Archive for the ‘camping’ Category


It has become a tradition of Boy Scout Troop 68. Usually, in February or March, the Scouts pack their gear and head to Camp Stearns for a winter outing. The camp is located in central Minnesota, about an hour from town. It is owned by the Northern Star Council of the Twin Cities. The troop rents a lodge to sleep in but the boys spend plenty of time outside having fun in the winter snow.

This video of the Melrose Scout Productions podcast features a slideshow of the pictures taken at last year’s Camp Stearns outing. The Scouts had a great time at camp. They worked on advancement Saturday morning. After lunch they put on their snowshoes and played 18 holes of disc golf. In the evening they went to the awesome sledding hill. The boys wrapped up the day by watching a movie before hitting the sleeping bags.

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

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    If you follow The Buckets comic strip you know that the youngest member of the household, Eddie, is a Cub Scout, and his father is a Pack leader. A few times a year Greg Cravens, the creator of the strip, uses his comic to share a humorous look at the world of Cub Scouting. Mr. Cravens obvious knows a little about the Scouting program because his comics can hit very close to home. I am sure many Pack Leaders and families can identify with the situations he shares with us. ( I sometimes wonder if Mr. Cravens is not a Cub Scout leader in his community.)

    Mr. Cravens recently featured a weeklong series in which the Cub Scout Pack goes on a camping trip. If you have ever taken Scouts on a camping trip I am sure you will find these hitting the mark. Here is a quick rundown of the comic strips and the links:

    A trip is announced / A pocket knife is needed: Click HERE.
    The first rule of camping: Click HERE.
    My last dry clothes: Click HERE.
    How to gather the Scouts: Click HERE.
    Texting while hiking: Click HERE.
    A tick is on me! : Click HERE.

    While these comic strips feature Cub Scout age boys, many of them could also apply to Boy Scout age youth. Enjoy.

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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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        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.

        Subscribe to Melrose Scout Productions Podcast through iTunes (and rate the show)
        or at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
        Leave feedback here, at iTunes, or on the forums at PTC Media.

        How was your summer camp this year?

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          This year’s weekend camping trip to Kings Lake near Freeport, Minnesota, was not a typical troop outing. We arrived Friday night, as usual, and set up camp. We left Sunday morning, as usual. Saturday was anything but the usual.

          Only three members of the troop attended this outing, and one did not arrive until after breakfast Saturday morning. We began the program with some map and compass work for the Second Class Rank. When it came time for the hike we decided to walk into Freeport, have an old style ice cream malt at Charlie’s Cafe, and walk back to camp in time for lunch.

          We jumped into the car after lunch and went to Albany to play disc golf at North Lake Park. We played nine holes before going back to camp to clean up a bit. It was time to go to the graduation party of our oldest Boy Scout, Dakota. He invited us to stop by for supper. We, of course, could not turn down that opportunity.

          Back at camp, the evening began with a leisurely pontoon boat ride around Kings Lake. The Scouts branded the Boy Scout logo onto an old canoe paddle, several times, which was then cut up into smaller pieces to take home as souvenirs. It ended with everyone sitting around the campfire. The boys must have been tired because they went to bed before the sun set in the western sky. It may not have been a typical weekend but the boys had fun and enjoyed the program. Isn’t that what really matters?

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            Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement, had a lot to say about the program. A good source of his thoughts can be found in his book, “Scouting For Boys”. Now that we are in the summer camp season, there is one of B-P’s thoughts that I thought would be a good choice to share with you:

            The Value of Camp Life

            I CANNOT impress on Scoutmasters too highly the value of the camp in the training of Scouts; in fact, I think that its whole essence hangs on this.

            Many Scoutmasters who value the moral side of our training are almost inclined to undervalue the importance of the camp, but the camp is everything to the boys. We have to appeal to their enthusiasm and tastes in the first place, if we are ever going to do any good in educating them.

            An eminent educational authority assured me only to-day that our school education is all on wrong lines; that book learning was introduced by the monks in order to kill the more manly training in skill at arms and hunting which, in the Middle Ages, occupied the time of the boys, and which undoubtedly produced so large a percentage of men of character among them. It was done with a narrow-minded aim, and although it has done some good in certain lines, it has done infinite harm to our race in others.

            He said: “You should first of all develop the natural character of the boy by encouraging him in the natural athletic exercises which tend to make him manly, brave, obedient, and unselfish; later give him the desire for reading for himself which will eventually lead him on to study for himself. The fallacy of trying to force him to read what the pedagogue wants him to know is the secret of so much ignorance and absence of studious work amongst our lads to-day.”

