A powerful case for allowing electric-vehicle charging at BSA camps

Updated July 2 to clarify that EV charging can be done with a simple, existing outlet — an expensive charging station isn’t necessary.

If you believe the sci-fi novels, by the time our Scouts are ready to buy their first car, an all-electric vehicle may be their only option.

These vehicles don’t pollute, and they’re cheaper to drive than their gas or gas-electric hybrid counterparts.

But you don’t have to wait for the future to own one. Most major carmakers either have an all-electric model for sale now, or they’re developing one to put on the market soon.

The increasing prevalence of electric vehicles, or EVs, led two Scouters to make a case for adding EV charging capabilities at BSA camps and national high-adventure bases.

Bob Bruninga and Gary Wilson lay out their cases below.

I sent their arguments to Eric Hiser, the BSA volunteer who serves as National Standards Chair for the National Camp Accreditation Program. His response:

“I am intrigued by it, and we will certainly give it some consideration during the next standards revision or possibly as a stand-alone recommended practice revision.”

See the arguments for EV charging at camps below, and share your thoughts in the comments.

From Gary Wilson, assistant district commissioner in the Bucks County Council:

As leaders cars at Scout camps are typically parked for a few days, a simple, conventional 110 VAC outlet is all that is needed to recharge an electric vehicle. Not only would this support the recent BSA emphasis on sustainability, it could also become a very positive and inexpensive public relations project, much like the sustainability initiative at the Summit.

From Bob Bruninga, Eagle Scout:

Every car MFR now makes electric vehicles. They are coming.

The BSA has a great opportunity to further emissions-free renewable energy transportation by making sure (at practically NO COST) that Scout camps are EV-friendly. This simply means they understand that an EV (of any make or model) draws no more from any standard 120v outlet than a toaster or coffeepot (12 amps). And the cost to charge is under 20 cents an hour, or under $2/day to replenish a 40 mile EV trip to camp.

Therefore scout camps with readily available outlets adjacent to a parking spot, should place EV CHARGING signs over these existing outlets and have a procedure for accepting about $2/day for an EV to plug in. This can be paid at the Trading Post or camp office and receive a placard to set on the rear-view mirror, showing that the car has paid and is authorized to plug in.

We must educate scouts that EVs are coming and they do not need special charging stations, especially when they are parked for hours and can equally well charge up on any standard outlet. Every Scout needs to see these signs and make this realization for their future of clean renewable transportation.

About Bryan Wendell 3282 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.