CF66, The Ultimate Road Trip
Camp Fire USA Patuxent Area Council offers youth the opportunity to travel and provide service through its Camp Fire 66 T program. Embarking on a mystery road trip, teams of youth must piece together clues, navigate highways and budget their food and gas allowance while traveling across the region to various service project sites arranged by the program leaders. Youth work with other local organizations like AmeriCorps programs, homeless shelters and state parks to complete projects such as painting homes for senior citizens, planting native vegetation to prevent erosion and participating in river cleanups.

CF66 T – The Ultimate Road Trip for one week or a weekend

Imagine…

  • Having absolutely no clue what your next destination will be, but knowing that you’ll be wiped out at the end of the day;
  • Being faced with primitive living conditions during a hot or cold season.
  • Making your precious little bit of money last all week;
  • Spending a full week or weekend in extremely tight quarters with people that you just met;
  • Accomplishing goals, building teams and making friends through teamwork all at the same time!
Camp Fire 66 (CF66T) is a program developed by Camp Fire USA, Patuxent Area Council, which gives teenagers the chance of a lifetime- to grow and mature while giving service, learning new skills and traveling. Mixing MTV’s “Road Rules” with service learning and personal skills training, CF66 T Road Trips allowed youth to participate in weeklong trips during the summer and school breaks and

weekend trips during the school year. These youth come from different backgrounds, bond as a team and perform hours of volunteer work throughout the Mid-Atlantic Area.

Each morning the teams are presented with a clue and directions to the next project. Team members have to navigate the highways themselves in two cramped vans to get to the new “secret location.”

At the end of the trip, the teens celebrated their hard work by coming together, sharing their experiences and having fun, typically at a water park or restaurant. The service projects in CF66 T included:

  • Canoeing on a river cleanup,
  • Tutoring English as a second language at a migrant camp,
  • Painting a house for home-bound elderly women,
  • Planting sea oats to stop beach erosion,
  • Filing sand bags to prevent soil erosion, and
  • Making weaving cards for young kids at a historical museum.
  • Assisting in the preparation of meals for the homeless
  • Laying mulch for trails in a State Park
  • Presenting an evening program in a National Park
  • Planting gardens for shut-ins
  • Baking cookies for families with children who are hospitalized long term

Working with other groups such as AmeriCorps, homeless shelters, state parks and elderly service organizations, the CF66 T makes teens feel differently about service. In particular, one youth’s story touches those involved.

A young teen on his first CF66T trip was uncertain-at first. Coming from a neighborhood where service projects usually lead to indifference, he felt overwhelmed by the job in front of him. Eventually, his man said excitedly, “I never knew service could be so much fun!”

POTENTAL SITES FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE: WEEKEND TRIPS

Habitat for Humanity, Anne Arundle County
United Methodist Church
Maryland Park and Planning Commission
National Park Service, Washington DC
Ronald McDonald Charities
Department of Defense Family Service Centers
United States Coast Guard Lighthouse Support Team
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Hospice of the Chesapeake
Senior Service of PG and Montgomery County
Homeless Shelters in the Area
So Other Might Eat
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington DC
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Baltimore MD

Camp Fire USA Patuxent Area Council CF66T Service-Learning Road Trip

MISSION GUIDELINES

TRIP OVERVIEW
CF66Tis a service-learning road trip for teens. It was developed by Camp Fire USA Sunshine Council, in Lakeland , Florida and has been recognized for its success by the Colgate Palmolive Company and the Department of Health and Human Services. We will be traveling by van throughout the Mid-Atlantic Area learning more about our wonderful region and giving back to the communities we visit. The trip will be full of youth empowerment and leadership opportunities. Teens will be responsible for themselves and their teammates, helping with activities such as budgeting their money for the entire week, meal planning, map reading, solving puzzles, and, of course, exciting service projects.

Teen Leaders:

CF66T Service Learning Road Trips are lead by two teens who have previously participated in a trip and who have planned and organized the trip. They spend approximately 50 hours preparing for the trip and developing leadership skills. Most teen leaders will have completed the Prudential Youth Leadership Institute or the CFUSA Teens in Action Leadership Program. The teen leaders are responsible for planning the trip including selecting the trip theme, selecting the locations for service projects, working with the Teens in Action coordinator to arrange lodging, meals, transportation, leadership activities, reflections and evaluations. Each teen leader is responsible for a team of 6. The teen leaders along with a staff mentor implement the service project.

All teen leaders must have completed the 9th grade to serve as a team leader and must be selected by a committee of teens and staff. Teens who are teen leaders receive a 25% discount on their participation fee.

Participants:
Participants in the CF66T program must be a registered member of Camp Fire USA or its Teens in Action Program for insurance and liability reasons. Any young person in the community can join us as long as they become a member at the time of application. Youth who wish to participate in the program must complete an application, recommendation, complete a youth participation contract and agreement, provide a current medical form and Parental permission slip, and be in good health at the time of the trip. The cost of an annual membership for those who are not currently registered is $20.00 per year.

