A Scout’s Guide to Camping
Camping teaches young people many important life lessons. Through interacting with nature and learning good safety practices, scouts grow in ability. Because of this experience, a scout’s guide to camping is proven and useful.
By experiencing nature, girls and boys in organized camping:
- Maintain good health.
- Become self-reliant and resourceful.
- Build character.
- Understand teamwork.
- Appreciate our country.
- Develop spiritual ideas.
- Increase confidence and courage.
These concepts are developed through learning safety rules and experiencing things like overnighting, hiking, and fire making.
Camping is Safe and Fun
Scouts will say that being in wide open spaces, dense forests, or tropical climates and experiencing nature’s beauty and power is an amazing adventure. They would also say that respecting nature and understanding how she works are the keys to developing and practicing good safety rules.
Stuff to Bring
Campers use many fancy and expensive safety devices, which are often quite helpful, but scouts agree with most experts that only a few common items are needed for a good safety/survival kit that will get you out of a jam. There must be at least a compass, map, whistle, knife, rope, first aid kit, flashlight, and food in order for a kit to be effective.
It’s also a good idea to bring a cell phone or a GPS tracking device. Be over-prepared rather than under-prepared.
No Fences ‘Round these Watering Holes
When scouts are camping at beaches or around lakes or rivers, they understand the importance of water safety. No helpful, natural, outdoor barriers to small children or pets surround the water, so extra vigilance is required. Scouts also know that swimming health rules are even more important to follow when camping.
Hiking for Real
Moving through nature and feeling its life all around you can be extraordinarily beauty, so one of a scout’s favorite activities while camping is to take a hike. Of course scouts know that the key to a successful hike is proper planning.
Knowledge of terrain, proper clothing and equipment, reliable navigation gear, and extra food and supplies are crucial for a safe and enjoyable hike. These things are even more important when going on a group hike.
The greatest concern that scouts will tell you about group hikes is the potential for separation and getting lost. Making sure someone outside the hiking party knows the roster and game plan, establishing a prearranged rendezvous point should the party get separated, and being vigilant to stay in visual contact are the most important things to do when going on a group hike.
Keeping the Flames where They Belong
Seasoned scouts will tell you that fire is the most destructive byproduct of a negligent camping experience. Global wildfires started by humans each year cause loss of human life, billions of dollars in damage, and alter the environment forever.
Therefore, scouts know that good fire safety practices ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT things to keep when camping: Making fire in a suitable BBQ, stove, fire pit or fire ring is the first and most important step. Making sure everyone in the party is aware of the fire, and keeping pets and small children away are also of vital importance. Slowly building a fire without flammable liquid and building the fire at least 10 feet away from a possible fuel source will further prevent a fire from getting away.
Grill Mastering away from the Backyard
Scouts know that while camping, they usually do not have access to a water hose or 50 feet of lawn between an out of control fire and a more flammable fuel source. So, all of the backyard safety procedures should be doubled when building a campfire. A fire extinguisher AND a bucket of water should be close to the fire.
Scouting teaches young people important life lessons and teaches them how to camp in nature safely and enjoy their experience to the fullest. Anyone would do well to follow the scouts’ guide to camping.