Frequently Asked Questions about SkillsFest
Who can attend SkillsFest?
SkillsFest is open to any registered Boy Scout, Venturer, or Explorer.
Do Scouts attend with their troop/crew/post or as individuals?
This program is designed for Scouts to register and attend as individuals (although they can sign-up with a buddy or two from their home unit). Participants will be placed into a fully-staffed "provisional unit" for the week, living and learning within a specific sub-camp alongside other youth with shared interests.
Where will participants be staying?
Participants will be staying in our summer camp campsites. Each site is equipped with standard BSA canvas tents on raised wooden platforms. Tents hold two cots. Each site also includes a comfort station with private latrine facilities and running water. A site canopy, picnic tables and fire circle provide communal areas as well.
What merit badges and other awards are available for Boy Scouts during this week?
A full list of the 34 Boy Scout merit badges and other BSA advancements (the Hornaday Award, STEM/Nova awards, etc.) can be found right here.
Each day a Scout will be able to pick from two different options of badges being offered within their sub-camp. For example, on Monday Scouts in the Engineer sub-camp can work on either the Engineering merit badge or the Game Design merit badge. They will then spend their whole day (8 hours) immersed in completing that badge. All merit badges being offered at SkillsFest are designed to be fully completed during the week. Due to the expert teachers and special opportunities being offered during this week, there are no extra pre-requisites for any of the badges.
Depending on their daily choices within their sub-camp, Scout can earn between 5-7 merit badges. Scouts do not need to pre-select the individual badges they plan to take each day, they simply need to identify their overall sub-camp choice when they register.
What advancement and other awards are available for Venturers during this week?
Venturers who attend Skillsfest can complete various requirements for the Ranger award and can earn other BSA advancements (such as the Hornaday Award, STEM/Nova awards, etc.). A full list of advancement opportunities for Venturers can be found right here.
What advancement and other awards are available for Explorers during this week?
Explorers who attend Skillsfest are able to work on completing a "Career Achievement Award" in their post's field of study (Engineering, Fire & Emergency Services, Health Care, Law & Government, Law Enforcement, Science, and Skilled Trades).
In regards to the BSA Hornaday Award, how much toward this award will be completed at camp?
In the evenings, Scouts and Venturers in the Naturalist sub-camp will have the opportunity to attend special Hornaday Workshops to work towards earning The William T. Hornaday Award. In addition to earning environmetal/science related meirt badges (all offered within the Naturalist sub-camp), the Hornaday Award requires additional devotion outside of camp. These workshops will equip Scouts with the knowledge, skills and resources to complete final requirements of the award back in their home troops or crews.
In regards to the First Aid/CPR/AED training, how much of this certification will be completed at camp?
In the evenings, participants in the Responder sub-camp will have the opportunity to attend special American Red Cross training sessions. participants who attend and successfully complete the trainings will earn American Red Cross certifications of basic First Aid and CPR/AED. Training cards and certificates will be provided to all who complete the training.
In regards to the BSA STEM/Nova awards, how much of these awards can be completed at camp?
In the evenings, Scouts and Venturers in the Engineer sub-camp will have the opportunity to attend special BSA STEM/Nova workshops to work towards earning BSA's STEM Awards. In addition to earning science related meirt badges (all offered within the Engineer sub-camp), Scout and Venturers will be able to complete one of the BSA's five Nova awards and begin on the path towards earning the Supernova Award. They will also be equipped with the tools and resources to continue working on other Nova Awards as they continue on the path to achieve the Supernova Award outside of camp.
What should I bring to camp?
Any good Scout should "be prepared" and bring the necessary items when they go camping. A suggested list of things to bring to camp can be found right here.
I have a special skill or interest, how can I share it with the Scouts or staff?
We welcome volunteers, skill experts and leaders to share the knowledge, skills, passions, and interests. Please let us know if you have skills, a career, or other knowledge that could be beneficial to badges being offered. Please feel free to contact us to let us know how you can help.
I still have questions.
If you have any additional questions about Camp Minsi, please feel free to contact us.