Westchester-Putnam Council, BSA Curtis S. Read Scout Reservation
Advancement
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Flexible Program
The Curtis S. Read Scout Reservation operates merit badge instruction utlizing a class schedule system. This system minimizes the effect upon the scheduling of any in‐camp or out‐of‐camp activities. In most cases badges are offered both in the morning and the afternoon. Evening activity times include badge make‐up instruction. Flexibility of the staff and the campers make this system work!

See the merit badge schedules for Camp Buckskin and Camp Waubeeka. A boy should not have any merit badge conflicts! If he does, see the area directors or camp management immediately to resolve the situation. Due to restrictions in class size, some badges have limited availability.

Merit Badge and Tenderfoot to First Class program signup will be done using our online registration system. 

Registration Procedures

Advancement Registrations
 


Rank Advancement Program
The Rank Advancement Program we have offered in previous years is being upgraded to the First Year Camper Program.  The program will immerse new Scouts in the Scouting program and the Read Scout Reservation.  Scouts will attend sessions Monday through Friday in the morning and in the afternoon.  Instruction includes rank requirements, activities in different program areas, and Mammal Study Merit Badge.

Rank requirement instruction for older Scouts is available in the evening as is make-up for any First Year Camper Program sessions missed due to other activities.  Details on the program are below.  Please note that scheduling may change as we continue to develop this program.

Monday
Morning
• First Aid basics
• Games to reinforce instruction

Afternoon
• Low COPE (Team-building and initiative activities)
• Emergency Preparedness

(Tenderfoot: 12a, b; Second Class: 7a, c; First Class: 8b, c, d: Emergency Preparedness: 2a, b, c, 3a, b, c, d, 5, 7, 9b)

Tuesday
Morning
• Safe Swim Defense
• Safe Boating
• Instructional swim, depending on swimming ability

Afternoon
• Caving in Camp Waubeeka
• Waterfront for continued instruction and free swim

(Instructional Swim; 2nd Class 8a, b, c; 1st Class 9a, b, c)

Wednesday
Morning
• Woods tool and knife safety – Totin' Chip
• Fire safety – Firem'n Chit
• Fire building
• Distress Signs – fires, mirrors and flags
• Construction of bait tracking pit

Afternoon
• Climbing Tower
• Knot instruction and lashing

Evening
• First Year Camper Campfire during open program – Hotdogs, s'mores, ice cream, stories
• Patrol leader selection

(Mammal Study: 4d, 5; Tenderfoot 4a, 4b; 2nd Class: 3c, 3d; 1st Class: 7a, 7b, 8a; E. Prep 4)

Thursday
Morning
• Map and compass instruction
• Rules of safe hiking
• Leave No Trace principles
• Direction finding without a compass
• Day hike through lunch and throughout afternoon
- Identification of poisonous plants
- Classification system of plants or animals
- Identification of ten animals by sight or signs
- Naming characteristics that distinguish mammals from other types of animals

(Tenderfoot: 5, 9, 11; 2nd Class: 1a, 1b, 2, 6; 1st Class: 1, 6; Mammal Study: 1, 2, 1/2 of 3a)

Friday
Morning
• Art Merit Badge instruction
• Patrol Flag Competition

Afternoon
• BB guns – Range safety instruction followed by shooting for interested scouts
• Review of the week's instruction, complete requirements as needed

(Art 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; Mammal Studies 3a; 1st Class 2; Review and Instructional Games)



Merit Badge Program
Merit Badges are offered in six program areas around camp: Aquatics, Handicraft, Ecology, Equestrian, Scoutcraft and Shooting Sports. First Aid Merit Badge will be offered at the Health Lodge or at a location to be announced at Camp. Climbing Merit Badge is offered at Summit Base.  For complete schedules see Camp Buckskin Merit Badge Schedule or Camp Waubeeka Merit Badge Schedule.

Please note that each Scout must bring a signed merit badge application (blue card) to his counselor on the first day of instruction. This card, with a leader's signature, is the staff's assurance that a leader has approved the Scout taking the badge.

To help your Scouts in earning merit badges, we offer the following suggestions:

  • Try to avoid letting a boy attempt too many merit badges. We set no limit of badges a boy may work on, but sometimes desires are larger than abilities. An experienced camper usually can successfully complete four badges and should have the opportunity to participate in all camp activities. You know their capabilities; guide them in setting realistic goals.
  • Do not let a potential conflict discourage a boy from taking a badge. The staff is in camp to serve the boys and is very flexible.
  • See to it that the Scout has reviewed the requirements of his sought-after badge. It is helpful if he has completed time requiring portions of the badge prior to camp.
  • Any requirements which are listed as required in advance must be completed before camp in order for the boy to complete his badge.
  • A partial completion certificate will be given to Scouts unable to complete the full badge requirements in camp. This partial is valid until the Scout turns 18.
  • Proper documentation is required for credit for work completed before a Scout's arrival in Camp.

