The 2017 Season Draws To A Close

A few folks from Troop 451 wended their way Northward to (among other things) participate in sixth session ceremonies. This session, the last of the 2017 camping season at Camp Geiger, many fewer Scouts attended camp and the tapping ceremony was correspondingly smaller though not subdued.  The descriptions I have written before still apply, if to fewer participants.

The size of the crowd notwithstanding, it was a great spectacle of pomp and circumstance. As is our wont, Our troop was well represented.

Those from Troop 451 in attendance were staffer Alex Adams (Runner Speaks With Man), Ben Bryant (Runner Coyote Mandan), Kevin R. Bryant (honorary Warrior Coyote Mandan), Elliot Covington (Keeper of the Sacred Bundle Iron Wheel), staffer Ellis Covington (KSB Little Iron Wheel), Richard Covington (Medicine Man Big Iron Wheel), Kaleb DiCiaccio (KSB Little Three Lakes), Mark DiCiaccio (Sachem Three Lakes), Andrew Gonzalez (Runner Little War Flight), staffer Ayrton Harried (Fire Builder Spiri…

Saturday morning, July 1st, 2017

We rose circa 6:15 this morning to strike camp and load up our gear. Assistant Scout Masters Chris Samson and Gary Lueking ably directed those Scouts who returned to camp after the closing fire last night. They disassembled and packed the Troop 451 gateway and the two dining covers that we erected last Sunday. Along with similar duties performed, these folks really gave us a big start on today's labors. Those of us who were occupied elsewhere last night offer a huge "Thank you!" for their good efforts.

Without the spur of an oncoming storm, packing up went more slowly this year than last but it nevertheless went well. Once our gear was appropriately stowed for the trip home, we broke our fast with the traditional Saturday morning cinnamon rolls for which the Camp Geiger kitchen is justly famous.

We attended closing ceremonies at 9:30. We were pleased to be recognized with the award for the Cleanest Campsite of the Session. We also tied for the Spirit award with Troop 21 …

Friday, midday, June 30th, 2017

The foxmen and braves have been 'on silence' since being so charged last night. The foxmen have been busily working on a conservation project for the camp. They are installing much-needed erosion barriers on the hill below the shelter at Sioux Lookout campsite. This involves cutting small trenches and laying in railroad ties, staked in place with a couple of pieces of half-inch re-bar.

Thought it is not Texas-hot here, the afternoon is nevertheless warm and physical labor is a definite effort. The runners of the tribe, who are charged with watching over the foxmen are well-trained for this responsibility. They ensure their charges take breaks frequently to rest and rehydrate. They watch keenly for any hint of heat stroke or heat exhaustion and intervene long before this becomes an issue. They also look out for other discomfitures that the foxmen's long day may bring. The braves' ordeal is indeed that but it is not a dangerous one. Foxmen may see it differently, and tha…

Friday morning, June 30th, 2017 - A TEXAS tapper!

Thursday night brings the Tapping Fire. What a grand spectacle it is!

When I describe the Tapping Fire ceremony, I am inspired to give the same descriptions again and again. This is because the ceremony rarely varies from the received rituals. Thus, much of what I say here I have said before. I believe it is worth repeating for those who have not yet heard the story.

Thursday, we enjoyed a dinner of burgers and fries. As before, the salad bar was popular. After the meal, we joined in on a rousing chorus of "I've Been Working on the Railroad," proper tune and all!

After dinner, tribesmen headed off to wherever it is that tribesmen go on the night of tapping fire, to do whatever it is that they do. The rest of our troop returned to camp until it was time to gather in the Handicraft Corral to prepare for the long hike to Tapping Valley. Now, the valley is right below the corral but, the night of the Tapping Ceremony, the path to it is roundabout and punctuated by stops alon…

Scouting and Native American Culture

You have heard a lot about the Tribe of Mic-O-Say this week, and with good reason. Mic-O-Say is the beating heart of Camp Geiger and a big part of its appeal to our Scouts. Induction into this honor camping society is a major goal for most who attend summer camp here.

We now return to yesterday's question: what does Scouting have to do with Indian culture and traditions? We all known that Lord Robert Baden-Powell (affectionately known as ‘BP’) was the founder of the international Scouting movement. Perhaps less well known is that his inspiration came from events while he was with the British Army in southern Africa. So how is there a link to Native American traditions in British southern Africa?

During the Second Matabelele War, BP met and befriended an American scout, Frederick Russell Burnham. Burnham introduced BP to stories of the American Old West and to the ways of outdoor survival and success. Collectively, these skills, along with others directed specifically at intelligen…

Thursday morning, June 29th, 2017

Another morning, another electrical storm. Although many of us were up much earlier, anyone who had plans to sleep a bit more this morning had their hopes dashed by the oncoming rain and lightning. Once more, we repaired to out sturdy shelter to wait out the possible danger such weather presents. We had been experiencing a light drizzle since right about 3:00 AM but the real heart of the storm arrived just before 6:30 AM.

As the threat is lightning rather than a wind storm, several of our Scouters opted for the shelter of the pavilion, which offers the accommodation of places to sit. Not only places to sit, but places to write. But back to the more-expected features of summer camp life.

Our first year Scouts have been keeping busy at Camp Geiger’s ‘Trail to First Class’ program. Some of the information is review for our boys, most of whom are well on their way to becoming First Class Scouts.  As the week has progressed, however, more and more of the items are new to them, or very nea…

Wednesday night, June 28th, 2017

After dinner, comes the highlight of the evening: the campfire. Campers and families were treated to an array of songs, skits, and a dramatic recital. Troop 451 was well-represented among the entries. (In order of appearance, Zach Penny, Matthew Breding, Dylan Breding, Aarya Patel, Jake Mahdak, and Eli Sandefer presented "Movie Night" before an appreciative audience. Similarly-well-received was "Wolf," whose cast included Aidan Zentner, Jai Nagenini, Julian Razavi, Kevin Koonce, and Ryan Bussey (among others; your correspondent was occupied elsewhere and was unable to get the complete cast list - omissions will be corrected). Both groups of our Scouts deserve accolades for speaking loudly and clearly (and making hilariously-appropriate facial expressions that were clear several rows away) while presenting an entertaining diversion.

Our adults too had entries. Paul Williams wrote lyrics and arranged the music for several Scout/Camp Geiger-themed songs and he, along …