Data is great but what does it all mean? This is good question and it is easily answered. Below is a description of what the different categories are, how they are ranked, what they mean, and how we suggest that you use them.
Scout Camp Reviews believes strongly in the democratic process and there is nothing more democratic than averaging the votes and opinions of thousands of Scoutmasters, Volunteers, and youth. As a result, all of our rankings displayed on a Camp page are the average of all the reviews that have been posted for that property.
To be fair, we never post the average score of a camp until a critical number of reviews are reached so that a Camp does not get an unfair ranking based on a small number of reviews. This is the reason why you might visit a camp page and see a series of question marks where the ratings would usually be.
We also try to be as fair as possible when posting comments shared with us by our reviewers. As a result, all comments are read by our team and screened for appropriateness and to make sure that individuals are not named specifically (so if a shout-out is given to Camp Director John Smith we will redact the first and last name). Then, once a comment is ready to become famous, we post it to the camp review and then it is posted randomly to appear within that particular Camp's profile.
The overall rating is measured numerically and the higher the number the better the reported overall experience (i.e. a score of 1 was not enjoyable but a score of 10 represents a very enjoyable experience).
Most Notable Facilities
A camp's most notable facilities listing also include their best amenities as well. Among many available options, reviewers can select from accommodations (tents, platforms, and cots) food service quantity and quality, program equipment, service, merit badge opportunities, and the quality of program instruction. All reviews are pooled and the highest performing facilities are then shared in the Camp profile.
Best Program Areas
A camp's best programs are calculated very similarly to the methods we use in ranking its facilities. Reviews from campers are tabulated and the highest rated program areas are then shared in the Camp profile. Choices for program areas include Aquatics, COPE/Climbing, Handicraft, High Adventure, Nature, Scoutcraft, and Shooting Sports.
Percentage of Regulars
Some Troops call the same camp home for generations, their names plaster the campsites, and their great grandfathers' pictures adorn the dining hall. Other camps serve as a faraway destination visited as part of a cross-country pilgrimage or as a stop in a regular rotation of summer adventures. Regardless of your preference we want you to be prepared. In measuring the percentage of regulars we take a look at the percentage of reviewers who return for three or more years as regular guests and the rest of reviewers are the rovers who satisfy their wanderlust and experience a wider world of summer camping.
Quality of Information
Did you get a friendly call to make sure that you had the right directions a week before your scheduled arrival or did you have to call a friend of a friend who used to be a camp ranger who gave you directions that included making a left where the water tower used to be? Information is a big part of the best summer camps and we have a two question index to measure the overall quality of the information you received.
Extra Miler Award
Some things like great BBQ, a good hike, or an excellent summer camp are worth the drive. Sometimes though, you live right next to a great BBQ place and you only need to put on some pants and you don't need to travel very far at all. As a result, the Extra Miler Award is awarded to camps that have a majority of their campers travel in excess of 150 miles. This combined with the Percentage of Regulars gives you a little better of an idea of what to expect.
This is a little challenging because some camps have a simple price for everybody and others have complex pricing models that involve the lunar calendar, the age of the participant, and whether their grandfather's portrait hangs in the dining hall. As a result, the Camper price refers to the price for an out-of-council youth participant in ordinary (non-specialty) program. Simply said, this is the price that most everybody would pay for a youth registering from anywhere in the country in a timely manner. The good news is that there might be a lower price for you if you live close by or your Grandfather is in the dining hall! Because prices for adult leaders are often even more confusing, we recommend that you call the council or check out the links to the camp pages we provided conveniently below.
Camp & Council Websites
We thought it would be great to take a few clicks out of life (sorry channel surfers) so we have shared easy links to both the Council Home Page and the long-standing link to the Camp's information page. This way you can find your next camp and make a reservation even faster.
The description is a simple offering of adverbs, adjectives, nouns, and verbs to share an overview of the property and it often comes directly from the Council by way of online or print promotions or from their Leader's Guides. If your camp description is missing the gist of things or you want it to be even better, just email us at assistance@scoutcampreviews with your request and phone number. We will confirm that you are authorized to change the description and then make it happen.
Every reviewer is invited to share open ended observations of their experience. So long as the comments are appropriate, we will post them to the page and they will be randomly displayed for everyone to see. If you want to see additional comments, just click your refresh button and you can get a better idea of what your friends think. If only one comment pops up repeatedly it means that there aren't many comments to share...and this makes Scout Camp Reviews very sad indeed.
Scout Camp Reviews wants to encourage everybody to share a review since the information will make summer camps and Scouting even stronger. In fact, nothing makes us happier than when somebody sits down at their laptop with a Coca-Cola and completes a few reviews of the camps they have visited in the last few years for others to read. However, we ask that every reviewer to be trustworthy, courteous, and kind. All businesses, summer camps included, have room for improvement and this is particularly true when more than half of your staff is too young to vote in a national election. Please don't gild the lily, if the food was truly terrible then share it so it can be improved, but try to be mindful of the type of experience you had and those who provided it.