Posts Tagged ‘egg drop’

Camp Watchamagumee is one of the favorite camping spots for the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68. It is forty acres of private land located about ten miles north of Melrose. The troop began camping there in the late 1980’s and have planned an annual trip there every year since then.

I would guess it was maybe 15 years ago when I suggested a new activity to the Scouts for this weekend. It became so popular that it has now become an annual tradition. I had no idea the Egg Drop Competition would become so poplar. The Scouts really enjoy the challenge and trying to come up with a design to create the best package of the year.

The Egg Drop Competition is actually quite simple. Each Scout, or two person team if a lot of Scouts attended the outing, receives a raw egg. They have 15 minutes to create a package for that egg using only natural materials found in the wooded area around the camp. No man-made materials are allowed, not even string. The Boy Scouts become quite inventive as they use grass, bark, stick, logs, mud and moss to create their packages. A few packages over the years have even used dried cow patties. The packages must be easily opened so that the egg can be retrieved to see if it has survived.

The first round begins with the egg packages being dropped from waist high. If the egg survives it moves on to the next round in which the eggs are dropped from chest high. Each round gets higher which eliminates more eggs, of course. The drops continue until only one egg remains unbroken.

Some of the Scouts have gotten pretty good at this. There have been years I have stood near the top of an eight foot tall step ladder throwing the packages down unto a concrete patio block trying to break the egg. Of course, you can probably imagine the excitement when the competition get to that point, and the smile on the face of the Boy Scout when his egg survives the throw.

I was not able to attend this year’s Egg Drop Competition. Yes, i missed the egg drop. This may have been the first time. I heard that the nine Scouts had an excellent time again this year, including the four new Scouts who had just crossed over from Webelos a couple months earlier. The picture shows Luke, this year’s winner.

eggdrop2006Boy Scout Troop 68, the troop I have been with for over 25 years, has a camp site on some private land about 10 miles north of town that we go to every spring, usually in May, many times over the Memorial Day Weekend. We call it Camp Watchamagumee. It is a camp site that the troop members have made over the years with the permission of the owners of the land. Every year the boys pour a little more sweat into the site to make it a little better then the year before. There is no running water, no plumbing facilities, no electricity, and none of the comforts of home.

It is the boys’ favorite place to go camping.

It is a site where the boys can go and just be boys, just be Scouts. We need to bring everything in with us, including water, but no one seems to mind. The view over the beaver pond is beautiful, and there are plenty of trees and brush to help cut down on the stronger winds that could be a nuisance. (You can see pictures of it on our website at

Some day I may have to write about how this campsite was developed, but not today. Today I write about what has become a grand tradition at Camp Watchamagumee – The Great Egg Drop Competition!

The egg drop competition began many years ago as an activity for Saturday afternoon. The boys form two or three member teams. Each team is given one raw egg, although there was once or twice when we gave them two eggs. No hard boiled eggs are allowed. Each team must “package” the egg using only materials found in nature around the camping area of Watchamagumee. No man-made materials are allowed. The packages must be made so the egg can be easily removed for inspection after each drop.

At the end of the “packaging” period, the boys bring their packaged eggs to the drop zone. Then the dropping begins. The first round of dropping begins at waist level. After the drop, each team must open the package and display the egg. If the egg survived the drop the team proceeds to the next round. Teams are not allowed to add to the packaging, or modify the package, once the competition has begun. The next drop is from shoulder high, and each round of dropping gets higher until finally one team emerges as victorious.

It has been very interesting to see how the teams package their eggs over the years. They will use leaves, sticks, birch bark, long grasses, and mud. They can be quite ingenious. Some packages look like they would win the competition, only to loose in the second round. Others look like they could not possibly make it through the first round, only to make it all the way to the final rounds.

And boy, do they make them strong! There have been times when I stood on the floor of a lashed tower, ten feet above ground, throwing the packages onto a jagged tree stump below me, trying my best to break those eggs. Being a scoutmaster can be so rough at times.

The best part is that we never know who will win. Sometimes the oldest, most experienced Scouts will take the prize. But then, the next year, the newest and youngest Scouts who have never competed before will take home the title.

It will be interesting to see who wins this weekend. Hmmmm…the signal tower is down. Anyone know where I can borrow a twelve foot step ladder?