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Hello parents and campers! Welcome to the Summer Camp 2014 Communication Zone; the place to come for updates on the Troop's summer camp experience!

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Camp Read Day 5

posted Aug 8, 2014, 7:32 AM by Rick Sutton

Hello once again from Camp Read!

It's Friday morning, the sun is shining, and the boys are hard at work throughout the camp. Yesterday we had a "mixed bag" in terms of weather, with thunder, lightning, and intense sunshine, sometimes all at the same time! While the Dutch have a word for this, I think we need a word in English for the phenomenon where it feels like it's raining, it sounds like it's raining, and it smells like it's raining, but it's not raining. It's just the endless drips of water from the "canopy" which seems to go on all day. (Maybe I'll pose this as a contest for the boys.) Because of this "canodrip" (my best effort so far), the site is in a perpetual state of dampness. But trust me, the boys are high and dry and happy.

I'm pretty sure they all showered at least twice this week, which I think doubles their previous record! Unfortunately (for you parents) the showers were weighted toward the earlier part of the week. So when they arrive home tomorrow, they may be a little "ripe". I suggest that you give them their welcome home hug after they get cleaned up!

Before I forget, this may again be a "partial" blog entry. I have another busy day, with checking out and rafting on the agenda.

Last night was our annual Un-Birthday party. The boys have been looking forward to it all week. Because they were all booked up until late in the evening, Brian, Jack, and I made a pineapple upside-down cake in a Dutch oven. We followed a recipe that Karen had put together which she assured us was idiot-proof. Boy, did we prove her wrong! The concoction that resulted was neither solid nor liquid, but still, it was enjoyed by all. And "by all" I mean some wilderness critters as well! This morning we woke to find our garbage can upturned and the remnants of the cake distributed throughout the campsite. Either the raccoons were wearing slippers or the boys were dog-tired, because nobody heard anything, adults included!

Eager anticipation...

Fork, spoon, or ladle?  You decide!..

Happy UnBirthday to you!

BTW, we had newly minted Eagle Scout Ben W join us for the UnBirthday, and he brought his usual good cheer. Congrats Ben! Yet another role model for the kids...

The post-party campfire provided some much needed warmth...
Stories, jokes, and riddles were shared by all...

Watch that foot, Jack!

The boys seemed to enjoy their gifts, but as we all know, it's not about the gifts. 

With swapping, trading, and sniping, each boy ended up with a gift that he likes. I should have written down my prediction for who would end up with what, because I think I would have been spot on. Unfortunately (sorry Rich) the very useful folding camp utensil kit went unclaimed!

Gotta go--signing off from Brant Lake, NY


Camp Read Day 4

posted Aug 7, 2014, 7:47 AM by Rick Sutton   [ updated Aug 7, 2014, 1:35 PM ]

Thursday greetings from sunny Camp Read!

Well, it's Thursday morning and we are moving into the "home stretch" phase of the week. The weather has been kind to us once again, with rain last night after everyone was safely in their tents, and now a clear morning. BTW, you learn many things up here as a camp leader, and one thing is a that there is a Dutch word for the phenomenon where it's sunny and raining at the same time, which we've experienced on more than one occasion. Ironically, that word sounds suspiciously like "CameronIsInHell"! I think the "Cameron" must refer to the sunny portion and "IsInHell" is the rain part. I'm sure James L can clarify this for you.

Before I forget, I'm very pressed for time today so I'll probably post this as an "incomplete" and hopefully have time to add more photos later this afternoon. So call it a "partial", a word that has been getting a lot of use around here. 

They were short on drivers to a managed state forest for the Forestry merit badge class, so I volunteered to do that. It will take me out of camp for a couple of hours, but I'll be leaving the troop in the capable hands of Mr. Hegarty.

Yesterday after dinner was the Camp Buckskin Triathlon. The troop all rallied behind the participants:
Archery--Freddy "Hawkeye" S.
Running--Ryan "the Gazelle" W.
Climbing--James "Spider" L.
Swimming--Matt "the Porpoise" G.

