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Great moments from Camp

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Here are mine - All from the past week at Bear Creek near Hunt Texas -

 

1) My son voluntarily giving his cot to his arachnophobic buddy, so that his friend could maybe get some sleep with less fear of spiders crawling on him.

2) By Thursday, said arachnophobic boy allowing a Daddy Longlegs to walk on him; he gave the cot back that night.

3) Our very shy new scout spontaneously inviting a staffer to sit with us. You'd have to know the boy to realize how huge that was.

4) Same new scout readily agreeing to cover for our SPL at the SPL meeting on Thursday. Came back with a full report.

5) My son standing up to an older, bigger, and very "Macho" venture crew member when said member made a hateful remark about homosexuals, followed closely by a hateful remark about "Negroes." My kid said "HEY, that is SO not cool" and the other boy lamely backed off his venomous spewing. OK, so it wasn't a statesmanlike discourse but the point is that hate was not unchallenged. (This was reported to me by another scout, I didn't hear the exchange or I would definitely have been having a chat with the VC advisors.)

6) My son and his buddy completing COPE. The long-term reader will know that my son has pretty bad asthma and a history of a severe anxiety disorder, so it was more of a challenge for him than for most.

7) My son's buddy gallantly escorting me safely back to camp at the expense of his own lunch.

8) Watching my son stand up very straight at OA call-out, with his buddy grinning ear to ear and saying under his breath "Way to go!"

9) Watching the look of total amazement and absolute joy spread over his buddies' face when HIS name was called.

 

All in all, quite a good week, I'd say. Oh, yeah, they earned some merit badges too.

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Here are mine:

 

1) One Scout gets nervous away from home, especially at night before bed. It makes him sick. He made it through Sunday night.

2) "Nervous" Scout got sick Monday night, but again stuck it out. Meanwhile, another Scout gets homesick, calls Dad, is picked up Tuesday afternoon (we're 5 hours away). Nervous Scout stays through the whole week. Homesick Scout and his parents ignore me at church today.

3) Our Troop found "Fred's Fortune." This is a week long Scavenger Hunt throughout camp.

4) Our only older Scout (SPL) helps out our younger Scouts much more than anticipated.

5) Most merit badges completed.

6) With a very young bunch, participated in Water Olympics, and came in third out of 28 Troops.

7) Campwide games Friday afternoon (as merit badge counselors are doing the paperwork), our Troop really didn't feel like participating, but our ASPL got it going. I'm very proud.

8) Friday night at the big campfire, I was singing in the Camp Powhatan Choir. We had Scouters, Scouts, and Staff. We were half way through Scout Vespers, when two F-16's buzzed the mountain tops on their way back to Norfolk.

9) Great weather, really good camp food, excellent programs, great Staff.

 

There's more, but that's all for now.

 

sst3rd

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So the boys grow into men. I'm glad you're there to watch it happen and still allow it to proceed at it's own pace.

 

I think I came to appreciate that one mother's day when I made my mother a quilt hoop with a poem that thanked her for letting me go and grow. Scout Camp when I was 11, staff at 14, college at 18. By age 19, I had an Amtrak pass and was touring the country meeting with authors such as Clive Cussler, Terry Brooks, and Stephen R. Donaldson. At 20 I was sitting on a mountaintop in Peru, staring in wonder, by myself, as a herd of wild horses rode by my tent.

 

Without my parents and their ability to train and trust me, and a litle help by a bunch of BSA folk, it never would have happened that way.

 

I guess having been born with a club foot and suffering from Grand Mal Seizures during epilepsy as a child wasn't such a bad thing with proper upbringing. I made it through it.

 

I'm glad you were both able to be close, yet not performing for your sons during those important summer camp times. It means a lot to them and I'm sure, means a lot to you.

 

DS

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Great moments indeed. I'm a week back from Camp Bartlett in Idaho, and wouldn't have missed it for the world. The things learned/experienced by the scouts and the four dads that went . . . well to me that's what the whole thing is supposed to be about.

 

We had a couple of homesick boys, and our share of close-quarters induced antagonism. We had the "snake" in the tent that turned out to be a sleeping pad with an open valve. Funny, it only hissed when you stepped just so. :) We had seven wide eyed scouts tear into camp at 2am when a severe lightning storm drove them off the mountain during their overnight survival exercise.

 

We had little sleep. We had new found friends and newly learned skills. We had a quiet pride as we realized that these scouts are living up to the promise of scouting and enoying the rewards of comraderie and achievement.

 

We came back with enough talking material for several years worth of 'remember whens'

 

I tried hard to stay out of my son's hair. Succeeded for the most part, but was really touched when he sought me out to bring me into his world or for a goodnight hug before lights out.

 

We also had an SPL who really lived up to the job.

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Sad to report that have not made it to camp this year.

Could be that no one asked me?

Could be that I have two weeks tied up in our up and coming Wood Badge Course.

However, following the style of our Man Of Steele.

As a little fellow, I was a bad asthmatic,and a sickly kid. My Mum, was never keen on me being too far away from her watchful eye. Scouts and Scouting was the catalyst that helped both her and I become more independent. She needed to learn to "Let go" and I needed to grow up.

