Category Archives: Camping

Boot Camp Tear Chamber: A Common Recruit Concern

One of the most common concerns with new recruits is their fear and feelings of anxiety regarding the CS gas chamber that all new military personnel are required to experience. Although the collective voice of experience will agree that it is not a very pleasant training session, millions of people have gone through it before, and millions more will follow without incident.

At the heart of every CS gas training evolution are a few core principles that justify the entire training session. Although it’s a bit frustrating that the mandate to undergo this particular training is not up for negotiation, it’s pretty normal for soldiers, sailors, marines, and the like to be subject to elements and tasks they don’t necessarily agree with. Put simply, “welcome to the military”.

Fortunately, it’s a short evolution, and overcoming the unpleasantry and effects of CS gas only takes a few minutes. In terms of unpleasant experiences, there are far worse things. The whole process will go something like the following:

– Recruit commanders brief the division on the most common side effect of CS gas, which most frequently are involuntary crying, sneezing, coughing, itchy or burning eyes and skin, difficulty breathing, among others.

– Division commanders will also walk recruits through the logistical elements of the training evolution. Including how to file in, what should be done once in the chamber (prior to exposure to the CS gas), how to put on his or her gas mask, what each recruit needs to recite once exposed, how and if to put the gas mask back on, and how and when to file out of the chamber when training is complete.

– According to instructions, recruits will file into the gas chamber alongside their recruit commander. Once inside and filed according to the briefing, capsules containing CS gas will start to be vaporized by trained personnel. After this, the recruit commander begin qualifying the division by requesting gas masks be removed. Depending on the size of the division and how well instructions are adhered to, this can take as long as 20-30 minutes. Training also seems to vary depending on each branch’s requirements and frankly, the mood of the recruit commander.

– Once recruits have completed the in-chamber part of the evolution, most of the time, they are filtered out into the open air to recover. In many cases, this part of the training session involves a lot of saliva, mucous, and tears. As such, there may or may not be a subsequent cleaning party to ensure bodily fluids are properly disposed of.

As mentioned, at the heart of this seemingly sadistic training session are a two key principles that will serve recruits out in the field.

1) Trust your gear. If a soldier or sailor is faced with a real situation in which he or she must wear a gas mask, it’s vital that any reservations about gear performance be eliminated.

2) Focus on the task. Even in high stress situations involving tremendous physical discomfort, it’s important that recruits prove to themselves that they have the ability to stay focused even in spite of pain and physical ailment.

A third element, though not as emphasized during boot camp, is that recruits will walk away from this training session a bit more confident than before. While this principle overshadows almost all aspects of the basic training period, it’s especially true for CS gas training because of the enormous amount of anxiety surrounding it.

3 Secrets on How to Be a Summer Camp Counselor

Summer camp is a time for the fun activities away from home and under the sun. That means summer camp. But campers are not the only ones who will have a great time at camp. Thousands of lucky camp counselors around the U.S. are going to have the time of their lives.

However, being a counselor is not all fun and games. Counselors must be mature adults who can supervise whole cabins of children. They may share the living accommodations with them. Therefore, it is critical you follow these tips so that you can provide a positive experience for the kids.

1. Being positive is the first thing you must take note. You should always have that positive attitude in your walk, in your speech, and in your actions. Remember that you are supposed to be the epitome of what a role model counselor should be. Learn to bring out that positive energy for your campers to emulate. Make it a point to see if your campers are having a great time while learning some stuff too.

2. Always listen to what your campers have to say. This is very crucial if you want to win their trust and respect. Make it a point to have their needs above yours. This would make them feel that you are really treating them as if you are a big brother or a big sister.

3. If you want to be remembered as an awesome and cool counselor, stay with your campers in the cabin as often as you can. And if you have dull moments, talk to them always; at the same time, make them talk to you and to each other too. Communication is the key to a better relationship with them. Encourage them to talk to one another too, anyway this is one of the objectives of the summer camp, to make many friends along the way. And this way, they will also feel closer and working together will be more bearable for them when they feel that they know each other well.

Anybody can become a good counselor once he knows what the essential things about personal relationships are. Remember that being a counselor can be your greatest way in meeting new people, gaining outdoor experiences, and learning from them. And at the same time, to enjoy and give yourself a break, too.

Follow these 3 secrets and you will be well on your way to becoming a great camp counselor. Above all, enjoy yourself, be safe, and be responsible!