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. But it’s one nobody would miss.

Last year when I came home from camp and people asked me how it was, I told them it was the longest week of my life. And while that sounds derogatory, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Days feel like weeks here and the week seems like a month. The thought that we only left Texas six short days ago seems unfathomable to any of us. Yet somehow, that’s the truth.

Maybe it’s living for a week without electronics. Maybe it’s pushing our bodies in ways we don’t normally do. Walking up and down steep hills to the tune of 10-12 miles a day will take it out of you. Maybe it’s getting up before dawn and putting in a 12 to 15-hour day before hitting the pillow, though for many of us here, that’s not unlike our “real life.”

I think what makes coming to Camp Geiger different, and certainly what makes it special, is that for seven days, once a year, we all have the uninterrupted chance to truly focus on what’s really important to each of us. Family. Friendships. Honor. Hard Work. And doing what each one of us can to make the world a better place.

Be proud of your boys. They have done you, the troop and the state of Texas extremely proud this week.

We’re all excited to be coming home. But like Christmas and birthdays, the second this week is over, we’ll all start eagerly counting the days until we can come back to Missouri and do this all over again.

We just want a nap first.


Camp Geiger Feature Of The Day: The Staff

If you were lining up all the benefits our boys receive from coming to Camp Geiger, you can put exposure to the young men staffing the camp at the top of the list. In a word, they are exemplary. Not just exemplary scouts, which they all most certainly are. They are exemplary people.

The entire camp staff tops 80. Of those, 36 are under the age of 18 and of those, 21 are Eagle Scouts. There are also a number of counselors who are college-age, a few of whom are enjoying their last year on staff before heading into the “real world” to find a full-time job.

One staff member I sat with this week serves as the head Runner for the Tribe of Mic-O-Say and will enlist in the Air Force reserves come next Fall.

Another, who kept everyone in stitches at lunch and in skits all week, received a perfect score on the ACT and looks to be heading to the Journalism program at Missouri – one of the top three programs in the country.

Yet another who staffs the camp HQ, and who has been incredibly helpful and patient with us sitting in his lobby bloggeing all week, is about to leave for a year abroad in Asia to study Japanese and computer programming.

The list goes on and on. And like every group, leadership comes from the top down.

The Program Director for the Camp is a great guy named Matt Becker who is finishing his sixth year on staff and second as the head of programming. Matt is ever present around camp - addressing the campers at every meal, every campfire, every leaders’ meeting and many other times throughout the day. You can tell there’s nothing he wouldn’t do to make the experience better for all involved – like taking 10 pies to the head on his birthday earlier this week, or doing a “logroll” across the dirt floor of the Council Ring to answer the impromptu chant of “Logroll! Logroll! Logroll!” from the scouts who just want to see if he’ll answer their bidding. He’s one of those people you meet once, and immediately know the kind of guy he is. He's a leader. And someone you'd love to get to know better. This December, Matt will graduate from Kansas State with a degree in economics and though they don’t know it yet, some company will be extremely fortunate to hire him.

It’s certainly been our pleasure to enjoy him and his staff for the past two years.

Comments

  1. I want to say how GREAT this blog has been for all of us here at home! Not to mention, the opportunity to record those events, both large and small, of the week is priceless. Reading (and rereading) this blog has given us a chance to peek over shoulders while we miss you all so much here at home. I now better understand the magic that is Geiger. Have not even seen my husband and son yet, but know that they will return just a little different than when they left. Thank you so much for allowing us the opportunity to be a part of the daily routine at Camp Geiger through your eyes!

    Shannon Eggleston

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