Cubscout Camp is one of the things that I now look forward to each year. Last year was a day camp, this was the first resident camp. It’s only looking better as I can see. I am always nervous before large events kick off. I just know that I forgot something or something is going to happen. My goal was to get through getting to camp and handing off the medical forms. Once I got to there and no issues…..then I could relax……
The two and half days of camping with the boys was awesome. Not sure if we lucked out and got the Boxcars, but it was good. Cool and close to the dining hall. We were paired up with Pack 56 from Hillsboro as the Golden Dragons. That was a good move since it got everyone talking to others that we would not have. The Den Leader of 566 and I found out that we were looking for simular things in ceremonies.
There were 10 stations that we worked our way through the whole weekend. Great thing was we ended up on the last day with Archery, BB Guns and Slingshots. If you look at it, we got the best rotation, saving the best for last.
We started off by making Knight Helmets, Tunics and learning to ride horses. We then went through the process of making leather book covers, learning BMX Bike Racing,cooking, and Earth Science over the whole time. It was a good even pace and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
My main goal in going to camp with my son was to ensure he had a good time and that I was there for him as his Dad. We had seven boys and six dads. Not unusual since the other pack has 8 & 8. That being the case, four of our dads had never been to camp. One was a Life Scout. Another Dad went last year to Day Camp. What I was hoping to have them get out of it was how Scouting works. All they see is Den and Pack meetings. Not the behind the scenes of Scouting, nor what the bigger picture was for all.
This took shape in several points during the weekend.
First: There were not a lot of real adults onsite on staff. It was run by boys and girls 25 and younger. Our troop guide was 15 or 16. We had him last year at Day Camp. This was their second session out of seven. Were there rough spots. Yes, but we all got through it. It was interesting to hear comments. This is not Disneyland or some corporate run camp. It’s Council Run for boys.
Second: Religious. Our pack is not big on religious overtones. We generally shy away from it since it’s one of those topics if brought up at a party everyone will have an opinion and a heated debate might ensue. That being the case, I was interested in Chapel & Prayer before meals. There was a chance for a youth and adult chaplain’s aid service. Three boys and one dad took part. All surprised me, but I welcomed their participation.
That being said, I did talk to the two lead Chaplains/Youth Leaders about it. Explained our pack and that I really enjoyed what they did. They were very very easy to get along with and a good conversation about religion within Scouts. My hope is that I can slowly incorporate it into the pack.
Finally: There was an adult leader award that could be earned if the adult completed a list of items. All were very fun to do and kept the adults engaged with the boys. It was designed to do that. It was something that I had planned on doing. However, after getting onsite, I realized that I am no there to EARN Patches. I did do a lot of what the list had, but I did not get sign off.
What I found myself doing was a lot of “Safe Scouting.” I felt the pull of Youth Protection with my own son since there were incidents that made it nessacary for him and I to have talks and bathroom breaks. He needed a Youth Buddy at times, but the boys were off doing their own things with other buddies. Being Ground Zero for the Portland Trials, I was mindful of it all.
While we all kept after the boys about the Buddy System, it was hard for them to follow. Hence, my visability with the boys at a lot of the times. I am normally a nervous nelly about safety. However, when BSA rules are active I get a tad more. I think it’s all the training that I had.
Overall, my goals were to have fun, keep the boys interested and on track. Also, to have the parents experince Scouting as I have. The more the parents understand Scouting, the easier it is on the kids and those of us to volunteer that ONE HOUR A WEEK.
In the end, the boys had a great time. The Crossover ceremony was totally fantastic. I know that all the boys will not forget this Cubscout Camp for along time since they kept talking about last years.
Until next year…….Gilbert Ranch with horses and NEW WEBELOS I!