Sunday, January 20, 2008

Teaching Values at Camp Loll

Camp Loll Staffers with Russ Chapman top left, and Jerry Sargent top right, at Jerry’s home at and EPA meeting in 1982. The staffers are, left to right, Mark Soelberg, Curtis Grow, Jeff Curtis, Alan Taylor and Bruce Liston. The last boy was a guest whose name I do not remember.
I received a call from an old friend, Jerry Sargeant. Jerry has been asked to work with the Trapper Trails Council on their values program. He asked me what was being done to teach values at camp. His question necessarily opened a floodgate of answers. After too many minuets of rambling, I suggested he give me some time to put my thoughts down and post them on the web-page I hope the Camp Loll Alumni will read my efforts, realizing that this is at best an incomplete list of the value opportunities presented at Loll and comment on these ideas for the benefit of the Council, the Camp, and most importantly the boys whose values are the purpose of Scouting and Camp Loll.

Marcus Aurelius, perhaps the greatest of the Roman Emperors and ancient philosophers, said: “Stop talking about what the good person should be, and just be that person.” The purpose of Camp Loll is to provide the opportunity of every camper to do just that. For one week, in the most beautiful bit of God’s creations, scouts and their leaders live Scouting.

It is a daunting task to list a week’s worth of value experiences here, I will touch some high points in the hopes that discussion will follow, and a fuller picture appear.

Scouting is based on values. The core purposes of scouting and therefore scout camp are to teach by doing, the values of Personal Fitness, Citizenship, and Character Development. Everything one does in camp is an application of one’s duty to God, country, others, and self; an opportunity to be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

Trip to camp and back: teaches one the value of gratitude as they see the service provided by adult leaders and supporters who sacrifice to bring them the many miles to camp. One comes to understand the value of Duty to Country - as they see the immensity and beauty of America and pass through National Forests and Parks that are their birthright. As they drive into the wilderness; leaving Ashton behind to head past the Tetons into the deep forest they come to sense the greatness of America. The wilderness itself teaches them the value and “glory” of God as they see first hand His handiwork, unmarred by human hands,

Arrival and set up: They learn the value of courtesy and cooperation as four hundred of us work together to fit into our camp. They are met by an enthusiastic and service driven camp staff, exemplars of Scouting values and eager to serve them and to share with them the joy of that service. Passing down the well worn trail through the pristine beauty of Loll teaches scouts the value of protecting the environment. As they move down the trails they see how delicate the wilderness is and how they can protect it as they learn to follow the trails. This important value, to stay on the right path, is necessary if they are to protect the camp and keep themselves from getting lost. It translates, like an unspoken parable, into important life lessons on the value of obedience. Setting up camp teaches the scouts to work together for an important goal, and to take responsibility for doing their share for the betterment of all, teaching them the value of team work.

Swim Check: teaches them the value of doing difficult things, finding the inner strength and courage to face challenges. The eight points of Safe Swim Defense teaches the value of knowledge. By knowing the rules and how to behave, they are once more able to do things they could not otherwise attempt. They learn valuable skills that they can use throughout their life, whenever they go swimming or boating, and whenever they take those they love they can do so responsibly.

Learning the regulations for the waterfront teaches them the value of rules that set them free to do things they could never attempt otherwise.

Meal time: From cooking, to setting the table, to washing the dishes, to disposal of the garbage, they are taught he value of following directions, the value of being clean and the value of doing things for others. As they fulfill the assigned tasks, wood, water, and KP, they learn the value of working together for the benefit of all. They also get some valuable cooking experience.

Bear precautions teach the value of obedience. The scouts face a real danger; if they break the rules they could lose their own or cost someone else their life.

Campfire ceremony: – teaches the value of showing respect to others as they share their talents. It teaches them the value of song and gives each a chance to participate in shared experience.

Sleeping in a tent they pitched themselves: Provides the value of self reliance. They can truly learn what it means to sleep when the wind blows, or the rain falls if they have done things correctly.

Sharing: Have to share camp facilities, water faucets, latrines, showers, and trails with other troops, teaches the scouts the value of respecting others.

Daily Inspection: Teaches the value of quality performance, attention to detail as you work together for a goal. The inspection centers on Health and Safety, including bear and fire precautions, sanitation, and dealing with hazards. The value of community responsibility and of doing one’s part for the success and safety of the whole is realized.

