Friday, June 12, 2015

Water, Water...

      The rain waited until Friday to put in another appearance. Although there were only a couple of storms that passed through, it was enough to disrupt the water carnival in the afternoon and soak some of our gear. There was a storm of another sort prior to breakfast when it was discovered that someone had cut a four inch gash in one of the canvas tarps in our campsite. Given the prodigious use of knives in the campsite over the past few days, it seemed likely that someone had attempted to samurai the tarp into submission. Since no one in the troop owned up to the rending of the tarp, the Scoutmaster was forced to confiscate the knives of the entire troop.

The wide variety of knives seized during Operation Skewered Tarp.

      As usual, the morning was taken up with merit badge classes and the Eagle Bound program. As an added bonus, some counselors covered requirements for related merit badges that resulted in the earning of the extra badges or a partial for the covered requirements. For example, the Camping merit badge class knocked out a few Backpacking requirements; the Kayaking class also earned the Whitewater merit badge; Emergency Preparedness students worked on Search and Rescue; and the Communications counselor taught Public Speaking as an add-on. Our new Scouts in the Eagle Bound program earned First Aid, Swimming, and Leatherwork merit badges as part of their Scout skills lessons. Mr. Williams also made arrangements for many of the other Scouts in the troop to earn Leatherwork during an afternoon activity. The seventeen scouts earned a total of 64 merit badges overall and completed partial requirements for another 19 merit badges. The total also includes Josh finishing his Archery merit badge from last summer. We were able to exploit our connection to the camp's archery director to get the requirements finished. The six Eagle Bound Scouts completed a combined 69 requirements toward their Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks.

Aiden shows off his woodcarving skills
prior to the confiscation of knives.

      The Friday afternoon water carnival is a camp-wide game that involves a number of waterfront races. These include boat and canoe races, swimming races, a life-jacket relay, a canoe tug-o-war, and a Scout leader belly flop contest. After a rain storm passed, the first event was the Water Spaniel Special. This involves five scouts in a rowboat, paddling with their hands, with one scout using a paddle to steer. They are tasked with finding a floating buoy with the same number as their boat. They then have to race back to shore with their buoy. Our troop's team finished third in the event. 

Troop 50's team (in the far boat) attempts to beat the
second place team to the finish line. 
Ethan, Josh, Rusty, Everett, and Creighton pose with their buoy at the
end of the race as Davis photobombs them in the background.

      Several Scouts competed in the swim by weight races. Scouts were matched in the various races based on their body weight. Mr. Dagg also competed in the Scout leader race, taking second place. We seemed to have an edge in the next event with the experienced canoe team of Josh and Louie. The canoe in and out event involved racing the canoes around a course in the lake while listening for blasts on a whistle. Depending on the number of whistle blasts, participates were required to either change places in the canoe or jump out of the canoe, then get back in without swamping it. However, as the canoeists reached the center of the lake to start the race, a prodigious downpour occurred, accompanied by the sound of thunder. This brought a halt to the race and a scramble to get back to shore. Although the rain later slackened, the continued sound of thunder forced the cancellation of the other events. Based on the completed events, the troop tied for third place overall. 

      The afternoon also saw the arrival of the troop committee chair, Mr. Stanford, who came to tow the troop trailer home. He replaced Mr. Williams, who left to fulfill another commitment. The Scouts, hopefully, used the time before dinner to begin the process of packing their gear for home. 

      At the closing campfire, the troop was recognized for earning the Commissioner's Spirit Award. This involved meeting a number of requirements such as competing in camp-wide games, performing the flag ceremony, having swimmers complete the mile swim, doing a conservation project, offering a prayer before a meal (ably done by Joey Futrell), and having the troop in proper uniform for the evening meals. Although our campsite inspection score was a total of 497 out of 500, we just missed receiving an award. Several troops either received perfect scores or missed only one or two points. Overall, the troop had a productive and successful week. 

Miles, Zach, Clay, Ethan, and Aiden await the start of the closing campfire.
      More photos from the day and the foreshortened water carnival are found in the online photo gallery