            This same authority would like to see Scouting or some similar scheme introduced into our continuation schools, and attendance at these made obligatory for all boys of fourteen to sixteen.

            I hope that his wish may yet be gratified. I believe it will be if Scoutmasters continue in the way in which they have begun and prove to the education authorities in their neighbourhood the educative value which underlies our Movement.

            April 1911.

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              It was a nice warm Saturday morning at the state-wide Ripley Rendezvous last weekend. The sun was shining, There was a nice breeze. It was turning out to be a great day for this Scouting event. Little did we realize that nature had a little surprise in store for us.

              There were three program areas for the Boy Scouts. Two of them were for the boys thirteen and older. Those Scouts went to the northern parts of the Camp Ripley National Guard Base to participate in shooting sports, an obstacle course, and other activities. The 11 and 12 year old Boy Scouts stayed near our campsites and toured the 60 stations in the Action Program. I had one Scout who was in the Action Program so I decided to stay in camp to be with him. A neighboring troop also had one Scout that age and asked if he could join us for the day. Of course he could.

              The morning stations went without a problem. The boys and I picked up our bag lunches and headed back to our campsite to join Eymard, my assistant scoutmaster. The skies were still clear, but the temperature was getting hot and the wind had picked up. The four of us sat around the table under our 10′x10′ dining fly. We had to hold on to our potato chip bags to keep them from blowing away.

              Our campsite was about 50 yards or so from the gravel road. (The campsites were located to the east of this road.) The four of us had almost finished lunch when we spotted a dust devil spinning on the gravel road collecting dust and lose sand. As we watched it began to move in our direction, growing in size, and gaining strength.

              Within seconds, this dust devil had grown to nearly 30 feet or more in diameter. Our campsite was hit dead center. It was like being caught in a very small tornado. The mini-twister lifted our staked-to-the-ground dining fly off the ground and threw it 30 feet to land on top of one of the boy’s tents. A tent pole snapped, the tent went down, and the dining fly rolled a little further.

              Each of the troops to the north and east of us were using 10′ x 20′ ‘carports’ as their dining flies. The mini-twister picked up the carport to the north of us and dropped it upside down onto the side of our two-room leader’s tent. One of the poles from that carport glanced of my back as the boys and I were ducking for cover. The carport in the camp to the east of us was also picked up and moved from its spot.

              Within 10 or 15 seconds the whole thing was over. Boy Scouts from nearby campsites came running over to see if everyone was alright and to help us clean up the mess. None of us were hurt but there was damage to the equipment. Our dining fly was laying on its side, about 40 feet from were it had been. It’s frame was twisted. Some of the joints had been broken. We were able to set it back up but it is a piece that will need to be replaced.

              The boy’s tent that was hit was laying on the ground due to the broken poles. The tent fly was also ripped. We used a branch and duct tape to create a splint to hold the poles together so the boys could still use it one more night. We will cannibalize the tent for parts needed in the future.

              Our adult leader’s tent was leaning to one side. It was standing, but the poles had been bowed when the carport had hit it. A hole had been ripped into the back wall, near the floor. The troop had recently purchased a new tent to replace this nearly twenty year old shelter. I was glad I had not taken the new tent along on this outing. The old tent will now be “put out to pasture.”

              The dining fly/carport of the camp to our north had to be completely taken apart. At least four of the heavy metal poles had been bent. Luckily, the troop had another set of poles along with them. The carport to the east of us did not seem to be damaged. It did not take long for the troop to set it up again once they arrived back in camp after their activities.

              Later that afternoon we saw a couple other tents in other campsites that had also been damaged in the brief strong winds. Another scoutmaster told me their dining fly had also been knocked down. There were no injuries reported.

              It was quite an experience being caught in the middle of a mini-twister. Thankfully we were able to laugh about it. I told the two Boy Scouts that were in our campsite that they now had a story to tell their grandchildren. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures. I did not even think about the camera until we had things cleanup and back in order.

              The picture above shows our campsite and the two neighboring camp’s carports before the mini-twister. The pictures below show a couple of damaged tents from other campsites. Clicking on the pictures will bring up a larger photo.

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                The PLC Meeting.

                The patrol leader council held their monthly meeting today to review April and plan for May’s meetings and activities. Although they did get sidetracked a few times, they were able to plan next month’s meetings and service project.

                There was one thing that came up that I was disappointed to hear. The program, menu, and duty roster for this weekend’s camping trip had not been planned yet, and more Scouts decided they would like to attend the outing, even though they should have been registered two weeks ago.

                It looks like we may have to postpone the camping trip one week to get everything planned out at next Monday’s troop meeting. Luckily, it is a local campout held on some nearby private land.

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