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By:    On: 2014-06-14

I recently participated in a campout with a dozen high-school students from my church’s youth group. We camped at a local state park, took a very short (two-mile) hike, and ate what I would consider pretty straightforward meals, including trail lunches, Dutch oven cobbler, and pancakes.

But here’s the deal. Some of the students had never been camping beyond their backyards, and they were amazed. They loved seeing the stars at night, they loved exploring a small cave along our hiking route, and they thought the food was simply amazing.

If your troop is growing—and I hope it is—you have similar campers on many of your outings. While it’s always a good idea to add new destinations, activities, and recipes to your repertoire, don’t forget that even the simplest outings can be hugely enjoyable for new Scouts. What seems old hat to you can be wonderful for them. Look at the program through their eyes, and you may gain a whole new appreciation of how simple Scouting can really be.

Republished with permission of Mark Ray at

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