If your younger self was ever a scout then you’ll know that there’s nothing quite like your first scout camp. For many children, it’s their first time camping in the outdoors with their friends, and possibly the first time away from their parents for a few days or more. This makes it more than just a fun few days, it makes it a rite of passage.
So naturally, as a parent, you want to make sure your child is fully prepared for the experience. What you’re looking for is a scout camp parent guide.
Well, you’re in luck - we’ve compiled a list of top tips for getting your son or daughter 100% ready for their first scouting outing.
Do a tent assembly test run (as a family)
You might have to blow dust off the instruction manual, find out it’s mysteriously missing a groundsheet, or discover several of the pegs are now shaped at a 90-degree angle. But that’s why doing a test run at home is so important.
Check for rips, tears or holes in the outer fabric that could let rain in. Make sure the inside isn’t covered in mud from the last time it was used. Then check the tent has all the poles and guy ropes required, and that there are enough pegs (ideally with a few to spare).
Now you know that it’s camp ready, supervise your child pitching the tent by themselves in the backyard. Resist the urge to jump in and help, unless they get completely stuck. This is definitely a task that you learn by doing. This will then make pitching the tent when they get to scout camp an easy task.
Invest in quality gear
Camping is not a one and done activity (unless you have a child that’s seriously not the outdoors type). Therefore, it pays to invest in quality gear. This way you’ll get years of use out of everything with your own family, as well as being able to lend out your camping gear to friends and family when needed.
Focus on the items that your children won’t grow out of. This includes sleeping mats, sleeping bags (if they’re in their mid-teenage years), mess kits, water bottles, backpacks, flashlights and penknives (age-dependent).
And when it comes to a high-quality, durable and lightweight backpack that’s ideal for your child’s first scout camp, check out our bag the Pillowpak, the world’s first backpack designed around your pillow.
Tick off items on a checklist
It’s best not to leave the packing all to your child, this isn’t a case of packing for a sleepover. If they forget something vital, it’s going to be a lot longer than a drive across the neighborhood for you.
Tick off each item as you go along, to be sure you’ve remembered everything. If you’re not sure what they’ll need, we’ve got you covered again with our scout camp packing list.
Talk to other parents
It’s never a bad idea to talk to some of the other parents before camp, to make sure you’re not forgetting anything and that all the details you have are correct. It may even be a good idea to arrange a carpool, especially if the scout campsite is more than a short drive away.
Cook a meal at home together
Cooking is an important part of scout camp. Scouts are usually expected to cook at least a few meals while they’re out in the wild. While these are admittedly pretty basic recipes often involving noodles, pasta, and various canned foods, it’s useful for your child to get some kitchen experience just before camp.
Depending on how much cooking experience your child has, it might be useful to start right at the beginning and teach them how to use a can opener, how to bring water to a boil and how to cook dried food such as pasta. If your child already has the basics down, then teaching them how to use seasoning during cooking or how to prep vegetables could be a better option.
Go on a family jog
This last one might seem like an obscure choice for our scout camp parent guide. However, cardio is key to enjoying a day that’s full to the brim with activities and this is what scout camp is all about. So help get your whole family fit and healthy by having a jog around your local park.