Brownsea Island at Camp Geronimo
Brownsea Island Adventure (BSI) is designed for Scouts who have just joined a troop
or have just graduated from Webelos. The program completes most requirements for
Tenderfoot and Second Class, and many requirements for First Class, but can be tailored,
to an extent, to suit the needs of the Scouts in your troop. This is a transitional
program to help Scouts understand the patrol method, learn basic Scout skills, and
experience many of the programs available at Summer Camp.
- To provide a well-organized program based upon the Patrol Method lead by qualified instructors.
- To maintain a ratio of 1 instructor to 12 Scouts.
- To teach the basic skills necessary to succeed in Scouting and the outdoor program.
- To instill a respect for the Scouting Methods and Ideals found in the Outdoor Code and Scout Law.
- To provide an exciting and memorable summer camp experience.
Before Sending Scouts Through Brownsea Island Program (BSI)
- Help the scouts earn the Scout rank prior to summer camp.
- Ask the Troop Guide or an older Scout to show the new scouts how to use and update their information in the Scout Handbook.
- If your troop has more than three scouts participating in the program, we ask that you provide an adult leader to assist the Patrol Guides throughout the week. This is an excellent opportunity for the new leader in your troop to learn about Scouting. Troops may rotate the leader through the week as needed.
- Host a shakedown at a troop meeting prior to camp to make sure that the Scouts have all the equipment they will need for the week. Refer to the Equipment List in the Administrative Guide. Additional gear list : Required items: rain gear, flashlight, water bottle, and backpack. Items needed daily: water bottle, pen and paper, and BSI passport. Optional Items: compass, pocket Knife, and camera.
Your Week at Brownsea Island at Camp Geronimo
The Brownsea program kicks off at 8:00AM on Monday morning (2:00PM Monday, Session 1 Only) with an opening ceremony. During this ceremony Scouts will be grouped into patrols and meet their Brownsea Island Guide—an experienced Scout who will work with them through the week as an instructor and mentor. Scouts will be matched with other boys who are similar in rank and experience to increase program flexibility and allow the patrols to work on appropriate material for their skill level. We will attempt to place troop members in the same patrol. Scouts will be presented with a passport and walking stave to keep with them at all times during the week. The passport will chart their progress towards the advancement requirements of Tenderfoot through First Class. Below is a sample day for Scouts in Brownsea. (Schedule will vary from day to day).
- 8:00 – 8:15AM: Opening Ceremony – Opening Ceremony will be in Amphitheater
- 8:30 – 11:50AM: Patrol Time – Specific time at a secluded site to work with the Patrol Guide on rank requirements and prepare for the troop competition.
- 12:20 – 1:30PM: Lunch and Free Time
- 2:00 – 4:00PM: Merit Badge Option – Opportunity to take 2 merit badges in the afternoon
In addition, a day will be scheduled for the troop 5-mile hike on well-established trails surrounding camp with their patrol. That evening, they will cook dinner and participate in a special Brownsea Island campfire. This is a highlight experience for the Scouts. We ask that a leader from your troop please attend the hike with your Brownsea Scouts. Refer to the sample schedules on the next page (Rocks and Sticks are the two groups used to divide Scouts in the program into more manageable halves) for an idea of the general layout
of the week.
One day during lunch, or whenever your Brownsea Island Scouts are scheduled, there will also be an opportunity to shoot rifles (and possibly archery) without having to compete with older scouts. This open time for only BSI Scouts allows them to experience other programs at camp and see the fun opportunities that await if they return next year. Finally, at least one day of the week there will be a Brownsea Island evening program in addition to the special campfire on the evening of the hike.
Each Patrol Guide is given the flexibility to structure the week to maximize their patrol’s learning and enjoyment of camp. Therefore, the times listed above provide a good outline, but not a definitive schedule, for each patrol. Other activities guides may include these in their schedule:
- Touring the camp and explaining the activities at different program areas. This builds enthusiasm in new Scouts by showing them the things they can look forward to when they return to camp next year.
- Participate in various evening activities as a patrol to sample program areas such as shooting sports, handicraft or nature.
- Inter-Patrol Competitions-challenge another patrol to a game of volley- ball or steal the bacon to build Scout spirit and have fun.
Getting the Most From the Program
In order for your Scouts to truly take advantage of the Brownsea Program, there must be a leader committed to working with the boys throughout the week. For example, leaders should ask to see the Scout’s passports each night and test them on what they have learned. If you, as a leader, are satisfied with the Scout’s knowledge, then sign off the requirement in the handbook. Though there will be informational meetings throughout the week, we encourage you to seek out the Brownsea Director if you have any questions or concerns.