Summer Camp Photos 2013

Summer Camp 2013 Minsi

MINSI - Camp photos provided by Roy and
Off to Dinner 
Dawn June 27 
Dawn at Camp  
         After the Muck
 Pl Report

Day 1

We all made pretty good time on the road, arriving in the 11:15-11:30 time frame, and were unpacked by 12:30. It turned out we could have arrived later and still taken the cars back to the site but we made out pretty well. Mr. Q. and 7 scouts left for lunch at a nearby McDonalds while 5 scouts and 3 adults enjoyed a quiet lunch at Mohawk campsite.

Our orientation began a bit after 2 with a quick medical check, dining hall orientation, and swim tests. Our site is quite close to the trading post and dining hall, a bit further from the waterfront.

All of our scouts are pretty well booked with merit badges and Trail to Adventure, with just a few free hours during the day.

Our first dinner was a cookout on the parade field, with nice hamburgers and hot dogs, topped off by an icee desert. A tour of the camp was squeezed in between dinner and the opening campfire, going around to all the program areas and meeting all the counselors.

I retired early but didn’t actually fall asleep. My impression from my sleeping bag was that everybody got to bed without hassle and all had a good first day.

Day 2

The day started even earlier than Sunday with Mr Q. , Ben D, Hunter M, and Bradley leaving camp about 6:15 for the “Frigid Froggy”, a dawn dip in Stillwater Lake. Mr. Q.  has lent me his memory card so many of the best photographs are his.

Breakfast came rushing up on us, but we did get in a flag ceremony at our camp site before leaving for the big flag ceremony in front of the dining hall. Meals are served “family style” with platters of food (pancakes, sausage, and tater tots) passed around the table. We have 2 tables for the troop with one or 2 staff members joining us at each table.

Our camp site was very quiet as nearly all the scouts were off at merit badge classes. Our 12 scouts are signed up for a total of about 42 badges. Most of the scouts were still in class when the emergency siren blew just before noon to practice what we would do if needed (we all report to the parade field where each troop accounts for all their personnel). It was the perfect time for the drill as we all needed to go to the dining hall anyway.

The hour after lunch is officially “siesta” although there are some quiet activities. Mr. Q.  took the first year scouts to the health lodge for a talk with the medic on drugs. As 2 pm arrived Mr. VS and I accompanied the first year scouts to the Trail to Adventure where they will be spending afternoons this week (as well as a free shoot today after dinner). Mohawk campsite was again quiet as nearly everybody was engaged in merit badge work.

I expect it is brutally hot in Maryland this week. It is not that bad here but still somewhat uncomfortably hot and we are continually reminded of the need for lots of liquid. It suddenly cooled off in late afternoon and we were really expecting a major storm. The storm did not materialize but there still is a likelihood of one before morning.

Most Boy Scout camps have a vesper service one evening in the week, usually in a camp chapel. We will not do that, but instead have a short message or reading each evening before dinner. Our turkey dinner was well received although the comments I heard seem to indicate that the food was better last year at Ockanickon. Still, nobody seems to be going hungry.

There was no campwide activity this evening. The first years had a free shoot, many of the guys took part in a football game on the parade field, and a few hung around the campsite. Boy Scout campouts and fires seem to be inseparable but it was looking like we would not have one until about 9. The fire Evan started was perfect for the late evening, just the right size for cheer. At 9:30 I was in bed but Mr. Q and a few scouts attended an astronomy session at the parade field.

When reporting on my vacation travels I like to end each post with a “parting shot”. I don’t think it will happen regularly this week but today’s will concern technology. This is my third visit to Minsi. When I was first here in 2002 I used the internet regularly at work, but never even thought about it here. On my second in 2008 there was a single computer in the Camp Director’s office which was there for business but we were allowed to use it on a very limited basis. I may have checked email once during the week. This year we have an air conditioned lounge with about 4 computers and excellent wifi. Things are definitely changing but camp is still definitely an outdoor experience.



Day 3

Our frigid froggy group grew a bit as Kevin Q. joined the hardy souls on the early morning swim. It was a bit cooler this morning but opinions were divided on which day the water was coldest. Our waiters today are Eric and Kevin, and to date we have been on time for every meal formation. We are not particularly a marching troop, one of our members described our style as “15 single file lines”. That’s fine. If our guys decide precision marching is fun we can do it, but there’s no real need.

The morning weather was pleasant with all the scouts engaged in classes most of the time. We had some rain in the afternoon but no need to interrupt the day’s activities. The first years were engaged in a first aid scavenger hunt of sorts. After some introduction they went to a series of cards in various locations with 2 potential answers. Depending on the answer they were directed to one of 2 other locations. At one location there was a new question, at the other the message was “Sorry, wrong answer. Go back and try again”. The boys seemed to enjoy the activity. Late afternoon swimming is a popular activity and Minsi has a new area called “The Wiz” with a neat assortment of rafts that is proving very popular.

We were in camp after dinner, and did some ice cream making. We ordered a gallon of vanilla and a gallon of chocolate. Starting with vanilla the first batch was very awkward, taking nearly an hour to make and the consistency was more like a milk shake but very tasty. This was finished about 9 and I then chose my sleeping bag over the mosquitos that were starting to get active. I understand the chocolate process was much more efficient although the consistency was apparently the same. I’m getting ahead of myself in reporting but when I rose Wednesday morning I was very impressed with the cleanup. The ice cream machines were spotless and all trash had been put away. Mr. VS reported that it was all the boy’s effort with little or no prodding from the adults. A campfire was briefly started but was extinguished after a short time as a thunderstorm threatened.

Today’s parting shot comes from our pre-dinner vesper. The reading was the farewell message of Lord Baden Powell to scouting. He said in part “The real way to get happiness is to give happiness to others”. I had planned to end here but will add that our boys have shown tremendous evidence of living that way. They have made our job this week very easy.


Day 4