Association for Local Camps?

Dear BSA AA National Chairman,

My favorite camp is Camp Robert J. Drake in Fairmont, Illinois.  Will the BSA create an alumni association for Camp Drake?  I’d love to hear what my fellow camp staff are doing and what the camp looks like today?


Drake Fan

Dear Drake Fan,

What a great idea! Each of us has a favorite summer camp – likely one that we attended as a youth or spent the most time at as an adult. BSA Alumni relies on the grass-roots efforts of volunteers to create specific alumni associations, and we are committed to providing supporting material and guidance to help volunteers start and sustain alumni groups, as well as promoting them to our broader alumni community.

If your local scout camp alumni association already exists (try searching online or contacting its local council), please get involved! If not, then consider finding other camp staff alumni, brainstorming a bit, and then contacting the local council office associated with your favorite camp. They should be able to provide guidance on forming a camp staff alumni association.

For models of very successful camp staff alumni associations, consider looking at the websites for the Philmont Staff Association, Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, etc., and using their best practices as a model for how you might think about forming a local camp staff alumni association. Perhaps you’ll have a periodic newsletter? Perhaps a Facebook or other social media group? Perhaps periodic reunions of camp staff – a barbeque or a breakfast at the camp? Perhaps you’ll want to raise scholarship dollars to support current camp staff or potential campers? Perhaps you’ll want to create shirts or patches as a fundraiser and to show your camp pride? Each summer camp is unique, so the methods that you’ll employ will be unique to your camp. But you can get some great ideas at looking at the alumni associations for the BSA High Adventure Bases.

Above all, enjoy meeting those who share similar fond Scouting memories as you do – your love of Scouting, wherever its roots (like your camp!), will make for rich conversation and new old friends!

Happy Scouting,
BSA AA National Chairman