Archive for the ‘summer camp’ Category


I did not go along with the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 when they left for their weeklong stay at Many Point Scout Camp on Sunday, July 8th. The boys and the camp were on my mind all week though. I sort of missed being up there with the troop during their summer camp adventure so on Friday, July 13th, I took a day of vacation from work and spent it at MPSC.

I left home at about 8:00 in the morning. I planned to arrive at camp while the Scouts were at their merit badge sessions. I would join them for lunch and their afternoon activities. I even thought about staying long enough to watch the closing campfire in the evening. I did not plan to stay overnight. I purposely left my sleeping bag and cot at home so I would not be tempted.

I arrived at MPSC shortly after 10:00 am. By 10:30 I walked into the Seton campsite of the Buckskin Camp to find assistant scoutmaster Eymard busy in the screen porch reading a novel he had brought along. I took a few pictures around the campsite and sat down for an update of how the week was going. We were the only two people in camp. It was very peaceful.

I had noticed a new building under construction across the road from our campsite. We got up from our chairs and Eymard lead the way to what would be the new Buckskin Handicrafts Lodge. The shell of the building was complete but it still needed siding, screening, and interior finishing. The new building was somewhat larger than the old building which was located about about four or five hundred yards south of the new site. This new lodge also had a basement which could be used as a storm shelter during inclement weather.

Eymard and I took a short walk to the Buckskin Lodge. I was shocked and surprised to see the two buildings (the lodge and the nearby trading post) had been remodeled into one large building. The lodge interior had been totally redesigned to create a larger meeting room, new staff office, and separate staff kitchen/dining room. I think I stood their for a moment with my mouth open as I walked into the lodge. It was no longer the building I had known for the last 25 years, but I liked the way they had remodeled the area. I had know about the new Handicrafts building, but the lodge was a complete surprise.

One new feature of the Buckskin Lodge caught my attention almost immediately and brought home how our lifestyles have changed over the last decade. The small mail cubicles for each campsite had been replaced by new larger cubicles, each having its own electrical outlet for adult leaders to plug in their cell phone chargers and other electronic devices. I was told this was a suggestion from Granny, the camp’s chief cook, who had seen a lot of devices plugged in at the dining hall over the last few years. She thought there must be a better way, so the staff came up with a great solution.

One of the troop’s Boy Scouts was at the trading post when Eymard and I walked in. Eymard decided to go back to the campsite so Alex said he would take me to the other new addition to Buckskin Camp.

A few years ago Many Point closed the old conservation lodge so it could be used for a new purpose. A yurt was erected in Buckskin to serve as the Nature Center. A new permanent nature lodge is now under construction near the yurt. It looks like this new building will also have a basement that will be able to serve as a storm shelter. The yurt may become a small zoo of local critters found in the area.

These new changes have me already thinking that I will need to pay the troop a visit next year when they attend Many Point Scout Camp. I want to see how everything turns out and what, if any, new programs will be provided.

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    Personal items have been packed. The troop gear has been loaded. The freshly uniformed Scouts have chosen their rides. The vehicles have left town. Boy Scout Troop 68 is on its way to a week of camping at Many Point Scout Camp in northern Minnesota. I am sitting at home writing this blog. Yes, that is correct. For the first time in many years I am not joining the troop for a week of camping at Many Point Lake.

    I attended my first week of camp as an adult leader in 1981. I was an assistant scoutmaster of Troop 68. We attended Crow Wing Scout Camp near Nevis, Minnesota. If I remember correctly, about a dozen boys attended that year. It was a good week. Both the Scouts and the adult leaders had a great time.

    The Boy Scouts of Troop 68 have attended a long term camp every summer since that year. The first years were at Crow Wing. In the later 1980′s we tried Tomahawk Scout Camp in Wisconsin and Many Point Scout Camp. In the early 1990′s Many Point Scout Camp became our summer camp, by decision of the Boy Scouts.

