Patrol Campfire

Patrol Campfire

Tobacco Root Mountains, March 2010 (Sigma DP2, f/2.8 15s)

Our Scouts are learning about lightweight backpacking.

Unlike most of us, who learned about it on our own, these kids are learning it in the context of the Patrol Method, that tenet of the Scouting program that develops character, teamwork, and leadership of the group.

In the photo above, one of our patrols is cooking dinner. They were issued a 1 gallon pot and a firestarting kit and left to their own devices with dehydrated meals they shopped for, and packaged, on their own. This was a practice run before we went backpacking for the next two days.

Our next trip is this coming weekend – a patrol outing into the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. We’re preparing for bigger trips this summer on the CDT in Glacier National Park and a traverse of the Beartooth Plateau.

Our troop website has lots of great information on how we “do” lightweight backpacking with Scouts, including our Troop’s Backpacking Handbook, Gear List, and more, and we’re spreading the gospel to Scout Leaders and High Adventure Staff at this course in May, which is almost full.