Patrol Method: Everything the scouts do in camp is best accomplished through the values contained in the patrol method. Camp responsibilities are fulfilled in accordance with patrol assignments. Decisions and plans are made in the Patrol Leaders Council, and direction comes from the Scoutmaster and the Camp

Flag ceremony: Teaches them the value of being prompt, the value of their country and the value of showing respect to the flag that represents their freedom, prosperity and peace.
Flag ceremony teaches them the value of being prompt, the value of their country and the value of showing respect to the flag that represents their freedom, prosperity and peace.
Flag ceremonies include recognition for accomplishments, strengthening the value of obtaining real success through real effort. The value of showing honor and respect to individuals who have achieved, emphasizes the value of showing respect and honor to the nation and its flag. Ceremonies remind scouts of those who have sacrificed for them and the value of the privileges and opportunities America gives.

Merit Badge Class and ACE activities: These occupy the three hours between ten and one on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Every merit badge is an opportunity to learn values. The values of nature and the value of the stewardship entrusted to each human are emphasized in Environmental Science, Nature, Mammals, Bird Study, Geology and other “Nature” craft badges. Scouts learn the value of the web of life of which we are all part and see the wonders of God’s creations first hand and up close. Skill oriented Merit Badges teach scouts the value of their own abilities and they learn to fire a rifle or shoot a bow. They learn important lessons on the value of mastering difficult techniques in order to actually excel. At the waterfront, skills of swimming, boating, and sailing are combined with the valuable abilities that may very well prevent a life threatening mistake or save a life in jeopardy. The value of doing things safely and obtaining the skills necessary to do so makes every scout more valuable and aware of it. The Sailing Merit badge teaches the value of knowledge. As one masters the simple techniques of line and sail, masters the knowledge of how the boat, the wind and the water come together to produce speed, the scout learns the value of mastering and properly applying knowledge and skill to be able to do anything he wants. The more he learns, the more challenges sailing presents, and the value of perpetual growth is ingrained through experience. On the climbing rock, the knots and techniques, the rules and ropes teach scouts the value of knowing the truth and applying it to obtain freedom from the bonds of earth by obeying the laws of the climb. They thus participate in an experience that teaches the value of obedience to just authority in all aspects of life. Arts and Craft merit badges teach the scout the value of creativity, of forming their own beauty from materials and skill. They often experience the value of giving as they craft gifts for loved ones and experience the value of truly giving of one’s self for the joy of others. For every merit badge there is a value to be learned, a real value experience that ingrains itself into the life of the participant.

ACE activities allow those who already have the basic sills and knowledge to apply those traits in advanced activities that reinforce the value of both (Skill and Knowledge). They have the valuable shared experience and create life long memories of valuable friendship and experience value of real adventure as they apply the basics to obtain the value of mastery that leads to growth. The ACE Director and his adult assistant provide the older scouts involved in the ACE program with the value of an excellent role model. They see the value of being a manly man, one who is self confident because he has the strength and ability to tackle and do difficult things. One of the most popular ACE activities is the Service Project. The hours of labor for the good of others, teaches the scouts the value of selfless service. The real and lasting value of the joy that comes form helping others.

Afternoon “free time” activities: provide all scouts an experience similar to that provided older boys in the ACE program. They experience the value of friendship, the value of knowledge, of skill applied. Scouts reach out to each other to provide the value of fellowship and the value of compassion as they ensure all participate in meaningful real life activities. They learn the value of actually doing something rather than watching someone else, TV star or computer game character, perform. At all times the scouts are working with the finest examples of young manhood. The Camp Loll staff, in uniform, (an important and valuable method of scouting) and representing the values of Scouting expressed in Law and Oath are with them at all times, tying in the scout’s mind the pleasure and fun of their accomplishments to the values of duty to God, country, others, and self. A dip in Polar Bear Springs not only gives scouts a chance to learn valuable knowledge about the plants and animals they study on their hike but teaches them the value of courage as they endure a moment of physical discomfort in order to experience the exhilaration of a valuable accomplishment. Bragging rights for life and the value of knowing you can take physical pain and be the master of your body for the good of your soul.

Bull Moose Totem: provides scouts with constant recognition as they learn the value of meeting goals. Each bead represents a chance for a valuable experience. The red bead reminds the scout of the lesson of the campfire, where song and flame forged a life long memory of friendship, fun, and where the lessons of the stories and ceremonies are burned into a memory made receptive by the common experience of the campfire. The green bead reminds the scout that as he studies the beauties of nature and values the creations of God and the gift of the wilderness that his country has given him. The orange bead represents the value of working or playing together under the patrol method, a system that teaches the values of leadership and obedience to one’s chosen leader. The values of democracy are demonstrated as the boys select, follow, and support their patrol leader. The yellow bead represents the value of reaching out to meet new friends as the scouts participate in activities with boys from other troops. They learn to value other people who are different than themselves, and yet share their common humanity. They learn the value of universal brotherhood that is the essence of scouting and of humanity. The black bead represents their hike together, and all the valuable lessons of the trail. The value of preparation, of carrying enough water, the value of knowing the way, value of following the guide, the value of following your own leaders, adult and youth, as you join together to complete a difficult, even dangerous task that could not be done without such cooperation, but which- when completed – provides the strong the valuable opportunity to serve the weak, and the weak the valuable lesson that through effort they can obtain the goals they set out in life. The blue bead represents the honor trail where each scout sees his new found heroes among the staff explain the meaning of the value points of the scout oath, the values of duty to God, the value of doing one’s duty to country and others, and the value of maintaining one’s own commitment to keep one’s self physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight. The white bead will remind him that he has tasted the valuable joy of service; the sweetest of all values.

