Following our tradition of attending Summer Camp out of district and away from the heat, Troop 221 went to Camp Davy Crockett this year in Whitesburg, TN.  It was a 14-hour bus ride but the boys actually love the bus rides and they become an integral part of the adventure and the story of summer camp.  It’s always nice to go somewhere else and do something different.  The following are the trip reports sent home each night (late each night) by the Scoutmaster with a dozen or so pictures from camp. Click the image to see the whole gallery.

Day 1:

I’m happy to report that Day 1 is in the books. The boys had a pretty good day settling into camp, finding their classes, etc. It’s unseasonably hot here and the whole camp is blaming “the troop from Texas” for bringing the heat.

We had the whole troop up at 5:45 this morning for swim checks, so… we got our money’s worth today.

The food is alright so far and the boys have done a good job staying hydrated. Our campsite has turned out to be a pretty good one in a great location.

We had a pretty good drenching tonight which caused us to postpone our ladder golf tournament. The boys seem pretty jazzed about it so we’ll try again tomorrow evening. The boys also got a perfect score on the campsite inspection today which was a pretty good start.

Day 2:

Another great day at Summer Camp has come and gone. The boys started to really get in a groove today. We’ve already cut the 1st year boys loose and they’re completely on their own to find their classes and they’re doing well. This camp isn’t quite as scattered as some of the others which helps.

We had a couple of outstanding moments at camp today. We started the ladder golf tournament after dinner today and it was a huge hit. The whole troop was lined up on either side of the ladders cheering the teams on and the boys were huddled around the board looking at the bracket every time it was updated. The pictures won’t do it justice; there was a ton of yelling and celebrating; great stuff.

My second favorite moment of the day was on the way out of camp tonight to come up the the lounge and work on this. Mr. Buercklin & I left camp at about 9:45 and 8 boys were huddled around the table in our camp working by the light of the lantern. Joshua, Aaron, Thomas and Zach were working on their baskets. Patrick & Stoney were working on their E-prep homework and Spencer was picking out thread colors for Brian to make him a bracelet. It was one of those magic moments that makes the whole thing worthwhile…

Michael is doing an outstanding job at leading the boys and the patrol leaders are getting there. The group did really well today.

Day 3:

We made it thru Wednesday; typically the toughest day at camp. A few of the boys are tired, a few really need a shower and a couple showed a flash of homesickness. But, we pointed them towards their tents a little earlier tonight, insisted that they at least visited the showers to see what they look like and tomorrow will be a new day.

Aside from that, we had a great day. Several of the boys have become full-fledged water skiers. Michael spent the day doing some crazy things really high in the air on the COPE course, Brian went 15 for 15 in his last round of shotgun today and it’s beginning to feel like Garden Ridge with the amount of baskets and other craft projects piled up on our camp table. Oh, and “the troop from Texas” got another perfect grade on our campsite inspection.

I’m really encouraged by the leadership we’ve seen this week. Not only from Michael, Jordan and the Patrol Leaders. Tyler has made a great contribution this week and a few of the other 3rd-year boys are starting to speak up when they need to and make things happen.

The 1st year boys have done really well. They’ve gone thru the stage of leaving things littered all over camp and we’re working our way towards keeping up with our stuff. No one has lost anything of significance yet and, thank goodness, we’ve not had a single boy (or adult) visit the clinic.

The boys challenged another troop to a kick-ball game after lunch tomorrow and they’re pretty stoked about that. We also played a few more games in our ladder golf tournament tonight and the suspense is building.

Day 4:

Today was a beautiful day in TN. We had blue skies all day, temps in the mid-80’s and a little less humidity.

The boys are pretty much done with their Merit Badge classes. Tomorrow is a mop up day; a few boys have projects or homework to turn in and then they’re done. We’re planning to do a conservation project and play the remaining games in our tournament.

The inter-troop kickball game was pretty intense today; ending in a 8-8 tie. It was fun to see two troops getting together and playing for the fun of it.

We celebrated Jason’s 13th birthday today. The adults bought him a Camp Davy Crockett hat and the entire camp sang Happy Birthday to him before dinner. Pretty cool to have > 500 people singing to you on your birthday.

We did manage to run the stragglers thru the showers today so everyone has had at least one… One thing that this camp does that is really cool is the mail call. They bring all the mail to the evening flags and call the boys out one by one to run up and get their mail. Jason, Brad, Zach, Joshua and even Mr. Buercklin received mail tonight and all of them were pretty excited. Joshua appeared to be the big winner with a care package (picture attached).

Thanks for sending your boys to camp and thanks for giving up your husbands and wife this week. It’s been a great week and the boys (and adults) are better for it.

Day 5:

This is my last camp note. At the closing campfire last night, the MC played “On the Road Again” and dedicated it to the troop from Texas. As I write this, we’re eating lunch about 10 miles on the east side of Nashville.

Friday was a great day at camp. Most of the boys had one or two things that they needed to finish or turn-in. The guys were busy doing that until lunch time.

After lunch, we had a little down time. Mr. Buercklin taught the boys how to make slingshots with rope and a leather strap. For an hour or so after that, there were rocks flying thru the woods in all directions. Thomas was strangely very good at it; watch out mom & dad.

From there, the boys tackled a conservation project. They rebuilt the trail that led to our camp; lining it with trees. They also partially buried 3 logs diagonally across the trail to divert the water. Everyone pitched in and the project only took about an hour. The Ecology Director was very pleased with the work the boys did.

After the conservation project, the boys finished the ladder golf tournament by playing the final 6 games. The winning team and 2010 Summer Camp Champions are…Michael & Zach.   We had a great time playing the tourney in camp.  The adults mixed in a few friendly rounds with the boys.

The final big event of camp was evening flags. Michael chose the team and they went to the parade field and practiced in the afternoon. The actual ceremony went very well. It was pretty awesome to see our boys performing in front of 500+ camp attendees, staff & visitors. Tyler looked pretty sweet out there in his Aviators.

Several boys received mail at the closing flags and a few of them said they would challenge their parents to do better next year…

The boys were up at 6:00 this morning and we rolled out of camp at 9:00 am.

We’re hopeful that we’ll arrive around midnight. We’ll see how the rest of the trip goes. We’ll pass the phones around when we’re an hour out. I polled the boys this morning and Camp Davy Crockett is # 1 or 2 for most of them. They overwhelmingly rated the staff as # 1.

Thanks again for making it possible for your boys (and your adults) to attend camp; we had such a great time.