I think that most adult Scout leaders can agree that one of their favorite pastimes is camping. And as leaders, I love that we can share that love of camping with our scouts. As we begin preparing for the longer summer camps, I began reflecting on the spring camporees. Anyone who has been to a camporee can usually sense the amount of hard work and devotion that has gone into making the camp successful.
Our camps were no different: from the enthusiastic greetings to the events for the campers to the campfire programs, it was obvious how dedicated the adult leaders were to providing an excellent program that would foster a love of camping, develop new or existing skills, and help create a lifetime of memories. I was able to talk with some of the boys, who took the time to tell me all the things they love about Scouting.
They explained their ranks and their goals – many would love to reach Eagle Scout or become a member of the Order of the Arrow. Some were happy to be reaching their personal goals as Senior Patrol Leaders, seeing how their leadership choices helped their troop. Others were learning basic scouting skills like how to start a fire and use a compass.
This past Boy Scout District Camporee was a STEM theme – patrols made Bottle Rockets, created a circuit using teamwork and memory, built a bridge, and kept an egg safe by learning different principles from science, technology, engineering, and math. They were also given the opportunity to work on STEM related merit badges, as well.
The Cub Scout District Camporee was Viking themed. These boys brought out some of the most creative shields I have ever seen! They worked with Viking runes and lore, and had a dinner fit for Valhalla. The boys I spoke with all had a blast. I even had the opportunity to speak with some Order of the Arrow representatives who were preparing for a flag retirement ceremony. They took their positions seriously, and were very polite and courteous as they told me some of their Scouting stories.
I heard about different patrols they have been a part of and some of the more humorous moments that have stuck out to them (like how how their Order of the Arrow ceremonies went-but don’t worry! They didn’t spoil anything or give away any of their secrets: they just looked at one another with that look of knowing and said I’ll have to find out on my own since they can’t tell me about it!)
All in all, this was a successful camporee season- the scouts who participated had a great time and developed their skills. I want to say a special thank you to everyone who allowed me to take their picture, talk with them, and learn from them. We are all thankful for the adult leaders who help them grow as Scouts as well as for those who volunteered countless hours to put on these great spring camps. Thank you Barbarossa District for making these Spring Camporees a success!