Troop 317 spends a week in the woods

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Photo by Bruce Pyper

By J. Bruce Pyper, Scoutmaster, Troop 317

Boy Scouts from Troop 317 spent a week at summer camp the first week of August. Seven boys and three adults spent the week at Camp Pigott, near Monroe, learning in the great out of doors. 

The boys could have slept in a “bunk house,” but they all opted to sleep in canvas tents.
Photo by Bruce Pyper

Throughout the entire week there was not a single X-box or Wii or I-pod or I-Phone. Instead, the boys learned about the environment, wilderness survival, how to shoot a rifle or a bow and arrow, swimming in a lake, and how to weave baskets.

They also rode mountain bikes and mountain boards (a cross between snow boarding and skate boarding). Some of the boys learned about soil and water conservation while others learned about geology or birds.

The mornings were foggy but the lights were on in the mess hall.
Photo by Bruce Pyper

There was some complaining during all this learning about being back in school during summer vacation, but the deer wandering through camp and the rabbits scampering across the road quickly reminded the boys that they were not in school.

Troop 317 placed second in the camp-wide troop competition -- not too shabby for a “young” troop (this was the 2nd year at camp for most of the boys).

The competition was made up of events that tested their ability to work together and knowledge of scout skills. In addition, the seven boys earned a total of 29 “merit badges” and three partial badges (one boy went home early since he was sick).

The Ranger's Cabin was across the lakePhoto by Bruce Pyper.

Merit Badges are what Boy Scouts receive when they show they know about or can do certain things. For example, there is a First Aid Merit Badge that the boys receive when they show they know the principles of basic first aid. There is also a Basketry Merit Badge that the boys can earn by weaving a small basket along with a stool. Just so you know, a “passing grade” for the stool was determined by a large-ish camp counselor sitting on it.

The boys had a great time and are already talking about camp for next year.


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