Cub Scout Adventure Camp, Session 1
Ron W. Fox (RonWFox@AOL.COM)
Sun, 2 Jul 1995 01:13:01 -0400
I thought that I would pass along my views of Session 1 of Cub Scout
Adventure Camp at Shin-Go-Beek. The dates were from 1:00 P.M., Sunday, June
26, through 12:00 Noon, Wednesday, June 29th. For the Scouts-L readers,
Shin-Go-Beek is one of the camps of Des Plaines Valley Council, which is
based in La Grange, Ill. (Western and Southwestern suburbs of Chicago, Ill.).
The camp is 40 miles (64 Km) due west of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, which is about
80 miles north of the Illinois/Wisconsin border.
The program went very well. The theme was "Sea Adventures", so the staff
built a replica of a ship out behind the barn on the property. I helped a
little with building this ship. Three pieces of sewer pipe were the masts,
with wood strips lashed to the top holding pieces of old tarps for the sails.
Posts with lines tied to them formed the outline of the ship. This was the
stage for Sunday's opening campfire (whose program was provided by the
staff), and Tuesday night's closing campfire (whose program was provided by
the campers). Everyone camp in costume for the Tuesday night program.
Monday night's program was split: the Wolves and Bears went to the barn for
a tournament of games. I cannot report on this, as I was with my son on the
Webelos overnight campout.
The standard program areas (Games, Sports, Handicrafts, Nature,
Swimming/Boating, Fishing, Archery, and Shooting [BBs]) were all well
organized and had a good program to present. There was a downpour during the
first afternoon program period on Monday, which interfered with Swimming,
Archery, and Games. However, the other areas progressed. Nature (which is
where I was at the time) gave the Scouts a couple of games to play. The
Scout running the area wrote the names of all the local flora and fauna he
had described on pieces of paper. Each Scout held the paper up to his
forehead, so that everyone else but him could read it. He then asked the
other Scouts questions about what he had until he could guess it (do I fly?
do I eat insects? how many legs do I have?). Thus, even though we could
not go on the Nature trail, the Scouts still learned something and had some
fun. The Scouts in Handicrafts had fun building boats. The fishing went
well, as everyone had live bait to catch hungry bluegills on, and we got an
extra thrill when two snapping turtles showed up and grabbed dead bluegills
off of the Scouts' lines!
Kudos to all the staff on the program!
After the Monday night meal, all the Webelos Scouts went on a hike to the
Pioneer campsite. On the way, we stopped in the main campfire bowl, where
Jim Margalski, in a Native American outfit, gave a talk on camp traditions,
and how the Scouts were now starting their progression to Boy Scouts by
hiking into, and camping in, areas of the camp that are used only by Boy
Scouts, not Cub Scouts. Then we hiked around a moraine that had a replica of
a totem pole mounted in the bottom. The Webelos had been asked previously to
find a stone around camp, in an area significant to them, and mark it with
their name. They were now asked to toss the stone into the bottom of the
moraine where the totem was. After that, we hiked into Pioneer campsite.
The total length was about 1.5 miles, I believe. At that point, a custom
that has occurred every year I have been at Shin-Go-Beek was observed: just
as the Webelos started to set up camp, it started to rain. Fortunately, this
time it was a gentle shower, and everyone managed to get their gear under
canvas before it got wet. There were sufficient tents and tarps to
accomodate everyone. The staff had built a large fire, and cooked up 6
cobblers in Dutch ovens. My favorite was Apple cobbler using chocolate cake.
Lots of songs were sung, and the pine needles on sandy soil made for a soft
bed under my Therm-a-Rest mattress. We were all in good spirits as we
marched back into camp Tuesday morning.
Shin-Go-Beek has a dining hall, and the Cubs had a lot of fun there. The
food was quite good this year: Liz is doing a great job with the food and
with her kitchen staff. The layout is different than those of you in the
Council have seen before: instead of individual 8 and 10 man tables, there
were about 7 long rows of tables with benches down the sides. This allows
the hall to accomodate more people, which was necessary as the session was
oversubscribed about 33% (around 200 campers were in camp). The spirit in
the dining hall was remarkable. Lots of Pack yells back and forth across the
hall, good songs too. It reminded me of the dining hall meals when I was a
Scout at Camp Child (Old Colony Council, southern suburbs of Boston,
Massachusetts). The spirit made both the Scouts and the staff enthusiastic
and carried over the whole session. This session exemplified everything good
that can come from a dining hall program.
In summary, a good time was had by all. Pack 69 had 17 adults and 20 Scouts
in camp, and we'll be back next year.
Cubmaster, Pack 69
Des Plaines Valley Council
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