I've never seen the group so pumped up about an event. Freddy in particular, (who had been apprehensive about Archery before camp) was jazzed about carrying a portion of the Troop on his back. The results came in today, and I'm sorry to say that we didn't place in the top 3, but it wasn't for lack of effort. Just mention the words "Troop 1 Crestwood" when your scout comes home if you want to put him in a bad mood and a scowl on his face.

Many scouts (and one leader (Brian)) had a chance to participate in "Open Shoot" last night, where they are given a rifle and a target and the opportunity to be snipers for a while. That was a good thing for Cameron and others who did not get Rifle Shooting due to the lottery structure. 

We have a busy day today. In addition to the normal Merit Badge Classes, the boys have to make Patrol Flags (the week's theme is Pirates), clean the community shower house, and schedule make-ups for time that will be missed tomorrow. They are all looking forward to the UnBirthday Party this evening.

signing off for now, but check back later for photos--

Okay, I'm back, and here's a bundle of photos:

CPR course for First Aid

Ashton competing for the Golden Arrow

Matt -- Equestrian extraordinaire

Freddy, aka "Hawkeye"

"Oh, you're supposed to hit the MIDDLE of the target?"

Run, Forrest, Run! ...I mean Run! Ryan, Run!


Camp Read Day 3

posted Aug 6, 2014, 12:19 PM by Rick Sutton   [ updated Aug 6, 2014, 12:25 PM ]

Greetings from Camp Read in the Amazondacks!

Well, it sure feels like a rainforest some times here, where a storm can blow in and out in a matter of minutes. That very thing happened yesterday during lunch, when we received a nice soaking from the weather gods. Pat yourself on the back if you sent your scout with an umbrella. Pat HIM on the back if he remembered to bring it in his daypack when we set out each morning!

We've had a changing of the guard today. Karen McCarthy has headed home, while Brian Hegarty is here in her stead. I'd like to mention how great Karen has been as my right hand leader this week. She has assumed many responsibilities, such as troop medic, photographer, and master scheduler, so please give her a huge "Thank You" when you see her.

So, where to start? Tuesday was unanimously the best day so far. As I mentioned, the boys are now well entrenched in their merit badge sessions. The kids in cooking class are now cooking, those in shotgun are now shooting, and those in archery are now "arching".  The older boys have been supporting the younger ones in all sorts of ways, and they all seem happy with their accomplishments. 

Yesterday morning the boys awoke to find a visitor in our camp recycle bin:

The injured kangaroo mouse was rushed to the Econ (Ecology-Conservation) pavilion by Zach and Freddy, where they did what had to be done. Well, one less mouse in camp, anyway...

Yesterday during a wet "siesta" the boys wrote postcards home.

Well, not all; some were working hard cooking a teriyaki chicken meal for their Cooking Merit Badge. I heard it was delicious.

Ashton and Jonny are becoming crack shots with a rifle, and are on their way to a badge.

Did I mention that they all have to change into full Class A uniforms for dinner? The boys assemble on the Parade field beforehand where announcements are made, and the flag is lowered for the evening.

wait, where's Jonny?

Don't worry, Matt called for a head count and found the rascal hiding behind someone else.

Well, the big event of the day was Caving at the Waubeeka camp. This is always a troop favorite, and this year didn't disappoint. Led by our troop Guide Matt (a staff member, not Matt G), many of the boys first braved a "dry cave" and then a "wet cave". Here are some "before" pictures:


Let me just say, caving was quite an adventure. I've been caving a few times myself, and I've always found it to be a quiet, reverential, and awe-inspiring experience. Well, I had never done it with 8-10 pre-teen and teenage boys! Picture yourself crawling through knee-deep sandy warm water, rocks on all sides, the atmosphere thick with warm steam. The water becomes churned up to a muddy stew...well, as you can imagine, the "bathroom humor" is inevitable and this event did not disappoint. 

