Eliminating Lost Possessions at Camp

Jane Schuler
Junior/Cadette Troop 5
Knoxville, Tennessee

Nobody ever owns dirty socks left behind on camping trips. I have found in the past that when I wash them and take them to the next troop meeting, they suddenly have owners. But on our last camping trip, we had no leftover lost and found because I used a trick learned from my son's Boy Scout troop.

Before we started packing to go home, I told the girls that they had better find all their gear and pack it because if they left something behind, they'd have to work to get it back. Then I instructed them that anyone who found something in the wrong place that did not belong to her should bring it to one of the picnic tables. Girls who realized they were missing something went to the table to look for it. But after all the gear was packed, we still had a few unclaimed items.

We then had everyone stand in a circle while I held up the unclaimed items one by one. The owner of each item had to go to the center of the circle and do a song or dance to get it back. Once the girls understood the game, we had no trouble with items no one would claim. If the owner was hesitant to claim something, other girls identified her. Passing out the lost and found was lots of fun. The 10-year-old who did a very spirited version of "I'm a Little Teapot" was the biggest hit. The troop adult who had to sing to get her coffee mug back was a good show, too. And for the first time ever, we sent everybody home with everything she brought!

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