Tuesday evening, June 27th

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 'radio station' KAMP, 193.5, The Eagle'. Though their 'broadcast' range is limited to the interior of the dining hall, the DJs are as enthusiastic as any. The music is selected from requests submitted by Scouts and Scouters. The range is varied and the mix eclectic. And LOUD. Music is always best-enjoyed when ones eardrums are strained nearly to breaking (your correspondent may be exaggerating just a tad bit). Although the salad bar is not on offer for the morning meal, cold cereal and even colder milk are available for those who would partake of these.

At the end of each meal, all in attendance participate in the Camp Geiger version of the "Two Minute Drill." This involves a rapid, somewhat organized process for collecting trash, plates, cups, and flatware so that it may be cleaned more efficiently, in anticipation of the next meal.

Then we had a song. Today's selection was "Johnny Verbeck", a hapless soul who allegedly invented a device for automating the production of sausages. Alas, he seems to have selected inferior, not to say sympathetic, meat sources. In the end, he found a nasty fate in his own machine! For those familiar with the song, you may have learned it when it had an actual tune.

This morning's "Minute-to-Win-It" consisted of four Scouts, selected form among the various units on camp, who were tasked with eating four saltine crackers. The catch, of course, is that one may not consume liquid while eating these crackers. While one Scout actually accomplished this pointless task, another appeared to be on the edge of emesis.

After a few unscheduled minutes, our Scouts repaired to their classes and activities. Owing to other obligations, no Scouts interviewed for today's edition of the Troop 451 blog.

Several of our Scouters initiated this year's service project. Troop 451 has a tradition of completing a service project for the camp we love so well. Just like last year, our 2017 service project is the creation of the awesome Tapping Fire.

 This is a considerable construction project, involving logs ranging from the massive to the merely substantial. Constructed in a hybrid tepee/log cabin style of fire building, the completed pile will reach nearly 16 feet. We will learn more about this legendary light later.

We gathered again at lunchtime, this time to dine on pork 'rib' sandwiches. The origin of these questionable comestibles is uncertain but one confides some Sus scrofa flesh in their heritage. In truth, though not gourmet fare, the food here at camp is fine. For camp food, it may be outstanding. At the end of an active morning, it all tastes good. Tater tots and green beans rounded out the meal.

The afternoon was similarly packed and flew by apace. At 5:00 PM, those who would present a skit at Wednesday evening's Family Night campfire gathered in the council ring to preview their wares. Many troops send no one, and several have but a single entry. Troop 451 had five different skits, including one from our first-year Scouts, another from other Scouts, one from the adults, and a song medley, also performed by Scouters. Owing to time considerations, our Scouters agreed to withdraw one entry in favor of our Scouts' productions.

Dinner was the ever-popular 'burritos' with chili and cheese, served with Spanish rice and canned peaches. While dinner progressed in the dining hall, your correspondent, Kevin Bryant, Steve Kral, and Chris Samson were outside in the delightful evening air, preparing Troop 451's entry into the Dutch oven cooking contest. For this session, the 'secret ingredient' was zucchini. Accordingly, using an old family recipe, we prepared a dish of zucchini, yellow squash, onions, and tomatoes, topped by a generous sprinkling of Parmesan and Romano cheeses. A bit of oregano, basil, and thyme rounded out the flavors.

Although we were well-prepared with cast iron and its handling utensils, charcoal, and ingredients, we were lacking a good kitchen knife. One is gratified that a decent pocket knife is equal to the task of dicing onions and slicing squash. A half hour over (and under) the coals made for a perfect result, delicious and nutritious (really!)
Sadly, one of our competitors fixed a similar dish but included mozzarella and Italian sausage too. While the results have yet to be released, we do not anticipate overcoming Italian sausage. We comfort ourselves in being tops in the 'side dish' category. Not that we know there is such a category. I mean, how can you beat what was essentially lasagna with zucchini in place of pasta? It was quite tasty and certainly worth trying at home.

As the cooking contest was wrapping up, our Scouts participated in the Geiger Games. Comments from our participants are actively sought. When these festivities concluded, we returned to our campsite (Osage). Some Scouts played cards, others worked on their Mic-O-Say dance regalia, and your correspondent to the computer and the blog.

The hour grows late and dawn comes early tomorrow, and with it, the likelihood of rain. Thus, prudence and preference dictate a return to a horizontal position.

And so to cot.


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