Caving is indeed an adventure in developing ones problem-solving skills. Deciding whether to move through a "squeeze" on all fours, crab-style or turtle style, and which appendage to move next, surely tests ones analytical skills. Needless to say, the activity favors those who are wiry and limber (read: James, Jonny, and Sean). It definitely does NOT favor those over 40 (ha ha) years old. Now where is that bottle of Advil?

BTW, Ashton was apprehensive about caving, understandably, but made it through the "dry cave" with the assistance (emotional and physical) of the other boys.

I have many more pics of caving, but I'm having some technical difficulties which I hope to resolve soon.

Back to today, Wednesday, we woke up with another Polar Bear swim and another "iffy" forecast. It's now 3:15 pm and the threat of a thundershower seems to have passed. At Siesta today was the Silver Bullet rifle competition (Matt) and the Golden Arrow (Ashton). Not sure of the results as yet. 

And tonight is the Buckskin Triathlon, for which we have four eager participants. Why four? The triathlon here is actually a quadathlon -- climbing, running, swimming, and archery. I'll post more on that tomorrow.

Signing off from Camp Buckskin--


Camp Read Day 2

posted Aug 5, 2014, 8:27 AM by Rick Sutton   [ updated Aug 5, 2014, 8:36 AM ]

Good Morning from Camp Read!

Well, last night's weather was much better than Sunday night. Clear, and cool at night, what one might call "good sleeping weather." As of Tuesday morning, we're looking at a nice summer day, (but things can change quickly up here!)

After last night's Staff Hunt, Jack built a campfire (a work of art, thx Jack!) and we had a much needed period of relaxation. Truthfully, the boys weren't too relaxed, though, as they were trying to figure how they can fulfill all their merit badge requirements. To that end, we are scaling back an activity here and there, so the boys decided to hold off on the rock climbing event originally scheduled for this afternoon.

Right now the boys are all in Merit Badge sessions, and today promises to be more engaging for the boys as they move into the "meat" of their classes, where there are more hands-on activities and fewer lectures on safety. To quote Freddy, who wants to listen to a merit badge counselor "flapping their gums" for an hour? :-)

The routine of getting boys to and from Waubeeka is getting ironed out, too. So all in all, we are moving into the "well-oiled machine" phase of the week.

More pictures are below. While Karen takes pics of the boys, I concentrate on the frogs! Different forms of local wildlife, I guess!

Rick and Karen

Camp Read Day 1

posted Aug 4, 2014, 12:40 PM by Rick Sutton

Greetings All from Camp Read in the Adirondacks!

Yesterday everyone arrived at camp in good time, and the boys made short work of setting up camp.  Our Senior Patrol Leader Matt G has been running the show, and has been instrumental in keeping the boys on task. After a Camp Tour, the boys all participated in a swim test, which was threatened by thunder but we squeaked it in. Dinner was hearty fare with songs, as usual, and then it was on to the opening campfire, put on by the wonderful staff here.  Mention the phrase "Bounce...Just Bounce" to your scout when he arrives home and that will surely put a smile on his face.

Although the day remained dry, not so for the night. Thunder, lightning, and of course rain were served up by the weather gods. As far as I know, the boys slept through it all and stayed dry. 

Up by 6:45 this morning, Troop 154 was the only unit here to brave the weather and participate in the Polar Bear Swim. (Go 154!) The water was wonderfully calm, relaxing, and we had it to ourselves! The boys had to be dragged out of the water after the half hour time limit (because they were enjoying it so much ha ha)...

Today has been the first day of Merit Badge sessions, so a bit hectic to say the least. Some boys have to take the camp bus to the other area, Camp Waubeeka, for shotgun, home repairs, and horsemanship. Ashton, the only non-veteran, has transitioned smoothly to the camp routine and seems to be thriving.

Tonight's event is the Staff Hunt, where the staff hides around the camp, and if they are found, the boys throw them in the lake. Other planned events for the week include climbing, caving and more!

Stay tuned for more posts!

Note, I am trying to convey the pics via a link as opposed to being embedded, but I couldn't figure it out at the moment...

Rick and Karen

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