April Camp Wrap Up

Scoutmaster Tirey here…   It’s not after every camp that we do a post-camp wrap up summary.  We think given both the uniqueness of the Patrol Outpost theme and the wet and snowy Winter weather, a recount of the camp is in good order and very worth sharing.

Over on our Why We Camp page at the bottom is large text that reads, “If a boy camps with us for one full year, he will achieve remarkable personal growth and strengthened leadership skills. This is why camping is so important at Troop 701.” April Camp was certainly a very successful growth experience for all who attended.   For the twenty-one new scouts, they gained confidence in camping under difficult conditions and I think they all experienced fun, while still definitely being challenged at times.  For the scouts in the patrols out on Outpost, they learned the value of  planning and teamwork.  The older scouts on staff where challenged too.  They instructed and mentored a large group of new scouts while providing oversight for the patrols.

April Camp Troop 701

The new scout TIP patrol doing early morning packing after a 19 degree night.

Here’s the recap:

The idea of Patrol Outposts was developed by this year’s PLC.  They wanted a Patrol camp where the patrols could each act out their own plans.  The patrols would create their menus, buy their food, and plan out their day.  Each patrol would figure out things for themselves and work as a team.  They did have to adapt their planning to the weather, but being prepared and staying flexible is a big part of camp life.

  • We arrived at camp and setup in the dark with moderate rain. Towards the end of the evening the rain turned to snow with wind.
  • Overnight lows Friday were mid to upper 20s with wind and snow.  The wind partnered with muddy ground that would not hold tent stakes firmly proved difficult for many tents and rain flys.
  • There were no wet scouts but plenty of snow covered boots by Saturday morning.  Saturday through the day was partly sunny and mostly dry.   The ground was soggy with standing water everywhere.
  • Saturday morning, the troop began Patrol Outpost with an opening ceremony.  Senior Patrol Leader Frank Y. named the field Clendening Field in honor of Troop 701’s first summer camp.  In all future Troop 701 Patrol Outpost camps, we will return again to   Clendening Field.  You can see a picture of Troop 701 at the actual  Clendening Scout Reservation from 1982.  And here is a panoramic photo of the first Troop 701 Patrol Outpost at Clendening Field.
  • Patrol Outpost began and the Chubacabras, Pegasus and Wombat patrols headed out to their different sites to complete the day they had planned.  Here is the Chubacabra Patrol cooking their evening dinner.  They carried all their food and gear over a half-mile to their site.
  • The new scouts in the TIP patrol spent a very busy day that included time spent in the ax-yard, cooking and games. See all photos from camp here.
  • I learned from the Staff that it is indeed possible to bake a pizza in a cardboard box.  The proof is in the pie.
  • When the patrols returned to HQ at evening, the troop was reunited and we celebrated with a Crackbarrel that included plenty of warm food and dance music.
  • Saturday night after the cracker barrel the scouts prepared their tents for another cold night.  Many scouts earlier in the evening had to move tents out of puddles and do gear checks in preparation for the night.
  • Saturday night was calm with almost no wind. It was 19 degrees with a clear and starry sky with a low crescent moon seen through the trees.
  • Sunday morning, after struggling with many frozen boots, the scouts broke camp, had breakfast and prepared for departure.
  • Finally, here’s proof that a scout should put his name on EVERYTHING – the unclaimed lost and found pile at camp.
  • Patrol Outposts was a success and we thank the parents, drivers, food buyers for all their support.

Here’s our photo album form this month’s camp.

If you have a new scout who attended April Camp, congratulate him on camping in difficult weather.  We had very unusual tent camping weather but it was a great opportunity for growth and the perfect confidence builder for future Polar Bear Camps.

As a reminder, all the troop gear is due tomorrow at advancement night.  Your support in cleaning and drying what are without a doubt very muddy tents is appreciated.  See this link for details. Tents are very expensive and dirt on tent fabric significantly reduces their lifespan.

Advancement night is our non-uniformed meeting that follows every campout.  We meet from just 7PM to 7:45 and scouts can stay as late as 8:30 if they are working on advancement. Please arrive with your White or Green books.

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