Meeting Plans & Ideas: WINTER CAMPING

Winter Camping Information Troop Meetings Main Event

Printable PDF file of Meeting Plans & Ideas for Winter Camping

This month’s activities should:

  • Teach youth the potential dangers of cold-weather camping.
  • Show youth how to dress in the winter using the standards of wick, wind, and warmth.
  • Explain how food is essential to keeping warm.
  • Teach the essentials of cooking when it is cold.
  • Teach youth how to build winter shelters.
  • Help youth explore the activities winter has
  • to offer, such as skiing, snowboarding, skating, and survival
  • Demonstrate winter rescue methods

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

Troop Meeting Planning Form
Click above for fillable troop meeting planning form.
  • Where should we go winter camping?
  • Are we going to camp in tents or snow shelters?
  • Do we have the proper equipment for this activity?
  • What other activities will be done during our main event?
  • What is our menu plan? Will our meals provide enough calories to keep us warm?
  • How can we involve parents?
  • What changes should we make to the sample meeting plans that would fit our needs better?


Preopening Ideas on Troop Program Resources


Link to Opening Ideas on Troop Program Resources


(Refer to Chapter 18 in the Fieldbook.)

Hypothermia and Clothing

  • Define hypothermia. Explain the difference between mild and severe cases and discuss first aid for hypothermia.

Food is Fuel

  • Have a discussion about why food is important during cold-weather activities. Emphasize that nutrition keeps us warm.
  • In a brainstorming fashion, have the entire group list ideal foods for winter activities.
  • Discuss the advantages of using a stove when camping on the snow, and how to build a cooking fire during snow events.

Snow Shelters

  • Discuss the differences between three-season and four-season tents.
  •  Discuss why four-season tents are needed for freezing conditions.
  • Compare ground pads and explain why ground insulation is essential during winter camping.

Safety and Rescue

  • Depending on what you are going to do on your main event, discuss and review skills and safety for the following activities: Skiing, Snowboarding, Ice skating, Sledding, Survival.


3 Categories
(Refer to Chapter 18 in the Fieldbook.)

Hypothermia and Clothing

  • EssentialLearn the basics of winter clothing, including the principles of wick, wind, and warmth.
  • Discuss why you should never sleep in the same clothes worn during the day.
  • Try on different layers of clothes.
  • Identify which materials are not appropriate for cold weather.

  • ChallengingReview the principles of wick, wind, and warmth.
  • Discuss how synthetic materials work and compare them to wool and cotton.
  • Discuss how synthetics are best for multiday needs.
  • Try on different cold-weather clothing.

  • AdvancedReview the principles of wick, wind, and warmth, as well as the other material above.
  • Discuss overheating and the need to avoid perspiration.
  • While wearing multiple layers of winter clothing, do a vigorous activity. Adjust clothing as needed to prevent sweating.

Food is Fuel

  • EssentialLearn how to prepare dehydrated foods that simply require hot water.
  • Prepare some items for sampling.

  • ChallengingFind recipes for high-calorie winter camping foods that can be eaten without cooking, such as homemade granola bars or gorp.
  • Prepare some sample foods.

  • AdvancedReview methods of gourmet cooking with Dutch ovens.
  • Discuss the special requirements for Dutch oven cooking in the snow.
  • Prepare some sample Dutch oven foods. Note: this group will need to start its charcoal before the meeting starts.

Snow Shelters

  • EssentialLearn how trench shelters are made.
  • Practice building miniature shelters with sand if available.
  • Discuss safety considerations.

  • ChallengingLearn how snow caves are made.
  • Practice building miniature shelters with wet sand.
  • Discuss safety considerations.

  • AdvancedLearn how igloos are made.
  • Practice building miniature shelters with wet sand
  • Discuss safety considerations.

Safety and Rescue

  • EssentialReview how to treat hypothermia.
  • Practice techniques as appropriate.

  • ChallengingReview the above material.
  • Discuss and learn how to perform ice rescues.
  • Practice techniques as appropriate.

  • AdvancedReview the above material.
  • Discuss and learn what to do in case of an avalanche.
  • Discuss when the risk of avalanche is greatest.


Getting Ready for the Main Event

  • Plan the best clothing for winter camping.
  • Menu Planning
  • Duty Roster Planning
  • Equipment check

Preparation for the meeting’s game or challenge


 Library of Games and Challenges on Troop Program Resources

  • Dress for Cold Relay
    – Materials: Collect multiple sets of outdoor clothing. Include base layers, insulating layers, and outer layers of different materials (i.e., synthetic, cotton, wool). Provide hats, gloves, boots, etc. Include items that are appropriate and others that are inappropriate for winter camping.
    – Method: Mix all clothing and place in a pile at the far end of the room. When told to begin, one member from each patrol retrieves one item and gives it to a designated patrol member to put on. Another member then retrieves another item. This continues until the patrol member is properly dressed for winter activity.
    – Scoring: This is a timed event. For each inappropriate item, add 10 seconds to the time.
  • Frozen Kitchen Taste Test
    – Equipment: Appropriate stoves, pots, and pans for the sample foods being prepared during skills instruction, bowls and utensils for everyone to taste what’s been cooked up.
    – Method: During the skills instruction portion of the meeting, each group should learn a new recipe and prepare it. The samples are then judged. Afterward, all involved will assist in cleanup.
    – Scoring: Troop leaders sample each entry and then choose their favorite after deliberation.
    Note: Groups with winning entries can receive some sort of award or be exempted from cleanup.
  • Pitch Your Tent Challenge (outdoor activity)
    – Materials: A four-season tent and a flag for each patrol
    – Method: Each patrol is given a tent in its bag. A flag is placed 20 feet from each patrol marking the location to pitch their tent. On signal, each Patrol runs to their  flag and sets up the tent. When the judge rules the tent has been set up correctly, the patrol takes it down, packs it, and carries it back to the starting line.
    – Scoring: The first patrol to return to the start wins.
    Note: Decide in advance if tent setups need full storm rigging.


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Winter Camping Information Troop Meetings Main Event