Posted on 24 Jul 2021 by Steve Markham
COVID meant no summer camp last summer. So this past week was the first summer camp for the young men since Troop 101 disbanded. I wasn’t sure how it would go, but the results are in, and it was great. Good food, unusually good weather, friendly boys, not too much tomfoolery, etc., etc.
We went back to the same BSA facility as 2019, Camp Wakpominee. We had to use their range officer and head life guard (which we were happy to do, it just constrained the schedule quite a bit), but we did our own food in the mess hall, and provided our own program.
The camp was organized by two YM in Glenville Ward, and they did great. Both have super responsible parents, but I think this was truly a case of the YM asking adults for help with adulty things, not with adults doing with work and having poster-YM only.
One thing I noticed and others also commented on, is that not having a list of Merit Badge requirements made the classes a million times better. There’s always tension between having standards of excellence (which is good) and the checklist mentality it induces in most people (which is bad). Something to keep an eye on in future years, but this year I think it was good.
I’ll also comment that there was lots of free time built into the schedule, and I loved that.
I taught two sessions of shelter building on Thursday morning, in preparation for the wilderness survival overnight Thursday night. There was quite a range in quality of shelter.
One young man had done it before, but he felt it went really poorly, and he was looking to redeem himself now that he knew what was important.
It only sprinkled overnight, but we got a 20-minute deluge on Friday, and his shelter was still dry inside.
Another new-to-me game this year was rock-paper-scissor duels on the raft at the water front. Two boys face off nose to nose in the middle of the raft. Every time you lose you take a step backward, until somebody is in the water.