Scouting magazine

Eight attributes of successful Scout camps

When I ask Scouters about their best memories as a Scout, they often call upon times spent at their favorite Scout camp. Summer camp memories last a lifetime, which is why it’s important to help your Scouts choose a camp program that will keep them coming back for more. 

But with hundreds of top-notch BSA camp properties across the U.S., this process can prove to be a challenge.

To help round up a checklist of what to look for when researching area Scout camps, we reached back into the Scouting magazine archives to a 1995 article by Bill Sloan, called “What Makes a Happy Camper?”

Sloane asks, “What should young people and their adult leaders expect — and deserve — from a summer camp?” He answers this query with eight key elements that produce successful council camps. This checklist arose from a 1994 BSA survey of 50 successful council camping programs. But it’s not hard to see how these apply to today’s popular Scout camps, too.

(Read the full feature in the digital archive of Scouting magazine.)

Anything you would add to the list? Or delete? Share your comments on how to help Scouts choose the best summer camp program.

Plus, find a camp near you using the brand-new Camp Scout! app by Boys’ Life magazine. And, check out Scouting magazine’s Guide to Cool Camps to uncover some of the coolest camps in the nation.

Photo: Camp Meriwether in Oregon (above) is featured in the 1995 Scouting magazine article and it’s also among 23 camps featured in our Guide to Cool Camps. Is there something in the water? Perhaps that’s the secret to Meriwether’s staying power.