Harford District Camporee Trip Report

Harford webelos camporee October 2019

Campground Overview

The Harford District Camporee for the Fall 2019 was held at Broad Creek Memorial Scout Reservation, Camp Oest.  Pack 802 camped at Navajo Canyon campsite which is a favorite for the pack due to its proximity to the center of camp and the bath house.

Parking:  For this event we were permitted to drive one vehicle at a time to our site for unloading/loading; however, all vehicles were required to park in the lot at the top of the hill.  The road between the parking lot and the campsite is steep and rugged and may be unsuitable for small cars.  Scouts were encouraged to pool gear to reduce vehicle traffic.

Facilities:  A central bath house equipped with separate youth and adult restrooms is located approximately 100 M up hill from Navajo Canyon.  The restrooms have running water, flush toilets, and showers.  Each campsite is also equipped with a rustic privy (no flush) and running water (season dependent).  Water is also available from a spigot beneath the large pavilion when the supplies are turned off at individual sites.

Park Address:  1800 Robinson Mill Rd, Darlington, MD 21034 (39.68016, -76.26126)

Park Website:  Link Here

Program Overview

Camporee Programming:  The theme for the Fall 2019 Camporee was Scouts BSA Games and as such the programming included several great sports related games including a frisbee toss, baseball toss, football throw/kick, sprints, etc.  This event enabled the Webelos scouts an opportunity to complete multiple portions of the Stronger, Faster, Higher adventure while also permitting the Scouts BSA volunteers to work on their personal fitness merit badge.  Scouts and adult leadership from Troop 238 in Hickory, MD organized and ran the event.

Scout Leadership:  One of the biggest advantages of an event like this is to provide the older Webelos scouts an opportunity to develop leadership skills while using the patrol method to perform tasks that are frequently done by adult leaders on Cub Scout camping trips.  The scouts planned the entire menu for this event and took turns to complete a majority of the camp chores such as cooking, filling water jugs, dishes, site cleanup, trash disposal, and gathering firewood.

Start

  • Desire greater unit participation
  • District provide more lead time for events
  • Missed opportunity for Troop recruitment

Stop

  • N/A

Continue

  • Great food
  • Patrol method with Webelos scouts
  • Seriously, best camp menu ever!
  • Excellent camporee games
  • Fun hike to view old-growth Hemlocks
  • Huge thanks to Troop 238 and P777

Cubmaster Notes

As a cubmaster I have pretty mixed feelings about the 2019 Harford District Fall Camporee.  This event had a lot of potential as a capstone activity for Webelos/AOL scouts preparing to transition to Scouts BSA troops but it was held back by lack of participation from other units within Harford District.  This camporee was attended by only two packs (802 and 777) and one troop (238).  This attendance was only marginally worse than the 2018 Webelos Camporee where three packs and two troops attended.  The low unit turnout detracted from the fun competition inherent in a camporee and also missed out on a key opportunity for Webelos scouts to see multiple scouts BSA troops in action.  My personal opinion is this event would be very well suited as a recruiting opportunity for Scouts BSA troops if more local troops were willing to come and share information about their units with the Webelos scouts.  I hope we are able to convince more units to commit to events like this in the future to improve the programming for all of our scouts.

Despite the limited participation from other units, this event was one of the most beneficial trips for my Webelos scouts to work on leadership development and multiple advancement opportunities.  Weeks before this trip I prepared the scouts in both Webelos dens by talking with them about the patrol method and setting an expectation for the scouts to perform most of the camp chores during this event.  This worked tremendously and not only did the scouts excel at everything they did over the weekend, they really stepped up by taking on a more challenging menu than what we typically can do with a larger group.  Our cooking methods included using the camp chef griddle, a box oven, and multiple dutch ovens to prepare some of the best food I’ve ever had at a scout campout.  The photos above don’t even do it justice.  Additionally, my scouts were able to work on multiple requirements during this weekend spanning portions of Cast Iron Chef, Castaway, Scouting Adventure, Stronger-Faster-Higher, Into the Woods, Outdoor Adventurer, etc.  It is so beneficial for Webelos scouts to camp as a patrol and the camporee environment does so much to enhance the patrol method over a traditional camping trip!

In addition to the great games and camp cooking we experience over the weekend, we also had some free time in the afternoon to explore.  I was impressed with my scouts when I gave them the choice of taking a hike or just hanging out at the campsite (and bamboo forest), most voted to do the hike.  We hiked for about two hours exploring the Eastern side of camp Oest with a destination to the old-growth Hemlock forest.  The Hemlocks were worth the visit, although we were a bit disappointed to see some of these ancient trees had fallen within recent years.  This hike was worthy of it’s own event and will be covered as a future trail review on the website.

Thank you once again to the Scouts and adult leadership of Troop 238 that helped to make this event possible!  Your commitment to scouting in Harford District does not go unrecognized and is extremely appreciated.  Thanks also to Pack 777 for attending the camporee.  I hope that we can work together to drive up more interest for events like this in the future.

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