What is Troop Camping Know-How?
The New Troop's First Campout
This guided campout and training session for new Scout troops is designed to
give them a good beginning in their first camping experience. This program can
be done under the supervision of the campmaster corps.
An effective and satisfying outdoor program is vital to the success of any
Scout troop. Even more important is the promise made to each Scout that he is
joining a program of fun and outdoor adventure. He has visions of camping and
hiking that must become real.
This troop camping experience is designed to get the new troop off to a
running start in using the best methods of Scout camping. It is a guided
experience in weekend camping under the troop's own leadership, but under the
coaching and influence of several experienced adult leaders provided by the
council or district.
In councils using this plan, the results will be gratifying and easily
- The troop will learn the best methods—the correct method, the patrol
method of Scout camping—without costly experimentation.
- The troop will use proper equipment.
- The troop acquires the ability to program itself in meaningful and
enjoyable outdoor fun.
- Troops will learn the relationships among outdoor skills, advancement, and
- Troops will have an opportunity to learn to schedule a balanced program of
indoor preparation and outdoor activity.
- Troop leaders will gain know-how and confidence.
Who is eligible to attend?
The question is sometimes raised as to the advisability of having reorganized
troops or old troops with new leaders and new boys attend this training session.
Only the local council can resolve this question. If such troops can be
accommodated, it would be good for them to attend. Almost any troop could find
some benefits in such a campout experience.
When should this training be done?
This can be done anytime, but it will be more effective if it is done after
the leaders have taken Basic Leader Training. The training would be more
effective if the weather is reasonably mild.
How to Get Started
- Study the plan as suggested in this outline. (This applies to the Scout
executive and camping director or staff person related to the project.)
- Discuss the plan in an executive staff meeting.
- Present the plan for consideration to the council camping and activities
- The camping and/or activities committee recommends executive board
approval of the plan.
- After board approval, leadership is recruited for the project and dates
are set for courses.
Sample Letter of Invitation to Troop Camping Know-How
After the campout dates are set, an invitation is sent to the eligible troop.
This should be sent four to six weeks before the proposed campout. The following
invitation is an example:
Welcome to the great outdoors of Scouting! To help you and your
Scouts on your first camping trip, the ____________________ Council has
set aside a camping area known as ____________________ Camp, located at
On behalf of the ____________________ Council, I wish to invite you
and your Scouts to attend a campout from 10 A.M. Saturday to 3 P.M. Sunday
at Camp ____________________. (Or use alternate days, 5 P.M. Friday to 5
This preparation program is designed to give new Scouts and their
leaders an overnight experience in Scout camping. A team of experienced
Scouters will be directing the camp.
There will be no camp fee for the use of these facilities on this
weekend. The only charge will be for food—the standard menu, which you
will purchase at home and bring with you for the outing. The cost is
approximately $5 per person. The menu and food list will be sent to you
when you file your application for the campout.
I do hope you will take advantage of this opportunity, designed
especially for your troop. To ensure a place for your troop, the attached
application should be filled out immediately. Upon receipt of your
reservation, your camping permit with complete instructions will be sent
Call a meeting of your troop committees and talk things over.
Adventure awaits you and your Scouts in this program of camping.
Sample Camp Reservation
To: ____________________ Council
From: Troop Number ____ District ____________________
We accept your invitation to attend the Fast Start on (dates for
your troop) ____________________.
We will have approximately _____ Scouts and _____ leaders present.
We will expect to arrive at camp at _____ (A.M./P.M.). If for any reason
we change the above plans, we will notify you.
|Scoutmaster (Please print.)
Sample Letter of Instruction to the Troop
When the troop has specified the date for the campout, the council sends
further information, perhaps in the following manner:
We are happy to learn that you have accepted our invitation to
attend a campout at ____________________ Camp. We are all looking forward
to having you enjoy the fine facilities and program that have been
arranged for you and your Scouts.
Your regular camping permit is enclosed for ____________________.
The adviser for this campout will be ____________________, telephone
Enclosed are directions for getting to the camp, an outline of the
weekend program, and a copy of the food order. Follow the menu noted on
the order form, as it is a valuable part of the program. Each of your
Scouts should be asked to bring a sandwich for Saturday noon.
Each Scout and leader carries his own personal gear, along with his
share of patrol or troop equipment and food.
- Uniform (if possible)
- Comfortable shoes
- Sweater or jacket
- Raincoat or poncho
- Extra pair of socks
- Individual toilet paper roll in plastic bag
- Sleeping bag/warm blankets
- Ground cloth
- Tennis shoes
- Soap in waterproof container
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- First-aid kit
- Camera and film
- Musical instrument
- Boy Scout Handbook
As soon as the troop arrives at camp, you should check in with
____________________. You will be directed to the camping area where you
will meet with the other leaders who will help you have a fun-filled
Enclosures: Overnight camp permit, program outline, menu and food
order, directions to camp, equipment available for loan from
Equipment a Patrol Should Be Issued
(The camp will have available for checkout.)
