10 reasons a week at Scout summer camp beats a week at the office

Your coworkers who haven’t been to Scout summer camp themselves will never understand.

“You’re spending a week outside with a bunch of kids? And you’re sleeping in a tent? Are you crazy?”

But you get it. You know that while your coworkers wade through email, yawn through another teleconference and fill out the gazillionth Excel spreadsheet, you’ll be living it up the way Scouters do.

You’re maximizing your vacation time this summer at Scout camp.

Whether you go for a weekend with your Cub Scout pack or a week with your Boy Scout troop or Venturing crew, it sure beats being at the office.

Here are 10 reasons why. The answers come from our friends on the Scouting magazine Facebook page.


1. You’re at a place where songs and skits are encouraged.

“We break into chants, songs and skits at camp. Never have I seen this at the office!”

– Kris H.


2. You get to unplug for a week.

“No Internet, no Wi-Fi, minimal cell service. Disconnected from the real world. Just Scouting in the woods.”

– Tad M.


3. You get to witness young people grow into adults.

“As much work as it is, watching the boys grow as individuals, patrols and as a troop makes it all worth it. Plus any day in the woods, let alone a week, is better than any day in the office!”

– Ryan R.

“People at the office are who they are. They have already ‘become.’ At summer camp you get to watch boys grow into men. It is especially fun to watch the change in first-year Scouts as they learn that they can do more than they are allowed to do at home. The confidence just soars.”

– John H.


4. You make lifelong memories.

“It is the one week each year that my boys (currently a Bear and a Wolf) talk about — nonstop — for the other 51 weeks! We make memories and have experiences that last a lifetime.”

– Crystal B.


5. You get time with your son or daughter.

“Last year, my Cub Scout was having a rough time, so we departed camp a day early after breakfast. I drove no further than a mile down the road before he begged me to go back. We made it back in time to go to the row boats on the lake. Later that night at the campfire, the camp director had a microphone and would ask kids what their favorite event at camp was, and mine answered ‘Row-boating with my dad.’ Already signed up for resident camp, and I’m volunteering for day camp. The only thing that would prevent me from attending either one is the sudden end of the world. There are many ‘offices,” but I only have one son.”

– James N.

“My boys are growing up fast. I don’t want to miss their achievements. Plus seeing how Cub Scouts take in everything when at camp is the best!”

– Krista A.


6. You experience something good for the mind and soul.

“Imagine how much it would cost to sit or lie on a therapist couch for a full week 24/7 then compare the cost of a week of summer camp. It’s a no-brainier.”

– Glenn T.


7. You see young people become leaders.

“Because at camp when someone asks me a question I can always answer, ‘have you asked your patrol leader, and the SPL?’ Truly seeing the boys grow from year to year is the best part.”

– Michael B.

“Just to see the Scouts take charge of themselves is the most wonderful experience one can have.”

– Clara S.


8. You avoid stress for a week.

“Summer camp in the woods for a week … no stress, no demands, totally relaxing!”

– Carol G.

“Camping, hiking, sun, nature, singing, acting like a kid, no cell service, no computer … gosh, the list goes on and on.”

– Francine B.


9. You learn something new.

” I always learn something new, and it’s so much fun seeing the growth and sense of accomplishment the boys have! The fact that its a week out of the office is a bonus!”

– Barbara P.


10. You don’t have to be at the office.

“Can’t beat the view: Scouts having fun among the trees and mountains versus a computer telling you when you have to be at the next meeting.”

– Krystal L.

“A bad day camping is better than a good day at work. No ifs, ands or buts about it.”

– Jerry J.

“I don’t have to make copies.”

– Jack M.

What do you think?

What makes a week (or weekend) at Scout summer camp better than time spent at the office? Keep it going in the comments.


  1. The best way to watch a young man grow is through Scouting. I love watching the bonds between the boys while at camp. Pretty amazing!

  2. It’s like a retreat: I learn just how inessential I am. A humbling experience that gives me perspective.

  3. It’s a toss-up asvto who has more fun in our Troop, Scouts or Scouters. I get to work on my “Geezer Merit Badge”.

  4. Number 2 isn’t as true anymore, with more and more councils making their camps “wifi capable”, so that young people can use a compass or GPS on their phone…

    Denver Area Council’s camps are set up with wifi.

