Story by Andrea Watts, District Executive at the Heart of America Council
Day camp is one of the most exciting events for a Cub Scout. It helps with retention, recruitment, and more important, it’s so much fun!
The Kansas City Missouri School District has conflicting day-long summer programs June through July which makes it difficult for youth to attend traditional district day camps. In order to provide our youth with a summer camp experience, the Frontier District created a “Mobile Day Camp” for Cub Scout-aged youth through a collaboration with the Upper Room Summer Academic Program of Kansas City.
Scouts participated in weekly activities like shooting rubber band guns, archery, crafts, STEM and climbing. Craft supplies were donated by Lowe’s and Home Depot which enabled us to offer this camp to youth at no cost which was an exciting incentive for our community partners and families.
The mobile camp visited eight sites this year, and had a grand attendance of 475 youth. Four sites took place once a week for four consecutive weeks, and four additional programs had a single day camp. Since the Scouts were enrolled in an academic program during the morning hours, we scheduled our camp to run 1:30-4:30 p.m. so our Scouts could experience an undisrupted camp session.
To have program consistency and safety, Mobile Day Camp staff were hired and trained to work each station. Our staff assembled groups of 25 to 40 youth, which engaged in camp activity for an hour, then switched from station to station until all activities were covered. Most sites had three groups in their rotations.
The success of this event helped with recruitment as it encouraged youth to participate in Scouting, and it gave parents an opportunity to see Scouting in action. Volunteers from other districts admired the Mobile Day Camp structure, and saw it as a translatable recruitment tool that could be used within the traditional district setting to provide families with a “taste of Scouting,” and to get them excited to explore what Scouting has to offer.
2016 was our best year doing Mobile Day Camps, and we look forward to enhancing and improving it for years to come so that our youth can have the best experience possible.
Scouting Wire would like to thank Andrea Watts of the Heart of America Council for submitting this story.