The 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.