- Patrol flag on stave
- 12-by-16-foot dining fly, or a trail tarp
- Poles, tent pegs, and guy lines
- Large spoon
- Large fork
- Can opener
- Potato peeler
- Carving knife
- Paring knife
- Hot tongs
- Sugar container
- Salt/pepper containers
- 3/4 ax [[fraction]]
- Bow saw
- Camp shovel
- 8-inch mill file
- Sharpening stone
Health and Safety
- Two 4-by-4-inch plastic sheets
- First-aid kit
- Toilet paper in plastic bag
- Screw-top water container
- Rubber scraper
- Liquid soap
- Roll of paper towels
- Two 14-quart galvanized buckets
- Box of trash bags
- Roll of heavy-duty aluminum foil
- Dutch oven
- Table cover
- Mixing bowls
Patrol Duty Roster
(Divide the responsibility and share the
Weekend and overnight camps—change tasks after each meal, if
Long-term and summer camp—change tasks after noon meal
Adjust assignments to fit the number of Scouts in the patrol.
Use the additional patrol members where needed.
||DAYS OR MEALS|
||Wood and water
||Wood and water
||Wood and water
||Wood and water
||Wood and water
||Wood and water|
- Wood and water
- Bring in water and wood or charcoal; start fires for cooks in plenty of
time. Keep woods tools sharpened and in good condition.
- Pick up and cook food, following cooking instructions carefully, and serve
meals on time. Supervise cleanup.
- Prepare wash and rinse water so patrol members can wash their individual
dishes. Clean up patrol area and patrol dishes under the supervision of the
Note: If the troop is already working on new-Scout activities, these
assignments can be used toward Tenderfoot through First Class requirements.
A Guide for Briefing Scoutmasters
If two to four troops will be coming at one time, it would be helpful if
their leaders could meet for a short briefing in town before the campout.
Otherwise, the following material should be discussed with each Scoutmaster
- How many Scouts and leaders are attending?
- What equipment will patrols have?
- What equipment will patrols need?
- What is the Scoutmaster's role as trainer?
- What time will they arrive? Leave?
- Will the campout be held rain or shine?
- Scoutmasters should encourage Scouts to pack their packs as demonstrated
in the Boy Scout Handbook.
- Use the Fast Start instruction sheet.
- Bring the food as suggested in the instructions.
- Observe religious services.
Be sure to convey to the leaders that they, not you, are the leaders of their
troops. Your job as instructor will be to illustrate and explain, but not take
over and lead the troops. (This is similar to the role of troop guide with the
This is a good time to give a simple packing demonstration so that the new
leaders can teach this important phase of camping to the Scouts.
Guidance should also be given as to the type and size of equipment to buy if
the troop intends to secure camping equipment before the campout. Stress the
- Official BSA equipment is youth-sized and youth-priced and will last.
- Always get two-person tents.
- Each patrol should have a cooking tarp and cook kit.
- Have one saw per patrol.
- The official BSA fiber-filled sleeping bag is good even in freezing
weather. If colder weather is expected, an extra blanket is necessary.
Commissary and Cooking Instructions
Patrols should be encouraged to purchase and pack their own food. They will
cook as patrols, rotating their duties. Note that the menu and food order is for
an eight-person patrol. If only four people attend, cut the quantity in half. If
six people attend, take two-thirds of these quantities. If five people attend,
better buy for six; for seven people, better buy for eight. Troop leaders may be
guests of patrols or may cook and eat separately. Each patrol should have three
stacked pots of various sized and a frying pan.
Cooking and Preparing Meals
The first meal in almost any campout could be a sandwich and soup. This will
save time in setting up camp quickly. The staff may supply the soup for the
entire group, as well as cookies and a hot or cold drink. This can be donated by
the council, or each troop could be charged a nominal fee to cover the actual
cost. If patrols are to furnish their own soup or cocoa, then a large pot of
water should be set on a fire as soon as possible. Do this first.
At 5 P.M., each patrol should send its cook and assistant to the cooking area
for briefing on the cooking procedures by the program staff, then return to the
patrol site for food preparation.
- Yukon Pete Goulash. Bring a gallon of water to a rolling boil. Add
1/2 teaspoon salt. Add 1 pound of elbow macaroni. Stir. Do not let the
macaroni stick to the bottom or to itself. In another pot or large frying
pain, place 1/4 pound of bacon, chopped in small pieces. Fry it brown. Add a
cup of chopped onions. Brown the onions. Then sprinkle in 1 1/2 pounds of
ground beef in small pieces. Let it fry until brown. Stir often. When brown,
add two cans of tomato soup (no water). Stir this until it is well-heated.
