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.