To: All Tioughnioga District Scoutmasters
Re: Fall Camporee

Dear Scoutmaster:

I'm writing you now to be sure that your troop puts our Fall Camporee on its schedule. I think your Scouts will enjoy the camporee, and the more Scouts we get, the better the camporee will be. The theme will be science fiction - "Where No Scout Has Gone Before". We will be holding the camporee at Camp Purchas on the weekend of October 15-17. Please take the time to review the enclosed materials with your Scouts, and return the enclosed reservation form to the Scout Office before Friday, September 24, so we will have some idea of how many Scouts to expect and how many patches to order.

A general schedule for the entire camporee, and a detailed schedule for Saturday, is enclosed with this note, along with a flyer you can distribute to your patrol leaders and/or post in your meeting room. Please feel free to share the station schedule with your Scouts - the titles and brief subject descriptions should engage their interest without giving too much away. Please note that while the stations listed are fairly well set, there may be some changes as things fall into place.

The camporee will be a mix of competitive and non-competitive activities, with the patrols competing for an combined score. Non-competitive stations will award points for attendance at about the same level as the average at a competitive station, so there will be an incentive to try the JOTA station or see a video or demonstration. Competitive stations will be scored on various scales, depending on the station - some are timed, some are purely objective (getting the right answers), some are purely subjective (score based on how the patrol worked toward the goal or thought out the problem).

Each station is designed to take 20-30 minutes, and simple arithmetic will show that no patrol will be able to take part in all of the stations. This is intentional - each patrol will be able to go to the stations that interest them, and do as many of them as they find time for, but no two patrols will have exactly the same experience. Some stations will be offered all day, some will only be held morning or afternoon. Space- or flying-oriented videotapes will be running on an every 45 minutes schedule during both morning and afternoon sessions.

Since the fall camporee is often the first camporee for newly joined Scouts, the competition is not as slanted toward knowledge of Scout skills as a spring camporee might be. Instead, competitive stations tend to require creativity, problem solving or physical activity. Patrols should be able to choose a mix of activities to satisfy and challenge all of their members.

This is the same weekend as the international Jamboree on the Air, an event which puts Scouts from all around the world on the radio via amateur (ham) radio operators. We have been fortunate enough to get the special call letters "K2BSA/2" for our station, one of only a few around the country, and the Skyline Amateur Radio will be helping our Scouts get on the air.

Each patrol is invited to enter a "space capsule" in the "Great Tioughnioga Egg Launch", which will end the Saturday daytime activities. The capsule must fit inside a standard 1-pound coffee can, must weigh less than 1 pound, and must protect a single "eggstronaut" against the stresses of launch and impact. Due to budget cutbacks at NASA, all eggstronauts are USDA size "medium". You might want to work on this at a meeting before the camporee! Points will be awarded for all surviving eggstronauts, plus bonus points to the top four patrols for creativity.

There will be a campfire Saturday night, and troops are asked to have a skit or song which is related to the space / science-fiction / fantasy theme. There's plenty of time to think about this, so let's see some creativity, not just the same old stuff!

Units should plan to check in at Purchas by 8:30 Friday night. Registration should be available by 6 PM, but if you're earlier than we are, just pick out a campsite and check in later. All boy leaders (PL / SPL) should plan to attend the cracker barrel at 9:00 Friday night for last minute instructions.

The final cost of the camporee is not yet determined, but it would not be unrealistic to expect a fee of $3.50-$4.00 per Scout, including a custom patch. Final figures will be available by the October roundtable.

There will be a Scouts' Own service Sunday morning, closing ceremonies around 10 AM, and we can all be on the way home by 11:00.

If there are any questions, I can (occasionally) be reached at 844-8584 evenings, or 273-1711 days.

This will probably be our last camporee at Purchas, so let's make it a great one! See you at the camporee!

Yours in Scouting,

Mike Brown
Tioughnioga District Camporee Chairman

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