Camping and Events

Gilligans Island redux


Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,

A tale of a fateful trip

That started at SJB the School

Aboard a tiny ship –

Ok. you know the rest. The August campout began “around” the usual time with plans to campout at Wolf Lake State park outside of Shelbyville Illinois. This is roughly 1 hour south of Champaign and 3 1/2 hours from Chicago. The goal was to get some camping in, along with some tubing and water skiing since several of the Scouts worked on the WaterSports merit badge at camp and had a great time doing it.

While the traffic wasnt too bad, the directions to get to the park were not all that good. This is a very rural camp on the shores of Lake Shelbyville. There is no direct route from any of the highways, but thanks to GPS, we made it there in about 4 hours. An uneventful trip to say the least, yet once we arrived there appeared to be no ranger to direct us to our site. Luckily a camp host found us and got us to the site. There was plenty of parking (Free, unlike Wisconsin ) but not a whole lot of flat ground for tents. The site was close enough to the cars that we could use our headlights to set up, which is always an excellent way to do it!!! We even had time for campfire and stayed up quite late.

In the morning, we witnesses the beautiful scenery of the lake and surrounding area. Our camp was right on the shore and we only had to step onto the beach to enjoy it.

 Since they all slept in, I thought I would do some fishing, but it must have rung some bells in a few tents since I was joined by Nathan G. We didnt catch anything but made a few friends who were also walking around the area,

The shoreline was equally nice:


The plan was to make breakfast and then hit the water. Bacon and pancakes are seemingly a staple on campouts these days but they seem to be over doing it a little:

Here they’re  exhorting their fellow Scouts – who did not attend – to make sure they come next time:

I can assure you the goal is not to consume all the bacon in the western hemisphere on campouts, but that would probably be considered at the next PLC.

Nevertheless, we did manage to get the boat into the water with the tube – thanks for blowing it up boys!!

So while a few of us went tubing:

Others enjoyed the beach

Danny C…we couldn’t shake him off the tube!

Nathan G had a blast. Tim D, had no idea what he was up against. He was waving and ready to go. He got knocked off the tube and had loads of fun.

Matt S. was the best wipe out of the day:

This was taken before we went out so he must have known something. I think he did 4 barrel rolls when he finally lost it. Lots of smiles afterwards.

Jimmy C.

 Then the water skiing part. This is what they all came for. If you have never done it before, it’s not as easy as it might look.

I have no photos of them doing this either, since it does require a lot more attention than tubing. While falling off a tube could be a little scary, on ski’s it’s a bit more complex since the skier can manuever himself. So I had to focus more on the  other boats in the area.

All the boys got a chance to do it, and while not all of them were successful, some were and for the ones that weren’t they got a feel for what they need to do next time.

Unfortunately, the boat was running low on gas and I had to find a marina on the water where I could fill up. The launch was about 3 miles south of our campsite and I didn’t see any place for gas on the way there. Since this is a Army Corp Lake, and there are no homes on it, I wrongly assumed – and didn’t check – that we would have to get gas off the water. Luckily in the process of going back to the launch I missed a turn, and ran into a marina. Was able to fill up and got back on the water. 

This is where it got a little Gilligan’s Island-ish. As we tried to start water skiing again, all of a sudden a slow stream of water starts making its way into the back of the boat. I knew that meant the plug was either leaking or somehow missing. That has never happened to me in the 15 years I’ve owned the boat, but there you have it. So after getting the boys BACK in to the boat, we headed to shore. The water was getting deep at this point and we weren’t even at our campsite. I had no idea what to do. There was nothing I could plug it with but since it was beached, it wouldn’t gather much more water. But we couldn’t just leave it there. So being a good scouter, I found a stick which fit just perfectly in the hole and made for the camp. Once there we realize we might be able to drive the boat to a closer launch and get it back on the trailer. In driving to that launch, we found a little mini mart that sold boat plugs! Problem solved. Except it was just too late by the time we got back to do anymore skiing. Lesson learned.

To top it all off, we left the tube on the beach by our site, and someone stole it!!! At least we weren’t stuck on a deserted island!

We had some excellent tacos for dinner as well as a phenomenal cobbler before campfire. Sorry Mr. G, we didn’t save you any, nor did we save some for Mark T!

Great sleeping weather and a great time. All the boys want to go back and I would agree. Next time lets bring 2 boats (and an extra plug)!

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This entry was posted on August 26, 2012 by in Scout Camping, Uncategorized.
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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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