 


Merit Badge Changes for 2014
The merit badge pamphlets for the badges offered at camp are usually available at the camp’s trading posts. However, your scout may wish to buy (or borrow) pamphlets prior to coming to camp. In any event, scouts should obtain read and study the current pamphlet for each merit badge they wish to pursue prior to attending classes.

Three new badges offered only to Scouts 14 and older:
ELECTRICITY added to Maintenance Area

HOME REPAIRS added to Maintenance Area

PHOTOGRAPHY added to Handicraft

 


Merit Badge Partials & Pre-Requisites
Partial completion of a merit badge is not a failure, it is what the name indicates, partial success. Many Scouts will complete only sections of badges with pre‐requisites or that are very difficult. They then can complete them with another counselor at home or back at camp the following summer. As stated earlier in this booklet, partials are valid until a Scout turns 18.

Please be sure to provide the required paperwork for boys who have completed requirements for merit badges before they come to camp. Specific forms for each badge will be available on our website by May 1st. These forms should be turned in by the Scoutmaster at the merit badge signup sessions Sunday evening.

Scouts who are completing partially completed merit badges in camp should not be registered for the merit badge using the online system. They will meet and make an appointment with the counselor during the merit badge sign‐up session Sunday evening.



Merit Badges by Program Area

Ecology

  • Opportunities to learn more about: ecology, animals, conservation and nature.
  • Facilities: Ecology area and exhibits, nature trails
  • Merit Badge Opportunities:
    • Astronomy: Weather conditions frequently interfere with the completion of this badge. Requires study and observation during evenings.
    • Environmental Science: No advance preparation except some options of #3. A difficult merit badge with a significant time commitment that should not be attempted by first year Scouts. Plan time for extensive observation and conservation project.
    • Fish & Wildlife Management: Advance preparation - requirements #5 and suggest #6 & 7. A moderately difficult badge, this demands older Scouts with a knowledge or interests in Fish & Wildlife Management.
    • Fishing: No advance preparation, bring fishing equipment to camp.
    • Forestry: Advance preparation - Requirement 5 requires visiting a managed forest. Arrangements are being made to visit a managed forest approximately 15 miles from Camp which will take place Thursday. Please check the appropriate box on the permission slip.
    • Geology: Advance preparation—some options of #5. A detailed study of Earth’s solid surface. This is a fairly difficult badge.
    • Mammal Study: No advance preparation, although requirements #3 and #4 are recommended to be completed before camp.
    • Nature: A broad survey of a variety of types of wildlife. Depending on the choices made, #4 may be very difficult to complete at Camp.
    • Reptile and Amphibian Study: Advance preparation - requirement #8.
    • Soil & Water Conservation: Advance preparation - some options of requirement #7. Learn about mankind's delicate relationship with his environment.
    • Weather: No advance preparation, although requirement #8 is recommended to be completed before camp, particularly for one week troops.

 


First Aid

  • Facilities: Health Lodge
  • Merit Badge Opportunities:
    • First Aid: Advance preparation - Completion of knowledge for requirement 1. Complete requirement 2B (First Aid Kit) and bring to Camp.

 


Handicraft

  • Opportunities to learn more about: Woodcarving, Leatherwork, Basketry and Indian Lore.
  • Facilities: Handicraft art, leatherwork equipment, basketry kits and woodcarving materials.
  • Merit Badge Opportunities:
    • Basketry: No advance preparation. There is however, a cost for the Scout to purchase materials for making three kits. The cost is about $20.00.
    • Indian Lore: Advance preparation - some options of requirement #2. This merit badge is of moderate difficulty and a Scout should plan his time accordingly.
    • Leatherwork: No advance preparation. There is also a cost of about $15.00 for materials.
    • Painting: No advance preparation
    • Photography: No advance preparation. Only offered to Scouts who are 14 and older.
    • Sculpture: Advance Preparation—option 2(c) if chosen.
    • Woodcarving: No advance preparation, but a good carving knife is required. The Scout may want to purchase carving kits which cost about $7.00 - $12.00.

 


Scoutcraft

  • Opportunities to learn more about: Traveling by map and compass, knife and axe work, fire building, hiking, cooking, knots and lashings, camp gadgets and outdoor survival.
  • Facilities: Model campsite, cooking area, pioneering area and wilderness survival area.
  • Merit Badge Opportunities:
    • Camping: Advance preparation - requirement #9. A letter from the Scoutmaster confirming 20 nights of camping and the two related activities should be brought to camp. Scouts must have a backpack with frame.
    • Cooking: Advance preparation - requirements #6.
    • Emergency Prepareness:  Learn emergency procedures. First Aid merit badge required. Advance preparation - requirements #2(c), #8(c) and #9(a).
    • Geocaching: Advance preparation—8(b) if chosen. Badge suggested for older Scouts.
    • Orienteering: Advance preparation - knowledge or orienteering basics.
    • Pioneering: Advance preparation - #2(a). A knowledge of basic knots is helpful. The pioneering project takes a considerable amount of time. Each day’s instructional period is two hours.
    • Search and Rescue: Advance preparation ‐ #54, 6a. Only offered to Scouts who are 14 and older.
    • Wilderness Survival: Advance preparation - items for requirement #5. A challenging and difficult badge involving an overnight experience in a survival shelter.

