Hiking boots are made for walking, and life jackets are made for canoeing.
As for camp chairs, those are made for sitting down at summer camp.
In fact, I’m going to say camp chairs are the most important piece of gear an adult leader can pack for their weeklong Scouting sojourn.
Not a cot. Not bug spray. And definitely not a laptop full of work stuff. A camp chair.
You’re already taking a week off from your job, so you might as well sit down and enjoy yourself. Here are five reasons why.
1. Scouts will always know where to find you.
For emergencies large (“I can’t find my merit badge class!”) or small (“I can’t find my other shoe!”), it’s good to have an adult who can be found quickly and easily.
2. It’s the rule at most camps anyway.
Oh yeah, this is more than just a good idea. It’s a rule.
Most summer camps require that at least two adults be present at camp at all times. This is so camp staffers can reach someone from any troop at any time.
3. Scouting’s supposed to be youth-led.
Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell once came up with this unofficial motto for Scoutmasters: “When you want a thing done, don’t do it yourself.”
He means you can keep your seat while your senior patrol leader and patrol leaders do things like conduct flag ceremonies, gather the troop for meals and clean up camp.
They get to practice leadership skills, and you get to be around to offer help or mentorship when needed.
4. You worked hard all year long. You deserve this.
Yeah, Scouting’s youth-led, but it’s powered by the sweat of adult volunteers like you.
Summer camp is a great time to kick back and put your feet up — assuming your camp chair is the fancy kind with a leg rest.
5. It’s the ideal spot for reading a book.
The Scouts are off earning merit badges and making new friends. The only sounds are the rustling of leaves and chirping of birds.
The conditions are right for reading. That makes a good book the second most-important piece of gear you can bring to summer camp.
But remember to walk around some, too.
When it’s another adult’s turn to stay behind at camp, take advantage of the opportunity to explore.
Pop over to the climbing wall to cheer your Scouts to the top. Check out a merit badge class or two. See if the camp has some sort of competition for Scoutmasters and assistant Scoutmasters.
Camp Daniel Boone in North Carolina, for example, offers a Scoutmaster Golf Tourney every Thursday afternoon. Instead of golf balls, they use racquetballs. Instead of golf clubs, leaders use clubs they make while at camp — perhaps while seated in their camp chair?!
At Camp Buffalo Bill in Wyoming, there’s a Dutch oven dessert cook-off for leaders. Yum!
And you know the perfect place to enjoy some Dutch oven cobbler, right?
Yep. A camp chair.