Summer Camp 2011

– Written by Troop Scribe Nathan G.

From July 16 to July 23, Troop 27 went on the most central outing of the year – 2011 Summer Camp at Lake Spaulding. For more than a week, scouts camped, learned, and had a great time at this unique T27 experience.

A Typical Day at T27 Summer Camp

Every morning, scouts were woken up by the buglers playing “Reveille” and Mr. Frydenlund’s yell signaling the start of Mountain Man at 7:00. We (for the most part) went down to the waterfront and waited in line to jump in the lake in order to earn our Mountain Man shirts. After this cold but refreshing wake-up, we changed into Class A and had some free time before Colors. At Colors, one patrol would raise and lower the American and Troop flags every day. Other duties as a patrol were serving meals and doing kitchen brillo (washing dishes). After the flag ceremonies, we did our patrol yells, the knot of the day, and went to breakfast. During the day, we participated in earning merit badges – swimming, canoeing, pioneering, communications, environmental science, lifesaving, and more. We also had fun doing the day’s activity – Special Operations (Spec. Ops.), Two Ball, Paul Bunyan Day, the 5-mile hike, Waterfront Day, and White Bomb. We had a chance to “wash off” during Swim Call, had some free time, then changed back into Class A for lowering the colors. We did another knot of the day, had dinner, relaxed or built Camp Gadgets during free time, and went to Campfire. At Campfire, we performed and watched skits and songs, as well as Kangaroo Kourt, a sort of Lost and Found and mock trial combined. One patrol stayed to put out the fire while the rest of the troop sang Scout Vespers and went to sleep after “Taps” was played.

Special Operations Day Our first full day at Lake Spaulding, we got a chance to test our patrol’s ability to work together. At Spec. Ops., we participated in such activities as Kim’s game, knife throwing, Operation Ball Drop, the Spider Web, and knot tying. In Kim’s game, patrols had a window of time to look at items under a tarp, memorize what they saw, and describe in detail what they could remember. At knife throwing, scouts individually threw knifes at a target in a roped off area and their point totals were averaged. This game was in preparation for Paul Bunyan Day, later in the week. At operation Ball Drop, scouts had to work as a patrol to lash sticks together with round lashings in order to knock a two-ball out of a tree. At the Spider Web, patrols had to figure out which parts of the “web” each member could go through, never using the same hole twice. In knot tying, scouts demonstrated knot-tying skills when told to tie specific knots, including the special T27 knot known as the “dragon bowline”. This first day was an excellent bonding time for patrols as well as a learning experience for many scouts.

Two-Ball Day We have three primary games we play at our summer camp: Kajabe Can Can, Two-ball, and White Bomb. Unfortunately, we did not get to play Kajabe Can Can this year, a disappointment to many scouts. But in place of it, we were able to play Two-ball, a game that many scouts enjoy more or as much. Hopefully we will be able to play all three next year. Two-ball involves elements of lacrosse and football. Each player has a stick on which they can throw or catch the Two-ball. The two-ball is simply two tennis balls connected by a string or rope. The object of the game is to have a teammate catch the two-ball in the end zone. You cannot walk or run when you have the two-ball, knock the two-ball out of someone’s possession, or be closer than five feet from the person with the two-ball. If one team gets a two-ball stuck in a tree, they are disqualified from the match. This year, the Cobra Patrol won two-ball without losing a game, although every game was won by default.

Paul Bunyan Day At Paul Bunyan Day, scouts showed their skills at the caper toss (throwing a log, or caper), tomahawk throw (similar to the knife throw, but with a different technique), the one-man and two-man saw, match splitting (with a hatchet), and fire building. Since we finished in half the time scheduled, we were able to have some free time in which we got the chance to canoe. Scouts could go around the lake as long as they were in sight of the waterfront. It was a pretty calm lake, so we had a nice time just paddling around. Five Mile Hike While the Orienteering Merit Badge class went on their own special hike, the rest of the troop went on the annual five miler. After packing for the trip with our foil meals and charcoal, we set out on the trail. Newer scouts looked at maps and oriented them for a requirement on the trail to First Class. We also had plants pointed out to us along the way. We marveled at forests, rock formations, and waterfalls before making our charcoal fire rings and cooking our dinners. We even got the opportunity to be in shallow waters while our meals cooked. We came back at around 8:45 and went to sleep soon after.

Waterfront Day Troop 27 is a water oriented troop – each year at Summer Camp we look forward to competing against other patrols in water events. This year, our events were four man relay swim, one man swim, one man canoe, two man canoe, four man canoe (only one paddle for steering), and gunneling (one person standing on the gunnels in the back of the canoe and squatting to make the canoe move forward). Besides the competition, we also got some time for a favorite game: Swamp Wars. In Swamp Wars, there are three or four people to a canoe and no paddles. The aim is to capsize all the other canoes without being capsized yourself, or “swamped.” This is achieved by rocking other canoes and trying to counterbalance the motions of your own canoe. This was another great experience for all of our scouts.

White Bomb Day On the last day before we left, we played another much anticipated game: White Bomb. White Bomb is another of the three major games played at T27 Summer Camp. In it, players throw “white bombs” – small sacks of flour that leave white marks – at each other. If hit in the arm, the player loses that arm, if hit in a leg, that leg is gone, and so on. If hit in the torso or head, they are eliminated. Other than this, it uses the basic elements of capture the flag. The Hawk patrol was this year’s champions in White Bomb. Unfortunately, there were not enough white bombs made to play an all-star game against the ICs. However, it was still a satisfying end to a great week.

Thank you to the Advance Camp staff, kitchen staff, ASMs, ICs, Rovers, and others who made this summer camp a great experience for everyone.