If you don’t have any traditions in your Scouting unit, establish some! Give the boys something to build stories around. Those stories then spread to younger scouts who get excited and look forward to when it’s their turn to experience that tradition.
One of our traditions is an outing to Goblin Valley every October. This tradition started back in 2009 with our very first trip to Little Wild Horse and Bell Canyons. We have since experienced Ding & Dang in 2010 and Crack Canyon in 2011. This being our 4th time, we decided to do Ding & Dang again since the majority of the Troop in attendance was older and a few of our Varsity Scouts also joined us. We thought about trying Chute Canyon (the lower section) but didn’t want to be disappointed by a slot that doesn’t sound as cool as the others in the area. That decision ended up being a good one because Ding Canyon was nothing like it was the two other times I’ve been there! More specifically, the canyons were FULL of water due to heavy rainfalls that had occurred two days prior. The boys thought it was awesome – even those who had been here once before!
From a leader’s perspective, traditions also have a way of helping you learn what to do (or not do) as you repeat the experience with different boys each time. That said, here are some tips to remember for our next adventure:
1. Help your scouts be prepared for water, chest-deep in places where there is no way around or over it. Wet clothes, especially cotton, can be cold as you make your way through breezy and shaded sections of these slots.
2. Avoid wearing anything white, including your shoes and underwear – they will never be white again (even after lots of bleach)! In fact, wear old clothes :)
4. Know what to do in the event someone gets bitten by a rattlesnake – just in case you stumble upon one in a narrow slot! I’m guessing this one got washed down in the gush that flowed through the day before.
As soon as I find a good WordPress plug-in to display a photo gallery, I’ll let our pictures speak for themselves! Until then, get some traditions going in your unit… from Venturing all the way down to Cubs!