Scout Camps USA
A Guide to BSA Camps, Camping & High Adventure

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Scout Camps USA - it's not just for boys!

Dear Girl Scout Leader:

When we analyze our website statistics, we can't help but notice that many of our visitors come to our site looking for information on Girl Scouts and GSA camps and camping. We also can't help but notice that those visitors leave the site in about 15 seconds! Perhaps to them we seem like a Boys Only Club!

Scout Camps USA - the book and the website - isn't just for boys! The new Third Edition of the Guide lists nearly 300 BSA camps that are open to non-BSA groups, nearly 150 BSA program opportunities open to girls and co-ed groups, plus over 150 non-BSA camping and adventure destinations and more. That's especially good news for the Leader with older "tweens" and teens - keeping them interested can be a challenge - we say "Give Them Interesting Options!"

What we've learned from BSA Scoutmasters is that the older Scout can be easily "distracted" from Troop activities, perhaps eventually leaving Scouting altogether. The more "bored" a boy is with the program, the more likely he is to be distracted. We call that boredom "same-old-campitis," an affliction striking the Older Scout who faces going to the same old summer camp for the sixth year in a row or taking the same C.O.P.E. course on the same equipment for the fourth year in a row. That Scout needs a new experience to keep him enthusiastic and interested in the program. It's not about loyalty to a Council's camps and programs or about their quality; it is about the difference between retaining a teen in Scouting and losing a teen to soccer, football, or less healthy diversions. The bottom line is that older boys want variety in program offerings.

We believe the recent GSUSA research that inspired "Studio 2B" shows this is as true for Girl Scouts as it is for Boy Scouts. Older girls, too, are looking for new adventure options, for opportunities to build team and leadership skills, for a chance to build upon their outdoor skills -- and we think they'd like to do it in a new setting, not the "same old camp."

That's what Scout Camps USA (the book) is all about! We're here to introduce you to a nearby BSA camp that offers ropes courses, weekend camping, cabins, winter camping, SCUBA instruction, sailing, backpacking, multi-sport treks, or ???? Are you looking for confidence- and team-building activities? Would your Troop like to experience an historical reenactment adventure? Do your older girls want greater physical challenges and more adventure options? You can offer them the unique benefits of the GSUSA program AND increased variety by augmenting your Council's already excellent program offerings with an occasional BSA program or a non-BSA adventure.

We're here to help! Our website features photo tours of camps (many open to non-BSA) and links to paddlesports providers, outfitters, guides, climbing centers, caves, suppliers, adventure treks, and more. Over the coming months, we hope to add even more information of benefit to Girl Scout Leaders, and we invite you to check back with us often and let us know how we can serve you better.

If no one in your Council has ever seen a copy of Scout Camps USA, give us a call and let's talk about our "get acquainted" package. We'll send your Council Executive free copies of the Guide PLUS special offer coupons for the Leaders in your area.

Yours in Scouting
Paul C. Fairbank
Editor, Scout Camps USA
Pfairco Publications, Ltd.

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