I have been asked to step in as scoutmaster for our local Boy Scout troop. Like a good soldier, I said yes, even though I knew from previous efforts the amount of time involved. The one thing that I’m excited about is that now that Jacob has turned 11 I can bring him along with me to all the fun camp outs and activities we get to do with the 12-13 year-old young men.
So last week was our our scheduled week for scout camp. We went to Camp Scofield this year. I’d been to Scofield before back when I was an assistant scoutmaster, and I didn’t have fond memories. I’d probably gone back in 2006 or 2007, and I had vivid memories of being insufferably hot with precious little shade. And, I remembered trudging up and down a large hill countless times per day between our campsite and the camp’s main area.
Thankfully this year I had a lot of dads who volunteered to help supervise, even though some of them aren’t big on camping. So, I didn’t have to go up until Wednesday afternoon. Before driving to camp, I tweeted that the weather forecast was looking good for the rest of the week. That may have been my only mistake.
When I arrived at our site (Motherlode), I was happy to see that we had a great location overlooking Scofield reservoir which actually had some trees. We had some cleaning up to do and some tent-swapping too, but we quickly got settled. Good thing too because a big storm had followed us to camp.
The weather gods punished me for the first 24 hours at camp. We had rain and wind and thunderstorms that cancelled almost all of the camp activities. Finally, the storm broke late Thursday afternoon and we were able to resume normal life.
Jacob came along with the intent to work on some requirements for his Tenderfoot rank (the first rank advancement in scouts). Because the storm cancelled everything, he didn’t have enough time for that class, and chose to work on the Leatherwork merit badge instead. He had fun working on some leather projects, and completed the merit badge. That makes three for him, because he finished First Aid and Environmental Science at a special class he went to with his good buddy Landon when he was in town.
Thursday night was a special “reverent” night. The staff did a patriotic program which was really neat, and I could tell that it really affected the scouts. Then we came back and had a nice quiet campfire program. I talked to the boys about the North Star and Gordon B. Hinckley’s quote to be dependable and constant like Polaris. Then, when darkness fell we went out and gazed at the stars. I pointed out the North Star and several other constellations with my special green laser. It was awesome.
The troop had been working toward a special award all week, so Friday morning we got up early, went to flag ceremony, ate a quick breakfast and then went off to do service.
After service and finishing up last-minute merit badge requirements it was time fore camp games all Friday afternoon. The scouts worked hard all week and it was time for them to have some fun. We did all sorts of fun games.
We came home Friday night after the award ceremony, after our troop was awarded the coveted Sco-Sho award (the only troop to earn that award). Perhaps the most important part of Scout Camp is that we came home with zero stitches. Usually someone cuts themselves while whittling or being stupid, but no injuries this camp. We had a good time, but I’ll need 11 months of rest before doing this again next year.