Monday, August 03, 2009

Cub World at Camp William B. Snyder Day Three

I managed to wake up late again, so we missed the religious service, but using the coffee delivered to camp before I woke I was able to get Alex to the morning assembly and breakfast. After the morning assembly clue, I had a good idea who Ripley was, and the rest of the clues just confirmed it.

The first activity was Archery, and Alex is good at Archery, he was the best boy in the group, getting one bull’s eye and getting most of his arrows in the target. I did have to remind him several times not to grab the bowstring with all four fingers. There was plenty of space for Adults to shoot as well, so, I took the chance, as I like Archery too. I happened to be the best adult there, aside from the staff member running the station, Archery has always come naturally to me, I should probably do it more often.

It was a long walk to handicraft, and it had started to rain again. The boys didn’t seem to mind. While they were playing hide and seek in Akela’s village, I sat under the pavilion with a Scouter from pack 570 in Frederick Maryland. After talking to him for just a little bit, I thought to myself, I hope I can eventually get to the point of being as dedicated to scouting as he. After their game, the boys made leather arrowhead neckerchief slides. Alex did really well, he got a couple of twists in his wrap that I caught early enough for him to fix, and I helped him with the knots and a few tough parts, but it is mostly boy made.

The sun had come out again, just in time for lunch. I was hoping that they would put the flags up again, but they didn’t. Immediately following lunch we went back to camp and packed up our gear and put it in the car. It was quite a walk from camp to the car; fortunately, our stuff got a ride, so we didn’t have to carry it the whole way.

It was time for the pool again, which Alex has said several times was his favorite part. I was able to get him to focus on some actual swimming this time. He sinks like a rock, but then again, I think all kids do! Despite his lack of buoyancy, once we started working on swimming, he showed some promise. To try and give him something to look forward to, I took a couple of trips down the water slide, where you have to be a swimmer to go. Hopefully he’ll remember this when I’m trying to teach him to swim in the future. The water slides were a ton of fun!

Our final scheduled station was the fort, which is where BB shooting took place. Before BB shooting, the boys learned a bit about branding, and got to pick out a brand and see it put on a piece of leather. They seemed to enjoy this part, but were anxious to go and shoot BBs. But before that, they visited the fort saloon for some finger printing, which left them with black fingers. We had lost a couple of boys from our group that went home early by this time, something we found to be a shame, but it was a long weekend to this point, and part of me wanted to get home too. Finally, they got to go on the BB range. This time, Alex wore the safety goggles over his glasses, and shot very well, again, I think he was the best shooter in the group.

Then it was back to the dining hall dinner and the final flag ceremony. I noticed that they had put the flags back up while we were at the fort. First we stopped at the car so Alex could change into his uniform. We used his freshly made neckerchief slide, which Alex seemed to like, realizing that he had made it himself and it looked good and was useful too. I’m sure Alex will, as I did when I was a cub scout, make many neckerchief slides.

Following dinner was the closing campfire. We lost another member from our group, and Alex and I were the only ones left from our camp site. Several of the packs did skits, most of which were quite good. Several involved the boys playing the parts of some of the camp staff. One involved a boy sitting down reading the paper, with other boys coming to him with all sorts of camp problems only to be blown off, then the final boy says “hey Eric, there is a basketball game in the pool” and he gets up, drops the paper, and runs off stage! It was great! Then the staff did a very good skit! Then came the moment we had been waiting for, the identity of Ripley Jebediah Hemingway was revealed. I was right, and though that whole theme was a little over Alex’s head, he still seemed to enjoy it. After the staff sung Scout vespers the final time, we departed. I said to the camp director “We’ll be back”.

What a great Cub Scout program.

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