What To Expect When 664 Does Beaumont
We have a good number of new Scouts this year, so it’s a good time to review what the Summer Camp experience at Beaumont is like.
Tents and Cots
Tents are provided by the camp; we do not bring our normal camping tents. Beaumont tents are “wall style,” meaning they have a metal frame and are taller/larger than our own tents. The tents are treated canvas and have short vertical ‘walls’ below the sloping sides/roof–that means you can comfortably stand up in the middle. The front and back are comprised of flaps that can be rolled back during the day and dropped down/closed at night. Tents are on wooden platforms about six inches above the ground, so you can stow gear in them with a fairly good assurance it won’t get wet.
Beaumont provides cots (brand new as of 2017) that are raised above the floor. You can put gear underneath. The cots have a canvas-like fabric, which is taught and rather stiff, so don’t expect a cushy mattress. Your sleeping bag provides all the cushioning, but they are comfortable enough to afford a good night’s sleep.
The Campsite – Valley View
We are in the Valley View campsite, which is very convenient to both the shower house and Beau-Mart (the camp store). Camp map. (In previous years were in the White Oak site; Valley View is the site right next door.)
All campsites have a central pavilion containing picnic tables, and is generally the center of activity within the campsite. On the edge of camp there is a wash station. This is the source of water in camp, and in addition to a hose-style tap it has a sort of basin/spray arrangement useful for washing hands, brushing teeth, and rinsing out a cup. Note that this simply drains to the ground–it is not connected to plumbing.
THERE IS NO ELECTRICITY IN CAMP.
Mr. Campbell often brings a portable battery inverter that can charge cell phones. This has become ever-popular as the years have gone by, but has almost gotten over the top. In other words, don’t count on copious “charge time” and parents should encourage their Scouts to enjoy the real live, actual experience of camp with real live, actual humans instead of the distant, untouchable, remote, and isolated interaction on a screen.
Showers and Bathrooms
It’s camp, so there should be no expectations of a weekend at the Ritz. With that in mind, here are the bathroom options:
- Each campsite has a ‘port a-potty’ style outhouse. Useful and convenient.
- The shower house is about a three minute walk from camp.
- Showers are individual–this is not a communal shower like an old locker room.
- There are flush toilets in the shower house.
- The dining hall has a typical public rest room with urinals and bathroom stalls.
- There are also showers and bathroom facilities at the pool complex.
Some troops do patrol cooking in camp all week. Troop 664 does not. We believe the mess hall experience is a fun and quintessential experience of summer camp. There are always skits, silly songs, and lots of camaraderie. All meals are eaten in the dining hall, rain or shine. That means that we walk from our campsite to the dining hall three times a day.
All campers assemble in front of the hall by Troop. Before each meal there will be announcements and usually a weather update. Scouts will be called into the dining hall by troop. We normally sit at the same tables for the week, and the entire troop eats together. (This is not individual seating where everyone sits with whomever and wherever they want.)
Be Prepared To Walk
We walk everywhere. Scouts must have a good pair of shoes. As mentioned above, we walk to the dining hall, we walk to activities and merit badge classes, we sometimes take hikes. Beaumont does allow bicycles, which is a TROOP LEADER DECISION. Troop 664 has no means of accommodating bicycles in our gear trailers or cars, and we do not allow individual scouts to bring their bikes, even if their parents are dropping them off. We walk.
Money and Beau-Mart
Scouts should plan on bringing some spending money. Beau-Mart is the camp store, hub of the Beaumont universe and location of the slushie machine. Scouts love slushies, making up the most disgusting combinations of flavors. Beau-Mart also has camping essentials, odds and ends, ice cream treats, crafty items, and it’s AIR CONDITIONED–your Scout will want to stop in all the time.
Our policy on electronics is this:
- Electronics are allowed while we are traveling
- Electronics are not allowed in camp.
By “electronics” we typically mean cell phones of any kind, but the policy also applies to game systems, music players, etc. In other words, we are camping and part of that is the luxury of disconnecting for a while. Scouts may not think of being disconnected as a luxury, but later in life they may come to appreciate that.
However, we are also acutely aware that Scouts (like all of us) live in a 24×7 connected world. We will never stop a Scout from communicating with someone at home, and we (adult leaders) go to great pains to post photos on the troop Facebook page so family at home can get a good idea of what their Scout is up to. With that said, we encourage parents to ‘dial back’ communications (both to and from) and let your Scout enjoy the camp experience. Parents can always call our adult leaders if they have any concerns.
What to Pack for Summer Camp
Be sure to check the camping page for suggested items to bring to summer camp. One thing that is not on the list but should be is your MOSQUITO NETTING. Beaumont is famous for its mosquitoes, and campers should bring netting to place over their cot. You can find mosquito netting at camping stores, discount stores, or online. Some sort of pole arrangement is needed to hold the net up, but if you don’t have anything Mr. Campbell usually has some cardboard. (Bringing your own is better.)
Several of our Scouts have used home-made PVC pipe arrangements that can be re-used year after year. You can cut the pipe to various lengths, and use connectors and end-caps to assemble the posts. (End caps prevent snagging of the netting.) Long cable ties work great for attaching the poles to the cot legs.
Don’t forget your rain gear!