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Virtual Summer Camp

I heard from a council yesterday starting a Plan B for Virtual Summer camp. :grimacing: But if we can get a list going here of Councils that have this option it could help many youth. Capital Area in Texas was the one I heard of.

Bump. Want to keep this open as I suspect this list will be ready to grow in the next couple of weeks.

I am unsure about summer camp, but our council has started doing virtual stuff from our camp. Things like metal work and such. I tried to keep an open mind about it but after 10 minutes of watching a guy hitting hot metal on an anvil I got bored. Couldn’t hear anything he was saying and having no camera man to maneuver for clarity really turned me off of it. If our council decides to go with any type of virtual “camp” we will politely decline and just sit this summer out.

How about offering some constructive feedback on the issues you’re seeing instead of just noping out? Feedback is a gift, after all.


Our Council doesn’t care to hear feedback from us. Especially if it is critical of anything they are doing/not doing.

Who runs a BSA council?

In reference to:

Who do you mean by “Council”? Have you talked to your district program chair (volunteer staff members)?

For everyone

You may need to learn how your district and council works. Who are the volunteer staff?
Who are you giving your feedback to? The Council Officers (volunteer staff) or council professional staff (advisors to various council officers and their committees)?

The professional staff do not set program policy or plan the council programs. I suggest asking your council “VP Programs” (or equivalent) to talk about camping programs (virtual and non-virtual).

It is most effective to give solutions to issues along with negative feedback. We all like to hear positive feedback.

Also, there my be issues of communications, training, computer and network access. One of the still active Scouters in my family is over 80 years old and does not know how to use modern personal computing devices.


Another thought, maybe your council needs more volunteers; if you or others can look into helping, that might be an idea too.

Our council is exploring a virtual summer camp as well.

I would welcome thoughts about how people are thinking about the best technology to support this type event. We are considering Zoom for the merit badge instructional delivery and Basecamp as the back end to communicate with attendees, share resources, enable assignment submissions, etc.

Here is the analysis that I offered to our team about Basecamp.

To view a two-minute overview of the Basecamp structure that may help you better visualize this platform click here.

Once the virtual summer camp (VSC) committee outlines their scope and specifications about what they need a back-end system to do, we can more easily offer guidance and explore other platforms if necessary. That said, I realize that often times in regard to technology and software people often “don’t know what they don’t know.” Consequently, I would offer the following considerations about Basecamp to begin the conversation.

Basecamp provides a solution that offers the following features and functionality:

  1. Easy to use. Here is a link to a series of seven videos on “Mastering the Basics in Basecamp.” The total viewing time is only 15 minutes. To view click here. Basecamp also offers a lot of self-help resources here.

  2. Easy account set-up and access. Users simply need to be invited to join using an email address. When someone forgets their password, anyone on the project or team can send them a link to log into the system.

  3. Economical-$99/month for unlimited number of teams, projects and users

  4. Visually appealing graphical interface and motif that corresponds to Scouting: basecamp, campfire discussions, teams, projects, etc.

  5. Flexible structure. “Projects” or “Teams” could be built around merit badge classes and/or program areas as deemed most appropriate. Having an easy way for MB counselors to communicate with class participants as well as share and collect information will be key to making this system work. If we later decide we want to change the structure or move projects or teams around, that is easy to do.

  6. Low demand for admin support. Any user on any team or project is able to add/remove people and access all of the functions the system provides (post documents, upload files, make comments, assign to-do items, etc). There are no permissions to manage.

  7. Scalable upstream and downstream.

  • Upstream : in addition to supporting the VSC, Basecamp could ultimately provide the project management sorely needed across the Council by setting up teams for the professional staff and each major committee.

  • Downstream : if packs and troops want to use Basecamp, they can build upon their experiences during VSC and set up free personal accounts and manage up to three different projects with up to 20 users which should easily handle most unit needs at no cost. That said, our council could also set up packs and troops with “Teams” under the council business account if we wanted as a no-cost value added service to units.

I would love to have information regarding virtual BSA Summer Camps for my Troop in East Tennessee. Bharen@embarqmail.com is my email. Thanks! YIS!

After talking to PLC - we are looking at Troop only Short Summer Camp as PLC clearly said they were sick of classes on computers - so we will see


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