Troop 381 - Latest Report (Kinda Long)
Anthony J. Mako (ajmako@APK.NET)
Mon, 24 Nov 1997 01:33:12 -0500
Well, I felt so good about some of the things that have been happening in
Troop 381 that I just had to tell someone about them. I'm still felling
pretty good, but the folks down at the council office have been avoiding me
lately (it seems they think I'll try to tell them how great things are
going for the twenty-third time), so I thought I'd bother you folks with
I Love Scouting:
September 17th I got a call from our new District Executive (that means I
can train him right!). He wanted to know if Troop 381 would be having a
Roundup. I told him we'd be having a meeting and I would talk it over with
the committee. Later that evening we had our first regular troop meeting
in our newly finished meeting hall. Attendance: 2 Adults, 1 Scout (newly
registered). Made plans for a "Lock-In" October 17-18. Herb and I agreed
to pay for some sort of recruiting prize for the Scout who recruits the
most new Scouts by the end of January. Our one new Scout is excited.
September 21st I completed the Woodbadge course (C-7-97).
October 1st I finally received the flyers the DE made up for me. It seems
they'd been misplaced, but new ones we made (minor inconvenience at the
council level). I hadn't heard from the district staff since the Kickoff
(must be good news?). Had our third regular meeting at the VFW Scout Hall.
Attendance: 2 Adults, 4 Scouts. Had a pretty good meeting going over the
program for the Lock-In and setting a date for a campout in November.
October 2nd I called council to get cabin reservations for November and the
SLOP Fest in January. No cabins available at camp in November (the whole
month!), and only a small 8 man cabin remained available in January.
Snapped the cabin up for January and reserved four Adirondaks for November.
October 18th. The Lock-In wasn't as successful as I had hoped. In
attendance were our one newly registered Scout, three "recruits" who had
been "visiting" since the end of September, and one prospect. They had a
pretty good time even if the schedule got thrown out the window an hour
after it started. I felt very tired when it was over, but I reminded
myself it takes time to build a troop.
November 5th I didn't feel very good after the meeting. Herb couldn't make
it and the other ASM was out of the building most of the meeting. Four
Scouts seemed to have a great time trying my patience. Herb and I decide
that the weather doesn't look good for the campout at Manatoc. We plan to
cancel the adirondaks and have the campout at the Scout Hall.
November 12th. Boy did I have a bad day. Got to introduce the "Points"
system to the Scouts who seemed to be pretty impressed with the prize. I
thought I heard rumblings of mutiny at one point though. I think it was
shortly after Mr. Mako asked "What do you mean there's a campout this
November 14th - 6pm. I'm supposed to be meeting the troop at the Scout
Hall for a campout but I am inches away from my driveway having just got
home from work. This is not good. I rush into the house, change clothes
quickly, stuff some stuff in a duffel and head back out. I finally arrive
at the Scout Hall at 6:30 pm. My Scouts are not happy that I am late and
Herb will be even later. Secretly I think that I am not ready for this.
We take care of some administrative business, and I inform the troop that I
was unable to get another adult to stay Saturday night. I don't want to
admit it but, I know how they feel. I can also see it in their faces.
Herb arrives and saves me from the noose. We practice setting up a tent
inside, in the dark. The Scouts insist that they will be sleeping in the
tent tonight. Weather forecast: 25 degrees, breezy, freezing rain and
11 pm - My first major problem as Scoutmaster of Troop 381 ends
unexpectedly well. Got to walk in a three block circuit wearing a
sweatshirt trying to convince a very determined Scout that he couldn't walk
home. He was wearing only a T-shirt (and my coat after I threw it over his
shoulders. Had to remind myself several times during the walk not to say
"what you need to do is...". The kid didn't want to talk about what was
bothering him so I walked with him and mentioned that if he insisted on
walking home I would have to walk with him to make sure he got home
alright. Also told him that I tended to talk a lot when I was cold. It
seemed to work.
November 15th - 12:30 am. My Scouts insist on cooking eggs in a paper bag.
Thanks Herb! We're supposed to have eggs for breakfast, but all these
guys can think about is cooking them NOW in a paper bag. Whatever you do,
Herb, don't say a word about boiling water in a paper cup!
1:30 am - Finally, they've gone to the tent. I take stock of the
provisions. Well, there's enough for breakfast, and lunch is a brown
bagger, so I think we'll have enough. I can't believe I have to get up in
four and a half hours.
8 am - One of the Scouts has come into the building to use the bathroom. I
get a weather report. I look at my watch. Why is it 8 am? As the hour
passes the Scouts trickle in from outside. I am told that one Scout is
still in his sleeping bag. It just happens to be the Scout selected to be
patrol leader for the day. I LOVE SCOUTING!
9:30 am - My life for a proper camp breakfast. There is no coffee. The
hot chocolate isn't very good, and I have the honor of watching a Scout
cook my breakfast. Herb has told the cook that the best way to get points
is to bribe the Scoutmaster. I am offered a brown and black lump of
charcoal and told it is an egg. I tell them to try again. Breakfast as a
whole goes pretty well except that all of the Scouts want to cook their
own. There is no patrol organization (they can't even decide on a name).
The patrol leader of the day is the youngest and can't seem to remember
what he's supposed to do six minutes after I've told him.
10:30 am - The plan is to be on the road to camp by noon so we can take a
hike around, eat lunch, and be back to the Scout Hall by three. Breakfast
cleanup is progressing nicely, although I still have one Scout who is
eating. The tent has to be taken down, and all of the equipment in the
Scout Hall has to be moved to the newly finished storage building.
Pessimism rears its ugly head.
11:30 am - Except for the patrol boxes they used for breakfast everything
is in the storage building. The tent is down and hanging in the building
to dry. There are a few items that still need to be cleaned, but overall
12:30 pm - We arrive at the Camp Manatoc administration building. Of
course, we had to stop at Dairy Mart so a couple of the Scouts could get
something for lunch. They also decided to ride in Herb's car instead of
both cars. It could only mean one thing: they plan to gang up on me on the
way back. The campmasters are glad to see us. I suddenly realize that I
forgot to cancel the reservations. There's a twenty dollar donation to the
camp fund. We start the hike looking at the adirondaks we would have be
staying in. The Scouts don't say much, but I think they are relieved.
1:30 pm - After hiking through the camp to see the cabin we have reserved
for January, meeting some Scouts they know from another troop, throwing a
few rocks in the lake, and stopping to look at what they think is a dead
animal in the camp swimming pool, the Scouts are tired, hungry, and cold.
We break for lunch at the parade field shelter and talk about things in
general. They are beginning to realize that they are cold because they
slept in their clothes the night before. They hadn't noticed it before
because they spent the morning in a heated building. The Scout I saved
from the wilds of west Akron the night before shows no signs of remembering
his plan to quit. They are ready to go home.
2:30 pm - It was a very quite ride back to the Scout Hall. If they didn't
outright sleep, they were too tired to make any noise. Their rides are
waiting for them when we pull into the parking lot. I'm not sure at this
point if they are disappointed about not being able to stay another night.
November 19th. My plan for this meeting is to get my four Scouts through
the requirements for Scout. Previous attempts have been disappointing as
several of the Scouts seem to be stuck on describing the Scout badge. I
only have two Scouts for this meeting, and Herb isn't going to make it.
The meeting lasts an hour. There is not much I can do by myself with two
Scouts. They manage to get through all of the requirements without too
much trouble and I promise them we will do the Scoutmaster Conference next
week. They seem a little disappointed with the short meeting, but what can
I do? The Scout who had threatened to quit on Friday was surprised when I
told him he had satisfied all of the joining requirements. I know a little
about his circumstances, but not enough. I'm going to have to watch him
Next meeting November 26th - maybe.
Anthony J. Mako, email@example.com
Scoutmaster, Troop 381, http://members.aol.com/Scouts381/
Great Trail Council, Akron, Ohio
"I used to be an Eagle (C-7-97), but I'll always be an Eagle (1981)."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City