    I have not attended every year of summer camp since 1981, but I have been on a long term camp with the Scouts each year. There have been five treks at Philmont Scout Ranch, a trip to the High Knoll Trail in Virginia, a week of adventure at Charles Sommers Canoe Base, and a stay at the 2001 National Jamboree. The assistant scoutmasters and fathers picked up the summer camp duties while I attended the high adventure bases with the older Boy Scouts.

    I retired as the troop’s scoutmaster at the end of 2011. I told the committee and the parents that I would not be attending summer camp this year. My assistant scoutmaster of 24 years, Eymard, would be going to camp again, but someone else would need to fill the position of the second adult leader. Luckily we have a new 18 year old assistant scoutmaster, Darren, who decided to attend since none of the parents stepped forward to fill the slot.

    I do have mixed feelings about staying home this year. I would like to be a part of the boy’s summer camp experience, but I also need to break away from the troop and start doing my own thing. For gosh sakes, I am 52 years old! It is time to start doing something with my life other than Scouting.

    Isn’t it?

    Well, maybe I will go up Friday and see how things are going, and watch the closing campfire.

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      The Boy Scouts of Troop 68 spent a week at the Buckskin Camp of Many Point Scout Camp this summer. They had an awesome time at camp. The Buckskin staff was terrific and very helpful. The dining hall staff provided great meals in a friendly atmosphere. Even the weather cooperated by not being too hot or too rainy. The biggest complaint was the sparrow-size mosquitoes that made camp their home. Overall though, it was a fantastic week.

      The Many Point Blog recently posted some interesting numbers from the 2011 season. I found them to be quite interesting:

       

      4139 Boy Scouts and Venture Scouts camped at Many Point.
      1451 Adult leaders watched their troops and crews grow while here at Many Point.
      37 CITs spent 5 weeks learning and practicing the essential skills needed to be a staff member. (Including one from Melrose Troop 68.)
      152 Scouts and Venturers participated in the Water Sports Outpost and had the opportunity to ride personal watercraft, a truly rare opportunity in the BSA.
      8606 Merit badges were earned.
      2830 Merit badges were started, to be completed at home.
      479 Certifications such as Kayak BSA, Snorkeling BSA, Boardsailing BSA, BSA Lifeguard and BSA Aquatic Supervision were completed. (Five boys from Troop 68 earned the Snorkeling BSA.)
      124,000 meals were served either “for here” or “to go” by our Dining Hall and Commissary, to fuel all the fun.

      How were the numbers at your summer camp?

      The Many Point Blog can be found at
      http://manypointscoutcamp.wordpress.com/ .

       

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        What do Jack and Jill, Mother Hubert, Spiderman, Justin Bieber, Barney, Lady Gaga, Chuck Norris, Rebecca Black, Bob the Builder, and Barbie have in common? They are all part of the fun one afternoon as the Boy Scouts of Buckskin Camp at Many Point Scout Camp sing Throw Them Out The Window before entering the dining hall for lunch. Bob, the dining hall guy, did a great job of leading the boys in this loud and hilarious rendition of this campfire favorite. It is the next video of the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast. Just see if you can watch this and not walk away without humming this song.

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        What was your favorite song at summer camp this year?

         

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          It is usually not a problem keeping Boy Scouts busy when we go to summer camp. Between merit badge sessions, troop activities, and open programs there is plenty for them to do. Summer camp is designed to keep boys busy.

          Adult leaders have more free time. Oh, we could follow the boys around as they go to their classes. We can partake of a few training adult leader training sessions or activities, but we still end up with time to kick back and relax. And think of things to do.

          I do not know why, but when I packed for camp this year I threw a little Piglet figure (Winnie Pooh’s friend) into my briefcase. When I got to camp he moved into my day pack with his head peaking out so that he could see where we have been. The Boy Scouts pulled him out during lunch early in the week and had a little fun with him. When the dining hall steward walked by our table we gave him Piglet. He put it on his hat and made a face while I took his picture.

