Back From Camp
Mark Orlovsky (morlovsk@EARTH.EXECPC.COM)
Wed, 26 Jul 1995 20:29:19 -0500
I don't know if other leaders feel as I do right know, but after spending a
week of summer camp with my troop I have experienced both relief and
Relief in that we all survived the week and disappointment that the week had
to end. Troop 117 of the Milwaukee County Council spent 6 great days at
LeFeber Northwoods Camp. LeFeber (or LNC as it is known) is owned by the
Council and is located about 100 miles northwest of Green Bay, Wisconsin. The
camp itself consists of three separate camps; Baird, Neidhofer, and Demmer.
Our troop spent the week at Baird. Except for distance of site from the
waterfront and the mud I, cannot find any fault with the camp.
This is the same camp that I as a youth visited 3 times in the early 1970's.
It is also the same camp that my wife and I spent our second date (our date
consisted of driving 6 Scouts from my troop that I was an ASM for a week of
camp). Except for some new trees and a few new buildings the camp was
basically the same.
As far as the experience, we had all 9 of our boys attend camp. Out of the
group of 9, all of them are first year Scouts. At least 3 will have completed
1 rank advancement. Out of the 24 applications for merit badges, 22 were
completed. My son completed his first Eagle required MB for swimming :). He
also completed horsemanship and metalwork MB's.
We had 2 days of rain, Monday and Wednesday. Otherwise the weather was
pleasant with daily temperatures in the low 80's. The camp had experienced 2
days of rain the previous week. This meant it was really muddy when we got
For me it was a real learning experience. Motivating 9 different personalities
on daily basis was a challenge. Not only did I have to deal with keeping them
focusing on the daily tasks, but I also had to keep myself motivated. I think
it worked. Based on the number of merit badges completed and all of the
activities the boys participated in, my motivation must have worked.
The real learning experience came on Wednesday. It was announced during the
morning Scoutmaster's roundtable that we were under a severe weather watch.
For me it meant getting the boys prepared for the possibility of bad weather
while still maintaining the basic schedule. The morning was spent with all
available scouts in the Troop and I putting up additional tarps and tightening
down the tents. During lunch we reviewed the procedures for foul weather and
talked again about the buddy system. The boys are real good about the buddy
system and don't seem to have a problem with it. I also insisted that since
they would be away from the campsite they should all have their rain gear with
them for the rest of the day.
Well everything seemed to go o'k until about 4:30 PM when the guys that had to
make the food run did not show up back at the site to pick up the basket.
These 2 guys for the most part are always punctual so I knew that something
was up. I had everyone stay in camp and I went to where they were last seen. I
back tracked what I thought would have been their path with no avail. By this
time it was 5:30 PM. It was raining pretty steady and knew that they were
I went to the main building and notified the asst. camp director who
immediately started a search procedure. These guys were great. Only those in
camp who needed to know were alerted. I of course was worried, here it was my
first time as a Scoutmaster at summer camp and I have already lost 2 of my
After searching for about another hour and half the boys found the searchers.
They were tired, scared, frightened and hungry. But they stayed together, kept
on their rain gear and for the most part kept their cool. When we were
re-united , we all had a little cry and a great big hug. The staff assured me
that they were happy to see that the boys were so well prepared for this kind
of situation. The only thing we had not talked about was that when you are
lost, stop and stay in one place until help arrives.
What is truly interesting about this event is that one of the boys that was
lost has ADD. He is normally viewed as being slow and of course not totally
with it unless he has taken his medication. I found out later that evening
from the other lost scout that it was he would made the wrong the turn and not
the boy who has ADD. He felt that next time he should not be so quick to think
that Pete (the one with ADD) is unable to make decisions and that he does know
what is going on.
Pete also by the way set the goal of completing his swimming merit badge
during camp, and he did. His success and experiences this past week may just
have been the ticket to build some confidence in this young man.
We have already signed up for camp next year. Same week different site (closer
to showers, rifle range, and waterfront). I have already had another father
promise to come up for next year (Pete's dad). And my wife and I may spend an
additional week next year as camp commissioners after our week of summer camp.
If you have any questions about this camp, please e-mail me at
Now I work for 2 1/2 weeks and then Patty and I are off to Boy Scout Leader
Wood Badge for a week.
Mark P. Orlovsky
Scoutmaster - BSA: Troop 117, Wauwatosa, WI
Brotherhood - Mikano Lodge 231 - WWW
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