Archive for the ‘summer camp’ Category


It is almost a tradition. During the past few years I have taken my video camera along to summer camp and recorded the opening and closing campfire programs. These programs are edited down to become podcast episodes and a dvd for the Boy Scouts who attended camp. Over the past few years I have posted a video to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast featuring the Buckskin staff of Many Point Scout Camp as they lead the campers in the Many Point Rouser at the beginning of the Sunday evening campfire. It is now time to post the 2010 version.

It amazes me every year we go to summer camp how energized the camp staff always seems to be. When they lead the boys in the rouser with so much enthusiasm it sets the stage for the entire week. The Boy Scouts know they have a staff that is anxious to work with them during the week and ready to have fun while they do. So, let’s dedicate this video to not only the Buckskin staff of Many Point Scout Camp but to all the staff members of summer camps around the country.

By the way, this video also contains footage of a couple of very athletic guys doing a little pre-campfire show, and the introduction of the troops at camp.

Do not forget to go to iTunes and rate the podcast. It has been awhile since the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast has received some iTunes love.

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    Hundreds of thousands of Boy Scouts attend summer camp every year. The Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 are no exception. Five Scouts and two adult leaders attended Many Point Scout Camp, located north of Park Rapids, during the week of July 11-17.

    A typical day at camp began with breakfast in the Buckskin dining hall. Then the boys would spread out throughout the camp as they worked on their merit badge advancements. After lunch, there would be troop activities. The Scouts were free to participate in any of the open program areas in the evenings.

    The Melrose Boy Scouts kept quite busy at camp. Monday afternoon began with an Ethics In Action team building program. Then they spent an hour at the beach enjoying the camp’s aquatramp (sceen above). A service project of installing a new bench around the campfire ring finished up the afternoon.

    The troop helped row a 30 foot long voyager canoe across the lake Tuesday afternoon to visit the new Frontier Camp. The camp was set up to be similar to an 1800′s logging camp. The Scouts cut logs using a two person saw, split lumber with an ax, debarked logs, branded beaver cookies, and played horseshoes.

    Wednesday activities began with a round of disc golf. The Scouts climbed the climbing tower before heading to the archery range for the troop’s annual “Robin Hood” competition. The troop visited the Many Point History Center after supper and climbed to the top of the 100 foot high fire tower.

    Thursday afternoon found the boys at Scoutcraft to learn some new cooking skills, including how to bake lembas bread, the bread of the elves in the Lord Of The Ring series. Then they went to the rifle range for the troop shoot. The afternoon ended with a relaxing hour at the beach front sauna house.

    The troop began Friday afternoon like every troop in camp, with a camp reflection period. Then it was back to the waterfront for two hours of sailing on the Many Point Sunfish sailboats. The closing campfire program was held Friday evening with every troop in camp performing a song or skit. The Scouts of Troop 68 did a great job with their skit and got several laughs during their performance. (Watch for a future MSPP episode for the video of the skit.)

    The five Scouts of Troop 68 did well during their merit badges programs. Each Scout completed two merit badges. The badges earned this year were Weather, Archery, and Lifesaving. One Scout was able to finish his Camping merit badge while at camp.

    The Boy Scouts and adult leaders had a great time at camp this year and already have made their reservation to attend many Point Scout Camp during the 2011 season.

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      I was listening to some music at work this afternoon when the Village People’s Y.M.C.A. was played. Suddenly, I was transported back to summer camp several years ago. Troop 68 liked taking songs, changing the words, and making a new campfire song. Y.M.C.A. happened to be one of those songs.

      We had attended Many Point Scout Camp for several years and I thought we might be able to change Y.M.C.A. to M.P.S.C.  We worked on the lyrics and it did not take long to come up with a new song and actions to go along with it. When we performed it at the Friday night closing campfire it became a hit. The staff joined us onstage for the refrain and the campers and leaders joined us in the actions. We have performed the song several times since then. If I find a decent video of the troop’s performance I will be sure to get it online. Until then, here are the words to our version of M.P.S.C. -

      1)  Young man, When you need to get out,
      I said, young man, get away from the crowds.
      I said, young man, don’t just sit there and pout.
      Get up and camp with the Boy Scouts.

      That’s where, you can shoot 22′s.
      I said, that’s where, there’s always something to do.
      I said, that’s where, you can eats lots of stew,
      get belly aches and turn shades of blue.

      (Refrain)
      It’s fun to go to the M.P.S.C.  You’ve got to go to the M.P.S.C.
      You can tie a few knots, you can cook your own meal,
      You can do whatever you feel.

      M.P.S.C.  You’ve got to go to the M.P.S.C.
      Young man, young man, don’t just sit on your tail.
      Young man, young man, get yourself on the trail.

      2)  Voyagers, is the place you should be
      if you want to, cook your food as you please.
      Then there’s Ten Chiefs, out among all the trees,
      with no shower facility.

      Buck Skin, is the camp where you call
      patrol members, to eat in the dining hall.
      Project Cope is, the place where you do it all
      even experience free fall.