The Bull Moose Honor Troop Award: provides the scouts with recognition for the values they have reached to obtain. It represents their successes in camp inspections, in merit badge and rank advancement, their service project, their hike, their troop spirit, organization, leadership and friendship. The ribbon represents all these values and is made valuable by what is stands for.

First Class Rank Advancement Program: provides all the values that accrue to a boy who earns his tenderfoot, second class, or first class rank advancement. He learns valuable skills from first aid and swimming to citizenship and the basic knots that will enable him to tie up his tent or secure the luggage in the back of a truck. He learns the value of setting small goals that add up to major accomplishments. He experiences the value of leadership as he follows the example of those who have led him as he comes to lead and serve others.

Scout Craft Skill Events: provide scouts with a chance to see the value of the skills they have mastered in their scouting training meeting. They compete against goals and experience the value of evolving all members of troop or patrol in common success and valuable accomplishment.

Camp Wide Games (Highland Games): teach the value of good sportsmanship, the value of teamwork, the value of knowing what it means to be a real winner, and the value of knowing how to accept defeat while not being defeated. Youth leaders who work to involve all their troop members in the competitions learn the value of including all and the value of making real winners out of their troop regardless of scores and chance.

Honor Trail: The scouts see the values of Oath and Law represented in the person of the staff member who, deep in the forest, by the light of the torch, explains in words not to be forgotten the meaning of duty, and God and Country and service. After the Honor trail, the troop participates in a “Reflection” experience around their own campfire. There they express how they value their God and country to each other, while hearing their adult and youth leaders and friends speak their hearts. Around the fire, values are clarified as boys and their heroes express their values and beliefs. These provide valuable life long memories of what was important to those who were important in their youth.

Fellowship of the Moose Program: The ceremony on Tuesday night provides a chance to recall the value of our American Indian heritage. The legend of Bawoquate teaches the values of leadership, friendship, and service to all. Seeing their SPL or Crew Leader led into the forest teaches the value of accepting responsibility for others. On the trail of the Fellowship, the camp friend relates the values of Friendship, Leadership, and Service which are the key points of the Fellowship of the Moose. At the inner fire the Chief explains once more these values and then the Camp Friend presents the totem which the youth leader will wear to remind him of the values of the fellowship and of scouting. The youth leader then returns to his camp with his friend, the value of friendship embodied. The honor arcs provide scouts and leaders with on-going recognition of their accomplishments, teaching the value of working hard over many years to obtain important goals.

Hike day: The hike immerses the scout in the wilderness. He learns the value of preparation, the value of knowledge, the value of following the trail or the map, the value of obeying the safety and environmental rules that make the hike possible. Youth leaders experience the value of putting the needs of those they lead above their own as they experience the value of the joy that comes from helping others to succeed. There will be more value to the SPL in seeing the joy on the face of the “little” guy as he sees the wonders of Union Falls or stands atop Survey Peak than he could ever get from climbing or seeing on his own. The hike emphasizes the values of teamwork, ecological awareness and care; obedience to rules and to common sense, knowledge and skill, of preparation and physical ability, of service and care for others, and of reliance on those who know the way.

Every day: at every step along the trail where he must be soft upon the land, at ceremonies where he must be considerate of others, when he finds a lost item, or passes by an opportunity to steal or tease or harm, the scout practices the lessons he has heard about values as he puts into action his valuable character, his valuable personal fitness, and his valuable citizenship responsibilities.

