The Outdoor Program
Scouting works best in the place that boys want it most: the outdoors.
It is often said that three-quarters of Scouting is "outing."
There are a number of reasons why the outdoor program is so
special. Here are some that are especially good:
1. The outdoors is the
best place for learning outdoor skills. How could it be otherwise?
In the outdoors, Scouts get an immediate chance to use the skills they
2. The outdoors is a great place for learning something about living
with others. When Scouts walk on the same trail, cook and eat
together, and share triumphs and troubles together, they learn important
things about patience, respect for other points of view, doing their
full share, and developing lasting friendships. These are some of
the "personal growth" skills we want from every Scout. The
outdoors is where they grow up best.
3. On the trail or in
camp, the boy leaders will be challenged by the real thing - getting
their patrols fed and sheltered, keeping them warm and safe, solving
the problems they can solve, and knowing how to get help for those they
can't. It is a time when leadership skills can deepen, patrols grow closer,
and the troop grows stronger.
4. The outdoors is also
a place where a Scout can get closer to the natural world around him
- the land, the forests and their wildlife, the lakes and rivers, the
mountains and the seas. In the outdoors, he will learn "outdoor
ethics" -- the understanding and respect for the environment we
all share, and he will develop an active concern for it's health and
a willingness to work to keep it healthy.
We have several camping trips per year plus a week of summer camp at a Boy
Scout camp, usually in early July. On camping trips, we
usually plan, cook and eat meals by patrols; on smaller group outings,
we may cook and eat as a single patrol. We also have one-day
or part-day activities during the year. Our goal is to have at least one
featured activity each month. Our activity calendar for the year
is prepared by the Scouts in early summer and finalized in early fall.
However, it is always subject to change. Scheduling updates will
be placed on the website.
Past Troop 208 outings have included whitewater rafting on the Lehigh
River, hiking on the Appalachian Trail, camping at the "Melmar" site in
Lorimer Park, orienteering, geocaching, indoor rock climbing, tubing and rafting on the Delaware
River, and snow tubing. Ideas for new activities are
The troop has camping
gear such as tents, lanterns, camping and backpacking stoves, utensils,
pots and pans, and other general camping supplies. Boys should
have a decent quality sleeping bag and a ground pad to go under the bag,
both for padding and insulation. A backpack is also useful for
carrying gear on shorter trips and a real necessity on longer ones.
In some cases, a school backpack is sufficient. Hiking boots are
also useful, but not required for most outings. A mess kit with cup, knife,
fork, and spoon are essential. If you don't have experience buying
any of the equipment you need,
talk to experienced Scouts and parents before you buy. Good equipment
is not necessarily expensive, and expensive equipment is not necessarily
Each Scout must turn in a completed
Annual Health and Medical
Record form filled in, signed by his family doctor, and submitted to
the Scoutmaster before participating in any
camping trips, summer camp and high adventure activities. You can download and print out the form from BSA's national website by clicking on the link in this paragraph.
Parents who attend summer camp will also need to
complete the same medical form. These forms come with us on camping trips and are
critical for obtaining medical care in an emergency. The
form is available for PDF download:
Annual Health and Medical Record.
Hint: the form is data-enabled. You can fill most of it out on
your computer and save it before printing it out. This will make
it easier to complete the form the following year.
Need free Adobe Reader?
All boys' medications will be handled by an adult leader participating
in the trip or activity. The
medications should be provided in a labeled, sealable container and have
instructions for dosage and schedule. Except for "Epi Pens" (if
the Scout is trained to use one), medication should not be left with the
Scouts themselves. Please make sure the adult leaders know ahead of time
if you son has any special
Parents are always needed to help make the troop program successful.
This goes double for the Outdoor Program! WE NEED YOU to take part
in camping trips, to drive for camping trips and other activities, and
to help us deliver a quality outdoor program.