Posts Tagged ‘MPSC’


MPSC 2016 patchThe Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 have completed their weeklong summer camp for the year. Once again, the troop went to Many Point Scout Camp which is located northwest of Park Rapids in Minnesota. Only four Scouts of the troop attended camp because the older boys will be going on a high adventure trip this week.

Three adults spent a week at the camp, two fathers and Eymard, our 89 year old assistant scoutmaster. I believe this was Eymard’s 27th year attending summer camp, and his 24th or 25th year at Many Point. I did not spend the week at camp but did take one day off work to visit the troop, and it was a full scheduled Thursday that I picked to spend with the boys.

I arrived at camp an hour later then I had planned. I forgot it took 2.5 hours to get there. For some reason I was thinking it was only going to take two hours. I walked into the Seton Campsite at the Buckskin Camp at 10:00 that morning. I was not to worried about missing anything though. I knew the Scouts had merit badge sessions in the morning and would be scattered around the camp. I took a few minutes to chat with Eymard and Dave, the dad who was there for his second year of camp, to see how things were going before I grabbed my camera and started the hunt to find the Scouts. Jason, the other dad and first time camp attendee, was checking out the older boy program camp.

I discovered I was not the hunter, or at least not a very good one. The Scouts found me. As I walked past the old handicrafts lodge, which I now call the gaming lodge since it is the location of the Chess and Game Design merit badges, I heard someone yell my name. As I turned around I saw three of the four Scouts standing in the doorway inviting me into the lodge to see what they had been doing. I quickly discovered all four Scouts were in the building working on the Game Design merit badge.

As the next merit badge session began, the boys separated as they headed to three different classes. I visited each class and took a few pictures of each of the Scouts. After all, that was my unofficial job, troop cameraman. It was funny when one of the Scouts made a comment that now someone will be taking pictures during camp. I guess he thought the dads had been a little lax in this area. But than, in their defense, I am well known for taking lots of pictures. I do mean lots of pictures. I went home after that one day of camp with nearly 180 pictures. Yeah, maybe I take too many, but you know, everyone likes to look at them later.

We did not eat lunch in the dining hall. Instead, we grabbed bagged lunches because we were going on a field trip. We were going to spend the afternoon at Itasca State Park, which is located only 45 minutes from camp. It was time for the Scouts to see the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River. There would be a lot of photo taking opportunities for me.

We arrived back in camp the the 4:00 merit badge session. There was a little free time after that session to goof around and chat. Then it was time to retire the colors and head to supper at the dining hall. After being well fed the Scouts did some merit badge homework and attended some of the  open programs. When the boys started coming back to the campsite about 8:30 we prepared to start a fire for making s’mores. I had stopped on the way to camp that morning to pick up the ingredients.

Unfortunately, I was not able to stay around to enjoy the campfire. I had to go to work the next morning. I left camp at 9:30 that evening to start the long journey home. I walked into my house at midnight, tired, but glad I had spent a day at camp. I had a good time, and it looked like the boys and adults were having a great time.

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This week nine Boy Scouts from Melrose Troop 68 are attending summer camp at Many Point Scout Camp in northern Minnesota. I was there with them from Sunday through Wednesday and I can tell you, they are having a blast, even though the weather could be a little less humid and a little dryer. It rained almost every day I was there.

The adult leaders gather every Wednesday at the Buckskin dining hall for a leader’s recognition dinner. The camp leaders tell us about the new programs and additions to the campsites, and they also play a video made from pictures taken earlier in the week. The pictures is this year’s video highlighted the adults who attended MPSC with their troops. Dave, a father of one of our Scouts, and I both made it into the video. We were both surprised by that. Neither of us knew that our photo was taken. I was playing lacrosse with the Scouts while Dave was watching the boys play gaga ball.

The team at Many Point have posted the video on their Youtube page. Here it is for you to enjoy. It is a little over three and a half minutes long.

mpsc2014bThe Boy Scouts have come home. About an hour and a half ago the ten Boy Scouts and two adult leaders of Melrose Troop 68 arrived home from spending the week at Many Point Scout Camp in northwest Minnesota. From the few minutes I was able to talk to them I discovered they had a great time but were ready to get home, clean up, and get back to life with their families.

The ten Scouts did an excellent job earning advancement while they were at camp. When I left them Monday afternoon I made a deal with them. I told them that if they earned a total of 25 completed merit badges during the week I would host a movie/pizza party. Eight of them were earning the Cooking merit badge which I did not think they could complete during camp so I did not count these against the total. I thought that 25 badges would present a good goal but would still be challenging.

