The Cascade Pacific Council has Cubscout camps that help transition Cub Scouts from Tigers to Webelos II and then onto the Boy Scout program. Adventure Cove at Camp Clark is the last in this transition. Camp Meriweather is next door.
I have been to all four camps with the boys since they were Tigers. Discovery, Cub World, Gilbert Ranch and now Adventure Cove. This is the end of the line for me. I seriously doubt that I will go with the Troop. What? I am not going to continue? My Committee Chair and a few others think that I am going to be a Scoutmaster. I disagree and here is why…
Getting to the camp and getting all checked in was ok. A tad long and the boys got really bored with the forms. They wanted to play. Once we got all processed in and headed to the elective sign-up it started to get better. The sign-up for the electives was a tad weird. College classes were better organized, so we coached the boys into what they wanted to take and forced others. Oceanography was the hit of the week. Elliot and his buddy signed up for BB Guns for three times as well as Archery. What? Why? That’s too much… Dad, we want to get the Pin for them. Oh, Ok, They had a plan. Ok, but sign up for Oceanography. It’s the cool one. Your on the beach. OK.
During the middle of all this, I got the latest installment from Jerry’s Blog. (stop and read it.) As Jerry says “Taking away from camp a life time of memories is more valuable than any merit badge. Parents often times view summer camp as an advancement opportunity, and it is certainly there for the taking, but cranking out merit badges without having fun is a waste of summer camp.” Yes…..Memories. That’s what they needed. I was bent, again, on getting them requirements completed. Ok, get a few, but create memories is what CAMP is about and being 10.
Adventure Cove is set-up to transition to Boy Scouts. The morning is set-up for the Troop to travel together to all stations over the week. This allows the Instructors “talk” through all the requirements. The afternoons are the electives. There is a program for the parents to attend. Also my District Exec came on the last day and we talked shop. It was a good talk. I learned a lot. I did get the Adult Leader Medallion for taking a class a day for Den Leaders. That was fun. I also got certified in “Nap on Safely“! All of these classes were about 2-3 hours long. After that I read a lot. I also hung out with the other parents in our Troop.
I will say that our Webelos II Scouts went through a lot of growing and learned more than they know that they did. Also, I grew as well.
Normally the Scouts and parent have 60-90 minutes together each week. Not much interaction outside of that, really. Yes, the parents see each other at other functions and school activities, but that is it. The boys have sleepovers and have friendships. However, this was, I think our first of being together for six days and 5 nights. There was homesickness, injuries, disobedience, fellowship, and all 12 points of the Oath and Law. One of the main themes of the camp was for the Scouts to earn a bead for each of the 12. They did work at it and we were able to give them slips of paper so they could get them at the trading post. A week of learning and living the Scout Oath and Law.
There are two specific transition points that happened during Adventure Cove. They are the hike to Camp Meriweather and the Final Campfire (pictured above). First, the hike. Two Troops each day cycled through for a five-mile hike round trip to Camp Meriweather. It was to show the Scouts and parents the camp. It also was to encourage the Scouts to continue their journey. That there is a lot of fun to be had. While none of the Scouts got to shoot Shot Guns or Rifles, they did get to see a replica of Ft Clatsop that held a Black Powder Range, a Blacksmith shop and a Tomhawk Throwing Range. I heard several questions about if we are going their next year for Camp. I also heard several boys talk about moving over to Boy Scouts.
The last point on transition is the last Campfire. For those in Wood Badge, there are a lot of great campfires. Every Scout camp has one. These are meant to be significant and give meaning to all. This one was no different. The one main item that I really liked was that the Scouts were asked to find a little piece of wood and either carve or write them name on it. At the end of the campfire and after the retiring of two large American Flags they were asked by Troop to come up and put their totem into the fire. The Staff told them that this signifies leaving a part of themselves at Adventure Cove and making the transition to Boy Scouts.
While some might think that is was all goofy sappy Scout stuff and over the top, it was all that to make a point. A point well taken once we all got back to the Campsite. I stopped the boys before we had smores and got ready for bed to say about what they had seen, heard and had done. I explained to them, that I had been to every camp with them, that I was their Tiger Den Leader and seen them through many things. They surprised me. They spoke of it being a solemn event, honor and that they even grew up. Other parents reflected on how Vespers is very touching to them in several ways. It was a good moment that we all had together.
To which, when I got back into reality Clarke Green posted a wonderful post about the Aim’s of Scouting. It really spoke to the weekend.
It really is a Game with a purpose. There is a start and an end, but it’s the journey that’s the most fun. Don’t lose site.