    • Yes, National Capital Area Council’s camps are the same way. We could never really completely disconnect because, before wifi and cell service came, many would show up with Iridium Sat phones, especially if they worked in the Pentagon.

    • Parents who don’t go want to feel connected to their kids who do go and want to see the pictures of their kids. I don’t have WiFi at the moment, and it means I can’t post the video I just took of the literal three inch long wolf spider (head to back off butt).

    • Atlanta Area camps are the same way, though cell coverage is not great if you’re not with their unofficial preferred provider who has a tower onsite. But they do offer wi-fi in case adults do have to check in with the office. I have seen some leaders come and work all week in the SM lounge while the scouts are in class.

  5. No prolonged negotiations about where to go for lunch. No fashion wars. Nature sounds are better than office sounds… even raindrops on canvas is more soothing than a shredder. Whittling or woggling during down time. Free Shooting beats golfing any day of the week. The feeling of walking on dirt trails instead of concrete and asphalt. Feeling the wind on your face rather than watching it though a window.

  6. You get to chase a woodpecker through the woods for hours to take its picture. The next morning its sitting by your tent posing. Best time every working with grandson on bird studies.

  7. For a change I get to hang out with some of the best guys I know on the planet. Great men that all have the best interest of their sons in mind by being there…
    That and getting to send the children to bed so we can act like them!

  8. Look around your home. How much “Stuff” have you got, only within eyeshot right now.? How much of that is REALLY important to you? Memories? Useful? Must have to secure life and limb?
    Then think about camp. How much “Stuff” do you have there? Even thinking about the Dining Hall? Is your life complete, there, at camp? How much “stuff” do you REALLY need? There’s a Camp lesson not often learned, or even considered.
    How ’bout Philmont or Katadhin? How is it possible to live so WELL, with only what you can carry on your back?

    • …only with what you carry on your back. (And a thousand people doing trail maintenance, packaging food, leading crews, training in outdoor ethics, serving your medical and spiritual needs, driving vehicles, and, yes, hiding all of those so you can carry it all on your back.)

  9. Every week I work at summer camp, I make less than half of what I normally make outside summer camp in a week. But this summer I’ll be spending a few days short of 12 solid weeks all told, three weeks of getting things ready and manual labor, one staff week, 8 weeks of actual camp, and a few days of manual labor cleaning up and putting everything away.

    I can truthfully say that it’s one of the highlights of my year and I absolutely love it.

    There’s still no way in this world that I’ll be paying $1500 to work the summer national jamboree thing, that’s just not going to happen, no way, no how, and I’m kind of insulted that National thinks it’s ok to ask me to pay that much for the dubious pleasure of working for a camp in Virginia that seems to be hemorrhaging money and focusing on the wrong things. That’s not a sustainable business plan.

    My dad always said, no matter how beautiful a rose bush is, if it’s in the middle of a potato patch, it’s a weed.

    Take the showers. Put in some solar panels, inline water heaters, or at least some above-ground plumbing, and hot or at least tepid showers could have been easy. Winter could freeze the pipes? Yeah, I heard that to. This is what happens when things are designed by committees who decide to ban water guns and have no experience with what they’re designing, and want everything built with robots. You add did extra taps to drain those pipes every fall, just like you might drain your sprinkler pipes every fall.

  10. Summer Camp? What is that? Need more details before a rationale comment may be offered……

    Why all the napping?

    You folks staying up too late with your phone and tablets at home & the Office?

  11. Not everyone habituates an office or Cubicle domain.

    How about those who experiment in a Lab, Plant, or Hospital??

    Whole new sets of variable to consider, germs to avoid, processes to streamline, NO HAZARDOUS WASTE profiles or SHARPS containers…..

  12. Scout camp is a week of pure relaxation, growth, maturity and fun. It’s watching your son and his friends do things that they would never do at home. It’s putting 3 young African American men through a Board of Review for their Life Scout rank with the leaders from a troop different council, watching them handle every question with no hesitation, then to have those gentlemen say, “I want to be there for their Eagle Court!! You have some great young men there!! (Unfortunately, they didn’t make Eagle. They were very involved in school activities)

    I’ve been a way from being a Scoutmaster for a few years. But I treasure those weeks of Scout Camp!!

