Meeting Plans & Ideas: CAMPING

Camping Information Troop Meetings Main Event
Note: Camping plays a central role in a variety of monthly main events. Since there is a wealth of troop meeting material from which to choose, camping-related sessions and activities can be relevant to, and featured in conjunction with, many other monthly themes.

Printable PDF file of Meeting Plans and Ideas for Camping

This month’s activities should:

  • Instill the knowledge and skills to be comfortable in camp.
  • Emphasize the use of outdoor ethics to protect the environment.
  • Teach some camping-related knots and when to use them.
  • Help Scouts understand outdoor shelters.
  • Teach the importance of keeping camp clean.
  • Foster a sense of communion with nature and God.
  • Build self-confidence by learning and demonstrating skills.
  • Help Scouts work cooperatively in small groups while living outdoors.

As a leadership team, you may want to discuss the following items when choosing camping as your program feature during your planning meetings.

Troop Meeting Planning Form
Click above for fillable troop meeting planning form.
  • Where do we want to camp?
  • What other activities do we want to do while we are there?
  • What equipment will we need?
  • What type of evening program do we want, and which patrol should be in charge?
  • Who needs to learn basic camp skills?
  • How can we involve parents?
  • To meet our needs, what should we change in the sample meeting plans?


Preopening Ideas on Troop Program Resources

  • Prepare several decks of index cards listing various items of camping gear, one item per card. Have small groups sort the cards in order of importance, setting aside items that shouldn’t be taken camping.
  • Set up a display of several types of tents. As Scouts arrive, discuss the different tents and the best use of each.
  • Look through your group camping gear for dirty equipment (especially pots and utensils). Display it as Scouts arrive so they see how the unit needs to work on cleanliness and sanitation.
  • Prepare a Dutch oven dessert or other camping treat and serve as Scouts arrive.


Opening Ideas on Troop Program Resources



  • Youth leaders lead a discussion using a diagram of model campsites as a point of reference.
  • Youth leaders presenting and leading a discussion using a model campsite they have set up with patrol fly, tents, kitchen area, etc.
  • Show Basic Patrol Dining Fly Video.
  • Youth leaders demonstrate how to set up a dining fly.
  • Youth leaders demonstrate and lead a discussion about setting up troop tents.

Personal, Patrol, and Troop Gear

  • Youth leaders lead a discussion of what each Scout needs to bring along with him to the main event.
  • Youth leaders lead a discussion of how to pack personal items needed on the outing.
  • Youth leaders lead a discussion on organizing personal gear in the tent.
  • Youth leaders lead a discussion of what attention is given to the tent during the outing and how to store all personal items when not in use.
  • Troop quartermaster demonstrates the organization of patrol chuck boxes.
  • Troop quartermaster makes a presentation of what troop gear is available for use on camping trips.

Hygiene and Sanitation

  • Set up illustrations or displays of hand wash station camp gadgets.
  • Youth leaders lead a discussion about sump holes for toothbrushing.
  • Youth leaders lead a discussion about how to relieve oneself in the woods using a cat hole when there’s not a public rest room or latrine.
  • Youth leaders set up a dish washing assembly line and  demonstrate how its used.
  • Youth leaders lead a discussion about sump holes for dish water disposal.
  • Youth leaders lead a discussion about keeping cooking surfaces clean and general camp kitchen organization.
  • Youth leaders lead a discussion about trash and garbage disposal, including the concept of “pack it in/pack it out”

Woods Tools Skills

Fire Building 


3 Categories


  • EssentialReferring to diagrams of campsites, come up with a design for the campsite they want to have during their next front country camping trip, and make a list of the specific patrol and troop equipment they’ll need to set it up.
  • Learn to tie Two Half Hitches and Taut-line Hitch so the half hitches always spiral in the same direction.
  • Learn how to tie a series of underhand loops forming Clove Hitches on a vertical pole with an open end.
  • Learn how to tie a Clove Hitch on a horizontal pole proceeding from both the left and right,  by first forming one half hitch and then another, and then bringing them together.
  • Learn how to join two poles together with two Round Lashings.
  • Learn how to use the above campcraft skills to set up a Tarp as a patrol dining fly.

  • ChallengingReview the above information and make sure all the skills are mastered. Practice any skill that is not easy to do. Those Scouts who are adept at the above skills aid those who need help.
  • Using the above skills, erect a dining fly as quickly and efficiently as possible.

  • Advanced
    • Review the above information and make sure all the skills are mastered. Practice any skill that is not easy to do. Those Scouts who are adept at the above skills aid those who need help.
    • Using the above skills, erect a dining fly as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Personal, Patrol, and Troop  Gear

  • EssentialMake a list of the ten essentials (a pocketknife, first-aid kit, extra clothing, rain gear, water bottle, flashlight, trail food, matches and fire starters, sun protection, map and compass.
  • As a group,  review page 268 and 269 in the Boy Scout Handbook.
  • Inspect the contents of a patrol chuck box, becoming acquainted with what’s inside and how it should be arranged.
  • Practice putting up and taking down troop tents.

  • ChallengingReview the above skills.
  • Discuss the advantages of various kinds of rainwear, fabrics, headwear, and footwear for outdoor use.

  • AdvancedReview the above skills.
  • Discuss the advantages of various kinds of rainwear, fabrics, headwear, and footwear for outdoor use.

Hygiene and Sanitation

  • EssentialDiscuss why it’s important to wash your hands while on a camping trip. What are some ways to do this when away from modern plumbing?
  •  Describe the proper way to wash personal and patrol eating and  cooking gear on a front country camping trip. Using a spoon, eat something out of a bowl that will require washing. As a group, set up a dishwashing assembly line and wash the bowls and spoons.
  • Describe how to properly make and use a sump hole for “grey water” and a cathole for personal use.
  • Describe how to keep your camp kitchen clean and organized.
  • Describe what to do with trash and garbage.

Woods Tools Skills

  • EssentialDemonstrate how to safely handle a knife, hand axe, and camp saw.
  • Using  whetstone, demonstrate how to properly sharpen a knife.
  • Prepare a fuzz stick.
  • Using a bow saw, demonstrate how to safely cut a piece of wood.
  • Using a hand axe and the contact method, demonstrate how to  split a piece of fuel-sized wood into pieces of kindling.

  • ChallengingReview the above skills.
  • Use an axe, saw, and knife to prepare some kindling and tinder. (You can use a  2×4, 10 inches long.)

  • AdvancedReview the above skills.
  • Using an axe, saw, and knife, transform the entire 10 inch length of 2×4 into a sorted collection of tinder and kindling. Store this material in a dry place for future use.

Fire Building

  • EssentialDescribe the characteristics of good tinder, kindling and fuel. Discuss how good tinder and kindling can be prepared and where these materials can be found.
  • On a fire pan or in an established fire place, using a supply of tinder and kindling, carefully lay a small teepee fire and then light it. Let it burn completely out. Take all safety measures.

  • ChallengingReview the above skills.
  • Sort a small supply of tinder and kindling. Light some tinder and carefully feed it with thicker material until the supply is completely burned. Take all safety measures.

  • AdvancedReview the above skills.
  • Carefully sort the stored supply of tinder and kindling prepared from the 10-inch piece of 2×4. Using whatever method you like, burn the entire quantity of wood, starting the fire with a hot spark kit and a piece of cotton. Burn the entire supply, taking all safety measures.


Getting Ready for the Main Event

  • Menu Planning
  • Duty Roster Planning
  • Patrols discuss what special items they will need for the main event.

Preparation for the meeting’s game or challenge



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Camping Information Troop Meetings Main Event