Camping and Events

The Eighties called and they want their video games back. In return you get a pineapple!

In case you didn’t see it:


Let me say that again


………..While we were on a Campou! That is the first time I have ever seen that happen.

Troop 175 has long endured difficult weather; the “cracker barrel” tornado of 72, the “monsoon merit badge”  known as Philmont in 79’ and more recently, the Hailstorm hike of 08’ (amongst many others I am sure). Never have I seen snow on a camp out. And of course any of you who have spent some quality time at the Lovely Lakota lodge will attest, the weather just does not like this place! From Biblical infestations of mosquitoes (worse when Mr. B is there), to cold miserable rain, thunderstorms, lightening,  muck and frost.

But SNOW? Really?

I think the only worse thing I can remember is probably MY first Camporee at Lakota when I was about 11. The weather wasn’t much better, but I do remember walking up to opening flags with our patrol flag and promptly sticking in a hole in the ground for a rest. Thirty seconds later, a hive of angry yellow jackets came buzzing out to find the invader who they angrily reminded to watch his space about 15 times.

OUCH. I think I would rather have a little snow.

I did recover rather quickly, and ironically the second worst memory I have of that – other than Dad packing it in to go home that night because of the cold – was eating what could only be termed a “yucky” Waldorf salad for lunch.

So with that I can tell you that this trip seemed cursed from the start. Right as everyone arrived, so did the rain and the lightening sirens as we were getting ready. To top it all off, we were then delayed by a major accident right at the DesPlaines toll booth.

I asked the boys if they wanted to work on their first aid merit badge at that point, but found no takers. 

Surprisingly the normally 1 ½ hour trip took 3 hours and by 8:30 were we just about ready to set up our campsite. The winds were so intense that one tent, which was fully staked down, was bending almost in half. That wasn’t a good sign; especially with a patrol of new scouts!  There were indeed some frightened scouts. But luckily the rain ended, the tents were put up and the boys put to sleep.

About the Camporee; this year’s theme was “Saving Princess Peach”.

Question:  Parents, without asking your Scout, to what does this refer?

A tootsie roll if you get it right – ask your scout for it, that was their reward.

The theme was used to enhance a lot of familiar scout games, like the walking 2×4,

 Shooting games,

obstacle courses,

hoop ball,

first aid races, knot tying and much more. All of it was based on the “Super Mario Game”. Ask your Scout and I am sure he will tell you he had a great time, except for the weather.

We did see a few of the boys walking around without rain gear. And I can tell you that when there is a light mist of rain for extended periods, your clothing will get just as wet as if it were a 1 minute downpour.  When it’s cold and drizzling, they need to stay DRY!. Snow, on the other hand…………..

The highlight of the evening was the OA (Order of the Arrow) tap out.

Troop 175 had 4 Scouts inducted into this “honor guard” of Scouting. It is quite the spectacle to watch the entire process. It begins with the OA members walking to every campsite and “calling out” the troops.

 They walk while in costume while beating drum.

Pulling up the rear guard was our own OA “Brave” John K.

After reaching all the campsites one by one, they make their way to the fire bowl bonfire in silence. With about 300 boys behind them they begin calling out the new inductees.

This is done by asking an OA brave to walk up to each new member point at them and shout ‘YOU’.

They are then escorted to the Great OA Chief and sent away to learn their fate. We are all then asked to leave in silence.

The troop had its own campfire and it was actually quite fun. All the while I noticed the troop next to us getting ready for bed and saw they had lights out by 930. I can’t remember ever going to bed that early on a camp out and as Scoutmaster, I did somewhat envy the discipline that they exhibited getting all 30 of their scouts to sleep that soon.

 All for naught though.

You see, as it was said later the next day, “old age with its wisdom and treachery beats out youth with its speed and vigor all the time”. Turns out they didn’t listen in their haste to get their site set up and thought the next morning’s ceremony was at 8am instead of 9am – as I was pretty certain it was. So while we continued to work at a leisurely pace and took down camp, they marched over the to the ceremony and back, wasting a good 45 minutes. We, beat them out of there afterwards, And while it wasn’t a race, it was good to know that we can work very well together as a team!

Your Scouts had a great time and this year they did indeed win an award – the Bowser Shoot Out (they also won the Memory game, and the Video game trivia contest, but apparently so did everyone else! The biggest prize was a Pineapple! (Ask your Scout what they were doing here, cause I have no idea)

In retrospect, I would suggest that while this might have been a difficult trip for some of the Scouts, I truly believe that experience is the ONLY effective teacher. I highly doubt many of these boys won’t be thinking about the cold they experienced. Next year they will have to weigh that against all the fun we know they had when they decide to attend. If you can remind them that they CAN be warm and dry even in bad weather such as we had, they will surely say yes.   

OK so you now know about the video games.


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This entry was posted on April 23, 2011 by in Uncategorized.
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Bryan on Scouting

The official blog of Scouting magazine, a publication of the Boy Scouts of America.

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Bryan on Scouting

The official blog of Scouting magazine, a publication of the Boy Scouts of America.

The Scoutmaster Minute

Helping to Deliver the Promise


All The Wrong News That's Unfit to Print is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

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