Boy Scouts are often seeking adventure and fun. These may be boys that are well trained in the art of outdoor adventure, but they are also boys and some boys just want to have fun.
Finding camp activities that appeal to the adventure seekers and those who are looking for entertainment of a different kind can become a challenge for the camp organizer. But it is possible.
First, take note of the kind of boys you have in the troop. Is this generally a younger group or an older group of boys? Make sure any ideas you come up with will suit the entire group of boys, from the 10-year-olds to the 16-year-olds, and everyone in between.
Second, take into account where camp will be held. If you are in the high mountains, any activity that makes the boys venture too far is unsafe. Always follow your local council’s standards for leader and boy ratios.
Keeping those things in mind, there are some activities that should suit most boys, young and old.
How about a scavenger hunt? If you have mostly younger scouts, create a scavenger hunt that you have set up in advance. Perhaps you can hide things that have to do with the elements of the Scout Law—coins for “thrifty” and hand sanitizer for “clean”, for example-- and challenge the boys to find them as quickly as they can. Older boys might delight in a scavenger hunt that requires them to find particular plants or take digital photos of specific birds or other wildlife.
Aside from activities and games, your Boy Scout camping ideas should also include meals. In this case, leave it to the Scouts. By the time boys reach Boy Scouts, they should be able to not only plan a camping menu of meals, but implement them as well. They should be able to create the shopping list and set the budget as well.
Finally, when planning your Boy Scout camp, be sure to plan for a campfire each night of camp. This is a fundamental part of the Boy Scout camp experience and it shouldn’t be overlooked.
However, don’t assume that because you must plan for a campfire, that you must also actually plan the campfire activities. Nothing could be further from the truth. Ask each patrol to come up with a skit, a song, or some other fun entertainment element. You might be surprised with what their imagination brings.
When you plan your Boy Scout camp, remember that boys this age are perfectly capable of doing much of the planning themselves. They might need a modicum of adult help, but not only can they make these plans, they should be allowed to as well. Learning how to do things independently and being organizers and leaders is what scouting is all about. Camp is a perfect opportunity to refine those skills.