Camp Read, Day 1

Post date: Aug 03, 2015 7:59:47 PM

Hello Troop 154--

...and greetings from Camp Read in the Adirondacks!

Well, the first 24 hours is under our belt and we are well on our way to having a great week at camp!

We arrived yesterday (Sunday) before 1 and got checked in and quickly got unpacked, toured the various pavilions, and went down to the waterfront for the first-day swim test. The test involves swimming the length of the swim area four times -- 3 your choice and 1 elementary backstroke. The boys were tired (and a little hungry) but I'm happy to say that they all passed and were awarded the blue swim level, so they can all swim in deep water, participate in canoe sessions, and jump in to the lake for the Polar Bear swim (more on that later). I think it's the first year since I've been involved that they're all blue.

Our two site guides, Dan and Dan, have been very friendly and helpful in answering questions and steering us in the right direction.

Yesterday's dinner was chicken parm and pasta, and the boys had their fill of bug juice. No, it's not made from squashed bugs, it's bright red sugar water (although the dead bugs would probably be healthier!)

We quickly moved back to Teheco (Troop 154's traditional camp site) and the boys filled out their merit badge cards in anticipation of the merit badge sessions which started today.

Then we mosied over to the opening night campfire, a lively program put on by the staff of Buckskin. Stories, songs, skits, and jokes were on the playbill, and the program was given a solid 2 stars on the Rotten Tomatoes site. The veterans of the group have heard the story about the AMAZING PIG more than a few times, yet Matt Taylor's delivery is always fresh and inventive.

Speaking of veterans and rookies, Tristan is the only rookie this year and is settling in well after a tiring day yesterday.

Today (Monday) we woke early thanks to Freddy (the SPL) and headed to the waterfront for the Polar Bear swim. You may be wondering, where are all the pictures of the Polar Bear swim? Well, our designated photographer, GS, was sleeping soundly at 6:45 AM, while we were over our heads in the cool lake water of the Adirondacks! Stay tuned for part two of the Polar Bear swim on Wednesday; maybe we'll have some pics then.

The boys transitioned from the swim to breakfast to their morning merit badge sessions with minor, but predictable, bouts of forgetfulness. I'm happy to say that by luck, all sessions are within the Buckskin camp, with none of last year's snafus related to the bus schedule and getting down to Waubeeka. After lunch was the group photo, and Ben subbed in for Gemma as the adult leader in the photo. Gemma's flowery camp outfit (she's "glamping", not camping) didn't seem to fit in with the earthy, grungy, outdoorsy atmosphere. Still, having a female perspective has been invaluable already.

Pictures in a bit, once I get through some technical difficulties.

Stay tuned.

Mr. Sutton