Adventures & Advancements at Summer Camp 2020
In keeping with 2020’s theme of unprecedented times, this year’s Summer Camp was unlike past years and yet it was still a resounding success! Troop 23 was proud to continue Camp Freeland Leslie’s summer-long trend of providing Scouts with a great outdoor experience all while keeping them safe and giving them a much-needed break from their everyday world. Among the many new safety precautions, Scouts and adults were tasked with maintaining social distancing and wearing face coverings whenever they were within six feet of one another. Together they met that challenge with the determination and success that are the signatures of Troop 23.
This year 28 boys attended camp—having fun and getting work done. We fielded five patrols: Atomic Monkeys plus one Tomahawk; Gremlins plus another Tomahawk; the Magic Whales; the ThundeRangers—four Thunderbirds and four Rangers; and Wolverines plus two Pit Vipers. While at Camp, together the Scouts completed 76 merit badges and five Scouts advanced in Rank. In addition, our Scouts completed additional requirements that provide a springboard for another 35 Badges.
Unlike past years where Scouts attended Merit Badge Classes moving from Badge to Badge during four periods each day; this year Troop 23 Scouts moved as a group spending a half day in each of eight program areas including Aquatics/Waterfront, Ecology and Conservation, Nature, Outdoor Skills/Scoutcraft, Eagles’ Nest, New Frontiers, Stage Craft and Shooting Sports. Additionally, the Troop was able to sign up for bonus-time during the week and thoroughly enjoyed the additional time on the Range and at the Waterfront. Although the decision to move as a Troop and minimize interaction with Scouts outside our Troop was to promote health and safety, our Scouts embraced the opportunity to grow the sense of community within the Troop. Memorable moments of the week included our very own Troop 23 Trading Post. Thanks go to Jack D. for making this happen and to the Scout volunteers who acted as shopkeepers and lived their dream of being a “kid in a candy shop.” Additional highlights included:
• great meals from Scouts working on their Cooking Merit Badges who took the CFL menu to new and unexpected heights;
• a Troop 23 Root Beer Cantina complete with keepsake mugs;
• a Jumbo Jenga Tournament, and countless games of bags, paddleball, catch, and cards; and,
• fun-filled campfires with enthusiastic M.C.s, creative skits and the adults interpreting a beloved camp song with new Troop 23-specific lyrics.
We would like to especially thank our Senior Patrol Leader Jacob H. Jacob was elected SPL in February and could not possibly have imagined the unprecedented times that were to come. Responding to our new normal, Jacob met the challenges before him with patience, determination and a can-do attitude that was reflected in the Scouts in his charge. Thanks too to his SPL Staff—David B., Collin M.; Sam N. and Quartermaster Jack D. Each contributed to the success of summer camp in his own way and ensured it was one to remember — from David’s turn as Campfire Master of Ceremonies (WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE A SURPRISE HALF HOUR STILL TO FILL?!?!?!?); Collin’s outstanding Camp Cuisine (home-grown arugula for your Dutch-oven pizza anyone?); Sam’s quiet yet constant personification of the Scout Law (working hard, encouraging younger Scouts, compelling flag ceremonies and more); and Jack’s living example of what we hope to see in every Troop 23 Eagle Scout (wealth of knowledge, willingness to help with everything and anything, and infinite patience with Scouts still learning.) Thanks also go to our Summer Camp Patrol Leaders: Quinn D., Marc D., Andrew K., Dane O., and Patrick Z. for their efforts in managing their Patrol members and in embracing the opportunity to become better leaders. These Patrol Leaders persevered, learned from their experiences, and grew.
Thanks also go to the 16 adult volunteers who gave so generously of their time and talents to participate in Summer Camp. They fostered and encouraged boy-led leadership at every opportunity; worked with Scouts on Advancements; conducted Boards of Review; held Scoutmaster Conferences; met Scouts’ medical needs; shared meals with Patrols; scored various activities for the Inter-Patrol Competition (IPC); supported Scouts efforts in fire-building, knot-tying, and knife/ax-work; fostered Scouts’ interests in nature and the environment; and collaborated with the Camp’s professional staff to support the best possible experience for all our Scouts. Please join us in thanking the following dedicated volunteers: our Scoutmaster, Jeff Jeffers; our Committee Chair, Brian Dunbar; our Summer Camp Coordinators, Julie Carlson, Mike Halter and Judith Zapf; Rick Busse; Jeff Dowell; Doug Kurtz; Darren Lange, Marc McKay, Mike Michalak, Don O’Brill, Eric Ostensen, Kelly Rojas, Ed Seiler, and Dan Zedan.
We would also like to thank our families for their willingness and trust in sending their Scouts to camp – especially to the families of the five new-to-Troop-23 Scouts who participated in a weeklong Summer Camp for the first time this year. Thank you families for you efforts leading up to Summer Camp – for understanding and remaining flexible with ever-evolving plans; for keeping close to home and in self-quarantine for 14 days before camp; for carefully completing health forms with additional CFL-mandates; for providing transportation to and from camp; for sending sons to camp well-prepared to meet new challenges; and so much more! Thank you!!! Experiences like these for our Scouts would not be possible without our collaborative we’re-all-in-this-together approach.
As Summer Camp came to a close, we presented more than 100 slides during our Troop’s closing ceremonies on Friday evening. Thank you to Rick Busse, Cran Boyd, Julie Carlson, Mike Halter, Kelly Rojas, Rick Scherer, Judith Zapf and Dan Zedan for making them this year. Congratulations to our all our award winners! In addition to the awards listed here, Summer Camp 2020 Slide Winners, Scouts participating in Summer camp all received the Carona Camper Award in recognition for their efforts in making Summer Camp an outstanding success in these unprecedented times.