Not Scout Camp

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 view of camp from the other side of Sly Pond.
The view of camp from the other side of Sly Pond.

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 always like to snag a shot of Jay using his cell phone on scout outings. He was Stake Camp Director, since his son was one of the two organizers, and had a very busy afternoon Wednesday as everyone arrived.
I always like to snag a shot of Jay using his cell phone on scout outings. He was Stake Camp Director, since his son was one of the two organizers, and had a very busy afternoon Wednesday as everyone arrived.
I brought all six chess sets. Kyle and Caleb are using them as playmats for magic, but at some points there really were six chess games happening simultaneously.
I brought all six chess sets. Kyle and Caleb are using them as playmats for magic, but at some points there really were six chess games happening simultaneously.

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.

You'll be shocked to learn that this boy wasn't actually planning to come to the overnight.
You'll be shocked to learn that this boy wasn't actually planning to come to the overnight.

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.

He took his shelter-building very seriously.
He took his shelter-building very seriously.
At night, from this angle, I could not tell he had his headlamp on.
At night, from this angle, I could not tell he had his headlamp on.

It only sprinkled overnight, but we got a 20-minute deluge on Friday, and his shelter was still dry inside.

Ga Ga Ball was very popular.
Ga Ga Ball was very popular.
This is Ga Ga Ball. Some sort of mix of cage fighting, volleyball, and below-the-knee dodgeball.

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.

The food was excellent, thanks to master chef Tricozzi in black. Here are 150 s'mores about to go in the oven.
The food was excellent, thanks to master chef Tricozzi in black. Here are 150 s'mores about to go in the oven.