Thursday, June 21st, 2018

For most of the Scouts and Scouters of Troop 451, today began at the more reasonable-seeming hour of 6:45. This enabled our table waiters and the Scouters supervising that crew to be at the dining hall in ample time to discharge their important duties. The menu featured scrambled eggs and sausage patties, with milk and cereal as alternative/supplemental fare.

At the Flag Plaza  (The place of the flags, where the flags hang out and blow in the wind, all day long, right side up) this morning, we had the honor of hoisting the Texas flag in recognition of our "cleanest campsite' achievement. The color guard was comprised of Aidan Zentner, Landon Pratt, Kaleb Rutherford, and Christian Woehler.

The morning, as for the night, has been cool - about 60 F. Today's high is predicted to reach a balmy 72. It is for this kind of change in the weather that we advise our Scouts to pack a hoodie or the like. Thankfully, it seems that all heeded the advice so we see no blue skin contrastin…

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Another long, fun day at Camp Geiger draws to a close. The boys are (mostly) in their tents, on their cots, trying to sleep. A few are still lined up to take their showers and one is working an unexpected repair to his Mic-O-Say costume. Thus, comparative quiet has descended on our humble campsite, Sioux Lookout.

For several of your Troop 451 Scouters, the day started earlier than usual, as they arose to volunteer at the dining hall at 5:00 am. Yes, preparing pancakes and bacon for 570 souls requires more hands than the kitchen staff routinely employs. Thus, traditionally, this affords an opportunity for spirited Scouters to render some service to other people. Your troop provided four volunteers: Jessica Harris, Kevin Hollenshead, Phillip Pratt, and your correspondent. Jessica allowed as how she understood the ins and outs of food service wrap (which, in truth, can take a bit of doing to handle successfully) so she assumed duties at the wrapping station.

Kevin Hollenshead and Phillip…

Rain, Rain . . .

Well, we dodged this hydrological bullet last evening but now we are under the trailing edge of a large storm system stretching nearly from Witchita, Kansas to Waterloo, Iowa. The much-needed precipitation is currently coming down in torrents. No strong winds seem to accompany this system and so there is no need for us to make use of the emergency storm shelters that grace each campsite. However, some lightning was reported and thus, everyone is required to be in a structure, under a roof.

For your correspondent, happily ensconced in the Leader's Lounge in Herzog Lodge, sheltering in place is no hardship (rather the opposite, actually). For some of the souls in camp this week, accommodations may not be so comfortable. Needless to say, being cooped-up precludes being able to follow our Scouts around to their various classes and activities to capture their expereinces in digital media (I almost wrote "on film"! How dated of me!)

I mentioned in an earlier post that Sunday n…

Home Thoughts from Missouri

Oh, to be in Texas
Now that June is there,
And whoever wakes in Texas
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in full green leaf,
While the mocker sings on the mesquite bough
In Texas—now!
(With apologies to Robert Browning)

One concern many parents have as they send their young men off in the company of others to spend a week in the 'wilds' of Missouri is how will their sons be without them. This is a fair question. While we have gotten to know one another in the few months since our new Scout families joined the Troop 451 family, in many ways, we veteran Scouters are still nearly unknown to the newer parents and vice versa.

When else would we send those who are most dear to us so far away with such recent friends? For many of our first year Scouts, this will be among their first experiences so far from home and homesickness is a real possibility, especially but not exclusively, for our first-time campers.

We do …

Tuesday morning, June 19th, 2018

Another dawn, another day!

The earth here in St. Joseph is unseasonably dry and the farmers could really use the rain. We nevertheless, with some guilty feelings, welcomed the lack of rain last night. The night was cool and breezy but, blessedly, uneventful. While summer camp is an exciting adventure, it is nice not to have too much excitement during sleeping hours. While it is a comfort to know that a safe, sturdy refuge is right nearby, should the need arise, it is more comforting to have no such need.

Rain is still in the forecast for later today and through the remainder of the week. We are well-prepared and will take such eventuality in stride, as it comes. One of the salient benefits of participating in Scouting is that our young men learn a substantial degree of self-reliance. They also learn to serve others. It is great to watch as our older boys help their younger Scout colleagues adjust to life at summer camp.

This was seen, for example, Sunday morning when we unloaded our t…

Monday, June 18th, 2018

Our first full day at Camp Geiger has been a rousing success. This is just as expected, so far, but it is always a delight when reality actually matches our high expectations.

Sunday was warm and sunny, with highs in the mid-90s - not different, really, from Flower Mound at that same time. So why go to all the way Missouri? The answer becomes obvious as the evening approaches and things cool down noticeably. By bedtime, it was still warm but sleep was reasonably comfortable under a single bedsheet on top of one's sleeping bag.

Our day started sometime before reveille as folks rose and headed to our in-camp showers for a refreshing, reinvigorating rinse. Reveille sounds across the camp at 7:00 am, well after the morning sun has risen past the horizon, and the campsite is fully lit by then. At 7:15 sounds the "waiters' call," summoning the day's table waiters to the dining hall.

Dining at Geiger is done 'family style.' The tables in the dining hall seat eig…

Saturday, June 16th, 2018

Whoo hoo! We're on the way! Hey, hey!!

Once again, intrepid Scouts and Scouters of our beloved Troop 451 are wending their weary way Northward, to St. Joseph Missouri and Camp Geiger.

We gathered at First United Methodist Church of Lewisville, our Charter Organization, starting at 9:30 pm. In a not-unprecedented eventuality, almost everyone arrived at the stated time. Past experience has conditioned us to expect that if we say we are leaving at 10:00 pm, some folks will show up somewhat thereafter. Thus, we fudged a bit for a planned 10:30 departure. Apologies to those good folks who arrived at the posted time.

Our transportation this year was arranged courtesy of Tempus Transportation, which is owned by Troop 451's own Morales family. And what transportation it is! We have been accustomed to comfortable, well-appointed buses and this year is no exception. If anything, it exceeds our high expectations and for this, we are grateful.

To start our journey through the dark middle …