Huck Finn Days
For this one I thought I would try something that I had seen several years earlier at a Camporee when I was with a Troop over in Germany. Admitedly it was a much smaller District and there were only about 70 kids there at the time but I thought it was worth a try.
After the flag raising Saturday morning, we lined all of the kids up by age in a straight line. We then went down the line handing them a sheet of paper that told them what new Patrol they were going to be in. This way it was unlikely that there would be more than two kids from the same Troop in the new Patrols. We had 250 kids at this Camporee and we divided the boys up into 32 new Patrols. As soon as all of the boys had their new Patrol forms in had we had them split into the new groups and held Patrol Leader Elections. In most cases this was the oldest boy in the new Patrol, but there were a few surprising exceptions. We gave the boys about 20 minutes to get to know each other and then sent them on their way to start the days events.
This Camporee is one that I will do again, however, this must have a couple years between it. I recieved much feedback from the boys on this one, most like it, some very much disliked it. The ones that liked it said it would be cool to do once in a long while.
New Patrol Form
Pic 1, Pic 2, Pic 3, Pic 4
What went good:
The splitting up the boys into new Patrols went pretty good. In a District like ours where boys might live 3 blocks from each other and still go to different Troops, different schools, and never meet each other until they get elected into the OA and then they become great friends. The reason I did this was so boys would have a chance to meet other Scouts from different Troops around the cities. I have heard that there were many good friendships borne that day.
What went not so good:
When we split the boys up into new Patrols we did not check to see that they went to the Patrol that their form told them to go to. We had numerous boys just go with thier friends. We discovered towards the end of the day that we had one Patrol with around 4 extra guys in it. Next time we will check that a little closer.
Raft building: It was COLD. Plus it rained on us. Luckily we had a bus nearby with the heater on so as soon as boys got off the water they jumped in the bus to warm up. It is hard to do water activities in Minnesota in May. Even still, in the pictures above the boys are singing a rousing chorus of "Row, row, row your boat". They still had alot of fun.
Snapper fishing: We couldn't figure a way out to reset all of the mouse traps fast enough to move the boys through the event so we changed it to a casting competition with buckets set out that the boys had to aim for. They still enjoyed it.
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