Mission Accomplished: Competition Camp SWAG 2014

By: Anthony Lam

Competition camp is a camp held for Scout-aged (11 years old to 16 years old) youth from the Lower Mainland. This type of camp is designed to allow Scout-aged youth to wholly take care of themselves for the duration of camp with minimal leader supervision.  This is our second consecutive Competition Camp.  Check out what we did last year by taking a look at our blogpost here!

It was a dark time for the Galactic Republic.  The separatist droid army had Scout leaders outnumbered, and we needed our Scout’s help to win this conflict.  Thankfully, 30 troops answered our calls and over 180 youth and 130 leaders joined us at Camp McLean in Langley, British Columbia for Star Wars: Alternate Galaxy (Competition Camp SWAG) to help rebuild our colony and defeat the droid army.  Many of our leaders dressed up as Star Wars characters while our Scouts worked tirelessly together as a team to save us from the droid army!

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On March 7th, 2014, 310 youth and leaders alike gathered together at Camp McLean.  In a joint effort between the 32nd Richmond Scout Group and 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group, our collective mission was to organize the largest competition camp we have put together for the youth of Lower Mainland.

Just like the years before, we had still opted to use a unique “free-roaming” model for the programs in this camp, where youth were allowed to attend whichever, and as many stations as they could.  What also remains unchanged was the spirit present at this camp.  Despite the downpours that unfortunately coincided with our camp, everyone’s spirits remained high.  Youth were extremely enthusiastic in trying to complete their ‘missions’, and leaders were just as enthusiastic in making sure that youth had the best experience possible.  As always, we call this a competition camp, but it was never meant to foster a fiery sense of competition in youth; the goal of this camp was to gently encourage youth to learn Scouting skills, individualism, camaraderie, leadership and teamwork. Many of these skills can effectively be learned in a setting like competition camp.

Even Scout leaders are learning too; not any skills per se, but most certainly from our best teachers – the youth members from our Groups.  This competition camp helps many of our local Scout leaders learn what skills their Scout Troop is good at, and what needs improvement upon in an outdoor setting.  As a Scout leader myself, I am able to take the results of these camps and use it to create more meaningful and striking programs because I can walk away from this camp knowing my Troop’s strength and weaknesses.  In turn, my future programs will be tailored to help address my Troop’s weaknesses so that they will gain the most value out of the Scouting program.

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Being able to plan and execute an event of this caliber has genuinely been an honour for all of us.  However, it most certainly would not have been possible without the many hours of meetings, work session, and an amazing spectrum of Scout leaders from the participating groups.  We are so grateful for their presence and support in making this camp a success. With their help, we were able to ensure that this camp remains as a memorable moment for everyone who attended.  It is always a blessing to be able to work with the many talented and skillful leaders around Greater Vancouver because their variety of skills, wealth of knowledge, and their graceful, warm attitudes to always offering a helping hand played a key part in making this camp such a great success.

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At the end of this camp, leaders undoubtedly went home with a tired, but most certainly satisfied expression on their faces, knowing that we have made such a positive difference in the Scouting experience of our youth.  It is hard to precisely describe how that feels, but as a Scout leader, that is one of the best feelings ever.

This year, our photo team was back at it again, working day and night to produce over 600 quality shots, capturing every single candid moment of this camp.  We invite you to check out their work here.

Camp (Star Wars: Alternate Galaxy) SWAG was a themed competition camp held for Scout-aged (11 years old to 16 years old) youth from March 7th, 2014 to March 9th, 2014.  This event welcomed 175 Scouting youth and 135 leaders for a weekend of fun and learning.  We would like to congratulate the following top 5 patrols for their achievements at this camp:

  1. C3-PO Patrol from the 19th Richmond Scout Group
  2. Jar Jar Patrol from the 13th Ryerson Scout Group
  3. Leia Patrol from the 33rd Kerrisdale Centennial Scout Group
  4. Han Yolo Patrol from the 32nd Richmond Scout Group
  5. Hoth Patrol from the 12th Richmond Scout Group

We are so proud of everyone’s achievements, and we hope everyone had as much fun at camp as we had planning it!

ElaineAu

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