Aquatics

  • Water safety, swimming, snorkeling, boating, canoeing, small boat sailing, water games, BSA Lifeguard, Safe Swim Defense Plan, and Safety Afloat. Instructional swim is provided from 11:00 to 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Camp Waubeeka and 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Buckskin every day. Please note that BSA Lifeguard is at least six hours per day Monday through Friday. Participants must be at least 15 years of age or completed 8th grade and having swimming ability with various strokes. Prior completion of Lifesaving merit badge is advantageous.
  • Facilities: Swimming dock includes learners' area, beginners area, and swimmers area. Boating area includes rowboats, canoes, and on Lake Waubeeka, sailboats.
  • Merit Badge Opportunities:
    • Swimming: The Scout must have completed Second Class requirements 7a-7c and First Class requirements 9a-9c. This is a difficult badge. If in the Aquatics Director's judgment, the scout is not a strong enough swimmer, the badge will not be available. He will need a button down shirt, long pants and a belt for requirement #4. Each day’s instructional period is two hours.
    • Lifesaving: The Scout must be a swimmer on the opening day's swim test. The Scout must have completed Second Class requirements 7a-7c and First Class requirements 9a-9c. Each day’s instructional period is two hours.
    • Canoeing: The Scout must be a swimmer on the opening day’s swim test and some knowledge of strokes is helpful. Each day’s instructional period is two hours.
    • Kayaking: The Scout must be a swimmer on the opening day's swim test.
    • Rowing: The Scout must be a swimmer on the opening day's swim test. Rowing skills are helpful.  Each day’s instructional period is two hours.
    • Small Boat Sailing: Only offered at Waubeeka. No advance preparation, but sailing knowledge is useful. Recommended for older Scouts and completion is contingent on wind conditions. The Scout must be a swimmer on the opening day's swim test.  A quota/lottery system will be employed in registering for this badge. Each day's instructional period is ninety minutes.
      See also Transportation in Camp for schedule of operation of camp vehicle tranporation within the reservation.

Shooting Sports

  • Opportunities to learn more about: Archery, hunter safety, marksmanship.
  • Facilities: Archery range, .22 Rifle Range, and Shotgun Range.
  • Merit Badge Opportunities:
    • Archery: No advance preparation, but skill in the use of a bow and arrow is a must.

**RIFLE MERIT BADGE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SCOUTS 12 YEARS OLD AND OVER**
**SHOTGUN MERIT BADGE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SCOUTS 13 YEARS OLD AND OVER**

    • Rifle Shooting: No advance preparation, but skill with a rifle is a must. Scouts are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the requirements. For safety, class size is limited. A quota/lottery system will be employed.
    • Shotgun Shooting: No advance preparation, but skill with a shotgun is a must. Each boy will receive 3 free rounds of ammunition. Additional rounds will be sold at the cost of 2 shots for $1.00. Minimum cost to complete the badge will be $25.00. Scouts are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the requirements. For safety, class size is limited. A quota/lottery system will be employed. In order to increase the number of boys who can take the badge, some shotgun classes for Scouts in Camp Buckskin are held at Camp Waubeeka.

It is difficult to complete Rifle Shooting and Shotgun Shooting merit badges in the same week due to the widely divergent methods used for aiming for each badge.

 


Equestrian

  • Opportunities to learn more about: Care of horses, proper riding techniques, trail rides.
  • Facilities: Stables, corral and pasture at New Farmhouse.
  • Merit Badge Opportunities:
    • Horsemanship: No advance preparation necessary. General study of merit badge pamphlet is suggested. Scouts will have to schedule one morning of feeding the horses before breakfast.

      Cost of merit badge is $25 for riding time. Classes are limited to 16 Scouts per session (One per troop/selection).

      See also the Trail Rides.

      See also Transportation in Camp for schedule of operation of camp vehicle tranporation within the reservation.


Maintenance Area

  • Opportunities to learn more about: Welding.
  • Facilities: Welding tools, supplies and safety equipment
  • Merit Badge Opportunities:
    • Electricity: No advance preparation necessary. Only offered to Scouts who are 14 and older.
    • Home Repairs: No advance preparation necessary. Only offered to Scouts who are 14 and older.
    • Welding: No advance preparation necessary. Only offered to Scouts who are 14 and older.

 


Summit Base

  • Opportunities to learn more about: climbing, belaying, rappelling.
  • Facilities: Indoor wall and outdoor rock wall at Summit Base.
  • Merit Badge Opportunities:
    • Climbing: No advance preparation necessary. A challenging and popular badge limited to 10 Scouts per session (One per troop/selection). Additional spaces may become available after the June 15 lottery. Each day’s instructional period is ninety minutes.
      See also Transportation in Camp for schedule of operation of camp vehicle tranporation within the reservation.

     

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