Now that so many of the members of my Venture Crew are in High School at the local giant, it is quite a scene to pick them up, since 3500 other students are pouring out the gate with them. The line was incredibly long, it took over 30 minutes to get them all into our two cars and get on the actual freeway, which was cruising along at 10 miles an hour.
The Friday Afternoon Scouting getaway is a universal nightmare, yet many of us our compelled to go for it: one more night on the adventure.
That, I think, is a good thing.
Eventually we arrived and everyone else did too. We had 12 Crew scouts and 5 adults for the training, plus two dogs. The Girls are moving along toward their Venturing awards and as one of the requirements did an amazing job cooking on grills and in dutch ovens with some awesome recipes. They more than earned that sign off! It was delicious.
By far the most challenging aspect of holding these training retreats for both the Crew and my Troop is trying to reinvent it and keep it fresh for each participant if they have done it once or 5 times. When I was at Philmont a few weeks ago, one of the National training developers gave me some ideas and resources which I ordered from Amazon while sitting in the training! I am so happy! I was able to find substitute initiative games and exercises to replace the ones we did before- it made it more fun and reinforced the leadership skills learning for the crew.
Some of them are tried and true and we used those just as we have done in the past, becasue they are impossible to master for some ; )
It takes some talented and committed adults to help with a retreat like this and our parents did an amazing job! From facilitating the exercises and leading the discussions and reflection sessions, everyone learned a lot. Plus having different instructors makes it more interesting, especially when you are sitting on the edge of the woods with so many distractions!