Someday I will learn my lesson for betting against the Scouts. They earned their goal and went beyond it. They came home with 33 completed merit badges. It might be 34 after we check one Scout’s camping outings to see if he completed his Camping Merit Badge. Eight of these merit badges were the Cooking badge. It seems that with the new requirements this year the boys can complete the award during the week at camp. Oh well, even if I took the eight Cooking merit badges off the total it still leaves 25 completed badges, which met the goal. I guess I better get ready to buy some pizzas.

Here is a breakdown of the merit badges earned at summer camp this year:
8- Cooking, 2- Climbing, 2- Environmental Science, 4- Fishing,
1- Fish and Wildlife Management, 1- Forestry, 3- Game Design,
2- Geocaching, 1- Kayaking, 1- Lifesaving, 1- Mammal Study,
1- Nature, 1- Rowing, 1- Shotgun Shooting, 3- Weather,
1- Wilderness Survival (and possibly 1- Camping).

Congratulations to all the Boy Scouts for doing a great job at camp this week. Even though they earned a lot of badges while at camp they still managed to have a lot of fun and participate in in lots of activities.

I may not have spent the week with The Boy Scouts of Troop 68 at Many Point Scout Camp this summer, but I did spend Friday with them, and I had a great time. Of course, when it came to meal time, I had to stand in line with the troop and wait to be dismissed to the dining hall with the Scouts. The staff always leads the campers in a song before the meal. This time the leaders picked their “faaaavorite song”, My Dog Rover. It is a simple to learn song that enjoys pun filled humor. I am sure you have heard it before at a camp somewhere, but if you have not here is a new song that your troop can add to its list a fun campfire songs.

What pun-named dogs would you add to this song?

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I may not be a scoutmaster anymore, but Boy Scouting is still in my blood. I may not have gone with the troop to summer camp last week, but I could not completely stay away. I took a day off work last Friday spent the day with the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 at Many Point Scout Camp.

I arrived at the troop’s campsite during the second merit badge session. (See previous blog post.) When the troop was back together after the third session we had a short time to visit before walking to the Buckskin dining hall for a lunch of hot dogs, beans, and chips. During the meal I caught up on what had been happening during the week, and how the Scouts had been enjoying the program.

The troop had three activities planned for the afternoon. At 1:00, it was time for camp reflection. This is time for each troop to go back to its campsite and discuss how things had gone during the week. The Melrose Scouts seem to have been having a busy but fun week and really did not have any negative comments about the camp program. I found the old scoutmaster in me came out a couple times when I asked a few questions to keep the discussions going a bit longer.

The troop’s 2:00 activity was a round of disc golf on the camp’s nine hole course. As we walked toward the admin building to pick up the golf discs, I could not help but remember that last year we only played three holes because the mosquitoes were so bad they drove us off the course. Thankfully, the bloodsuckers where not very bad this year, but the horseflies did their best to bug us.

One of the Scouts, Alex, was determined to win the disc gold game this year. The boys and I have played a few times over the past twelve months and though we have tied a couple times, Alex had not yet beaten my score. Darren, our new assistant scoutmaster, was our score keeper. After the game was played, and the discs had been returned to the admin building, Darren announced the scores. I had a hunch the Alex may have finally beaten me by one throw but when Darren announced the results he declared… a tie! Alex and I had the same score again. Alex grabbed the score sheet from Darren’s hands and added the numbers himself. Sure enough, we were tied. If only it had not taken him five throws to get the disc into the basket on hole #2.

We went back to camp and the boys changed into their swim suits for the third afternoon activity, snorkeling. Noah, one of the younger Scouts, used the opportunity at the beach to complete his swimmer’s test and thus finish his First Class Rank. My job during this hour was to stand on the dock,  take a few pictures, and throw a clam shell into the water for the Scouts to find. It was a very warm afternoon and the boys enjoyed being in the lake.

The fourth merit badge session was held at 4:00. Only one of the Scouts had a class to attend so the other two boys had some free time to enjoy. Assistant scoutmaster Eymard and the boys sat around the table to enjoy a game of cards. As the supper hour arrived the troop changed into their uniforms and we walked to the camp’s parade ground near the dining hall. Troop 68 was scheduled to retire the colors and lead the camp in grace before supper. I felt a little out of place being one of the few people not wearing a Boy Scout uniform.

All program area were open after supper. I joined a couple of the boys as they went to the outdoor skills area. Alex wanted to show me the project he had been working on during his pioneering class. From there I walked to the ranges to check on Noah who was trying to finish his shooting for the Rifle Merit Badge. A short time later, Daniel arrived to work on his skills at the archery range, until Darren came to tell him the Alex was waiting for him in camp to go to the beach. I checked on Noah again and than went back to the troop’s campsite.

