Category Archives: Summer Camp

Summer Camp 2013

1010804_10152941884115431_1130162271_nLast week, I had the honor of serving as the Summer Camp Scoutmaster once again.  This was the 7th time I have served in this role.  All of the experiences have been great and rewarding but this camp was also very trying and stressful.  I learned a lot last week and grew some as an adult leader and as an adult in general.

The highlight of the week for me was being at camp for the first time with both of my sons.  Drew is 17 and an Eagle and Cameron is 12 and advanced to Star while we were at camp.  Cameron and I went to camp together last summer at Slippery Falls and I had hoped to have Drew with us but him and my wife decided that Sea Base sounded better than the southern Oklahoma heat and humidity.  I can’t imagine why.

Cameron and the rest of the Scouts spent the week working on merit badges and honing their Scouting skills.  Cameron earned merit badges in Rifle, Environmental Science and Indian Lore.  He still has some requirements left in Orienteering.  IMG_0225

Because of his age and the fact that he is already and Eagle, Drew got to be an ‘adult’.  He spent the week hanging out in camp, mentoring the older leadership Scouts and going to town with whoever he could bum a ride from.  I think he ate New Mexican food five of the seven days we were there.  He also learned that New Mexico has some really hot Green Sauce and the sopapillas there are huge.

It was also a great opportunity for he and I just to hang out together.  He will be 18 in a few months and a Senior in high school and this was one of the last chances we will have to hang out before he begins his life in the world.  I cherished every minute of it.

Thank you Scouting and Troop 168 for giving opportunities with my kids.  I can never repay what you have given me!!


Summer Camp 2012

Cameron and I

This year Troop 168 attended camp at our Council owned camp, Slippery Falls Scout Ranch.  The last time we were there was 2010.  Before that it had been 9 years since our Scouts had chosen to go to Slip.  This was my sixth Boy Scout summer camp as an adult leader.  Of all the camps I have attended I have to say that this is the best camp we have attended since I have been in the Troop.

One of the things (and there are many) that I will always remember about this summer camp is this was the first summer camp for my youngest son, Cameron. Another is that he earned Tenderfoot on the last night camp along with the rest of his patrol that were there.  Many of the Scouts in his “new Scout” patrol were ready to advance with the exception of making a Patrol Flag.  They created that at camp and then had Scoutmaster conferences and Boards of Review.

This was also the first time I had to go to camp without my oldest son, Drew.  My wife and him left on Wednesday of camp for their own adventure to the Florida National Sea Base.  They got to spend the week on a 71′ schooner called Pirates Lady.  They spent the week with other members of our Troop and District, snorkeling, fishing and sailing in the Florida Keys. 

I had a great time at camp with Cameron but I really missed not having Drew there.  Next year will be the last opportunity I get to go to camp with my sons btoh still a youth in the program.  I am looking forward to it and have been since 2007.

Twilight Camp

Another year of twilight camp for the Baden-Powell Dsitrict is in the books. For the first time in years I did not have a son involved.  It was was a strange feeling but it was also a good feeling.  For the first time ever I got to serve as “staff”.  I spent the first couple of days (I was able to attend) taking pics for the district website and the closing slideshow at the closing campfire.  It was nice to be able to just roam around and not have any real responsibilites to fulfill. 

I said I did not have a son at camp but I did have a daughter.  My 10-yr-old daughter, Carly, went with me and found her way to the trading post where a Mom from our Troop was in charge and she made snow cones with another daughter of a staffer.  She was given a staff t-shirt and had a blast. 

 On Friday, my responsibility was running the trebuchet with our Troop’s Scoutmaster I wrote about a few days ago.  Every Cub and Webelos Scout was given an egg, styrofoam container and some packing material to protect the egg.  Their objective was to prevent the egg from breaking upon impact with the ground after being launched by the Trebuchet. 

There were about 175 Scouts at camp so we got quite a workout Friday evening.  The counterweight had around 200 lbs in it and we were only able to launch three eggs at a time in the sling we had.  So that meant we had to pull the weight down to secure the throwing arm A LOT!  Unfortunately we were able to launch between 75-100 eggs before severe weather moved in and shut us down for the evening.  Gotta love Oklahoma weather!  Most of the eggs did not make it but a few did.  I was told on Twitter that there is an easier way to make omelets and I agree.  Overall the Scouts had a great time and so did I!

I can’t wait until next year when our entire family can serve as staff and we finally get to experience summer camp as a whole family and not just a few of us.