Trips are open to youth in Junior High and High School and meet the graduation requirements for Community Service. Students in Colleges and Universities may participate as youth mentors or counselors. Students in Private or Parochial Schools that have specific definitions of Community Service are encouraged to contact their Community Service Coordinator to ensure that the projects of the particular trip meet the requirements for their school program. The Teens in Action Coordinator will provide the Coordinator with the necessary information without compromising the mystery of the Trip. Parent Volunteers who participate as drivers and chaperones are needed for each trip.

The Challenge
Part of the challenge of the CF66Ttrip, will be to find clues and solve puzzles that will lead teams to our final destination to celebrate our many successes and experiences during the trip. Discovering our actual destination points will be part of the challenge and will not be disclosed ahead of time. A complete trip agenda will be provided only to parents before we leave. Please help us keep the excitement and mystery and do not share the agenda or destinations with your child.

The Service
Camp Fire ‘s motto is “Give Service” and that’s what this trip is all about. Service-learning is more than just volunteering; service-learning projects help individuals to see the world in a new way, to feel empowered to make a difference, and to improve academic skills through real-life experiences. During the CF66Ttrip, teens will be participating daily in demanding and intense service projects. Projects will vary from destination to destination; some will be collaborative efforts with other agencies or other service-learning groups throughout the state. Some will be outside, some will be hot and sweaty, some will be dirty, but all will be rewarding and memorable experiences. Rest assured that the work will be physically challenging, and teens will be pushed to their limits.

The Accommodations and Safety
Accommodations will vary by destination and will be shared in the agenda. CF66, of course, is not meant to be a vacation full of “R&R”, fancy hotels, and room service. All of our overnight locations will be safe and secure, but not extravagant or expensive. A good example of what to expect would be sleeping on the floor at a church social hall. Because of the nature of some of our overnight locations, Camp Fire ‘s coed policy has been adjusted slightly for this trip. The entire group may be sleeping in the same room, but staff will be certain that the privacy of all teens will be ensured. Restrooms, showers, changing, and so on will be handled in a manner that is respectful and appropriate at all times.

There will be three counselors on staff for the trip. All medicine will be administered by one of these counselors. An emergency phone number will be given to parents with their copy of the agenda. We will be checking in with the Camp Fire office on a regular basis.

The Cell Phone
CF66Tis, of course, about service but it is also about self-discovery and challenging oneself to reach new heights.

We ask that teens step back, turn off their phones and take the time to focus on themselves, their teammates, and the communities we visit. While we recognize the comfort cell phones bring to parents, we also feel they have a time and place. There will be a short “phone time” each evening; the only time cell phones will be able to be used. Please remember, staff will have phones with them at all times in the case of an emergency.

RULES
To make sure the CF66TRoad Trip is a success, there are a few basic rules that need to be followed by team members. Please go over the rules with your teen and make sure they understand these expectations. Teens and parents need to sign and return the following “contract” regarding this information.

  • Smoking, alcohol, and drugs not allowed. You agree to allow counselors to search bags if necessary.
  • You must stay with the team at all times; the “buddy” system will be used.
  • You must be considerate and respectful of teammates, counselors and others we may encounter.
  • You are responsible for yourself, your possessions, and your food allowance Camp Fire provides.
  • You will be expected to participate in all service projects, activities, and trip housekeeping duties.
  • You are responsible to pay the difference if your food allowance does not balance.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE’S A PROBLEM?
Parents will be contacted if someone is ill, is being uncooperative, or if there is a significant change in any of the trip plans. In the event of a severe discipline problem, uncooperative behavior, illness, or injury, parents will be requested at the counselor’s discretion to pick up their child immediately. Arrangements for transportation and any costs that may be incurred are the responsibility of the family. We will not have staff available to wait with a child or to escort them home.

MONEY AND EXPENSES

The $300 per week or $ 150 per weekend fee includes shirt, all food, lodging and activity costs for the entire trip. There is also an additional $20 Camp Fire registration fee for youth not already members of Camp Fire USA .

This fee membership fee is good for one year beginning Oct 1 and ending September 30 of each year and covers all insurance, liability, application fee, and processing. A limited amount of scholarship funds may be available. Scholarship request forms are available upon request. Some teens have been able to secure sponsorships from local churches, businesses and others to cover some costs of their trips. Teens may bring a small amount of additional money for souvenirs or junk food. They will be responsible for keeping track of their own money and valuables. Please ensure that they do not bring large amounts of money or anything that is irreplaceable.

It is imperative that teens bring the items indicated on the “Bring List.” We will be checking for these items before we leave the first morning. Camp Fire will supply teens with anything missing (flashlight, water bottle, etc) at your expense. Payment for those items will be requested prior to departing for trip. Please contact Camp Fire ahead of time if you are having difficulty in getting everything together – we may be able to help.

Use of the Teens in Action CF66T by partners, collaborating members, or outside youth groups:

Camp Fire USA Patuxent Area Council can assist youth groups in certifying for and planning a CF66T. Please contact the Camp Fire Office for more information at 301-565-4360.