Showing posts from July, 2009

Camp Geiger - The Week in Pictures

Our giant Penske moving truck. If you ever decide to go on vacation with 100 of your friends, this is what you'll need.

There's not enough that can be said for Mrs. Perry and the time and effort she put into getting us all ready for camp. She started planning for Geiger more than six months ago and there wasn't an hour this week that wasn't made easier for all of us because of her efforts.

It's no surprise or secret that we have a lot of fun during the van rides to camp. We've all become good friends and there's a lot of love that goes around. Here we are leaving the parking lot in Lewisville.

Here we are entering Oklahoma!

10 hours and 568 miles after leaving Lewisville, we arrive at the front gate to Camp Geiger.

Ahhhhh, Troop 451 is back in St. Joe!

First up, raise the flags! We'd be doing a lot of that during the week. Each day we won uniform inspection, we were able to raise the Texas flag above the Geiger flag plaza the next morning. We're pro…

Camp Geiger, Saturday, July 4

Well, it was probably a bit unrealistic to think we could have spent a whole week at Camp Geiger without getting rained on once. And we didn't. We got rained on twice!

Friday around midnight, not 5 minutes after the Mic-O-Say members returned from tribal activities, the Heavens opened and dumped 2-3 inches of rain on us in about 20 minutes. It was crazy! But by the time we woke up, the rain had stopped leaving plenty of mud and sauna-like humidity. Perfect weather to pack up a 22-foot moving truck.

Plenty tired, but ready to come home, everyone started packing up the truck and then left for a quick breakfast of Cinnamon rolls and Orange Juice. Unfortunately, before we ever got to the dining hall, the rains returned soaking everything set out for packing. Fortunately, this shower was quick and by the end of breakfast, we had clear skies to finish packing the truck.

At 9 a.m., we headed up to the handicraft corral for the final meeting of camp and the presentation of camp awards. Much…

Camp Geiger, Friday, July 3

The kids are exhausted. The adults, twice as much (at least from this perspective). But as much as you can consider it a “good exhausted,” it is. We’ve all gone hard for six days and nights with yesterday being the longest of all, and now, we have reached the last full day at Geiger.

Yesterday morning, camp got moving around 4:45 a.m. with the “5 a.m. Fishing Club” leaving for the lake and it ended this morning around 2:30 a.m. with the last of the camp returning from tap night activities. 21 hours is a long time to be awake, I don’t care who you are.

Today brings the end of the Merit Badge classes, the last round of post-meal games in the dining hall and one last trip to the Trading Post to buy whatever $4.37 will get you. Tonight, after one last dinner, we’ll head to the Council Ring for the closing ceremonial fire and then for many, the night will culminate with their inclusion into the tribe of Mic-O-Say, or advancement for those already in. We have another late night ahead of us. B…

Camp Geiger, Thursday, July 2, Tap Day

You can feel the anticipation in camp for tonight's tap ceremony in the air, and no, it's not just the humidity. There's a lot of talk among the boys about whether they're going to be tapped tonight. The thought process goes from "Yes, I think I'm going to get tapped tonight" to "Well, I think I've got a 50 to 1 shot" to "I don't think it's gonna happen" back to "I think I'm gonna get tapped." Some adults will enjoy the honor of being included as tribe members in Mic-O-Say also. The ceremony starts at 8:20 and we'll see a magical ceremony followed by a long solemn march to the Mic-O-Say fire, where the circle of boys and men will wait to see who the new members of the tribe are.

To take a little bit of the edge off, the long awaited "King Peewee" contest followed dinner. This contest honors the lightest and possibly smallest of the scouts in camp. The competition this year was fierce. Each troop r…

Camp Geiger, Thursday, July 2, Tap Day

After our inspiring campfire program last night, we headed back to camp, some to wash up, some to run around and wear themselves out until bed time. One thing you see here at night that we don't so much of at all back in Lewisville and Flower Mound are "lightning bugs". You may or may not be familiar with these insects who have a type of phosphorescent material in their hindquarters to make them give off light. Walking down the dark wooded trails at night, if you look into the dense woods on either side of you and keep your flashlight off, you could swear there are Christmas lights swaying in the trees. There are so many! It's really something to see.

