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Satisfaction, and a knee full of napalm

Got back around 1 PM from a Boy Scout camping event.  This was a very low-key event; the site was Sugarloaf Open Space, which is deep in the heart of suburbia, so it wasn't exactly the peak of K2.  However, it was the first successful just-us-on-our-own troop campout we've had in months.  Our problem has been that we've lost the institutional memory of how to do campouts, so it was very good to see this one go well.

There are advancement requirements that the Scout have to choose a site, cook their meals, plan their menus, etc. that our boys have been held up for months, simply because we haven't been getting out.  Finally, a break, may it become a trend again amen.

The boys make some rookie mistakes; one frying pan came along, two groups wanted to cook eggs, and both groups wanted to cook enough eggs for six people.  Nothing we can't work around (you can scramble eggs in the bottom of a pot??), and they all ate well, and they learned for next time.

We had a lost child search-and-rescue drill for Emergency Preparedness; kind of a learn-as-you-go, because it's been a long time since I did this stuff. but we found Fiona!  My problem is that my knee has been inflamed for weeks, and climbing up and down the ridges has not helped at all, at all.  Overdoses of ibuprofen for a few days should help.

The very funny thing about the whole thing is that Carol Parker and I were the only two adult leaders who stayed with the kids overnight; the others went home at night or came in the morning.  And we are the only two adult leaders whose sons have gotten their Eagles and aged out of the troop; none of the parents who have boys in the troop stayed over.  We were laughing about it, but someone must have made a stink, because all the parents who came to pick up their sons were all over us thanking us for doing this when we don't have sons in the troop, etc. etc.  Guys, I don't need second-hand guilt trips, I need you to put on your walking shoes and come with us!  They're your sons, don't you have the least curiosity about what they do??  Ah well.  If I had a son in football and a daughter in soccer and one more sick at home, I wouldn't be camping on weekends either.

Comments

torakiyoshi
Oct. 1st, 2007 02:13 am (UTC)
Word! It's not a Boy Scout troop unless you go camping every month in the winter! ;)

Eggs were strongly discouraged on campouts in my troop. The best thing to cook on a campout, and yes, your scouts will learn to hate them every bit as much as I did: instant oatmeal and snausages [sic], and a powdered hot drink. Easy to cook, easy to clean, and minimum fuss. But then, my troop didn't produce any gourmet camp cooks, either.

Also, each patrol should have the following-->

1) A tool roll (get some canvas and make a slotted roll that you can put these in) containing lightweit versions of basic tools:
* Spatula (expect to replace these a lot, scouts don't get that they melt when you set them in a hot fry pan)
* Ladle
* Can opener
* Two-pronged cooking fork
* Knife (for older patrols only)
* Pliers
Sew a unique color patch on to the outside of each kit, and assign that color to a patrol. The QM and PL can determine who is responsible to take it home and wash it completely after each campout, then the QM should store it in your troop closet. Use colored duct tape to label each tool.

2) A cook kit (these can be put in stuff sacks of the same color as the tool roll) containing:
* An 8-qt pot.
* A fry pan approximately the same diameter as the pot with a folding handle (makes a great lid)
* A 2 or 3-quart pot with lid
* A kettle with wide-mouthed lid
Make sure the pot and the kettle can all nest into the larger pot.

3) A 3-5 gallon jug of water, to be filled on the day the group leaves. (Be sure they are stored dry and empty, of course.

Another good thing to have enough of for each patrol is a dutch oven, but you will need to teach your Scouts how to use them right, and make sure you're in a place where there are firepits so you can bury them in charcoal.

Alternatively, we had fire barrels, which also came in extremely handy for the annual Klondike Scout skills district competition. I'm not sure the exact procedure to make them because they were about as old as me if not older, but the essentials is a 5-gallon drum was cut in half and a metal flap put in place over the opening on the top (now one end) to keep hot ashes in but could be rotated out for easy draining of water. A grill was welded in to the bottom and another made that could rest inside above the fuel. Then you can cook with a smaller diameter dutch oven, use coals, or as we did, a bundle of cut wood.

I think the thing I miss most of all about Scouting was the monthly campouts. I was always dehydrated and therefore headachy and cranky each time (FORCE your boys to drink ALL of their water, but NOT all at once!), but still, we were out in the elements, savoring nature and having a lot of fun. I miss my mountains. :(

Have the best

-=Kiyoshi

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