The past two weekend were good weekends for the Troop and Scouts. The first was our Pre-Camporee outing. It was my second time with the Troop and it was good. We were back at Camp Lewis which our Council owns. It is a good location since it is about 90 minutes away from the Church and very easy to get to. This year we have grown to four patrols. Something that has not happened since 2007. All 10 of the newly crossovered Webelos II came on the trip. Which is awesome. That was about 33 Scouts. Largest we have had in awhile.
As with any Scout outing, it RAINED. Good news is we had the big Shelter and kept a fire going the entire time. It was our base of operation as we had all the patrols in their patrol sites. Which, normally we have a line of Tents with everyone in one area. It is how we also do Camporee. But, the Scouts and Scoutmaster are really working on getting the patrols to become patrols. Getting the PLs to actually lead more and be more responsible.
Elliot’s Patrol was the furthest away, which was great. Not to brag or anything, but his PL who is in his second term as PL had everyone doing their job. First to show up, first to get meals done, first to be ready….. They even helped a lot of the other patrols get their gear packed at the end.
What I saw that weekend is several of the older Scouts hang out with the younger ones and work the EDGE Method. The young Scouts were busy learning, learning, asking for SMC, going back to learn more because they did not one or two things right. Our Advancement Chair took the time to get up to speed with each Scout and their Book. We have recently moved from Troopmaster to Scoutbook and we are error checking between software and what the Scouts book actually says.
The other big thing we did was while running stations on a soggy and wet Saturday was a Service Project. We were tasked to help clear rocks and debris from the Cubscout BB Gun Range. Think BIG ROCKS. Some even Lava! In about the four to five hours we cleared it all. It was a good break from learning. Plus a lot of the guys really got into it.
Games….there were so many many games you would think it was Comic Con. Card games, board games, Role Playing Games and whole Troop games. The two big Troops games were Capture the Flag. Which encompassed a huge area. The second Troop Classic is Nighttime Glowstick Orienteering. The link is from last years game. Both games my son was stoked to play. The new guys were totally into it.
Three days and two nights of wet fun in the woods. It was a success.
Now, to this weekend. The Scout-O as put on by CROC. It was a late add to the schedule since we only heard about it on Monday, but published it out to the whole Troop. “Scouts should be able to pass off requirement 1a for 2nd Class (explain map and compass – the course is not long enough to pass off 1b, but you could probably make it so if you go back and forth along the course enough times), and requirement 2 for 1st Class (including the height measurement, although it is not really part of a standard orienteering course).” To which, I will add that since we did not work on the height measurement, no one got that requirement. Elliot however had it signed-off last November at our advancement Day at the park.
We only had four Scouts show up. One of them being a new Scout who had earned his Scout Rank during Pre-Camporee. We paired up into Two Scouts each to a Patrol and sent them off on the Intermediate course. Adults lagged behind so we did not interfere…too much. There were several missteps and do-overs and re-calculations of where to go, but they go there. After each point the Scouts grew in confidence.
What we realized during this course is that we were going to fall short of the 5 miles. So, we took another map that we found and laid out another set of points for the Scouts to find. Which failed because a Scout lost his Backpack. We figured out another course and sent them searching for the Lost Backpack. They never found it, but it was a good lesson on Teamwork.
The interesting tidbit here is that one Scout gave up on his backpack and headed back to base. He needed a buddy, so one went with him. The other two wanted to finish the course and kept at it. Two of the adults headed out after the four Scouts a bit after they started only to find the two finishing. I was back at base with the other Adults and saw only two show up.
Not fearing any emergency, since they sauntered back into base, I asked what happened. I explained to them, one being a new Scout, that as a patrol, you stick together. If there was an emergency it was ok to then leave and get help. But, that was not the case. Once we were all back together, we de-briefed as a teachable moment. Patrols stick together. they must decide what to do together and then do it. No split choices.
Overall, a good two weekends. Being out with the Scouts was great. It is the experience that helps each of us grow. I did have plans to go to Scoutmaster/Ast Scoutmaster Training that day. I only need this class to be fully Trained for my position as Ast Scoutmaster. However, I know that there will be another class that I can take. This weekend was a great time to get outside and learn other skills and create experiences and memories.