When macaroni is tender to cut, pour off the water. After the macaroni is
drained, pour it into the meat sauce and stir until heated through. Add salt
and pepper and serve.
- Lettuce Salad. To make the salad, slice the lettuce into a pan, then cut
up the pickles and mix with lettuce. Pour small amount of pickle juice over
salad and mix.
- Peaches. Serve dessert in each person's cup after he has finished his
This is a buddy cookout. Two people pair up and cook eggs and bacon in a
frying pan or on a hobo stove—a No. 10 metal can with vents in bottom and top.
Put on a large pot of water so that everyone can use it for making individual
cocoa. Oranges are halved or quartered.
Each person in the patrol can cook his individual kabob dinner on a wire
skewer or stick. Each patrol should have a hot bed of coals before starting. Cut
steak or other meat into 1 1/2 inch cubes. Peel potato and onion, wash, and
slice them into 1/4-inch slices and place alternately on the skewer with the
meat. Broil over coals until potato is cooked, then eat it from the stick when
Follow camp procedures for cleanup of refuse. All garbage should be disposed
of properly. Follow the principles of Leave No Trace.
Patrol Menu and Food Order
|Troop number _____
||Patrol name ____________________
|(Quantities should be adjusted according
to standard size of patrols, or eight people.)|
||Fill in Qty,
- Hot soup (supplied by camp)
- Sandwiches (each Scout brings his)
- Hot or cold drink (supplied by camp)
- Cookies (supplied by camp)
||Yukon Pete Goulash
||1 small jar
||3 (1/3 lb.)
||1 1/2 lb.
||Bread and butter
||Salt and pepper
||2 no. 2 cans
||8 ind. boxes
||Hot cocoa mix
||8 ind. pkgs.
||Steak for kabob
||8 @ 3 lb.
|Number of people ____
||BOY SCOUTS OF
Camping Fast Start
With this Fast Start program, each new Boy Scout troop is carefully
introduced to a weekend of camping and fun. The experience is planned to expose
the new troop to certain Scout camping requirements and methods.
The troop is the guest of the council. After this guided camping experience,
the troop is eligible to use any and all council camps.
Specific time has been omitted from a number of program items to allow
flexible scheduling and sequence according to the desires of the leaders and the
season of the year.
- BSHB—Boy Scout Handbook, No. 33105
- SMHB—Scoutmaster Handbook, No. 33002
- PLH—Patrol Leader Handbook, No. 32502
- SPLH—Senior Patrol Leader Handbook, No. 32501
- TPF—Troop Program Features, Volumes I, II, and III, Nos. 33110,
33111, and 33112
- Outdoor Skills Activity Charts
- Woods Tools, No. 34228
- Ropes, Knots, and Pioneering, No. 34229
- How to Fish, No. 21-388
Note: The staff will act as instructors (just as the troop guide does
in the troop) in this entire program, using the troop's own leaders whenever
possible and constantly building up these leaders whenever possible.
||Arrive at camp. Meet the staff.
||Trail box lunch; flag ceremony by each troop.
||Organize for camp; camp leaders meet unit leaders. Decide
formation of patrols (if not formed). Select patrol positions of
responsibility. Name patrol, develop yell and totem.
||Woods tools; preparing the firewood; sharpening, using, and
caring for your knife; caring for and sharpening your ax; tinder;
kindling. Earn kindling. Earn Totin' Chip.
||Show tents already up; also the use of the dining fly. Show
methods of making a good ground bed. Stress the patrol camp. Scouts
||Scout safety precautions in the woods; knowing poisonous plants
and avoiding accidents is the best first aid. Demonstrate first aid
for insect bites, blisters, cuts, scalds. Stress the buddy
||Hiking and footgear: shoes, socks. The hiking methods, speed,
safety, cross-country safety on highways, what to do when lost.
||Fire building: Locate and prepare a fire site. Lay and light a
cooking fire. Do cooking demonstration involving cooking with pots
and pans, Dutch ovens, aluminum foil, and utensils. Show hobo stove
and demonstrate as far as possible exactly how a patrol gets a meal
ready and cleans up.
||Cleanup: Dispose of garbage in proper manner, put out fire,
clean up site.
||Cooks gather for meal preparation explanation.
||Flag ceremony: Have troop's senior patrol leader lead a simple
||Patrols prepare supper: Yukon Pete Goulash.
||Patrol leaders' council meeting: Prepare campfire program using
planner, No. 33696. Each patrol leader explains program to
||Reveille; personal hygiene.
||Prepare for breakfast: buddy cooking; Hobo Breakfast.
||Flag ceremony; announcements by the Scoutmaster in charge.