Cub Scout Camp 2011

Cameron and Suzette at camp in 2010

Cub Scout camp is in full swing.  This week our district is holding our annual Twilight Camp and my wife is at Cub Scout Resident camp at Camp George Thomas with her Webelos Den, of which our youngest is a member.This is also the first time since 2004 that I have not been to Cub Scout camp with one of my boys.  I could have gone to resident camp but since the cost increased and money is really tight right now I opted to stay home this year.

In just eight short months my youngest son will crossover to the Troop and my days as the Cubmaster will be behind me.  I took over as Cubmaster in 2005 and have been full steam ahead since then.  My youngest son began his Scouting career as a Tiger in June 2007.  His older brother crossed over to Boy Scouts in February of 2007, so we have never had both boys in the same unit.

While I am very much looking forward to having just one unit I am going to miss Cub Scouts.  I will still be involved at some level.  I am on the District Committee and my wife is the Webelos Woods Chairman for next spring so I will still have ties to the program.

Going to be a long week sitting at work and not chasing Cub Scouts.  I hope that Cameron and Suzette have a great three days at camp.  I am going to miss them.

The Catapult

I received an email from our Scoutmaster, Allen, this week asking if I would help him build a catapult for our District’s Cub Scout Day Camp.  Well what guy would not jump at the chance to build something that has the capability to destroy something?  Obviously I said yes.

The first thing you gotta know about Allen is he is a mechanical engineer and loves perfection.  He told me he went online and found some plans for a 15-foot tall catapult and scaled them back to a 10-foot tall machine.  He also told me that the dimensions weren’t just right so he reworked the dimensions and got everything to work.

The reason we were asked to build this is each Cub Scout will be given an egg and a styrofoam container like the type you would use to serve a hamburger.  They can bring anything they want from home and they must protect the egg, as we launch it into next week.

Allen,  Drew (my 15-yr-old Life Scout), Cameron (my 5th grade Webelos) and myself worked for two days building it.  The temperatures in Oklahoma the past two days have been 95-degrees plus and it was hard work.  But we finally finished and the fun began.

We tested dirt clods, cans of spaghetti sauce and cantaloupes.  Some went a long ways and some actually never released and crashed into the trebuchet.  Our longest launch was about 60-yards and the cantaloupe exploded upon landing.  But in all it was a great time.

Even though it was hot and complicated work it was worth the end result and I can’t wait to see the smiles on the faces of the Cub Scouts this Friday at Day Camp.


Summer Camp 2009

Things have finally slowed down for the summer. Thankfully! Being active in two units is a lot of work!!

This year the Scouts in the Troop decided to go to camp at Camp Alexander located at Lake George, CO. The place is stunning! Being a ‘flatlander’ it is quite a change to go to the mountains for summer camp. The temperature during the day was very mild. If it got over 70º it sure never felt like it. In fact, I wore a sweatshirt all week and I am not a cold natured person. The nighttime temperature was in the 30’s and it was 26º one night.

We had wildlife of all sorts in the camp as well. We had mule deer in our campsite on a daily basis. There was also a fox roaming camp as well as a muskrat in the lake. We also had an abundance of mini bears around. A mini bear is known as a Chipmunk to you and me. They like to go in the tents and look for food. They also had a lake stocked with trout and my son and I had a great time learning how to fly fish.

Overall it was a great experience! For some of the Scouts this was the first time they had been away from home. The boys had a great time and so did the adults.

Time to rest as the school year is starting soon and will crank up the Scouting machine for another fun-filled year!!

Remember it only takes 1 hour a week!

What Can You Do?

Twlilight Camp 2009 has come and gone. This year we took 33 Cub and Webelos Scouts to camp. There were 19 Cubs and 14 Webelos with us. By far we had the largest number of boys.

The guys had a great time and really did not want it to end. The adults on the other hand were more than ready. A week in the Oklahoma heat for a bunch of desk jockeys is rough on the body.

On Friday night we have Parents Night and have a hotdog cookout. My Asst. Cubmaster Chris and myself along with some other great folks helped cook 1,000 hotdogs. What delighted me the most is that the awesome parents from my Pack jumped in without being asked and ‘assembled’ the hotdogs and buns.

Many times people ask me what do we do to have such a big and active (and in mine and many other’s opinion ‘awesome’) Pack. It comes down to leaders and parents. We have leaders who are willing to do anything for their Dens. We also have parents who are willing to do anything for their kids and their leaders.

Not everyone can be or wants to be a Scout leader. But anyone can take 15 minutes and throw together some hotdogs. Anyone can run a Pinewood Derby. Anyone can help cut and paste something at a Den meeting. Anyone can love their children and the people around them the way God loves them!

The next time you wonder what you can do to help just take a second to look around and do something simple even if it is ‘assembling’ a hotdog!

Remember it only takes 1 hour a week!

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