Saturday - Gone to Texas

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

If Friday is bittersweet at Camp Geiger, Saturday is more so.

Our Scouts deserve recognition and praise for the effective, efficient, and enthusiastic manner in which they struck camp this morning.

Our Scoutmaster, Steve Kral, made the rounds to awaken everyone starting about 5:45 this morning in order that we might have time to get all our gear packed and loaded ahead of the oncoming rain storm. Your correspondent heard no complaints, though many Scouts and Scouters enjoyed but four or five hours sleep owing to the events of the night before. Sleeping bags and pads were rolled up, cots folded, and foot lockers packed in good time, if not, perhaps, with all possible care.

Loading the truck is always a team effort and the need for speed made that fact even more important than it normally is this morning. It seemed that everyone pitched in, from our newest First Years to our longest-serving Scouters. Foot lockers were loaded first, and this is when you see why we specify certain dimensions for these items. They are stacked and stowed quickly and with comparative ease. They are stacked three-high, to help keep the load stable, and on top of these goes the 'soft' stuff: cots, sleeping bags and pads,
folding chairs and suchlike. This continues until everyone's gear is on board. Then comes troop
equipment, such as the poles for the campsite gateway, water coolers, ice chests, lanterns, etcetera.

The truck was loaded in near-record time and properly too. This happened none too soon, by the way. As the last items were stowed, a light drizzle began. Soon, a good steady rain was falling but, with all our gear (except that we carry on the bus with us, such as back packs) safely packed away, the rain was no problem. We gathered under the spacious pavilion to enjoy our breakfast of fresh cinnamon rolls and to wait it out. Cards and conversation passed the time.

A little after 9:00 AM, the rain let up, briefly, and so the Session Three closing ceremonies were to go ahead as scheduled. We gathered in the Handicraft Corral at 9:30 to acknowledge various successes of the week. Each "area' (Handicrafts, Nature, COPE, etcetera) awards recognition to an especially accomplished Scout of the session. For example, Alex Brock was awarded for his outstanding photography.

After the area awards came camp-wide recognition. There are three important awards that, together comprise a kind of Geiger "Triple Crown." They are "Sharpest Unit" for the session, "Cleanest Campsite," and "the Spirit Stick." When the first was announced, we found we had tied with Troop 21 and this was no surprise. Starting at dinner Sunday evening, it was clear that Troop 21 was a very sharp outfit as well. In fact, just as we have something of a tradition of sweeping the 'Big Three' awards, so too does Troop 21. This was the first time we had shared a camping session.

"Cleanest Campsite" was next announced and we were pleased that we had garnered top honors there too. Keeping a clean campsite has positive consequences and recognition is but one of them.

The "Triple Crown"
When the senior Camp Commissioners stepped up to announce the winner of the Spirit competition, the tension, among us, at least, was palpable. The announcement was preceded by a brief encomium to the qualities that made the winning unit stand head and shoulders above the rest of the troops in attendance for the session. We were therefor all the more gratified when "Troop 451" was said aloud.

Once again, the efforts of our Scouts and Scouters earned public acknowledgement in the form of the Geiger Triple Crown. Your correspondent feels honored to be a part of such a fine Scouting unit.

Those ceremonies wrapped up Third Session, 2016.

Then, our bus having arrived, we boarded for the long drive home, made all the less monotonous by a stop at Pizza Ranch in Emporia Kansas for an all-you-can eat buffet lunch.

Now, we are heading down Interstate 35, eagerly awaiting our arrival home.

Thank You!
Your correspondent would like to thank Kevin Lee and Chris Samson for the use of essential equipment, without which, technical difficulties would have made this Blog impossible this week. Jay Turner and Venkat Kodali also offered expert advice during the trouble-shooting phase. Thank you all!

Most of all, thanks go to Steve Kral for his excellent efforts on behalf of our Scouts. A good Scoutmaster, of course, has good Assistant Scoutmasters and so it is with Steve. All of our ASMs also deserve thanks for their hard work in making this summer camp successful. We are fortunate in Troop 451 to have a great crew of leaders delivering the Scouting program to our boys and each of them deserves our gratitude. This correspondent is proud to serve alongside such dedicated, accomplished colleagues in support of their efforts. Rest assured, we will be delighted to welcome you among them.

There is not time or space to thank every 451 Scouter - so many people contribute so much. Yet one person must not be overlooked. Words cannot express our thanks to Julie DiSalvo for eight years and nine camping seasons as our Summer Camp Coordinator. The delights of which you have read this week could not have happened without her dedication. Julie, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart. Your service will be missed but it will be missed with the understanding that you have already given more than we should have asked of anyone. Truly, this summer marks the end of an era for Troop 451. Best wishes in all your future endeavors!

While this post is the last for the Troop 451 2016 Geiger season that is actually written during camp, look here for occasional updates and further focus on topics of interest. This writer is pleased you have taken the time to peruse this humble literary effort and hopes you have enjoyed it.

Until next time, best wishes!


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