The Camp Friend:
There is no greater gift that Camp Loll offers than the camp friend. It is always Loll’s goal to provide a young person that embodies all the values of scouting to be a companion and example to all the boys in the Troop, Team, or Crew. The Camp Friend recognizes the importance of the Unit Leader, the Scoutmaster, Coach, or Advisor, and seeks to support him in all he does. He thus teaches the boys the value of the role model their unit leader is. The Camp Friend works through the unit’s own youth leaders, SPL, Captain or Crew leader to reinforce their value to the boys. The Camp Friend makes a special effort to recognize and reinforce the value of the unit’s leadership and their valuable role in the life of the boys. Boys do not want to be old men; they want to be young ones. The camp friend has a power to guide by example that no preacher or teacher can produce by any number of words. Take the Values of Scouting, the Oath, Law, the Character, Citizenship, and Fitness and bundle them up in a mantle of service and you have a Camp Friend at Camp Loll. His very presence in the campsite, his friendship and example provide unit leaders with a tool to instill values he represents into their campers. The boys have in their Camp Friend a life long example of what the Values of Scouting will do for you as you grow to be a man

The Camp Site: The camp experience centers on the camp site. There the unit leadership, youth and adult apply the patrol method and the values of scouting second by second. Here the scouts honestly deal with each other’s personal items, keep their commitments to the troop, and their obligations to the camp community, living examples of the value of being trustworthy. Here the scouts obey their scout master, patrol leader, and the rules of the camp, embodying the value of obedience in a way that allows the camp to operate and keep them alive. Here over and over again a scout practices the value of helpfulness and he picks up the litter, carries the water, cooks the meal, or helps to find his friend’s lost items. In the campsite each boy is a friend to each. The value of friendship is everywhere experienced. This is the main reason boys come to camp, to be constantly with their friends for a week. Here they learn by doing what it means to be a true friend, a friend who shares and cares. Courteousness is a value that camp demands. There are walls to keep in the sounds, only imaginary lines to establish privacy. Minute by minute, a scout can chose to show respect to others and to feel the pleasure that comes from an overt act of courtesy to another. Kindness naturally follows courtesy. The value of a kind word, a smile, a small favor or days of service to another, the camp, or the nation are all value experiences offered at camp. Obedience is the absolutely necessary value of life a Camp Loll. Rules are not just words, they keep the scout alive, they prevent the forest fire, or the bear attack, and they allow the camper to swim in the mountain lake or climb to the top of the cliff. Obedience to SPL or Crew leader enables the unit to function, the food to be cooked, the inspection to be passed, the mess to be cleaned up. Rules prevent boys from being lost and the harmony of 400 hundred strangers to be maintained. Cheerfulness is a value obtained as a natural product of service, kindness, and friendship. Scouts must face bad weather, and hard work, and disappointment, and bad cooking and all these challenges can be met as they learn and practice the value of cheerfulness. Bravery is necessary to be a week away from mom and home, to perform in front of others, to reach out to a new friend, to jump into a cold lake or back over a rappelling cliff. A scout proves the value of his bravery to himself as he walks the dark trail to his tent every night. Every day at camp a scout is given the opportunity to clean himself. To keep his camp and body clean he learns to produce this value. Each day in camp the scout can keep his mind and soul occupied with fun and adventure with values and valuable experiences that repels vulgarity and immorality. One cannot walk through God’s creations without developing reverence for His wonder, a valuable awakening to His presence in the Universe. To look though the black outlines of the trees to see the endless stars makes prayer to the God who made them all become an act of natural reverence. Scouts practice their value of reverence to God as they pray and as they see and as they serve. The values of the Scout Law are what make Camp possible. They are lived and known automatically by those who make the journey and seek the experience at Camp Loll. And everything done at Camp Loll strengthens, even enables the values that will motivate the unit for the next 51 weeks of the year, the values experienced at Camp Loll are the Values of Scouting and Loll will strengthen those values and make them an integral part of the units scouting experience.

“Stop talking about what the good person should be, and just be that person.” Come to Camp Loll.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Season's Greetings

Camp Loll Staff to Camp Loll Staff,
Year to year to year,
A happy Christmas in December,
And a most wonderful New Year!!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Open to Anyone:

I just noticed that the blog was only allowing people with blogs to post. That was never my intention. Now the Loll Blog is open to anyone who can find it. Feel free to post anonymously or to let us know who you are and link back to you.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Improvements at the Spring

This is the way the spring looked mid summer when Mike Sposit, EPA Inspector, visited. He was please with the progress the spring had made but pointed out the reduction of the pudding around the spring had led to the growth of vegetation. Such vegetation can provide a conduit for contamination and so Mike instructed us to remove the woody plants and trim the soft greenery around the spring.

Jody Orme, Shad Burnham, and I took a brake from pumping the KYBO’s during our after camp visit to remove the vegetation around the spring. I sent these before and after pictures to the EPA and Camp Loll’s spring has been certified!

The EPA approves our spring; until next time.

Friday, September 28, 2007

First Contact

This blog is linked from Please feel free to make comments, ask questions, and enjoy the material posted here. Please join our community and keep in touch with us.