  13. Since 1996, every even-numbered year, I’ve been fortunate enough to lead groups of one or two patrols to the Blair Atholl Scottish International Patrol Jamborette in Blair Atholl, Perthshire, Scotland. Everything everyone’s said about Scout camp goes double, or triple, if you get the opportunity to attend a Scout camp in another country.

    At Blair Atholl each of our six-boy patrols is merged with an equal-size patrol of Scots, and they camp as a Scottish patrol for ten days before going home with a Scottish Scout they met at the Jamborette for a few days’ home visitation. We leaders get jobs at the Jamborette (I lead tours of Blair Castle), and have the opportunity to work with Scouts and leaders from twenty different countries. When you’re not working directly with the Scouts, there’s a Staff Club where you can socialize with other leaders over a cup of tea or take part in the entertainment every evening. I can’t wait to get back next summer!

  14. I spent 8 days with 17 Scouts and 10 adults in South Dakota. On the first night I learned, the meaning of camp evacuation during a thunderstorm. A pole in my tent broke so I (and Scouts) learned how to shank.
    I also learned how to swamp a canoe and how difficult it is to steer without a paddle.
    I had so much fun and watching my son laugh and make new friends with the boys in his troop was priceless!

  15. My son is an Eagle Scout now and our venture crew president. We started out in Cub Scout camps, Webelos outpost, Boy Scout camps, and then Philmont twice. Every chance I could be at camp with him I took. I wouldn’t trade those times for anything. Watching him grow from a tiger cub that hid behind me to a leader was wonderful. My hope is he looks back on his life and remembers fondly the adventures he had with his dad.

  16. The excitment and eagerness of the boys when your training or teaching them is way better then training or teaching adults (who do not want to be there) in the office. Scouts at camp are more mature than the people in my office.

  17. Just this past week I split time between Scout Camp and work, I have a job that I truly enjoy with an understanding boss who is a Life Scout. I would get up long before breakfast to be at work by 7am, spend the day regaling my coworkers with stories of the fun we had the night before at the evening programs and at troop time before lights out. The boys, my son included, had a great time all day, would tell me all about their day “in class” earning merit badges at supper and we’d all head out to program together. Perhaps next year I’ll be able to join our Scoutmaster for the full day of activities. Just being at camp was so relaxing. Only 50 3/4 weeks til next year!!

  18. I don’t quite get the “relaxing” part of camp. Cub scout camp: Wake up at 5:30, stay up past midnight, then barely sleep due to uncomfortable cots and hot, humid weather. Herding the kids all day, but having some fun along the way. Not bad, but a sprint to the end of the week nonetheless. Boy scout camp: Wake up at 5, bed by 2. Slowly go insane from virtually zero sleep. The scouts get more exhausted throughout the week, treating each other and everyone else poorly. The only “camaraderie” I see is older kids teaming up to bully the younger kids. The “relaxing” part is going back to the office! But, it’s all for the kids, right? I hear some of them have fun, so I guess it’s worth it?

  19. Back in 1991 when my son joined the Boy Scouts at age 11, and of course taking me with him I wondered just how some adult could give up an entire week of being with all these boys. So, next year I took a week’s vacation and went along. Now in 2016, in my 26th year of scouting, I’ve missed only two years of attending a summer camp with the troop. When I retired in 2006, I left the company on Friday and reported to ‘work’ at Raven Knob Scout Reservation on Monday to teach Rifle Shooting and Electricity each twice per day. The hours are indeed long, up at 5 and in bed at 11 or 12, but what an experience!
    Just watching these young boys grow in self independence from year to year and watching them move on to college and careers, many of which were ‘sparked’ in Scouting makes it all worthwhile.

  20. I’ve always looked forward to the time at night just before sack time, everyone around the fire, reflective, laughing, faces glowing in the firelight. One year I did a roses and thorns with the boys. I asked them why they thought our troop was special

    I have boys from every imagine me background and family situation. One commented

    Because we are a family guys


  21. You get to see every type of insect in the area! Naps are amazing, no meal prep, no housework, no emergency meeting, no overtime. Love summer camp. Got my best carving done at camp.

  22. We have 3 Eagle Scouts. My husband went to all but 2 camps – starting in Cub Scouts till all of them aged out. Most years he went to multiple camps. Some of his and our boys best memories. The boys still talk about how great is was that he took time from work for them, how their friends appreciated him being there. Time well invested in so many boys lives.

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