This year Elliot and the now Webelos I went to Gilbert Ranch at Butte Creek in the Cascade Pacific Council. We had been there before for our District’s first Annual Cub-o-ree. Which was good since we knew that “The Hill” was there! We packed lite, which was needed since out “homestead” was two more places UP the hill than last time. Ugh. I lost 5 pounds just hiking up and down it.
This was a two night three day resident camp, which the boys did last year at Cub World. They were used to it. Next year is Adventure Cove with four nights and five days.
Gilbert Ranch is just that. A working Ranch. Besides the BB Guns , Archery, Wood Craft and a Games station, the boys had a Geology and Horseback riding station.
The Geology station gave the boys a chance to earn the Geology Beltloop. Elliot did not attempt it since he wanted to pan for gold. I will say that the Staff Member who put it on, was totally awesome. While he kept the boys attention, he handed out great information. I even learned a few things.
There was a Pioneering station, which the boys learned how to make butter with marbles, but we apparently ran out of time for the branding and blacksmithing part. We did however get to see all the animals in the petting zoo area. This was our first rotation after the whole camp tour. The Camp Tour took a bit because the boys not paying attention as they needed to apparently.
The Horseride part was something that the boys were looking forwards to. The next time the boys get to get on Horses within the Scout Program is in Boy Scouts. There is a Horse Trek from Butte Creek up to Mt Hood’s Pioneer BSA Camp. The trek is a 10 trek. This was the first time for many of the boys including Elliot to ever get on a horse and ride. Elliot has been on pony rides with the pony walking in a circle, so, that does not count. All the Webelos I paid attention to the wrangler who handed out instructions on how to mount, dismount, and ride the horse. There was no silliness or dumb questions. As the boys mounted their Steed, they were off on a trail ride. Elliot was in the second round to go and he picked a “hard” horse. Meaning the horse would not just follow the leader. He has to kick him to go and steer with the reins. When Elliot got back, I asked how he liked it. His reply was “I hope this is open during Free Time, I wanna go again!” Well, that answered that. What he doesn’t know is that Mom found a coupon for a four hour horse ride for four. It’s going to be a family outing.
The boys had to do the usual Waiter for Breakfast, Dinner and Supper. Which they did pretty well. The Camp had Chores for each Homestead to do as well after breakfast. Ours was sweeping mainstreet. The staff put on several Campfires and a Old West Show, which was great. Some of the staff had long speeches that were pure poetry. Great thing is they usually were right in front of us, so I heard them all. There was a Scout’s Own, which was kinda wierd. They passed out a survey to see who wanted a bible or a chaplin visit. Ok, I get that, but it wasn’t presented well. I made Elliot stay since we generally do not go to church on a regular basis. 15 minutes into it, he had nature call, so we both got out of it. He needed a buddy.
At the end of one day, there was a Flag Retirement. Which, we attended. It was optional, but I knew we had to go. It was very nicely done. I had to explain to Elliot and the boys what was happening before we went to the Campfire bowl. The ceremony was good and the boys behaved themselves.
Overall it was a great camp for the boys. Next up, I will talk about how the Parents and my general thoughts on wierd things that happen at camp….