Troop 362 - Bethlehem PA

First Year Campers

Information for First Year Campers

The first year campers take a program called "Trail to Adventure" that is designed to help them quickly learn basic scout skills and advance in rank. The first year boys stay together for about half of each day and take these basic skills courses. They will learn about fire safety, first aid, knots, etc. For the remainder of the day they can take merit badges and have free time to swim, canoe, shoot, snack at the trading post, and so on.

Learn about Trail To Adventure on Camp Minsi's website. You can also download the full Trail To Adventure Guide.

The basic skills courses don't leave a lot of time for the more difficult merit badges. First year campers generally take the "handicraft" badges that can be done quickly and easily. These include woodcarving, leatherworking, basketry and space exploration (they build and shoot off a rocket!!). Sign up for two or three of these that sound interesting.

Make sure that you have your Scout Book.
Advancements are recorded in this every day during summer camp.

Merit Badges:
There is a book for each merit badge. They can be purchased at the Scout store or borrowed, if available, from the troop librarian. Before camp you will register for the merit badges of your choice that fit into your schedule. Get the books before camp. Read them and do any prerequisites (this info is provided when you register). It may be to your advantage to do any written work before camp!!  If you can't find the books go to and print out the requirements and other helpful information. Once you are at camp, be flexible. The schedule sometimes changes and you may need to change your merit badge selections. 

Buddy System: 
Our troop uses the "buddy system." Any time a camper wants to leave our campsite they must be with a buddy. Nobody from our troop walks around the camp alone!! Your buddy can change (you don't have to be with one person all week!). When you want to go to the lake, find another scout from our troop who also wants to take a swim and go together!

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