I decided to leave camp as the Boy Scouts were preparing to go to the camp’s closing campfire program which began at 9:30 that evening. I wanted to be home by midnight and had over a two hour drive ahead of me. I was already tired and did not want to stick around for the campfire.

I had a great time during my visit to camp. In one way, it seemed like coming home. I think the Boy Scouts appreciated that I stopped by for the day. It was a great way to spend a day of vacation from work.

Many Point Scout Camp 2003I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of heavy rain falling on the canvas tent. “Boy, it is raining pretty hard,” I thought as I rolled over on my cot and fell back to sleep.

I was with the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 for a week at Many Point Scout Camp. We were staying in the Tyler Campsite in Buckskin Camp. Tyler is located at the north end of the road that runs through Buckskin. It is the campsite that is furthest away from the dining hall and beach. Due to it’s location, it is also the most quiet campsite in Buckskin, which is one of the reasons we like it. The campsite is located on a hillside so it has wooden platforms for the tents.

When we woke up that morning we noticed everything around camp was soaked. A couple of the Scouts complained that they had some wet gear, but nothing too serious. We also noticed that there was water in the deep ditch along the campsite. Due to the sandy soil we had very seldom seen standing water in the ditch. We thought it must have rained a couple of inches during the night.

Little did we realize how wrong we were.

As we walked through Buckskin on our way to the dining hall for breakfast we began to realize how much it had actually rained overnight. The lower-lying campsites had been flooded. Dozens of campers has drenched gear and soaked sleeping bags.

The worst damage had been done to Ten Chiefs Camp, located south of Buckskin. The road through Ten Chiefs crossed streams on each end of the camp. Both of these creeks had overflowed their banks during the night and had washed out the road on both ends of camp. Ten Chiefs had, temporarily, become an island. Food had to be brought to the campers by boat on that day.

The camp had received seven inches of rain during the storm. The water level of the lake had risen two inches.

The Boy Scouts and adults of Troop 68 that were staying in Tyler were very grateful that we had slept on a sandy and hilly campsite that night.

Spending a week at summer camp has been an annual event for the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 since 1981. The summer of 2006 was no exception. Seven Scouts and two adult leaders from Troop 68 attended Many Point Scout Camp during the week of July 16-22. Attending camp were Jonah, Zach, Chris, Dakota, Alex, Jeff, and Chris. Steve and Eymard were the adult advisers.

Upon arriving at Many Point on Sunday the Scouts went to work setting up the campsite that would be their home for the next six nights. Then it was off to the beach for swim checks and other parts of the camp for demonstrations. The Many Point Buckskin staff really kicked the week off on a high note with an enthusiastic opening campfire program in the evening.

A typical day of camp was divided into three parts. The mornings were used to work on new skills, earn merit badges and other advancements. Afternoons were used for troop activities. All program areas were opened in the evenings for Scouts to freely roam from one area to another, or they could sit back in camp and relax.

The Scouts from Melrose kept themselves very busy during their stay at camp. On Monday, three boys took part in Project Cope, a team building program. The other Scouts spent the afternoon making and eating an apple cobbler at Scoutcraft, shooting 22 rifles at the range, and playing water polo at the beach.

On Tuesday the boys tried their skill at sailing, worked on a campsite project, and then headed to the beach for the Iron-man triathlon which consisted of canoeing, swimming, and running.

Wednesday afternoon was spent at the beach. The activities started with an hour of rafting and canoeing, following by several DELTA games, and finishing with an hour of free swim.

The troop left camp Thursday afternoon for a field trip to Itasca State Park to see the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Not only did the Scouts get to do some site seeing and walk across the headwaters of the mighty river, but they also got to meet Smokey the Bear.

Three Scouts from Melrose had an afternoon of wild wet fun when they attended the Huck Finn raft on Friday. The rest of the troop had a blast at the climbing tower and bouldering wall, and the archery range.

This year was the 60th anniversary of the opening of Many Point Scout Camp. In honor of this the Many Point staff held a medallion hunt. Campers were given one clue per day if they participated in a special activity in the evening. The Melrose Scouts set their sights on finding the medallion. They beat the other 200 campers that week by finding the silver lantern on Wednesday night.

The week of fun came to an end Friday night during the evening’s closing campfire program. Almost every troop in camp performed a song or skit. The Melrose Scouts did the “How to spot a Pickpocket” skit to the delight of the other campers and staff. Troop 68 was also recognized for finding the medallion and for earning the Super Troop Award.

The Scouts learned a few new skills while they were at camp. They also had a lot of fun and came home with a lot of great memories. Plans have already been made to attend Many Point Scout Camp Next year.