Off to CampGeiger!

In what may be hoped to become a new troop tradition, the men of 451 arrived at or before 9:30 PM at Treitsch Memorial United Methodist Church. There, our bus was patiently awaiting the intense flurry of activity that accompanies the launching of any great expedition such as this, its mighty diesel engines providing a loud, rhythmic accompaniment to our efforts at communication. Despite all the careful advance preparation, some things simply must be done when we load up.

For example, since meals at Geiger start Sunday evening, everyone must bring a lunch and these need to be loaded in the Troop's large coolers which travel with us. Then any last-minute information needs to be distributed.

By contrast to many past years as we prepared to embark to Geiger, the temperature was mild. Often, in the Texas summer evening, everyone is anxious to get aboard their air conditioned chariot. This Saturday night, a nice breeze made waiting to get on the bus downright pleasant. 

Once lunches were loaded it was time to board the bus. Our Scouts boarded by rank, with our Eagle Scouts going first. The Life Scouts followed and were, in turn, followed by our Star Scouts. This continued down through the ranks until every last Scout had a seat. Our Scouts were, gratifyingly, orderly. With everyone aboard, Mr. DiCiaccio called the role, enumerating each person until the number of people on the bus matched the number traveling with us to Missouri. You might say our Scoutmaster is an excellent Geiger counter. (Then again, you probably won't.)

We rolled out at 10:09 PM and reached I35E shortly thereafter. Of course, even at that hour, the needs of the massive construction project underway caused a bit of a delay. Any frustration was dispelled by a screening of an educational documentary, "RoboCop." 

Lest anyone run the risk of falling asleep, "RoboCop" was followed by a documentary from The History Channel about a British Intelligence agent named "Austin Powers." One suspects the story may have included some exaggerations.

The highlight of the dark portion of the trip must be hitting the Love's Truck Stop outside of Oklahoma City. This stop follows the change of bus drivers at the local Village Tours depot. At Love's, the boys can load up on candy, soda pop, and other nutritious fare, fortifying themselves against the week's privations to come. Others welcome the stop for other reasons. Soon, we return to our coach, carefully counted by Mr. DiCiaccio. Our boys are well looked-after; we will bring the full complement of Scouts and Scouters to Camp Geiger!

The movies continued with "The Three Amigos". About then, we entered the line of heavy rain storms that was then making its way eastward. The rain continued, intense, for quite a while. How nice to be in a bus and not huddling in our tents.  With the next movie, we returned to a spy theme with "Get Smart." By then, the eastern sky was beginning to brighten and the rain abated as Sunday morning dawned. 

Though the skies were a leaden, cloud-streaked grey, the rain had stopped by the time we stopped in Acheson, KS, for a quick bite at McDonald's. Though the franchise was on the smaller side, the staff was efficient an quickly accommodated our large, early morning throng. Then, back on the bus and more counting by Mr. D. Then off for the last thirty miles or so to Camp Geiger.

On this Sunday in mid-June, for 26 Scouters of Troop 451, Camp Geiger with their sons is their Father's Day present.

Rob Rawson


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