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Best Memory Of Camping From Your Youth

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If you could give one example of your best memory of camping as a youth in Scouting what would it be?

 

I'll start....

 

Troop 525 from Norcross, Georgia used to go on an annual Capture The Flag outing each spring in North Georgia. Each Patrol would have a flag hidden in a remote corner of a cavernous series of sandy tunnels on someone's property.  You could defend yourself with socks filled with white flour.  

 

Just as an aside, my most embarrassing moment was when our Troop arrived at a campground and I, the young pre-Tenderfoot, starting pitching my tent before the PL had decided which site we were to use.  My Patrol was very mad at me when they had to help me put my stuff away so we could move to another site across camp.   :D

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Well, I cannot say this is my "best" memory but the 1977 Jamboree at "More Rain" State Park stands out. Having to dig trenches around our regiment tents in order channel the water around (or through) our tents was probably my starkest memory. To be honest I don't recall meals or events because it literally rained every day EXCEPT the opening and the close. I recall being wet and cold and having to wear those (cotton) yellow shirts. The Merit Badge "Mudway" was fun....if only to run down the concourse and dive head first to slide 50 yards. ;)

 

jambo_concho1977e.jpg

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Camp raids were always fun.  Now that everyone has free-standing tents, that tradition has gone by the wayside.

 

I also remember the boys would roll from one wall tent at summer camp to the next, hiding under the cots so the SM wouldn't see them when he stuck his flashlight in looking for boys after curfew.  If caught everyone got in trouble.  After having others keep getting caught in my tent and we got punished along with them, I just loaded up thistle plants under my cot and that solved that problem.

 

The main game we played was camp-wide capture the flag after dark.

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The 1977 Jamboree is pretty high on my list.  I also remember the shows, eating buffalo for the first time, and cutting my finger open while whittling sitting out the rain in a tent!  But, since Jambo77 is already taken second best memory is my ordeal.  I may never forget being set down along the side of the trail and watching that torch walk off down the trail!

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I'll list three.  1 & 2 are from my one and only summer camp experience

1) a nightime capture the flag event, scouts start in the dining hall and have to go through the scout reservation by any route possible to the lodge at the other side....without getting caught by the leaders who are out trying to catch them.

2) Exploits on the sound with my friends in the sailboat... and I only remember this because one of the boys got knocked out cold from the boom

3) waking up after a winter storm laid down a very thick layer of freezing rain.  Impossible to start a fire so we ate frozen hot dog wieners and packed up.

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Back in the 50s', when I was a 1st year Boy Scout, we went to "summer camp" at a field next to the Scoutmaster cabin.  We dug a big latrine, with a big tent over it.  It really smell!  One day we went into town, and a couple of the scouts bought World War II gas mask.  They try to rent them to the other scouts, before they went into the latrine.

 

I was fairly homesick most of the week.  For some reason they needed someone to climb up a really tall tree.  I enjoy climbing - I use to climb up telephone poles all the time.  Anyways, I climbed it, and got whatever they wanted.  Everyone was real impress with how fast I could climb.  I wasn't homesick after that!

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The 1977 Jamboree is pretty high on my list.  I also remember the shows, eating buffalo for the first time, and cutting my finger open while whittling sitting out the rain in a tent!  But, since Jambo77 is already taken second best memory is my ordeal.  I may never forget being set down along the side of the trail and watching that torch walk off down the trail!

 

Our troop ran a rain gutter regatta by digging trenches along the hill side and holding heats between the troops in our area. We must have had 300 people in our area all wanting to race. We had a wood boat class, organic boat class (leaves, reeds, grass), ironclad class (anything heavy on something that floated) and a paper class. It was hilarious. The director even gave use prizes to give away from the trading post. Ah, youth.  :)

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I wish I had one.  My parents where not into scouts or camping.  So I think that is why I really enjoy it with my son and fellow scouts.

 

I am a true believer in the lessons that camping teaches us as there is always some problem to figure out a solution for.

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As a youth, getting back from camp (nightmare)

As an adult, my sons webelos/troop campout

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Would definitely have to be the entire jamboree experience at Colorado Springs, including the travel experience on the train from California via the Santa Fe Railroad.  It was my first time away for more than a week, as well as the only extensive train travel I have done yet.  That train had a wood burning stove in their cook car; and we slept in pull down berths, two in each one, which was hard on the smaller scouts when the train tipped somehow.   Went from San Bernardino to Colorado through Arizona and New Mexico, with stops in both states; the Santa Fe stop was half a day almost.  Toured Garden of the Gods prior to the jambo, though we were disappointed the planned visit to the Air Force Academy did not pan out for some reason.  While at the Garden, I, along with three or four other scouts were filmed by a crew making the official movie of the Jamboree; supposedly am in the film for a few seconds hiking there, though cannot prove it for sure.  

