Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Hump Day

      After Tuesday night's rain, Wednesday began with a gray overcast but soon burned off to give us high humidity. At the morning roll call, Creighton answered by yelling, "what day is it?" The rest of the troop followed with the obligatory response - "Hump Dayyyyy!" This got a laugh and applause from the staff and other troops.

Trey does the Muffin Man
dance with a staff member.
      As merit badge classes began this morning, the Emergency Preparedness class was told that they had almost finished their requirements, so as an added bonus, they would also cover requirement for the new Search and Rescue badge.

      The Eagle Bound Scouts finished their requirements for the Totem Chip and the Fireman's Chit. This allows them to "legally" carry knives and use matches to start fires. They proudly returned to the campsite bearing their new cards and vying for the Scoutmaster's signature on said cards. Before signing, the Scoutmaster required all of them to swear an oath, stating, "I promise not to burn anything down or stab anyone." Once sworn, many made a pilgrimage to the Trading Post with their signed cards and the requisite funds to purchase a new knife. They returned to the campsite bearing fancy cutlery with names such as the Blue Eagle, the Lone Wolf, and Mister Bear. Strangely enough, no one purchased a Zombie Hunter knife, which was the hot property last summer.

      After lunch, Rusty, Nicky, Creighton, Mr. Dagg, and the Scoutmaster once again headed to the Waterfront for mile swim practice. As happened on Tuesday, thunder disrupted the swim and required all participants to exit the swimming area. Given that this seems a normal dynamic for a hot summer afternoon, it doesn't look good for our being able to complete the mile swim without thunder rolling us out of the water.

      The foreshortened swim practice did allow us to return to the campsite and change clothes in time for the three mile Lake Cross Trail hike. The lake, named for long-time camp director and Explorer Post 50 advisor Zack Cross, covers 72 acres and is over a mile in length. The hike began at the Chapel Point and took us around to the back side of the lake, opposite the Waterfront, and returned across the water stopper at the other end of the lake (a water stopper is the thing at the end of the lake that holds back the water. Because we are Scouts we are not allowed to use bad words).

Zach, Louie, Josh, Everett, and Creighton wait their turn to
cross a stream on the Lake Cross Trail.

       The staff member who was leading the hike set a pretty strong pace and we were done with the entire hike in about an hour and fifteen minutes. This put us back in camp in time to send our teams to compete in the shooting sports competition. Teams of two scouts each strove to be the top shots in archery, rifle, and skeet. Preliminary reports indicate that the troop preformed well but we will not know for sure until the awards campfire on Friday evening (barring any inside information obtained from the archery instructor).

      The highlight of the day was welcoming our visitors to camp. Many of the Scout parents made the trip up from Auburn to visit and have dinner. Parents are always welcome, especially when they arrive bearing food. Numerous pizzas and other goodies made their way to Turkey Flats, courtesy of Troop Committee Chairman Rob Stanford and the many parents who attended. Other distinguished visitors included the Chartering Organization Representative, Michael Tullier, and our Advancement Chairman, J.P. Pendleton. They came to assess the progress of our Scouts and to offer encouragement to the leaders who have been spending the week here. Although there was a brief but spirited outbreak of homesickness as the parents began to head for home, it was tamped down with the help of older Scouts and leaders working in concert. In the end, all of the troop's Scouts are still in camp and now fast asleep.

Aiden, Joey, and Josh clown around while the parents tour the campsite. 

      The other interesting event of the evening was the Order of the Arrow callout ceremony. The Order of the Arrow is a service organization of honor Scouts that is almost as old as the Boy Scouts of America. Candidates for membership in the OA are selected by the members of their own troops, making it an organization whose members are largely chosen by non-members. Coosa Lodge 50 of the Greater Alabama Council holds their callout ceremony at Camp Sequoyah during summer camp. The ceremony is based on the story of Sequoyah, the Cherokee chief who invented a written form of the Cherokee language for his people to use, and uses Native American dancing and chants to tell the story.  The Scouts seemed intrigued by the ceremony.

The OA ceremony team begins the callout of new candidate names. 

      As always, more photos of the day are found in the online photo gallery.