Scoutmaster Musings - Prepared for Everything?


> > > Triple Prizes < < < 

Scoutmaster Musings

Prepared for Everything?
When we talk about being prepared and getting ready for treks and campouts, the newer scouts (and their parents) will sometimes ask HOW prepared scouts need to be, always in regards to gear and clothing. It's a great question and the answer depends on how much discomfort the scout is willing to endure. We don't need to be prepared for Everything, but definitely for most things we're likely to encounter.

I've yet to meet a scout that overpacks. In the mind of many a scout, a toothbrush, change of underwear, and food are all that's needed for a weekend campout - and the toothbrush and underwear are just for show. These scouts believe they are willing to endure any hardship because they feel nothing is going to go wrong. It won't rain, get too cold, too hot, too buggy, or too dirty. On the front end, they have no hardship at all because they have the bare minimum of items - but they are doomed to misery sooner or later, usually sooner.

On the other hand, helpful parents heap the hardship on the scout at the front end in anticipation of every improbable thing that might go wrong. Three pairs of pants, just in case; Two extra hats, just in case; another pair of shoes, just in case; a gallon size bug spray, just in case. The poor scout is doomed to misery before he takes his first step out the door.

Somewhere in between is the balance we seek. Based on the expected and probable weather, the activities to be performed, and the length of the trip, a minimial amount of gear can be determined. This becomes a recommended packing list and is used as a starting point. This gear list is adjusted as a scout becomes more adept at knowing what has been used on past trips and what can be improvised in improbable situations.

The Scout Outdoor Essentials is the core that should never be cut. In addition to those basic items, the weather makes the biggest demand on what gear to take.
Having checked the weather forecast, a seasoned scout sees the expected low temp is 55F and probability of rain is 30% so he gambles and leaves a heavier fleece at home knowing his poly undershirt, light sweater, and hooded raincoat will be ok. If it drops to 45F and rains all weekend, he recognizes he might be cold but not in danger.
On that same outing, a new scout might show up with a duffle bag bigger than the scout, packed with two fleeces, two sweatshirts, two pants, gloves, and mittens, but only a rain poncho. And, he'll wind up still being cold and miserable because he gets wet.

We don't expect scouts to be prepared for everything. A good scout plans ahead and prepares for what is most likely to happen, gets ready to improvise for what might happen, and doesn't waste time on what is highly unlikely to happen. The best way we can help new scouts pack adequately is to provide a simple packing list and the instruction that it is a starting point they can modify as they see fit.

Scout On
Posted: 16:27 12-15-2008 380
    Previous Post     Next Post        archives:   2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006  2005      Scoutmaster Musings - RSS Feed

Site Disclosure Statement



Follow Me, Boys


Recent Comments
Joe on Books Never Written
 
Joe on Books Never Written
 
Brian Moore on Old Smokey song
 
Jeff on Webelos Uniform
 
Don on Emergency Skit
 
The doctor on Winter Camping Tips
 
peter on Coffin story
 
Jim in Florida on Scout Law
 
Joe on Nova award
 
Joe on Square Knots
 
More Comments...


Contest   -   Ask a Question   -   Add Content   -   scout software

This site is not officially associated with the Boy Scouts of America
listeria testingscout software
Boy Scouts  
Boy Scout Trail
Cub Scouts
Webelos
Boy Scouts
My Blog

Activities
Advancements
Awards
Ceremonies
Group Games
Graces
Jokes
Merit Badges
Projects
Recipes
Skits
Songs
SM Minutes
Stories
Uniforms
Pen Pals

Library
Online Tests
Our Schedule
Our Progress


Supporters





Shop 4 Stuff
Links
Privacy Policy
ICRA labeled

 
Find more Scouting Resources at www.BoyScoutTrail.com
This site is not officially associated with the Boy Scouts of America
Boy Scout Trail Home Bobcat Tiger Cub Scout Wolf Cub Scout Bear Cub Scout Webelos Boy Scout Tenderfoot Scout 2nd Class Scout 1st Class Scout Star Scout Life Scout Eagle Scout