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Like all first-year-camper programs, Brownsea helps build a Scout’s confidence while teaching him essential skills. The camp’s adult and youth staff work with adult leaders to make the experience memorable and fun. The boys (clock- wise from bottom left) might build a camp chair with Ben Taylor, hear Mary Frantz’s tips on steadying their aim with a bow and arrow, gain confidence in the pool with Cameron Delestienne, or practice using a large seine to catch fish with Gabe Fauser.

learn the skills well, they enjoy it, and they talk about it for the next year.” That’s Brownsea’s goal. And to

help move Scouts along the trail to First Class, programs like Brownsea can accomplish two critical tasks: inte- grate new boys into Scouting and get them to the First Class rank within a year, a key indicator of whether they’ll eventually become Eagle Scouts. By understanding what first-year-

camper programs offer—and what they don’t—you can tailor your troop programs to prepare Scouts for camp and later build on what they’ve learned there. “The philosophy is to introduce

them to Scouting and ultimately get them excited, passionate, and inter- ested,” said Dan Masse, Brownsea’s director. “So much of what we do could easily feel like a classroom, and we don’t want that at all. We want them to be outside and having fun with their friends, which is what Scouting is all about.” Masse knows firsthand how

well the program works. He was a Brownsea participant in 2003 and vividly remembers his own instructor, Will Kramer, who was as loud and fun

26 S COUT ING ¿ MARCH • AP R I L 2 0 1 1

as Tommy and Aaron. “He was one of the people who made me want to be a Boy Scout,” Masse said. “Even when I was a new Scout, I wanted to work here.” Brownsea made a similar impres-

sion on Rodney’s program director, Matt Keck, when he participated in 1999. “Everyone around me was having a good time, so it was pretty much impossible for me not to have a good time,” he said. But Brownsea is more than just

a good time. Like Scouting itself, it’s fun with a point—or, maybe two points. The first: help Scouts earn many of the outdoor requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class, as well as Swimming and Nature merit badges. The second: expose them to the rest of the Rodney program. Those two goals neatly merged

not long after the first-aid skit ended. Troop 66 Scouts, who called them- selves the Shaken Bacon Patrol, were at the camp’s pool along with another group of Brownsea participants. Most were pursuing Swimming merit badge requirements, but a handful of others were working with members of

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