I don’t mean to rub it in, but it is wonderful here; the weather is just right with warm days, cool nights, low humidity, clear skies and the prospects for the remainder of the week are the same. You can check the weather up here on the sidebar – I change it for every outing, though sometimes I forget to change it back.
Camp Tesomas has a daily routine and it moves like clockwork – the old analog type, not a digital: get up; flags, breakfast, then the scouts are off to program areas and back to camp for lunch. After lunch, they are back at program areas and there is a bit of free time before dinner. During free time, scouts can visit different program areas and experience new activities or just hit the waterfront and swim or play with their friends. After dinner, is different each night adding a bit of variety to the routine; Sunday is the opening campfire, Monday is the patrol activity, Tuesday and Thursday the waterfront and climbing tower are open late, Wednesday is the Order of the Arrow ceremony, and Friday is the closing campfire. And, of course, the trading post with slushies, pop, ice cream, and pizza is open for business until ten. After a short walk back to camp, the scouts are in their tents and sleeping, soundly.
Right now, the scouts are living large and having fun, there is plenty to eat and even the ‘picky’ eaters are finding something to satisfy their appetites. The adults, like me are finding fun in watching the scouts be kids and in some way, the inner kid in us is coming out, too.
It is great to be up here and enjoy a week of fresh air, early mornings, late nights, and friendships renewing old ones and making new ones.
On Monday, Eric, John B, and I led, followed or herded, depending on the perspective, the new scouts to Eagle Quest for their morning program. They learned lashings – roping sticks together to build a structure like a log bin, or play gym, or just roping sticks together because it is fun. They learned or re-learned two knots, the timber hitch and clove hitch; and two lashings, the diagonal and square lashings. They had fun as the pictures show. They’ll be testing their ability to tie the lashings this morning and be signed off on their advancement to First Class. After lashings, it was following directions – using the sun, moon and stars to find your way in the wilderness. Before lunch, they learned about poisonous plants and that will be evaluated this afternoon, another check on the path to Second Class rank. After lunch, they hit the waterfront, then finally, and I mean finally, they all earned their Totin’ Chit – the right to carry and use a pocketknife, a true rite of passage for a scout. You should have seen their faces – beaming from end to end. A happy scout is a great scout and they were happy, proud, and feeling they have arrived.
The older scouts were moving about camp to their different merit badges of treks. We have scouts in everything from Astronomy and Basketry to Whitewater and Wilderness Survival with just about everything in between. Some of the scouts are working on earning the Eagle required merit badges but many of the badges are just for fun and personal interest. This is my fourth year here and it is amazing the transformation all of the scouts from the first year to now, and by the end of the week all scouts will have grown and moved forward. It is what scouting is about – learning to serve, learning to lead, and then learning to develop new leaders. At camp this year, we have two former SPLs and ten scouts who have attended NYLT (National Youth Leadership Training) at Thunderbird and it shows.
It was a full day Monday and the scouts were tired. Their day was packed the day full of activity and many of the scouts especially the first years were ready for sleep right after dinner, but there was the evening activity – Smiley’s Challenge. This year’s camp theme is ‘Live the Game’ and each program area has adopted a board game as their theme – Eagle Quest is Dungeons and Dragons, Scout Craft is Mousetrap, but the Monday night patrol activity was based on Monopoly. The scouts and adults moved about camp as patrols and participated in games to earn money and property to purchase Mr. Moneybags’ business. The ultimate prize is fun, but there is a prize for the overall winner. We’ll learn Friday night, during the closing campfire, which patrol was successful – the Old Goats or the Flaming Arrows. Nonetheless, it was a great time and the perfect cap to complete day.
By the time, we left camp and headed back to camp, it was too dark to ride our bikes and we walked back together. The sky was clear, deep blue, with a sliver of a crescent moon sliding across the western sky and into the treetops giving a hint of light across camp. It was a great day, there are four more to come, but who is counting, we’re making them count! Today is already a great day and the prospect for tomorrow is a million and six times better. Making the Days Count, one day at a time at Camp Tesomas.
Blogger’s note: We’ve all been busy, adults included. Eric has setup a photo sharing account through Shutterfly and we’ve uploaded photos for Sunday and part of Monday. All of the photos I place on the troop site have been re-sized for the web and look great on a screen, but they won’t make great prints. Here is the link for Shutteryfly, you’ll need to create an account for access and you know the drill. We are thinking of you and the kids are having a great time – I hope you are enjoying the journey!