program?

Have you ever thought of going to Philmont? The Philmont crew size is only eight. The idea might generate enough excitement among your Scouts and parents that they would make it happen. Then you would have parents involved, Scouts committed, and a great outdoor adventure ahead. But you don’t have to plan a big trip; it could be a small one. The key is to involve everyone from boys to parents in making the trip successful. Preparation gives purpose to troop meetings and outings. Developing the troop’s resources, from dollars to equipment, becomes a prime objective for the troop committee. It brings all the resources to bear on a single objective, and also develops a team spirit that makes a troop successful. It sets a standard of excellence in program that will be continued.


Adapted from Delivering the Promise, No. 18-251, Boy Scouts of America, 1993

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Copyright © Lewis P. Orans, 1996
Last Modified: 10:18 PM on December 14, 1996