My Dad was a great chap, but was a very busy man.I think that him being an Irish immigrant, who came to England at a time when there were signs for employment that also had "No Irish Need Apply," Left him wanting to prove something.

He was very successful, but there wasn't a lot of time for us kids.

As a teenager, I know that I spent more time at the Scout Hall and at camp then I did at home.

Some people say that they are in Scouting as an adult to pay something back.

I know that Scouting is part of my make up.

Every moment at camp is great.

But looking at the stuff that has been said already and seeing the little fellows in the district come on board as Tigers, attend day camps and resident camps, follow them from afar as they move on to the high adventure stuff. Spending time talking with them as they move from cute little guys to become young men. We have to know that we are part of something that is just so good.

We owe so much to all those who have gone before us.

Eamonn

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Dsteele, Eamonn - what wonderful posts, reminding us all that there is a reason we do this other than our own selfish fun.

Sender - Those "Remember whens" will last forever, not just a few years.

sst3rd - So did the SPL learn more than the scouts, ya think? And you know, Scout Vespers is about my favorite song in the world. the second verse brings a tear to my eye every time.

 

Others - great moments?

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Mine are a bit odd, i know, thats what you get for working at camp:

1) On top of a zip line on COPE, finished hooking a kid up and unclip him from the pole, 110 d F in the air, and the kid freeks, eventually i have to explain every working part of the system and how it works, then i promise to call his parrents and take care of his girlfriend if he dies, and eventually got him to go, then he went twice more.

2) First year as a area director, first night of program, at an outpost island, with a bridge to land, 20 scouts and two junior staffers in my care, 9pm telling kids stories at a campfire, my two staffers go to there teepee to get some gear and hear a cougar in the woods between them and the rest of the boys. oh fun you say, they wait for the cat to move, then come down to the me and radio base camp, we set up a perimeter and keep the boys distracted, rush them into the small trappers cabin and wait untill all the senior staffers with cars come up with lights flashing and radios blairing, followed by the ranger, his son and his neigbor armed with hunting rifles, come up, by the time all of the boys are evacuated, the cabin is secure, and the SM's are briefed its 1 am and time for me to write a report in triplicate

3)making the best friends i could ever meet in the world

 

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My favorite Camp Memories thus far (I am looking forward to another summer chocked full of crazy camp moments)...

 

-- My first outdoor Boy Scout campfire (NE Region Camp School)

 

-- The summer's last campfire (::sniffle::)

 

-- Canoe Outposts -- any of them, all of them

 

-- The first time my totem got taken by a troop (and kept by the troop all week, I felt loved...it was my first week of camp, I really needed it)

 

-- the Clue Promo (is that a universal word? if not, nightly skit after dinner)

 

-- My birthday -- thunder, lighting, stuck in the dining hall for three hours, camp locked down (why so great? My surprise birthday visitor)

 

-- Pig Roast with my troop the week they came up and signing up to become an ASM over dinner. You really cant say no to the Scout Exec when he's an ASM of your troop

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"-- My birthday -- thunder, lighting, stuck in the dining hall for three hours, camp locked down (why so great? My surprise birthday visitor)"

 

 

And she wonders why I chose to connect her with

 

"Heavy Metal Thunder"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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At the camp we go to, one of the really fun moments is when the camp Staff presents the "Order of the Oar." When there is a Scout's birthday, at one of the meals the "Order of the Oar" presents a very special ceremony. They're dressed in "fun in the sun" duds, but act similar to an old fashioned OA Tap-Out team. They politely grab the Scout, bring him forward in front of the mess hall audience, ask how old he is and congradulate him. They them take a very large decorated oar, and proceed to "spank" him for every year of his age. Of course they don't really touch him. The stroke falls short. But as it appears that contact is made, a member of the Order, smacks two pieces of wood together. It's all in great fun!

So, Thursday was one of our Scout's birthday, and he very nicely asked me not to get him involved with the Order of the Oar. I agreed, but when dinner came, here they come in the door of the mess hall. My Scout looks at me, and I shake my head. The Order comes to our side of the mess. My Scout glares at me, and I again shake my head. The Order comes to our table, and our Scout starts to get a bit pale, as I look away. The Order came right down the isle of our Troop, right past our Scout, and grabs a Scout from an adjoining Troop. Relief was on the face of our Scout, but I also saw a bit of regret. It would have been fun. We had a quiet birthday celebration at our campsite that night, but I still remember the look on his face when those guys came in the mess...........

 

sst3rd

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I am an ASM but I was the acting SM this past summer at summer camp. Some moments that will always be in my memory are:

 

Having a first year scout wet his pants because I failed to make sure that the scouts had access to a restroom brake after a three hour drive to an out of council camp and all of the delays of checking in.

 

Having that same scout not pass his swimming test.

 

Having that same scout pass his swimming test the next day and see him walk two inches taller.

 

Watching scouts that had shown no interest in pioneering suddenly find that lashings are fun. I had to tell the scouts that at 11:00 PM it was time to stop adding on to their gateway and get some sleep.

 

Sitting in camp while the inspectors came through and graded the campsite and letting the chips fall where they may.

 

Sitting at a campfire and watching our scouts be awarded the honor campsite award.

 

Having 9 inches of rain fall in the 24 hours before departing camp.

 

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