          Then it hit me! I have a mission for the week. How many members of the camp staff could I get to pose for a picture with Piglet?

          I took Piglet with me nearly everywhere I went: to the beach, to the ranges, to the climbing tower, wherever.  The staff had fun with it. I was even able to get the camp director and the program director to pose with the little guy. But the end of the week I had pictures with 17 members of the staff, plus a few other pictures with the troop.

          The pictures have been posted in an album I created on Facebook. Check them out by clicking HERE.

          You can also view the pictures on Flickr by clicking HERE.

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            Join the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 as they attend Many Point Scout Camp during the week of July 10-16, 2011. This video of Melrose Scout Productions Podcast includes a look at their campsite in Buckskin Camp, along with a couple of the songs led by the staff before the Boy Scouts would go to the dining hall for their meals. The songs include The Duck Song and Herbie, the Family Pet.

            Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast

            Or watch it online at Melrose Scout Productions Podcast channel at PTC Media.

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            How was your summer camp this year?

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              Every year since 1982 I have attended a long term camp with the Boy Scouts of Troop 68, Melrose. Most of these have been week-long summer camps, but they also included five treks at Philmont Scout Ranch, one trip to the High Knoll Trail of West Virginia, one trip to the Northern Tier High Adventure Base, and a trip to the 2001 National Jamboree in Virginia.

              The troop has attended three summer camps during the last three decades. We have been to Tomahawk Scout Reservation in Wisconsin twice. Crow Wing Scout Reservation in Minnesota was a favorite of the troop for five years. Many Point Scout Camp became our home in the early 1990′s. We have been attending camp at MPSC now for 23 years. The boys really seem to enjoy themselves there.

              Five Boy Scouts of Troop 68, along with Eymard, the assistant scoutmaster, and myself, attended camp this year. Once again, we stayed in the Buckskin subcamp of MPSC. This was the fifth year we stayed at the Seton campsite, which is a small site located on the top of a small hill. The site is in the middle of Buckskin, near the lodge, trading post, and shower house.

              Troop 68 was one of the first troops to arrive at MPSC on Sunday, July 11th. I think we may have been the first troop in Buckskin for the week. Four of the five boys had already attended camp in the previous years so they knew the routine. They set up their tents, moved in their gear, changed clothes, and headed to the beach front for their swim checks. Eymard and I set up the screen porch and dining fly after they left.

              The troop had supper in the camp’s dining hall but the senior patrol leader and his assistant had supper at the lodge with the other SPL’s and ASPL’s in camp. It would be the first of a few meetings they would have during the week with the staff.

              After supper, the troops participated in a tour of the camp which took the boys to each of the program areas. It was during this tour that the boys discovered were their merit badge classes would be held. All five of the Troop 68 Scouts would be working on the Weather merit badge. Three would be working on archery (a two hour course), and the other two would work on Lifesaving (also a two hour course). The boys would be busy all morning with classes. Troop activities would fill our afternoons. Open program areas would keep the boys busy in the evenings.

              Sunday evening ended with the staff’s opening campfire program. The program was great. It was very entertaining while introducing us to this year’s staff. It was a fantastic start to the week. (Check out the Melrose Scout Production Podcast for videos from the campfire.)

              As we walked back to our campsite the boys declared that they would be going straight to bed. They were tired. I was quite surprised. Usually, the boys want to stay up a bit later the first night at camp. It was one of the few times I was in bed at summer camp before 10:30. As I laid there on my cot I thought to myself, “It is good to be back again. Almost like coming home.” As the MPSC rouser states, “Many Point Scout Camp, that’s the place to be.”

              I slept well that first night.

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                The Buckskin staff of Many Point Scout Camp always has a great song to bring the Friday night campfire to a close. This year was no exception. The staff sang a song about being at camp and enjoying the outdoors. I wish I knew the name of the song. This post to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast features the Buckskin staff as they sing the song at the July 16th campfire. It was a great tune to settle the boys down for the program’s end.

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