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Guide for District Unit Leaders

II.  Program

A. Encampment-based activities.
Campers participating in the MVE will engage in activities in two different parts of the Mount Vernon estate. The campsite where all district units and staff members will camp is in a non-public area northeast of the mansion and main administrative building. Participants will be restricted to the campsite during the following times:
Time Period Activity
Friday 6:00 to 11:00 PM Unload gear, set up campsite, interact with reenactors and other campers
Friday 11:00 PM to Saturday 6:30 AM Quiet time; campers asleep in their tents
Saturday 6:30 to 8:00 or 9:30 AM Prepare, eat, and clean up breakfast and pack bag lunches (differences in end times reflect the fact that some units will depart early for tours of the mansion)
Saturday 4:30 or 6:00 to 7:30 PM Prepare, eat, and clean up dinner (differences in start times reflect the fact that some units will depart early for tours of the mansion)
Saturday 9:45 to 10:30 PM Wind down after campfire, prepare for bed
Saturday 10:30 PM to Sunday 7:00 AM Quiet time; campers asleep in their tents
Sunday 7:00 to 9:00 AM Prepare, eat, and clean up breakfast; strike camp
B. Group activities for Encampment Scouts.
The following constitute the formal program organized for MVE campers:
1. Mansion tours.
Half of the units will tour the mansion between 8:00 and 9:30 AM on Saturday morning. The remaining units will tour between 4:30 and 6:00 PM. Unit leaders will be given specific times to have their units at the entrance to the building immediately north of the mansion by no later than their scheduled time. Units touring the mansion in the morning should form as a unit within their campsite and walk as an orderly group to the mansion, arriving at or before their appointed time. Units concluding their tours more than 20 minutes before the start of the Opening Ceremony should reform and walk back to their campsite. Units touring the mansion in the afternoon should form up at a predesignated point and time after the Grand Salute and walk as an orderly group to the mansion, arriving at or before their appointed time. After their tours are completed, these units should walk directly back to their campsite to prepare dinner.
2. Saturday morning Opening Ceremony.
An opening ceremony at 9:30 AM on the Bowling Green will begin formal programming activities for the day. Units still in the campsite after breakfast should muster along the central boulevard in the campgrounds at 9:15 AM and move as a group to the Bowling Green. Units concluding their tour of the mansion should go directly as a group to the Bowling Green. Markers on the green will show units where they will stand. Once at the Bowling Green, units should stand in double-file lines. At the conclusion of the Opening Ceremony, units should go directly to their starting station on the Encampment George Washington Trail.
3. Saturday George Washington Trail activities.
From roughly 10:00 AM to 3:15 PM, Scouts will participate in activities at a series of stations along the George Washington Trail. These stations will be numbered. Units will be given a schedule with the times they are to report to each station. One of those stations will be a tent, where Scouts will eat the bag lunches they prepared in their campsites after breakfast in the morning. (Those lunches will have been placed in marked boxes, which Encampment Logistics staff members will have transported to the lunch tent.) Another stop will be the Washington Tomb, where Scouts may place a small memento they have made or acquired honoring George Washington. Unit leaders should travel with their units throughout the day, ensuring that Scouts stick to their schedules and behave properly. Adult leaders may also be needed to assist in interpretation and activities at a number of the stations
4. Saturday afternoon Grand Salute.
Following midday activities along the George Washington Trail, units should reform at the place where the Opening Ceremony was held to participate in the Grand Salute to George Washington. This ceremony will consist of some statements recognizing and honoring the man and his legacy. It will conclude with a procession of Scouts passing respectfully by the Tomb. After the Grand Salute concludes, units should return to their campsite, unless they are scheduled to tour the mansion.
5. Saturday evening religious observance.
Following dinner, units will assemble at 7:45 PM along the central boulevard in the campground to walk together as a single unit to the campfire area, which will be on the southwestern side of the 12-Acre Field. The campfire area is a natural amphitheater, so participants should not need chairs, although they may want to bring small plastic sheets on which to sit. The religious observance will not be a formal service, but rather a discussion with a reenactor portraying George Washington, who will present Washington's views about religious tolerance and freedom.
6. Saturday evening campfire.
Immediately after the religious observance, MVE staff members and reenactors from the First Maryland Regiment will present a campfire program that evokes stories and music of Washington's time. Unit leaders should emphasize the need for Scouts to be courteous while still having fun. Following the campfire, units should reform to walk back to their campsite as a group.
7. Sunday morning closing ceremony.
At 9:00 AM, a brief closing ceremony on the central boulevard in the campground will formally mark the end of the MVE. Units should assemble on the boulevard in front of their campsites at 8:50 AM and walk together as a group to the ceremony site.


C. Relationship of Encampment activities to activities geared to Saturday day visitors.
From 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM on Saturday, the public areas of Mount Vernon will be hosting Scouts from the NCAC and other councils throughout the nation in a "Salute to George Washington." These "day visitors" (DVs) will be following their own trail to various sites around the grounds. Some of those sites will be the same as stations on the George Washington Trail that campers will visit; others are designated for day visitors only. Campers should not attempt to participate in activities designated for day visitors. They also should not try to tour the mansion during the day, and they should not participate in "Scout Salutes to George Washington," which will be at 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 2:00 PM on the Bowling Green and move to a field near the Tomb. Although the trail followed by DVs sometimes will intermingle and overlap with the trail followed by campers, other program areas will be open only to campers, who will need to show their ID badges to gain admittance to these areas. Throughout the day, campers are expected to demonstrate friendship and kindness to day visitors, although at times they may have to firmly and politely inform them that areas are restricted only to encampment participants.


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This site is provided as a service to Scouts and Scouters by the Colonial District, NCAC, BSA, which includes George Washington's Mount Vernon.  Although not an official site of the NCAC, BSA, or Mount Vernon, the site is maintained by Tom Baerwald, who has been appointed by the NCAC to direct the Mount Vernon Encampment, so information should be reasonably accurate.