In the past five or six years, I’ve increasingly heard the sentiment locally and through other channels that social camps are useless and have nothing to do with Scouting. After all, are there the markings of a traditional scout camp? Not really. Heck there’s even dances and jello wrestling at one of them! Like customer service bad events are always shared with 7-10 people while good events are only shared by 1-3 and I wanted to explain with the help of some local Rovers what exactly what they are and what value they bring to the program of Venturer Scouts and Rover Scouts. Social camps in south-western British Columbia include four (4) main events spread out over the Scouting year. There is a new social camp, Camp Coyote and some smaller Rover Moots that supplement these main program markers.
A few things that are common to all camps:
- Each(aside from the Rover only Moots) are open to Venturer Scouts, Rover Scouts and members of Girl Guides of Canada aged 15-30 as well as their respective Advisors. It’s also open to other WOSM organizations; we’ve had Australians and Americans attend at least one of these events in any given year.
- Camp attendance varies from 300-700 participants (Youth and Advisors) from Pacific Coast, Fraser Valley, their respective Girl Guides of Canada areas and occasionally groups from Washington State.
- Saturday is the main day of activities, usually culminating with a dance on the Saturday night. Awards for events are typically presented at Camp Closing on Sunday morning.
- Groups attending are responsible for everything they need for a weekend of camping, aside from program. All groups are expected to come with Advisors and their own camp forms. Advisors are responsible for their own youth at all times.
- Any major breaches of the BP&P are handled by sending the group home immediately (even if it’s at 2am and the parents have to drive out to pick them up), and a formal complaint is lodged with Scouts Canada by the group running the camp. Minor infractions are handled at camp between the Camp Chief and group(s) involved in the mischief.
- Most of these camps are run by volunteer staff that are aged less than 30, with the majority of planning done by youth 18-25. RoVent is the exception to this; “Friends of RoVent” do a lot of the planning and execution of this event, but are continually looking for new members to run the camp and aim for a Rover to be the Camp Chief.