Camp Read Day 3

Post date: Aug 06, 2014 7:19:59 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--