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The opening of camping season July 14, 2008

Posted by Joe in Scouts.
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The camping season is upon us! Last week, Benjamin and I, along with 2 other adult leaders and 8 Scouts from Benjamin’s Pack, went to the Boy Scout’s Boxwell Reservation for Webelos resident camp. In all, there were probably 150 Scouts and 100 leaders there with us.

We arrived Monday around lunchtime and stayed through Thursday lunch. Despite the frequent rain that fell during our stay, Benjamin had a great time. He earned 4 activity badges while there – the Outdoorsman, Readyman (first aid), Aquanaut (swimming and water safety), and Scientist badges.

FirstAid-2008-07-10

Here’s Benjamin practicing CPR on a clearly distressed patient.

Austin, Benjamin, Cameron, and Ethan learned to tie knots, put up tents, and fire safety in the Outdoorsman sessions.

Totem-2008-07-10

This totem pole marks the entrance to the Indian Village.

Even with all the work that goes into earning the badges, there’s still some time for fun and play.

Castle-2008-07-10

Benjamin and the others could spend hours defending this castle from evil-doers.

One the hallmarks of the camping trip is the closing night camp fire. It’s full of skits, songs, and laughter. The highlight of it, however, is its grand finale. All of the active duty military, veterans, and retired military are honored for their commitment and service to our great country. A worn and tattered American flag is respectfully retired over the camp fire while taps is bugled by a Boy Scout. No one could leave the ceremony without feeling full of pride for these United States.

 FlagCeremony-2008-07-10
When we returned home on Thursday, there was little need of putting our gear away. We had another overnight camping trip scheduled for Saturday.

Tent-2008-07-12

It may look sunny in this picture, but once again much needed rain found its way to our temporary accommodations. We needed it, too!

Fishing-2008-07-12

Benjamin caught this largemouth bass in the pond.

Whew, that was our 3rd trip in as many weeks! I’m glad to be home, sleeping in my bed for a while! There’s another one coming up in a few weeks; I’m hoping Rachel will join us for that one.

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1. Joe - July 15, 2008

I forgot to mention something in the post. It’s a bit of a brag if you’ll indulge me for a moment as a proud parent.

Cub Scout Resident Camp has 3 classifications for Scouts in the pool: Non-Swimmer, Beginner, and Swimmer. You can go into different and deeper areas of the pool depending on your swim level.

To qualify as a Beginner, you (Scouts and adults too) must be able to swim 50 ft. Benjamin qualified as a Beginner each of his first 3 years at camp.

To qualify as a Swimmer, you must be able to swim 100 yards (the length of a football field) without stopping and then float on your back for a while. I did that last year; Benjamin wanted to do it this year.

So we got in line to test. I had forgotten that at least 25 yards of the swim must be on your back using the backstroke. So I quickly described it to him right before his turn. He said “no problem”, but I was nervous for him since he’d never tried it before.

On his turn, he jumped in and swam 75 yards using the normal crawl stroke. Then he flipped over on his back and swam the last 25 yards on his back like he’d been doing it for years.

I was amazed. He’d never tried the backstroke before, yet he picked it up first time during the swim test, even after swimming 75 yards – no problem, just as he’d said.

Good for him! He was excited to be able to go into the 12 ft section of the pool. We spent the rest of our time there, playing and trying to touch the bottom.

Joe


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