Baden Powell described Scouting as a game with a purpose. For generations of Americans the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts helped develop character through the game of Scouting. This is not a game that requires dice, a controller, an avatar, cards, or a penalty box. This game is a metaphorical game of life that prepares young people to make ethical decisions. Our game board is the great outdoors, our video controller is a cast iron skillet, a knife and carabineer, our internet is a shout across the campsite and our avatar is a child’s earned reputation.
Like life the rules of the game are held in the hearts and minds of the participants. How you play (with integrity or without) will have a direct result upon your avatar – your reputation. The referees or umpires are parents who provide oversight and safety but they DON’T stop the play clock, instead they let the game play out. By letting the game consist of real world skills and real world consequences with umpires sometimes let the players fail. The dinner is burnt, the tent leaks, the fire doesn’t start the bickering slows the group. That is all part of the game. The parents (also known as scout leaders) respond to these direct consequences with love and the best interest of the children.
The skills and activities themselves are wonderfully fun. Because failure can exist, the sense of accomplishment is unrivaled. When the 15 year old learns to lead and the 13 year doesn’t burn the dinner and the 12 year old lights the fire with relative ease – the whole group rejoices and enjoys the meal!
This is the game of Scouting!
Sadly, over the years less and less people have played the game, there are a TON of reasons for that decline – but the short answer is we inadvertently stopped helping people feel welcome. We in eastern Massachusetts always worked hard to create a welcoming environment but today our local efforts are in the past. We owe the community more – we owe the community our apology. We, Scouting, have this great program and great resources that we allowed to become the best kept secret. We inadvertently held the secret close, when in all honesty; we have a responsibility to share Scouting. During recent decades when Scouting was needed most, yet we weren’t there for enough families. We are sorry. We have collectively learned a lot and we would appreciate a second chance.
Today, we’d like to invite every family to participate in the activities of Scouting – no strings attached. No uniforms, no barriers – just great fun activities for the whole family. We have completely renovated our local camp and Everyone is Invited. Families of all shapes and sizes can enjoy an afternoon, a birthday party, an overnight or an entire weekend. We are located just minutes from Boston and we are excited about the chance to share. This is an outdoor game with a purpose! This is a game that brings families together, a game that challenges teens and a purpose that instills character and leadership.
This fall, join us in the outdoors, invite your friends, and we’ll see you around the campfire! It’s a game with a purpose, #LetsPLAY #outside #NewEnglandBaseCamp
Oh, one last thing for the Scouting Community, we’ve added a name for our collection of activities and skills offered year round at Camp Sayre; it’s called the New England Base Camp at Camp Sayre. During the assent of a significant mountain the Base Camp is the stop before the summit – climbers fuel up, refine any last minute skills and make final preparations for the journey to the top. Let the New England Base Camp be that stop along your skill development and youth development journey.
Check out the new Facebook page too!
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