Boy Scout summer camp is a unique experience that all boys should have on their path toward manhood and independence. It’s a safe environment to spread their wings away from the protective arms of mother, where dirt is acceptable and band aids a badge of honor. Scouts return home with greater confidence, having learned valuable skills, practiced patrol leadership, and shared adventures with their troop mates.
Although camps provide scouts with a few program tracks from which to schedule their time, most of the activities are merit badge opportunities; archery, rifle shooting, climbing, horsemanship, metalworking, fishing, swimming, kayaking, among others. The “Scoutcraft” area offers traditional pioneering, camping, cooking, leatherwork, wood carving, wilderness survival, fire building, sharp tools use, and life skills that most non-scouts will never learn. Older scouts with a few years of camp behind them can focus on Eagle-required merit badges, or participate in advanced programs designed to challenge experienced scouts; backpack and canoe treks, scuba, small boat sailing, or mountaineering. Many of these senior scouts decide to join camp staff and lead programs.
A typical day for Troop 115 at Camp Lassen this year began with a “Polar Bear Plunge” and brisk wakeup in the lake, returning just in time to don class A’s for flag ceremony. Breakfast was the first of three great meals served in the lodge, a classic camp building constructed in 1934. Morning and afternoon sessions found the scouts working on merit badges, and enjoying free time during camp “sparklers”. All scouts agreed the highlight of the week were the opening and closing campfire programs. Scout Spirit was on full display in the songs, skits, and cheers! Perhaps Troop 115 helped keep that spirit burning at camp, by taking an early morning shift feeding the “eternal flame”, and yelling loudly across the meadow each morning, “WE FEEL GOOD, OH WE FEEL SO GOOD…AAAAGGHH!!!”
By the end of the week, the scouts had earned 4 or 5 merit badges each, accumulated a week’s worth of grime, and toted a few band aids. More important, they had a shared memory of adventure, challenge, and FUN!
Ready to have your own summer camp experience? Find a troop near you today!