      3)  Young man, the bathrooms are quite unique.
      I said, young man, wait till you get a peek.
      I said, young man, it’s the place that you seek
      When you can’t wait any longer.

      Then there’s, the bedroom facilities
      Where you can get, a bit caught up on your zz’s
      Where the canvas, let’s in all the bugs and fleas
      Unless you’ve got mosquito netting.

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        I recently scanned the pictures I have as a Boy Scout of Melrose Troop 68 in the 1970′s. Then I uploaded them to my Flickr account so that I could make a slideshow to share with you. The pictures are of Scout Sunday in 1975, my photo story for the photography merit badge that I never quite completed, and pictures from summer camp at Parker Scout Reservation in 1976 and 1977. Don’t laugh too hard when you notice the clothing worn back then.

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          In the last article I wrote about the weather during this summer’s week-long outing at Many Point Scout Camp, and the Tuesday storm in which lightning hit a tree near the administration building located less then a mile from our campsite. I did not get to see the tree while I was at camp but one of the Many Point staff members did get a couple pictures of the tree that was hit. Unfortunately, while I saved this photo, I forgot the name of the staff member. Oh well, you can see the damage to the tree. It is further proof to play it safe during thunderstorms and get to a safe place.

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            A lot comes to mind when I think about spending a week at summer camp. Scoutcraft, beach activities, and friendships are just a few, but there are a lot more.

            The weather always adds something to the memories of camp. I never forget to pack my rain gear because I know there will be at least one rainy day during the week. On the sunny days the temperatures can reach the 90′s, which can be pretty nasty when you add in the humidity of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes. The mosquitoes and deer flies love the hot humid weather and often make the evenings a challenge to enjoy. Those are the days I am glad I made the investment of a screen porch to bring to camp.

            This summer’s trip to Many Point Scout Camp added a couple new memories to the many I already have. The week began with Sunday and Monday being sunny and comfortable days. The usually rainy day came on Tuesday as a cold front moved into the area. The light drizzle turned to a heavy rain along with thunder and lightning which closed many of the camp’s program areas for safety reasons.

            Suddenly, there was a bright flashing of light followed by a deafening boom of thunder that happened at the same moment. Everyone in our campsite jumped inside their tents, including me. My assistant scoutmaster, who happened to be sitting in the screen porch, looked up in the sky in time to see a “ball of fire” to the east of us. We later discovered that lightning had struck a tree near the MPSC administration building which is less than a mile from where we were camping.

            The cold front dropped the temperature enough that everyone put on a jacket or sweatshirt. Unfortunately, it stayed cool on Wednesday, and Thursday, and Friday. It was so cool that the Scouts decided to skip their troop aquatramp period at the beach Thursday afternoon, and their two hours of sailing on Friday. They had suddenly become fans of disc golf.

            Even though the boys decided it was too cool to do activities at the waterfront they did keep busy with camp activities. And there was one advantage to the cool weather. The mosquito population was down, and the deer flies were almost nonexistent. I guess the insects preferred the warmer weather.

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              It was a nice warm morning on Sunday, July 12, when eight Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 met to spend a week at Many Point Scout Camp which is located north of Park Rapids, Minnesota. Unfortunately, the nice weather would not stay with the Scouts, but did they let that stop them from having fun? No way! They still had a great time.

              A typical day at camp is broken into three parts. The Scouts work on merit badges and advancement projects in the morning. They participate in troop activities in the afternoon. The boys scatter to all areas of the camp in the evenings when all program areas are open for fun.

              Monday afternoon was busy for the Boy Scouts of Troop 68. It began with an hour long session of team building games called Ethics in Action. They than participated in a camp service project for their Super Troop Award. Then it was time to cool off at the waterfront for a game of water polo.

              Tuesday’s activities included an hour of canoeing, a visit to the fire tower and museum, and the Ironman competition, but due to thunderstorms and lightning moving into the area these activities were cancelled for safety reasons. The campers used this time to relax in their campsite.

              Wednesday’s schedule included some the the troop’s favorite activities. The fun began at the Buckskin Camp climbing tower and bouldering wall. The troop went to the archery range to work on their skills with the bow and arrow, tomahawks, and sling shots. The afternoon finished with an hour at the beachfront sauna.

              The weather turned very cool on Thursday so the Scouts decided to play eighteen holes of disc golf on the camp’s new course instead of swimming at the beach. This was followed by the troop shoot at the rifle range.

              The weather stayed cool and cloudy on Friday so the boys followed their ‘camp reflection’ time with another trip to the disc gold course, instead of going sailing. Many of the boys improved their scores from the previous day. The day ended with the closing campfire program which included most of the troops in camp performing a song or skit. The Melrose Boy Scouts performed one of their favorite skits, The Pickpocket, to the enjoyment of the whole camp.

              The eight Scouts also did very well on working on advancement. They earned a total of 21 merit badges during the week.

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                I just discovered this video on Youtube featuring behind the scenes pictures from Scout Camp: The Movie, which is being released on dvd this month. I am looking forward to seeing this movie. I think the troop will be having a movie night after I get a copy.

                And here is a short clip from the movie featuring the Boy Scouts as they arrive at the beach for their swim checks.

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