Report From The Front

I returned home after spending three days at Summer Camp and wanted to share some of experiences there. First, the scouts are having a blast. We had some rain on parts of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but it was only sporadic and did not hamper any of the activities. The camp is a wonderful experience both for the scouts and the Old Goats alike. The Flaming Arrows are completing numerous advancement requirements and will come home with numerous check marks in their scouts books. At the same time, they have enjoyed their free time at the various fun activities and at the same time are learning to navigate through the camp, to travel with a buddy, to prioritize their time, and to simply make decisions. They thought they were simply looking for their next class, but along the way they found a greater sense of freedom and responsibility. The older scouts already know the procedures and the camp well and seem like seasoned veterans as they navigate the entire camp without a map. All of the scouts have enjoyed fun activities like swimming, fishing, boating, biking, rifle shooting, archery, dodge ball, four square, tether ball, etc. The teenage scouts have been enjoying the higher adventure activities like biking, climbing, zip lining, etc. The meals were a time to make load noises and sing along to their parents’ rock music at the top of their lungs. Don’t be surprised if for the first few days they bang on the kitchen table while singing the chorus of “Sweet Caroline.”

The Tesomas camp site itself is great. Our camp site overlooks the lake and is large enough for each of our patrols to have their own separate areas. Our camp site is near a newer facility with clean bathrooms and showers (which all of the scouts have used at least once through Tuesday). The staff is very cordial, accommodating, and leads the cheers during the meals. The staff includes many current and former scouts, including a recent alum of Troop 35 (Davis W.), and of course Dan S., himself a former Troop 35 scout and now am adult leader, was also a recent staff member. These connections gave us some inside intel as to the camp and other staff members. The camp offers advancement courses for our Flaming Arrows, fun free-time activities for all scouts, and higher adventure activities for the older scouts. Basically, the camp offers something for everyone.  The mosquitoes were a challenge. I’d say I’m pretty diligent about bug spray (having had tick bites before), and despite my best efforts and frequent coatings of bug spray, I came home with more mosquito bites than I bargained for.  So have some After Bite ready.

Finally, I cannot say enough about our scoutmasters making the trip to camp. They have worked tirelessly following the scouts around from a distance to make sure everything runs smoothly. Mark B., Nick D., and Randy R. shadowed the Flaming Arrows to make sure they got to all of their programs. Doug C. and Dan S., among other things, have been walking the whole camp taking pictures, promoting the scout law, and providing the daily blogs that serve as the information corridor to our scouts’ lives for a week. Of course, all is done under the general direction of the Great and Knowledgeable Scoutmaster Carl P., who oversees all aspects of the troop’s stay at camp. Carl makes sure everything runs smoothly, works on scout advancement requirements, teaches the scouts how to act like a scout, deals with the staff, makes sure all scouts are accounted for, and jumps in on many of the scout activities. Andy L. and Matt V. arrived after I left to offer additional assistance. When they are not chasing our scouts around, the scoutmasters are doing service projects like chopping wood and manning the swim tower in an effort to earn their Geezer merit badge.

Tesomas planning

Carl P. and Dan S. discussing important scout matters.

All in all, summer camp was a wonderful experience. I can’t wait to hear what I missed after I left.

Nick M.


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I Love the Smell of Mountain Dew in the Evening!

Whew, what a night, last night Jack V. defended his camp chess tournament championship and Mr. Barone won the adult division for the TriWizard tournament. Mr.Roberts and Mr. Peterson did the mile swim today, Sebastian B and Brent H followed them in a canoe to make sure they were safe.

Dinner tonight concluded with the World Famous Mountain Dew song (it’s my favorite camp song). Everything was set to finished up with the closing campfire, but mother nature had other plans. For the first time the closing campfire was canceled in the middle, because of rain. So 34 soggy scouts and 6 water weary adult leaders, trudged back to camp, waterlogged and feeling down. But have no fear, Mark H. and Sebastian B. defied the odds and got our own Troop 35 campfire going, and saved the day and the spirits of the campers!

All in all it was a good day at Camp Tesomas, merit badges were completed and scout skills were used!

In closing and and always, at Camp Tesomas 2014… it’s one for the books!!!

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The Kids are Alright!!

To all the loyal readers of the blog, yesterday was an epic day. Today the boys are just trying to finish requirements and have some fun in the sun!

So I’ll keep this short and sweet, in the immortal words of Roger Daltrey “The Kids are Alright!”

And as always at Camp Tesomas 2014… It’s one for the books!!!

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We Brought a Butter Knife to a Chilly Willy!

The sounds of tribal drums in the distance mark the impending battle. Two noble tribes step forth from the early morning mist, to match the strength and experience of the camp staff. Against the youthful exuberance of our heroes from Troop 35, in the ancient art of The Chilly Willy! The cries of The Blue Heron cracks across Crystal Lake Reservation and with a splash the battle begins. The sounds of ice and water, mixed with the flurry of arms and legs set the stage for an epic 5 on 5 battle. As both tribes tried to carry a block of ice to shore, the tide was quickly turning in the camp staff’s favor. With little time left and knowing that the course of history could hang in the balance, Coach Childers tried the nuclear option of sending all the boys in an all out frontal assault. At the sight of 20 screaming kids closing in from all sides the camp staff stood tall and eventually won the day. Humbled and beaten the boys of Troop 35 returned from whence they came vowing to avenge their fallen brothers!

The avenging started in the afternoon at the dodge ball tournament. Jonah S., Simon L., Josh K., Alyn M., Sebastian D., and Danny H. went on a tear and won the camp dodge ball tournament. (pictures provided by Will B.)

The boys continued with their rank advancements and merit badges, even through the rain.

Tonight’s dinner, which was served picnic style, was followed by the very solemn Order of the Arrow ceremony.

The Order of the Arrow is a sacred ­organization within scouts to recognize the best scouts in the troop. We had three scouts and one adult leader called out in the ceremony. Sebastian D., Will B and Simon L were the scouts who were tapped out. Mr. Leonard was the adult leader.

Congratulations to all the 2014 OA inductees!

And as always at Tesomas 2014… It’s one for the books!!!!


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He’s a lumberjack and he’s Okay!

We got some rain again last night, but that did not dampen the scouts spirits. At the fire last night the boys shared their care packages and head a blast playing games and telling stories.

This morning at breakfast Jack V. issued a bold challenge to the camp staff, to a Chilly Willy tomorrow at 6am. Jack personally challenged the Shotgun merit badge councilor, Jeff, by telling him not to cry to his Mama when he loses to us!!!

After breakfast, The Old Goats, tapped into their inner lumberjack and split wood for the entire camp for a few hours. Tonight Mr. Childers, Alyn and Chris B. cooked dinner in camp for the troop and guests from Tesomas. We had Brat stew and Chicken stew and it was amazing!!!!

With dinner concluded the boys broke out on their own, some went and shot black powder rifles, some played volleyball, and some went to the EcoCon campfire. A great time was had by all!

And remember at Tesomas 2014… It’s one for the books!

p.s. Did I mention how great dinner was!!!!

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