Next Year is Here! Preregister for "Advancement Camp"

Post date: May 9, 2015 1:46:08 AM

One of the first great training events for next year is the Council’s “Advancement Camp” September 25thand 26th at the Contra Costa Fair Grounds in Antioch. It’s a one-stop shopping experience for scout training that offers most of the basic scout skills and some sixty merit badges.

Since the Camp is so early in the scout/school year, the reduced rate registration starts in mid-summer, when Troop 14 is on hiatus and our minds are on other things. So this year, we’re going to try a first-ever...

Pre-registration registration give everyone a chance to get the early discount and the best shot at the more exotic merit badges.

We’ll send more information about the actual camp as we get nearer to the event but for now, here is what you should know to get the $10-$20 early registration discount:

1. We have to register and pay as a unit. Official registration begins July 1, when it costs $27 for the day. I’ll be out of the country then, so I want to get the registration completed and ready to fire as simply as possible, so I can delegate it registration or do it on the road.

2. You can notify me of the training your scout(s) want up until June 6, when I will close pre-registration registration so I can get the forms and counts ready before I start packing for vacation.

3. It will cost $27 for each scout you are sending, and payment must be made to Troop 14 before June 27 when I will confirm all payments with Siyan Ma, our Treasurer.

What Training to Take?

There are two 3.5 hour training periods, morning and afternoon. There are one or two classes that require extra time, which I'll address if they come up.

For all new scouts, and scouts Second Class and below, we strongly encourage you to schedule “Trailhead” or the Swimming rank requirements for the morning period. You can fill out the day by doing one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. It gets hot in the afternoon, so that might be a good time to go to the pool.

Swimming covers the swimming and lifesaving rank skills at a local pool, but because the scouts have to be bussed there and back, it fills a whole period.

“Trailhead” teaches almost all of the other rank requirements up through those for first class. It’s a great way for the scouts to learn the skills so they can practice them on campouts. That approach allows the adult Scout Master Team and the scout Greenbar to plan more interesting activities.

We don’t really recommend merit badge training for scouts below First, or maybe advanced Second, Class because the rank skills include all the fundamentals for scouting activities, and we have found that focusing on merit badges too early can distract from the fundamentals.

If you do want to target merit badges, you can take up to two. The current list of offerings is attached. This is a chance to learn things we might not be able to provide as a troop with limited resources, so think about the more exotic, hands-on, badges like welding, robotics, search and rescue, or movie-making. Some of those badges require an extra $25 for materials, but that is paid on-site and doesn’t affect registration fees.

If you have a some of partially complete blue cards (the required record for merit badges), you might want to bring them to the “Completion Tent” where counselors can help sign off on those last few requirements. Grant Black, one of our recent Eagle scouts, completed five merit badges at the last Camp. Imagine how good he felt with them out of the way.

What’s Next?

1. Fill out the attached a form. Be sure to rank order what you want, and to include four alternates.

2. And get your payment in to Siyan, or one of the adult scout leaders

Both have to happen before registration.

Jerry Wu and I will be acting as ‘advisors’ to review each training list and make suggestions if needed. You can either email the completed form back to me, or your scout can bring it (filled out in pencil to simplify changes) to the next Tuesday meeting to give to Jerry Wu. Jerry and I will go through the lists to do up a tentative schedule for each scout to use when I do the registration, and I will confirm what each scout got sometime in mid to late July.

If you have any questions about what to take, let me or Jerry know and we will help with advice.

I hope all your scouts can make it. It's a great event!

Dave Wood