 

Of course the event itself, still the largest in attendance being the fiftieth anniversary in the peak of Scouting, was "awesome", though we would not have used that term then.  Met James Arness; saw Ike pass by in his entourage; was introduced to patch trading; met scouts from all over the world and still have the neckerchief with signatures from some 15-20 countries; and of course experienced the huge arena shows.  Still remember with a certain awe the candle ceremony where it was amazingly quiet, even with close to 70,000 people in the bowl.

 

After leaving, we got back on the train and went to Cheyenne for Frontier Days, then over to Utah and floated in the Great Salt Lake, toured the Tabernacle, and saw the huge pit mine for I believe copper.  We were supposed to stop in Carson City and Sacramento, but there was almost a day delay due to a flash flood damaging tracks, so we went straight to San Francisco where we stayed in the Grand Hotel and had one entire floor due to the other two troops traveling with us.  Had dinner at China town; with about 130 people, we had all the food we could choose, and since many were not fond of Chinese fare, those of us that were stuffed ourselves.  Had a half day open time in the city, then finally returned to San Bernardino overnight.

 

Still remember my scoutmaster asking my parents how they afforded to feed me.  I was at that stage where I could eat and never worry about weight; and since I was raised to try most things and was not picky, I had lots of opportunity to get left overs during the whole trip.  Being from a very small desert town, I also was, along with two other scouts from our area, temporarily the center of attention; and still have clippings and such from the papers.  

 

Since then I have been privileged to attend the 75th and 100th events at A.P.Hill as an ASM in 85 and on staff at a food outlet of trading post D in 2010.

 

Would post a photo of me in uniform by the train, but cannot figure out how to do it here.  

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My best friend and I wanted to go backpacking and we were the only older scouts in the troop so we decided to go on our own. Since we lived in Belgium there was nothing like a national forest or park. So we found the most wooded place we could on the lousy maps we had and had our parents drop us off. We weren't sure if what we were doing was illegal or not so we were paranoid about being caught. Our goal was to get to camp at dusk and not be seen. We would hide our packs using the best camo techniques we knew, scout out an area ahead of us, go back, get our gear, and move forward. In hind sight we were completely paranoid about nothing but it was an adventure. We hiked up this really steep ravine assuming nobody would be there. We finally made it to the top after a good challenge, happy that the harder it was the fewer people there would be. We made a small fire big enough to cook on but not visible. We set up camp and went to bed. The following morning was a wonderful sunny day, something unusual in Belgium. I went to take a leak and lo and behold there was some lady that must have been at least 70 walking her toy poodle. Turns out we had gone up the back side of a park up to an overlook and we set up our tent about 20 feet from a paved trail. We made a hasty retreat and never told our parents what had happened. The next year my friend moved and that was the end of scouts for me.

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Our troop ran a rain gutter regatta by digging trenches along the hill side and holding heats between the troops in our area. We must have had 300 people in our area all wanting to race. We had a wood boat class, organic boat class (leaves, reeds, grass), ironclad class (anything heavy on something that floated) and a paper class. It was hilarious. The director even gave use prizes to give away from the trading post. Ah, youth.  :)

:)!  I was out there a couple years ago on a trip to DC.  I bet my son that the trenches were probably still in place, much like a Civil War battlefield.  He wasn't buying it.  I had no real orientation to location so we didn't go look.  Still a pretty place.

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My best friend and I wanted to go backpacking and we were the only older scouts in the troop so we decided to go on our own. Since we lived in Belgium there was nothing like a national forest or park. So we found the most wooded place we could on the lousy maps we had and had our parents drop us off. We weren't sure if what we were doing was illegal or not so we were paranoid about being caught. 

 

Wouldn't kids with backpacks in Europe just fit in with the other 200,000 under 20s backpacking around?  :cool:

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Was with my Troop on a backpacking trip around Isle Royale in Michigan.  The weather was pretty mild as one would expect on an island in Lake Superior but the weather turned hot on day 4 with night time temps remaining well into the 80s.  I have never done heat very well, not even when I was a fit and trim teen so I laid on my bedroll sweating the night away.  About 5 am, I started dreaming that my dog was licking my face - at least I thought it was my dog until my Scoutmaster hissed at me not to move - I opened my eyes to find a red fox standing on my chest licking the salt off my forehead.  Good times.

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Wouldn't kids with backpacks in Europe just fit in with the other 200,000 under 20s backpacking around?  :cool:

Sure, if you're in a train station. But we were out in the woods. We were worried about whether we were allowed to camp there. But this is the confusion of 16 year olds that knew about camping rules in the US but not in Europe. Another good story was we took a train to Italy to go to a US Army base for summer camp. The train got all messed up (this was Italy after all) and we got to spend the night in the Milan train station. At the time this was one of the more dangerous places to be. We put all the gear in a pile with the younger scouts sleeping on top of it and the parents and older scouts took turns watching over everything. I can't say that I got good leadership training but there was a certain amount of street smarts training.

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