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Camping 101 – Frequently Asked Questions about Pack 802 Camping

Members of Pack 802 typically have the opportunity to go camping with other pack families several times each year.  Most campouts hosted by Pack 802 are considered pack overnighters and consist of more than one family from the pack camping together at a family campground or a youth group camp site.  Two examples of pack overnighters planned for the 2017-2018 program year are camping at Muddy Run Park in September and camping at the Antietam National Battlefield in October.  Additional camping opportunities also exist throughout the year at council- or district-hosted events that involve campers from multiple packs camping at the same time.  Two examples of district events that the Pack 802 will participate in this year are the Harford District Cub Fun Day in November and the Harford District Camporee in May.

Whether camping at a pack overnighter or a pack-sponsored event hosted by the council/district, all Pack 802 camping events are open to the entire family and serve as great opportunities for family members to experience the outdoors with their scouts.  The following list is intended to provide members of Pack 802 answers to the most frequently asked questions about camping:

Who is permitted to attend pack camping events?

All Pack 802 sponsored events that are listed in our events calendar for the year are open to the entire family.  Generally speaking, mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, etc. are all welcome to join us on our camping events.  The only exception to this rule would be for a council- or district-organized event with limited capacity for scheduled activities.  For these events, the pack would not restrict family members from camping with the group but family members may be restricted from participating in activities designated for scouts only (e.g. shooting sports like archery at Camporee).

How much does it cost to camping?

The financial overview sheet provides projected costs for each of our planned events for the year.  The pack strives to keep out-of-pocket costs as low as possible but the final costs are dependent on the success of our fundraising campaign.  For the 2017-2018 year the target costs for camping are typically $5/night for scouts and younger siblings and $10/night for older siblings/adults.

What does my camping fee pay for?

All camping expenses are shared between family out-of-pocket costs and pack-funded costs.  Out-of-pocket fees for camping typically offset pack expenses including camp site fees, meals and snacks provided by the pack, and camping consumables such as plates, napkins, cutlery, firewood, propane, etc.  Some camping events also include opportunities for scouts to earn optional achievements such as the Gettysburg Heritage Trails program.  Scouts that complete these optional achievements while camping can earn the associated patches and awards paid for by the pack.

I’ve never been camping before.  Will my family be able to handle it?

Our leaders developed our annual program plan with new scouts and novice campers in mind.  Typically, the first pack overnighter of the year is intended to be a great first camping experience for all families.  For 2017-2018, our first outing will be to a family campground that has full bathrooms with showers, a playground, and other features to keep everyone comfortable and entertained.  Every event will be attended by experienced campers that are happy to help out less experienced families.

What will my family do at the camping event?

While each event will vary based on the location of the event, families can typically expect a combination of planned activities and unplanned downtime while at the campsite.  For every outing, the pack leaders will develop a menu for all provided meals and snacks during the event and will plan approximate times for meals.  Speaking of which, camping provides a great opportunity for shared leadership and responsibilities between all pack members for cooking, and cleanup duties.  The pack leadership may plan activities open to all participants such as hikes, geocaching, camp fires, and on occasion outdoor movies.  Camping trips also serve as a great opportunity for scouts to work on required and elective achievements within their Den or with their adult partners.  The scouts typically enjoy the down-time between scheduled activities to just play and have a good time with their friends.

What does my family need to bring?

The minimum typical equipment needed for camping is a tent and sleeping gear (sleeping bag) for each member in your group.  New for 2017 the pack requires all participants to bring a water bottle and/or a reusable camp cup to camp in order to reduce waste from using disposable cups.  Other useful items include a sleeping pad or air mattress, a flashlight or headlamp, sun screen, bug spray,  a jacket/sweatshirt, rain gear, baby wipes (useful if not showering), and individual snacks.

What if I don’t have a tent?

Several pack families have spare tents and are willing to assist families in need.  Additionally, the pack typically has access to a small number of tents shared with the Boy Scout troop that can be made available upon request.

What if it rains when we are scheduled to camp?

Typically our camping events are held rain or shine as long as there are not severe thunderstorms or other risky weather.  While it is easier to camp in pleasant weather, camping in the rain can still be very fun and is very manageable as long as families are prepared.


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