The weekend had arrived for the mini-camporee. The Boy Scout troops from Albany, Avon, and Sauk Centre had arrived at the site Friday night. The Scouts from Melrose arrived early Saturday morning due to the high school homecoming football game held Friday night.
When the four Scouts from Troop 68 arrived at my house at 7:00 that morning, it did not take me long to notice that something was missing. No one had taken time to get the food for the outing. I was not happy, but to tell the truth, I was not surprised. During the troop meeting four nights earlier the boys had been arguing about who would get the food. “I don’t have time.” “I got it the last time.” No one wanted to do it. As I watched the boys load the truck I thought to myself, “This is a great way to begin the outing.” We ended up leaving town thirty minutes late, after the boys went to the store to do some shopping.
The rest of the weekend went very well. Once we had camp set up we went to work to prepare the blowgun target range. The four activity sessions began at 9:30, with each troop doing their own sponsored activity first to make sure the kinks were worked out before the other troops came through. The Troop 68 Scouts did all four stations before lunch, but I discovered later they had only completed half of the first aid activity.
Most of the afternoon was open time so each troop could plan its own activities. My Scouts did some exploration of the woodland in which we were camped. Then we played disc golf for nine holes, or maybe I should say tree trunks. A church service, hosted by our troop, finished off the afternoon.
Supper was quite interesting. It was a pot luck, and boy, was there a lot to eat. There were brats, baked beans, chili, and beef stew. My troop made fried potatoes and spaghetti with meat sauce, which quickly vanished from the table. Desert was pudding served in ice cream cones, topped with cool whip. It was a little messy, but no one complained. No one left the meal hungry.
The evening program began with a camp-wide Capture the Flag game, which was played in the dark. A few of us adults were a little concerned about playing in the dark, but the boys had a great time. In fact, many of the boys were so tired after the game that they turned in for the night instead of going to the planned campfire program. The Scouts from Troop 68 were the only boys to show up at the campfire so they did not stick around long.
The outing was a complete success and we are already talking about doing another camporee next fall, and maybe even doing some training sessions together.