TREASURE COAST – When speaking with the organizers and leaders of the Gulfstream Council Boy Scouts of America about the upcoming Cub Scout Day Camp, the collective pride and enthusiasm were hard to miss.
Shanna Richardson, Tiffany Brown, and Jade Hoke have each been involved with scouting for many years. Some grew up in scouting themselves. Others have had their children involved in scouting from a young age.
The Treasure Coast Cub Scout Day Camp is one traditional scouting event that all three women love being involved with and are determined to see carry on into the future.
When COVID-19 shut down most all in-person activities for the scouts, the program went virtual, like so many others, guaranteeing some kind of consistency for the kids who look forward to the camp program every year. ‘Nova Nights’ was a 2-week virtual day camp offering STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)- based activities, including astronomy, chemistry, and computer programming. All necessary supplies were shipped to the scouts’ homes, and the kids even got to sample real astronaut pudding! A special ‘Nova’ patch was created, which the kids were awarded at the end of the two-week program.
In-person camps will resume this summer, and 2 sessions are available. Treasure Coast Day Camp will run from June 14-18th at Camp Ahbalufa. Sailfish/Lighthouse Day Camp will run from June 28th - July 2nd at Camp Tanah-Keeta. Registration is available online for both.
In keeping with the STEM idea, this year’s camp theme will be ‘Weird Science’, and STEM-based activities will be offered along with more traditional scouting activities, such as archery, aquatics, outdoor skills, and arts and crafts. Activities will be age-appropriate at all age/grade levels.
Treasure Coast Cub Scout Day Camp is open to boys and girls from kindergarten through 5th grade. Gulfstream Council is the first council to offer children with special needs the opportunity to experience camp activities alongside their peers. Activities are inclusive, and specially trained assistants will be on hand to aid children who may need extra help to participate.
When asked whether they encounter any difficulty or resistance from children having to leave their electronic devices behind for several hours each day, the answer was a resounding no. Ms. Brown stated that the kids are more than happy to be away from the technology if it means being outdoors and having fun with their friends. Ms. Richardson adds that after having nothing but technology to rely on for social interaction for such a long period, the kids really don’t seem to miss it that much.
During camp hours, cell phones are kept in a secure place, and are given to the kids at lunch time and at the end of the day.
Camp hours are structured, and campers rotate through activities an hour at a time. A typical day begins about 8:30 when parents drop their campers off and runs until about 5:00 when parents arrive for pickup. Camp runs Monday through Friday.
In addition to carefully vetted leaders and assistants, older scouts working toward fulfilling their service hours are on hand to help with the younger children, and everyone involved is there as a volunteer.
Ms. Hoke, Ms. Brown, and Ms. Richardson all agree that camp offers children a “totally fun and most amazing” experience and allows them the chance to “just be a kid.” They also emphasize that scouting in general has a significant impact on children’s lives, helping them to become more responsible, more independent, and to grow from the life-lessons learned along the way. It’s usually easy to spot a scout, they say, whether it’s in the young person’s bearing, respectful attitude, or sense of duty toward others.
Cub Scout Day Camps start soon, and registration is required. The fee is $160/week for a camper but is reduced to $75/week if the camper brings along an adult volunteer. (Again, all adult volunteers must first complete a background check.) Registration fees cover t-shirts, all supplies, food, and patches.
Scholarships may be available through local scouting units for families with financial need.
To find out more about Cub Scout Day Camps on the Treasure Coast, please visit - https://www.gulfstreamcouncil.org/daycamps.
To find out more about scouting in your area, visit - https://beascout.scouting.org/.