We support the troop program. Our schedule should not be used as a substitute for your troop program. In fact, the daily or weekly schedule is not a program. It is an instrument for planning and for administering the troop program. It is a timetable for certain formal activities and a list of opportunities. The schedule provides a means for mobilizing the program resources of the camp and constructing a balanced experience for each boy.
The key words are accommodation and customer service. What can we do for you this summer? That is the Wanocksett Experience. Baden Powell once said that the patrol was the secret to success in Scouting. The Patrol method is central to good Scouting. There must be certain activities over which the patrol has complete responsibility. The patrol method develops the boys’ teamwork and leadership skills and can increase Scout spirit.
At Wanocksett, we believe in the truth of this point so much that we include specific opportunities designed to facilitate the strengthening of the patrols in your troop. The purpose of the camp is to provide experiences for the troop that will make it better able to plan and conduct its own program. The services of the camp staff are of a consulting and empowering nature. The central camp staff and the troop leaders develop the program cooperatively. The troop is responsible for its own program in camp, as it is in its town.
Camp Wanocksett has two structured merit badge sessions in the morning followed by Patrol Centered Programming. A third merit badge session takes place in the afternoon, followed by an open program format, which continues until retreat and after dinner.
Merit Badge Sessions
Merit Badges are the core of the Wanocksett Program. Everyday, Scouts will go to three sessions of merit badges. They can earn these badges in any area of camp. Some badges require additional supplies, outside work, or have age/weight requirements. These are listed for each badge in the Program Areas section.
Selecting Merit Badges
Selecting a merit badge depends on a variety of factors – the Scout’s age, abilities, and the troop’s year round program. Each Scout’s schedule should be challenging and push the Scout towards developing initiative, follow-through, and ultimately success with completion of the merit badge. Units can register online or with a paper form found at the back of this guide. This makes it easier for the camp to process the sign-ups and best serve the needs of each boy. Scouts always receive their choice in badges, though we may move periods to reduce class sizes for the best instruction possible.
The online registration form must be filled out by midnight Saturday before your arrival at Camp. The form can be found at http://events.nashuavalleybsa.org.
If a Scout is having trouble with any merit badge, we will give him the help he needs. Leaders are encouraged to visit each Scout’s merit badge counselor on a daily basis. Counselors will share with the unit leaders each boy’s progress and attendance record at classes. It is important that any problems with a merit badge be brought to our attention as soon as possible. It is impossible to remedy a situation Friday afternoon that began on Tuesday. We want to work with unit leaders and Scouts to make sure merit badge instruction is complete as possible.
Partial Merit Badges
When a Scout presents a “partial” to the merit badge counselor, the work previously done will be accepted after the counselor confirms the Scout’s knowledge. A partial is good from the date the Scout earns it until he turns 18 years old. Partials can be worked on during regular merit badge times when said badge is offered, or during scheduled times during open program. Each situation is handled differently, so discuss the partial with the Program Director or an area director.
Bonus Merit Badges
The three class periods provide the bulk of our merit badge program, but Scouts will have the opportunity to earn other badges during open program time. Most of these badges take multiple classes, but they will always take place during the open program block. They are held in different areas throughout camp. This allows Scouts a more flexible schedule to maximize their week at camp.
Session Size and Quality
Staff members will make every effort to accommodate all Scouts for merit badge sessions. We will never close a class due to size, but instead will open a second or even third section of the same badge in a period to ensure the most effective class size and instruction quality. Our merit badge registrar may also reorder a Scout’s badges so they get the same badges they selected but with a more manageable class size. This ensures each Scout receives the badges they want. To assist in this process, unit leaders should try and limit the number of their Scouts that they place in the same session at the same time.
One of the eight methods for achieving Citizenship, Character and Fitness is the Patrol. Patrols give Scouts experience in practicing citizenship and developing character. Each day patrols will meet after the morning flag ceremony before breakfast and decide on a Patrol Time activity, which will take place after the second merit badge period of the day.
After the third merit badge period in the afternoon, Scouts go to open program. The entire camp is open for a multitude of opportunities. Each day, new and exciting programs are offered. Apart from being posted on up-to-date schedules around camp, area directors will announce programs and any changes at meals.
Every evening, a camp-wide program allows all Scouts and leaders in camp to come together for “Fellowship on the Thorndike.”
Opening Campfire 8:00PM - After dinner, Scouts can return to their sites quickly and then gather on the Main Field to file into the Jack and Ruth Kennedy Memorial Amphitheatre. There, the Wanocksett Staff will entertain you with skits, songs, stunts, and vespers.
Friendship Fires 8:00PM - Scouts can enjoy an hour of open program from 7:00PM-8:00PM and then head out to one of three designated sites for in-site friendship fires. Troops volunteer to host at the Senior Patrol Meeting on Monday and invite their neighbors to come sing songs, and make new friends. Staff members will also attend friendship fires.
Sunset Summit 3:30PM - During the afternoon, the staff begins to prepare for the Monadnock Hike. After a shakedown to be sure all Scouts are adequately prepared, the group starts up to the summit, which they reach just before sunset. They are provided with a bag dinner and after the magnificent view, the hike down returns between 9:00PM-10:00PM (depending on the group’s size and abilities). Due to the strenuous nature of the hike, the Sunset Summit requires Scouts to be at least a second year Scout. The trek leader, and camp nurse, will make a judgment call on participation for all youth and adults looking to participate. For those not participating in the hike, program areas are once again open from 7:00PM to 8:00PM.
Family Night 6:00PM - On Wednesday, our dinner is a barbeque, which is served outside. Parents are welcome to this event and encouraged to come. All family night activities will proceed rain or shine. Tickets for parent’s night are available in the Trading Post ($8.00 – Adults / $6.00 – Children). Parents should arrive by 6:00PM.
- 6:00PM – Flag Ceremony
- 6:10PM – Barbeque Dinner (Buffet style)
- 7:00PM – Songfest in Amphitheatre
- 8:00PM – Order of the Arrow Tapout Ceremony in OA field
- 9:00PM – Game Night in Dining Hall
OA Ice Cream Social 8:00PM - Following open program, Scouts will head into the parking lot and enjoy a make-your-own sundae party provided by the Order of the Arrow in front of Memorial Lodge.
Rocket Launch 7:00PM & Closing Campfire 8:00PM - Our last night of program begins with a rocket launch after dinner at 7:00PM down on the Waterfront. From there, troops will again assemble to enter the Jack and Ruth Kennedy Memorial Amphitheatre for the Closing Campfire.