Earlier this year, a few adult troop leaders from neighboring communities got together after a roundtable and began talking about having a mini-camporee. The goal was to get the local troops together for a weekend, line up a few activities, and let the Scouts get to know each other. I missed the first and only organizational meeting due to a family matter, so it was emails and phone calls from there on.
Each of the four troops was responsible for an activity. The activities would be conducted in a round robin fashion from Saturday morning to the early afternoon. The Sauk Centre troop prepared a blind soccer activity. The troop from Albany planned theirs around orienteering. Avon put together a first aid demonstration.
I wanted Troop 68 to do something unique, something that most of the Scouts had not done before. My troop owns two blowguns so I brought up the idea to the membership about setting up a blowgun target range. They liked the idea and thought it would be fun.
A little over a week before the camporee I visited the land where the camporee would be held with one of the adult leaders from the Albany troop which was hosting the event. It was privately owned land about 3 or 4 miles southeast of Albany. There was a great wooded area for camping, and a large grassland for activities. It would work very well for our outing. The owner of the land was very supportive and told us that two of his sons had earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
The date of the camporee was chosen by the Albany and Avon troops so it would not take place during their school’s homecoming weekend. Unfortunately, the weekend they chose happened to be the weekend of Melrose’s homecoming weekend. It did not present any problem though. The Scouts from Troop 68 went to the camporee early Saturday morning instead of Friday evening. There was not any program planned for the outing on Friday night so it worked out well.
As the weekend approached I bought some targets and a large blue tarp to act as a backdrop for the range. After all, I did not want to lose any of the small darts in the brush if I did not have to. I also began watching the weather forecast. It looked like it could be a cool and wet weekend. I do not like camping on cool and wet weekends anymore after twenty eight years of Scouting. Oh well, too late to back out now.
(To be continued…)