Saturday, August 16, 2008

Finally, some camp photos!

OK, so here finally is the camp wrap-up. The camp-o-blog or whatever. With photos, no less!

So as I believe I mentioned at some point, we left for camp a week ago today, paused at Camp Shepard on the side of Mt. Rainier, cruised over Chinook Pass, and finally rolled in to Camp Baldwin at around 8:00 Saturday night. Scoutmaster Mark got us all checked in, and Senior Patrol Leader Ben walked the guys over to the camp site while we adults drove the gear over. While we waited for the guys to arive we worked out which patrols would go where, and more importantly where we adults would sleep. Highly key decision, there.

Once everything was unloaded from the cars and Ben had things under control as far as settling everyone in to their tents we took the cars back to the parking lot and Mark, Jeff and I walked back to camp. We took the "other" route back, not walking along the short-ish road we'd driven in. The problem was it was getting dark, and we weren't using flash lights. Which led to a couple moments of mild disorientation as we tried to figure out which blurry path to take, and a couple wet feet for Jeff as we ran into a couple puddles. But we did get to see the horses in the dark, which was kind of cool. And we did make it back to the camp site safely, which was also cool.

The next morning, after a nice breakfast of sugary cereals and some bread and jam, we got everyone in uniform and headed back up to the parking lot for the big "welcome to camp". We weren't really sure what to prior camp experiences had been with the Cub Scouts, where everyone kind of trickled in to camp throughout the morning. But at Camp Baldwin all the various troops were assmebled in the parking lot, just kind of milling around. Then a big panel truck drove up and stopped, and a couple people in Camp Baldwin shirts got out and started milling as well. And shortly after that the camp shirt people pulled open the back doors of the truck and the rest of the staff (or at least a bunch of 'em) burst out hollering and running. Kind of like a Scout Camp Clown Car.

But wait! There's more! As soon as the camp staff were arranged around the outside of the lot two more staff members rode in on horseback, one holding the US flag and the other the Camp Baldwin flag (or maybe the Oregon State flag...I forget). They proceeded to ride around the parking lot leading a "Gimme a B! Gimme an A!" chant. it was pretty darn cool, I must say, and my only disappointment was that I missed the guy with the Camp / Oregon flag falling off his horse...

"What's that spell? BALDWIN!!!"

Sunday afternoon was spent hanging around the camp site with the squirrels and chipmunks while the boys did their camp tour, health checks, and swim checks, then heading off for the "welcome to camp" adult leader meeting. Which is to say I got a lot of reading done, and didn't really take any pictures.

Monday morning brought the first meal the guys had to cook for themselves (cereal and sandwiches don't count, nor did Sunday's camp-wide dinner of "stroganoff", a fancy word for noodles and hamburger). Bacon and pancakes, which sounds fairly straightforward until you remember that the cooks age from 11 to 17, they're cooking on a propane stove, and they're using an aluminum frying pan. End result? Lots of burned bacon and undercooked yet burned pancakes. I opted for cereal instead (to be fair, the patrol I was eating with went with this option as well, so it's not like I was rejecting their food).

After breakfast the guys who were doing the Horsemanship merit badge (most of the troop) took off, leaving me, Mark and Jeff alone with the 5 or so boys who didn't have a 9:00 session. Logan's first class was Camping at 11, so he hung out with the other guys while we adults went off to the daily adult meeting. After the meeting I ran into him at the mighty "Trading Post", where I was dismayed to learn that Camp Baldwin is firmly owned by Pepsi. Logan, on the other hand, was overjoyed to learn they carried Nerds. Go figure.

After lunch (sandwiches and chips), Logan headed off to his Astronomy Merit Badge class while I went up to check e-mail and update the ol' blogeroo. Then it was back to the camp to help Logan and his friend Matt with some of their rank requirements in the "Eagle's Nest" for a while before heading back up the hill for dinner (ground turkey tacos, which were quite delicious I must say), some card games, and then off to the lake to watch the Persied (Persiad? One of those...) meteor shower. Which was great, 'caues it's so dang dark up in the hills.

And the evening ended kind of as expected: Logan was completely strung out after a day of activity, and had a minor freak-out over an "infestation of ants" in his tent. And by "infestation" we mean 5. Fortunately that problem was solved by a can of Off and me telling him and Matt to turn off their dang lights. 'cause if you can't see the ants you can pretend they're not there!

No comments: