Thanks to James for volunteering his camp this weekend for what turned out to be an awesome time! Our boy led troop wanted a weekend with plenty of free time for fishing, cooking and hiking. We ended up with a few days of beautiful weather, a hike to show off our orienteering skills, and another edition of the Troop 45 Outdoor Cooking Contest.
Getting into camp on Friday evening, Tyson led the boys set up camp on the hill overlooking the camp area. They spent the evening cooking up some Train Wreck for their cracker barrel, then they ended up turning in early. It amazes me when teenagers decide to turn in before 9:30, all on their own.
First thing in the morning on Saturday, the boys assigned their cooks and turned out an excellent pancake and sausage breakfast. They managed the cooking on their outdoor propane stove, then cleaned everything up so they could head out for an exciting morning of fishing at the nearby pond. We weren’t really keeping score (since I only caught one fish), but one of the boys (Noah) managed to land 14 of those finicky finned creatures. I understand that rooster tails were the lure of choice for the sunfish, perch and bass that hid in under the lily pads.
For lunch, the boys cooked over the open fire for their annual cooking contest. I was amazed at the variety and quality of their dishes. Some of them cooked for over two hours preparing their dishes. When the food was done, we said grace and dug into one of the best pot luck meals I’ve had. If you didn’t make it to the contest this year, you definitely missed out. Congratulations to Caleb who won the contest with his broccoli/rice soup.
The lid of a can decided to jump up and attack one of the boys, so we also got some first aid practice in. Fortunately, every one of the boys has a first aid kit and most have first aid merit badge. To top it off, they finished near the top of this years First Aid Meet, so everyone had a cool head and instantly took care of the cut while subduing the lid that caused the problem in the first place.
With lunch out of the way, the boys grabbed their maps and compasses. Forming two patrols, we set them loose into the countless wooded acres connected to the camp. Their goal was to seek out six orienteering points that were spread out over the area. By my calculations, there was no way to complete the course without at least a 5 mile trek. So they loaded up on snacks, water, first aid gear and anything they would need as a contingency into their backpacks, then they headed out. A few hours later, they came back having demonstrated their orienteering/navigation skills with only one complaint. Someone stole one of the waypoints! That ended up being the thorn for nearly every boy during the day – they really wanted to get them all.
With such a successful trek, the scoutmasters rewarded them with a surprise dinner. While the boys headed out to complete a service project to help with the sustainability of the grounds around the camp (clearing brush and maintaining the hardened trails), a steak dinner was ready for them when they returned. With a full day behind them, they shared a meal, talking about all of the fun of the day’s events. They followed it up by playing scout games (like leg wrestling) and doing some more fishing.
Their rather full day ended with some peach cobbler (which we DON’T stir or put eggs in), shared while sitting at the camp fire. After thorns and roses, we retreated to a slightly wetter and warmer night than Friday, with the boys deciding to sharing a few tents so they could chat for a while.
Alas, Sunday came and it was time to go. With Tommy and Noah cooking eggs for breakfast, we finished up with an excellent meal. The boys cleaned the entire camp, leaving it better than they found it. Before concluding for the morning, Noah led the troop in a devotional, helping the boys realize the reverence that they all strive to demonstrate as part of the Scout Law.
- 2013 Outdoor Cooking Contest Results (boyscouttroop45.wordpress.com)