Schedules for Camp: How and Why

I adore having an hour-by-hour schedule for troop camping trips. Why? Because it takes much of the stress out of the experience for me. Having every adult in camp know what time we will be starting to cook dinner, eat, clean up, hike, do flags or play games means they know when they can rest, and when they need to step up and help. It means they can tell the scout who complains of hunger at 5 to grab an apple since dinner won’t be served until at least 7.

If you have a group of Rovers who work well together, camping can be a real joy. It is even easier when jobs are assigned to each adult based on their skills and comfort zone and everyone has the time and space to do what they are best at to make camp run well. Do you have a new Rover who has a completed background check but says they don’t have much skill at camping? They make great two-deep leadership for a hike! Making a schedule allows not only the kids to follow it, but for your adults to step up to fill the roles they need to fill at the right time.

Schedules also allow you to plug in time for specific badge work. Planning ahead means that you can bring the supplies you need to have on hand and even plan for which adults are needed to help with what while in camp.

How to make a schedule

How do you actually make a camping schedule?  You start by writing down the time you expect scouts to start arriving, and what time you expect them to be picked up the next day (or two days later if you are running a longer camp).

Break down what you plan to do into hourly blocks with an hourly schedule.  If your scouts are older, or you want more wiggle room, you may choose to break down the event into bigger blocks of 2 hours.   Younger scouts may need several items to do in a single hour, as they go through activities quickly, but then can have “free play” blocks mixed in to give leaders a break.

Example Schedule:

Day 1

Time Activity Supplies Needed Scout to Complete Task
4:00 PM Everyone Arrives at camp and starts setting up tents and equipment for the weekend N/A Everyone
5:00 PM Flags, Official camp opening, Review the Rules of Camp US flag, state flag, troop flag Rovers/Leaders
5:30 PM Begin Dinner Prep, light campfires Patrol boxes Patrol leaders
6:00 PM Cooking Dinner See duty roster
7:00 PM Dinner Food 🙂 Everyone
7:30 PM Clean Up dishwashing stations See duty roster
8:00 PM Campfire chairs, marshmallows Rovers
9:00 PM Bedtime lanterns Everyone

Day 2

Time Activity Supplies Needed Scout to Complete Task
8:00 AM Flags Up US flag, state flag, troop flag Rovers/Leaders
8:30 AM Breakfast cooking and eating See duty roster
9:30 AM Clean Up dishwashing stations See duty roster
10:00 AM Scout Skills – knife safety and practice pocket knives, wood pieces Akela
12:00 PM Lunch sandwich making stuff Patrol Leaders
1:00 PM Hike walking sticks Akela
3:00 PM Breakdown Camp Everyone
4:00 PM Close Camp take down flags, parents pick up kids. GSM

Make Your Own

There are lots of ways to set up your camp schedule. You can create it in a wide variety of computer programs, but if you’d like a simple, paper-based one that you can just write on, you can print mine!

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