It is hard to believe, but next week I will head out to attend a week of summer camp for the 25th time. That includes three weeks as a Boy Scout, and 22 times as an adult leader. That does not include the five trips to Philmont Scout Ranch, the trip to the BWCA, or the 2001 National Jamboree. I guess you could say there has been a lot of long term Scouting camping trips in my life.
This year will also mark the 20th time my assistant, Eymard, will be attending summer camp. In fact, this will be his twentieth consecutive year of being a summer camp leader. Not bad for an 81 year old, huh?
Of course, there are a lot of memories and stories to go with all those trips. When I sit down and think about it I find it incredible that that Eymard and I have helped nearly 200 Boy Scouts have a summer camp experience. And then I think about all the merit badges earned at camp.
When I was a Boy Scout, Troop 68 attended our council’s camp, Parker Scout Reservation, located near Merrifield, Minnesota. Parker was closed as a summer camp in the late 1970’s so when the newly formed troop began attending summer again in 1981 we had no choice but to go out of council. We began with Crow Wing Scout Camp. We also attended Tomahawk Scout Camp and Many Point Scout Camp during that decade.
I really liked Crow Wing myself, but the council that owned it closed it, sold the land, and created a new camp closer to their council. Tomahawk was okay but it was located several hours away from Melrose. Many Point has been our troop’s home since the early 1990’s.
Troop 68 has only eight Boy Scouts at the moment. Two will be attending Philmont Scout Ranch while four will be at summer camp. It is different going to camp with such a small group. It was not that long ago when Troop 68 would send over twenty Scouts to Many Point. I guess it should be more relaxing in camp for Eymard and myself this year.
While I am sitting in my favorite lawn chair in the screen porch in our campsite this year, I hope to write a few more blog entries. I may even take the video camera along and film a couple more podcasts for the Melrose Scouting Productions Podcast
But then again, maybe I will take a cue from Eymard and just kick back and relax at camp this year. It should not be too difficult with only four boys to keep track of.