- Read at least five map symbols.
- Orient a camp map and follow a route far enough to show that
you understand how to use a map.
- Explain how a compass works.
- In the field, set a compass and read a degree bearing on
- Determine the length of your step, using a measured-step
- Walk a course for which you must follow three compass-degree
bearings and measure three distances with your step.
||Prepare for dinner: Trail Special.
||Closing ceremony: Make awards presentation, lower flag, depart
|Note: The activities planned are only
recommendations. Some troops may not be able to work as quickly as
others. Do activities as the Scouts are able to master the
Instruction to Camp Staff Leader in Charge of Camping Fast Start
_____________________ Council, Boy Scouts of
||Copy to Assistant Camp Leaders|
According to our camp leaders' schedule, you are to serve as camp
leader and assistants for the Fast Start on _____________ (date).
Your troop will be _____________.
||Number of Scouts and Leaders ______|
So that you and the troops may have an enjoyable and beneficial
campout, we suggest the following:
- Read the enclosures: copy of letter to Scoutmasters, menu and
program for camp leader, copy of program for assistants.
- We suggest you go to camp Friday evening after supper, if
possible, to have time to prepare for the troops. The camp leader should
be clear with assistant camp leaders regarding their
- Check in at camp; secure keys and other material.
- Prepare your own quarters, camp leader's area, and the tent or
- Review detailed program with assistant camp leader and arrange
assignments for the campout.
- Check over equipment for each troop. If any equipment you need
is not there, arrange to secure it. Check on recognition.
- On the first morning, check troop sites and equipment on hand:
tents, woods tools, etc.
- Set up demonstration areas, tents, patrol kitchens, etc.
- Prepare lunch.
- Check troops as they arrive and pick up permits.
- Review program with Scoutmasters, make assignments of troop
staff in program, and discuss tools available, heating and cooking, care
of equipment, lunch, and starting time for program.
- Revise program as necessary because of weather. Be sure Scouts
and leaders have fun, learn about Scouting, and keep warm and dry.
- Follow the program. Work through the Scoutmaster and staff. The
camp leader and assistants are to lead and guide the troop leaders so
that the troop will have a happy and worthwhile experience.
- Use the patrol method, involving the senior patrol leader and
patrol leaders whenever possible.
- At the end of camp, check the troops out. With the Scoutmasters,
review the condition of the area, equipment, fire sites, and firewood
supply. Store equipment in boxes and return. Set a pattern on cleanup,
neatness, and care of equipment.
- Clean up camp leader area, put out all fires, and return
- Check out; complete camp leader's report. Return permit and
- Pass along any suggestions or comments that will be helpful in
future management of this training.
Good camping and good
- Letter to Scoutmasters
- Menu and food order
- Weekend program
- Equipment lists
Fast Start Troop Camp Report
Troop __________ Town ____________________ District
Camp Leader's Report
Check in on __________, 20___ Number of Scouts __________
out on __________, 20___ Number of adults __________
Waterfront rules observed
Fires in proper
places adequately protected ____________________________________
departures, fires extinguished
Garbage properly disposed,
with cans flattened and boxes broken down ___________
Adult leaders in
charge __________________________ ___________________________
left in order __________________________________________________________
General observations of this troop
Notice to Instructors
Before the camping session ends, be sure you have left these impressions
indelibly imprinted on the adult leaders, patrols, and Scouts who have
- Scouting is fun.
- Camping is the heart and core of Scouting. Be sure that leaders understand
the purpose and method of Scout camping.
- Scout camping means using self-reliance—doing for yourself and others.
Camping is the vehicle used by adults to expose Scouts to situations that will
help build character, develop citizenship traits, and produce fitness.
- Camping must be done in a neat, clean manner, leaving no trace.
- There are rules in camping.
- Camping in a patrol is teamwork, fun, and an experience in citizenship.
- Scout advancement comes automatically with good hiking and camping.
- Good equipment and trained leaders make camping more fun.
- The proper use of nature and the outdoors will preserve it for you and for
everyone else in the future.
- Go camping at least once a month.
- Sign up for summer camp soon.
Equipment for Use in Staff Demonstrations
These and other training items, as needed, should be kept in a special box,
kit, or pack, and used only for this training.
||Boy Scout Handbook, No. 33105|
||No. 10 metal can|
||3/4 hand ax|
||Trail chef kit|
||Troop Program Features, Volumes I, II, and III, Nos.
33110A, 33111A, and 33112A|
||Current-year Boy Scout Roundtable Planning Guide, available
from BSA local council|
||Scoutmaster Handbook, No. 33009B|
||Campfire Program Planner, No. 33696A (one