Also last night there seemed to be a gorilla lurking around camp. He would jump out and scare unsuspecting scouts and adults on the way to the showers. Mr. Perry and Mr. McClellan happened to catch the perpetrator before he was about to pounce on another victim, and jumped out and scared the gorilla! That'll teach h…

Camp Geiger, Thursday, July 2 - Tap Day

730 days is an eternity for most 13-year-olds. But that's how long many of our boys have been waiting for today to come. And now, it's here.

Tonight, in a spectacular ceremony filled with native tradition, dancing, chanting and lots of fire including a 20-foot bonfire, this year's class of braves (the boys) and Honorary Warriors (the adults) will be "tapped" for inclusion in the tribe of Mic-O-Say.

On the books, Mic-O-Say is the honorary camping society for Camp Geiger, analogous to Order of the Arrow for BSA. But like OA, it's far more than just that. For our boys, and frankly the adults, who are tapped tonight, it will not be joining a club or simply engaging in another scouting activity. Being tapped for Mic-O-Say is nothing short of a rite of passage.

Boy Scouts, at its core, is designed to bring out the best in every person who participates and to make top of mind, our responsibility to help make the world a better place. Mic-O-Say, too, is an embodiment o…

Camp Geiger, Wednesday, July 1

Tonight was a very special treat for all scouts at the camp and their families, especially first year scouts. It was family night, and some of our scout families were able to make it up here, bringing some smiles to a few otherwise tired faces.

I need to tell you about the staff here at Geiger, led by program director Matt Becker. Matt had a birthday this week and got continual grief all week long, including several pies in the face, but I secretly think he enjoyed every bit of it.

The staff put on a tremendous campfire for all the scouts and their families, incorporating all of the troops at the camp. There were many songs and skits by each troop, and the staff was unbelievablyentertaining with the Pink Pajamas skit, the baby raccoon skit and of course the dancing little people were awesome! Then they were treated to a performance by the braves and warriors in the tribe of Mic-O-Say. Those members of the tribe came out all in their hand made costumes, with beautiful feathers, careful…

Camp Geiger, Wednesday, July 1

All the scouts are taking their merit badge classes and have pretty much fallen into a routine. So you may ask yourself, "I wonder what all the adults are doing...sitting around with a bottle of water telling stories to each other, laughing and having a generally good time?" Well, no. Actually we're doing some work around camp.

We're hard at work making an observation tower and storm shelter, and were able to build two massive decks in just two days. Other adults have helped to paint another building on the campground, and put up a flag pole in front of another building.

We did take some time out for an adult rifle competition today, but we were hard at work the rest of the day. We'll have the results of the competition in a future posting.

So, you see, we're really working hard to make sure our boys and others get the best of the scouting experience. And we save the telling stories, laughing and having a generally good time for later that night.

Camp Geiger, Wednesday, July 1

What does it take to get a 12-year-old out of bed before sunrise? Not much.

But the lure of a big fish, and getting one step closer to earning a Fishing & Wildlife Merit Badge, did the trick this morning as "The 5 a.m. Fishing Club" rolled out of our tents with bedhead and bleary eyes and headed for Richardson Lake at the south end of camp.
As part of their merit badges, the boys have to catch at least two different kinds of fish which is pretty doable when the fish are biting. The small lake is filled with Bass, Bluegill, and a number of others and is surrounded by rushes and logs where the big fish like to hide.
By the time we got to the lake the sun was still way below the horizon but slowly the sky began to fill with blues and pinks and purples and a light mist slowly rolled across the water. A little after 6 a.m. the boys all picked a spot and started casting their lures.
Noah Q. landed the first catch of the day not 10 minutes later reeling in a small, but active bas…

Camp Geiger, Wednesday, July 1

We welcomed July this morning with temperatures in the 50's. Sleepy boys and adults rolled out of their cots and sleeping bags, feeling that first chill, and grabbing a jacket before heading out of their tents.
Some scouts and adults woke up before first light and headed down to Lake Richardson to go fishing for their fishing merit badge, and they had a pretty successful trip.
Every morning at the dining hall, Troop 451 has made their presence known with a song before the flag ceremony. The scouts and adults back at camp practice the song at our own flag ceremony before we take off for breakfast. Yesterday, the song was called "A Scout from Texas" where we let everyone know what makes Texas scouts different from other scouts. Today's song was " Bill Grogan's Goat", which is the story of Bill Grogan and a goat that he found, who ate what he found around camp, and through many trials and tribulations, met an untimely demise.
After breakfast each morning, th…