At the Colonial District Fall 2013 (20131019) Camporee, it occurred to me to have an adult program at the next camporee. First, camporees are attended by a large number of adults, many of whom rarely participate in Scouting outside their units (may rarely participate within their units). Second, the principal camporee program is for the youth, not the adults. A frequent complaint by youth is that adults disrupt their program (e.g., a complaint from the Spring 2013 Camporee was that adults [District Scouters!] were yelling at people). But what program? At the Fall 2013 camporee, at least one adult did not camp with his troop but strung a hammock in the Headquarters area. Two youth set up a free-standing hammock stand (definitely a DIY project). As a relatively newcomer to hammocks (only 5 years), and of limited experience (only a Asymmetric Hennesey), I think a welcome program would be about hammocks; tips, types/vendors, resellers, and stands. The following will hold links to those topic areas:



  • Eagle Nest Outfitters (ENO): Very popular with some Scouts; ultra-light, low (initial) cost, feeling of minimalist freedom. More comfortable to sit in than a Hennessy because there's no overhead ridge line. There's no overhead ridge line because you're exposed to the insects and elements, unlike the Hennessy where you're inside bug netting supported by the ridge line. When fitted out comparable to a Hennessy (tarp, bug net, straps), total costs are about the same.
  • Hennesey: Personal favorite and typically cited as the standard for asymmetric hammocks.
  • Jacks R' Better: Jacks ‘R’ Better LLC, 328 Old York Hampton Hwy, Ste C, Yorktown, Virginia 23693; (800)595-0413 | TheJacks@jacksrbetter.com. Sole vendor for the Bear Mountain Bridge hammock purported to be "...the first camping hammock in the world that is a true lay flat, lay straight camping hammock." One of my COPE instructors brought one to the training session. Very nice for those who like/need a flatter sleeping system. Good source of suspension gear (e.g., clips and straps). Local to the northern VA area (just south of Richmond).


  • REI: During discussions of gear with parents who are new to Scouting, we often hear "Get a membership to REI. It will pay for itself." In my case, it paid for itself with my first purchase, a pair of leather, Gortex-lined, Vasque hiking boots. Membership: $15. Equal to 10% member discount on $150 boots. I knew a Scouter who got a new big ticket item (tent, backpack, titanium cook set) every year from his accumulated savings. He was a lawyer (in case there was doubt).


  • Review of DIY types by Derek Hansen; fairly comprehensive review by someone who appears to have built and used all the stands he reviews.
  • Tensegrity: Three poles, some high-strength wire, and you're suspended in an art work. Cool!