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 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA has a list of specifications for tornado shelters. For example, the 12-inch-plus steel-reinforced walls must withstand the impact of a 15-pound 2 x 4 traveling at 100 miles per hour. Another of FEMA's requirements for a place where people may be sheltering for extended periods is running water and toilet facilities to accommodate the more-than-sixty souls who may be sheltering from the storm therein.

Thus, every campsite is furnished with multiple flush toilets and hot showers. While not, strictly speaking, a FEMA requirement, once the water lines are being run out, adding showers is a no-brainer. The 'hot' is owing to donations for the water heaters. These donations come from many sources, including your own Troop 451. Summer camp is supposed to be a camping experience but these small outposts of civilization are welcome indeed, especially by our veteran campers who recall the earlier, more Spartan accommodations.

Well, the sun is up and the camp begins to stir and your correspondent must do a turn supervising today's table waiter crew. This chore rotates through Scouters while the waiting itself rotates among our Scouts. In the big dining hall, the tables seat eight and the meal is served family-style. Each table is assigned its own waiter. This Scout is responsible for setting the table, making sure adequate supplies of condiments and napkins are on hand, and filling the water and bug juice pitchers. Once everyone in the big hall has had a chance to serve themselves from the platters and bowls of food, the waiter is responsible to answering the call for 'seconds' (and sometimes 'thirds!). Our young men do work up an appetite each day at camp.

It is now nearly time to rouse the table waiters and head to the dining hall to serve others. Thus, your correspondent wraps up this installment of the Troop 451 blog.

Until the next post!


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