Sunday, January 03, 2010

BSA Winter Camp

Winter Camp at Boy Scout Camp Urland, near Woodville, TX., is where fun was happening. Ryan and Kyle, my grandsons, represented their troop and joined others to pitch tents at Armadillo Run. I was on staff as the art and basketry teacher. I opted to sleep in a bunk house with three other women and let the boys have the tents.

Our first night was beautiful, clear and very cold. The perfect weather for an all-camp campfire. Approximately 130 boys and 50 adult staff participated in the 6 day camp.

Each morning we started the day with a flag raising ceremony before breakfast. Then the boys hiked to their respective merit badge activities.

My first period art class suffered with frozen fingers as they tried new art materials: carpenter's pencils, burned wood (charcoal) and drawing with twigs and tempra paint ink. Later they painted with water colors.

The basketry class sounded easy, but the boys soon found out that reed soaked in freezing water was difficult to work with. Later we had to move indoors with warm water.

Sunday, chapel services were held in this open air chapel beside the lake. Many boys arrived late due to the high winds and low temperature. Early mornings the temp was in the upper twenties.

The dining hall was a favorite place, three times a day. Boys set and bussed the tables. Our cooks were from a Venturing troop from Dayton, TX and included Dawn, and her two daughters, Sarah and Rachel, who have been giving up their vacation for four years. Head cook Tony May and his son Anthony were assisted by Scout volunteers.

Scouts emphasize safty first. One of the classes was First Aid and CPR.A popular activity was shot gun shooting.

Riflery is another activity enjoyed by the boys.
To liven things up, someone thought up a frozen t-shirt contest. Yes the t-shirts had been soaked and were frozen solid in the kitchen freezer.

Archery is another fun activity. Many other merit badge classes were offered but since I was teaching i couldn't take pics of them all.

In spite of the cold mist, fog and rain we ended each day with flag lowereing and taps.

Following tradition, the last day of camp troops presented a duct tape sculpture for competition. This group duct taped a scout to a back board and carried him into the dinning hall. Their entry didn't win.
The winning entry was this duct tape Christmas tree with presents beneath and tiny stockings on the tree. It even had a string of tiny blinking light. It was made by the troops in Armadillo Run.

Congratulations Ryan and Kyle and all the others. Everyone had fun and learned many new skills. Trying to keep up with the boys was a challenge but the participation was worth giving up a warm bed.

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