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Showing posts from 2017

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

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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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 …

Wednesday mid-day, June 28th, 2017

This morning started early as we woke the boys early, a little before 6:00 am, in light of oncoming weather. As lightning flashed miles away and the thunder rolled, our Scouts and Scouters sheltered in the storm shelter or the pavilion. Although the storm looked awesomely powerful as it headed our way, we were fortunate that the worst of it passed many mile to the west of us, sparing us all but a briefly-torrential rain. With appropriate advanced preparation, everybody and their things stayed safe and dry.

The 'all clear' sounded just before 7:30 am, meaning we would make it for breakfast. Today's fare was pancakes, carefully prepared with care by volunteers from Troop 451, including Richard Covington, Mark DiCiaccio, Jim Koonce, and Gary Lueking. Bacon rounded out the morning's menu. Recall that almost everyone last ate at 6:30 pm, Tuesday. Hungry as almost everybody was, seconds was a popular offering. In the post-meal announcements, we learned that we again were awa…

Tuesday evening, June 27th

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Once again, we awakened our boys in time to clean themselves up before breakfast. The day began with the morning flag ceremony on the plaza outside the dining hall. We had the pleasure of seeing four of our Scouts, led by Senior Patrol Leader Ben Bryant, join the Geiger staff color guard in the raising of the colors. After Old Glory was flying on the cool morning breeze, the men of Troop 451 had the honor of hoisting the Texas flag to fly over the soil of Missouri.

Troop 451 earned this signal honor by presenting the cleanest campsite for morning inspection. Our Scouts and Scouters enjoy the recognition but the most important thing is having a neat, clean, safe campsite. We did not, however, savor the sight of our troop flag gracing the central dais in the dining hall. Last night, Troop 21, from Saint Joseph, Missouri, garnered 'Sharpest Unit" honors, and a sharp unit they are!

Breakfast was French toast 'fingers' with sausage links. Our troop dines to the sounds or &…

Tuesday dawn, June 27th, 2017

First light comes to the eastern sky around 5:00 AM. What more pleasant way to awaken than to the dawn's early light, accompanied by the various songs of innumerable birds! The camp is quiet now, save for that, and that makes for a peaceful feeling. The wisps of fog rising from the forest around us, illuminated by the growing light, are a pretty sight as well. Hath the Earth anything more fair? Everyone is safe, sound, and resting easy. One can but thank God for these gifts we receive.

Not long from now, the camp will be a flurry of activity as Scouters arise and head to the showers in order to wake our Scouts at 6:15.

One of the extraordinary features of Camp Geiger are the tornado shelters in each campsite. These concrete blockhouses are built right into the side of a hill (and at Geiger, every campsite is in close proximity to a hillside.) Each shelter is sufficient to accommodate all the folks in its campsite and then some. These were funded, in part through a grant from the F…

Monday evening, June 26th, 2017

As our afternoon progressed, the clouds began to clear and we actually enjoyed a bit of sunshine as well as more-seasonal warmth. Nevertheless, our high today, in the mid-70s, just about reached last night's overnight low for Sid Richardson Scout Ranch. Rest assured, Sid is experiencing an absolutely unseasonable cold spell too.

It is now a pleasantly cool 62 degrees, with a low of 53 degrees F predicted. Again, this is perfect sleeping bag weather and sleep we will. After an active day trekking all over our favorite Scout camp, one's cot looks especially inviting.

Tonight's dinner was the traditional fettuccine-Alfredo-with-chicken-breast of a Camp Geiger Monday night. Green beans accompanied, as well as the ever-delightful salad bar.  Tonight's desert was white cake with chocolate icing. At every meal, we are reminded of the importance of staying well-hydrated and everyone is encouraged to drink lots of water. The meals at Camp Geiger are popular with most Scouts and…

Monday afternoon, June 26th, 2017

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Our morning, as noted earlier, was filled with substantial rains. While the electrical part of the storm passed overhead, all campers were under cover. Camp Geiger and the BSA are serious about safety and protecting our young men. By lunchtime, all we had to brave was a slight drizzle as we wended our way to the dining hall.

There, our Scouts and Scouters dined on the ever-popular chili-cheese dogs, accompanied by yummy Frito corn chips. A meal not to be missed. With every lunch and dinner, we are offered a great salad bar, the equal of many a commercial example.
The salad bar is always popular with all in attendance and partaking ensures everyone gets their daily vitamins. Fully refueled, our boys headed off to the first of their afternoon classes and activities. Our Scouts and Scouters who are tribesmen of Mic-O-Say headed off to a special location to perform a duty important to both tribesmen and those who wish to be.

By then, the sun was making a valiant effort to burn through the…

Monday Morning, June 26th, 2017

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Morning

Last night was rather cool, with a low of about 50 degrees F. This made for perfect weather to snuggle-up in sleeping bags. The chill also reduces the insect assaults (mostly mosquitoes) as do the layers of sleeping bag surrounding the somnolent Scouts and Scouters.

Our boys were up bright and early this morning. Wake-up call is at 6:15 to afford the boys time to perform their morning ablutions. The day dawned as cool as the night had been, with a lowering overcast that foretold of oncoming rain. And our Council asks why we do not go to summer camp in-council. While we love camping at Sid Richardson Scout Ranch or Worth Ranch for much of the year, there are three (3) reasons we prefer to head to Missouri and Camp Geiger rather than Texas for our week-long camping experience: June, July, and August! Not to mention the excellence of the program at Geiger. They offer a greater diversity of well-taught merit badge classes, for example.

The table waiters headed up to the dining hal…

Camp Geiger, 2017 - We Have Arrived!

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Sunday, June 25th, 2017

The intrepid men of Troop 451 traveled many hours through the dark of night to arrive at Camp Geiger early this morning. Along the way, there were the traditional stops at Love's Truck Stop just outside Oklahoma City and a stop for a nutritious and, oh-so-delicious breakfast at an internationally famous restaurant. Nick Jansen told your correspondent that a highlight of the trip up was stopping at Love's and procuring a pouch of Sour Patch Kids. He also enjoyed breaking his fast with a tasty Egg McMuffin and hash browns. He further reported that the lack of cup-holders on the bus was a definite 'minus'. He had the wet shirt that demonstrated why.

Jack Tyson was sorry that the buses departed somewhat after the anticipated time, as this left less time to enjoy the movies that accompany a ride on a Village Tours bus. Movies from the Harry Potter franchise were a popular choice but, as the medium available was Blu-Ray, these could not be enjoyed as d…

A very Good Day!

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Saturday, January 28th, 2017
The day began cool and early as Members of Troop 451, the Marcus Football Team, and fellow staffers from Camp Geiger showed up at the Universal Academy in Coppell to assist Alex Adams in completing his Eagle Scout project.  While many, many adults also showed up, this was, as befits an Eagle project, an overwhelmingly boy-led and boy-done effort.

Alex’s project was to build five benches in an outdoor area for the Universal Academy in Coppell. To prepare the site, the boys first raked leaves, swept dirt, and generally tidied it up. The benches were constructed from concrete block and treated 8’ 4 x 4s.
As with any construction project, periods of intense activity, such as hauling the materials from the storage room to the site itself, were followed by stretches of comparative calm. One such occurred when the need for additional concrete was identified. During this interlude, the boys diverted themselves with a football in the parking lot of the Academy. Fo…