Saturday, June 13, 2009

Boy Scout Camp Blues

2009 Troop 48 contingent to Camp V-Bar

Last Sunday I packed up my S.U.V. and headed off to beautiful, hot and humid Camp V-Bar at the Salmen Scout Reservation. For those who were once Boy Scouts or had kids who were, the importance of Scout camp can not be understated. It is the only way for several Merit Badges like Environmental Science, Swimming and Camping to be earned, while affording Scouts an opportunity to do extended camping in a safe, protected environment. There is no greater responsibility for an adult leader as to when he or she is placed in charge of a troop of Scouts far away from telephones and television. Keeping the Scouts inspired to work on advancement and to enjoy time away from family and friends is hard work, but in the end so worthwhile. The task of a Scoutmaster is lessened by the support he or she enjoys from other Scouters (adult leaders), who take time off from work to share the workload. Frankly, it is tough work. Imagine, though, what it would be like with only one person having to do it all. That is why I was there: to lend a hand and to make the Scouts know they could count on me as well. In the process of walking back and forth from one venue to another I went up and down hills and along dirt trails and unpaved roads. The shoes I wore, which were walking shoes, apparently did not absorb much of the impact. I spent some time at the infirmary dealing with the fallout from the trauma to my feet, which eventually cost me my toenail on the second toe of my right foot and a portion of the same toe on my left foot due to infection. I am moving a bit more slowly today, but the knowledge that I gave a portion of myself (literally) in order to help the Scouts from my troop improve themselves and advance in rank is quite comforting. And besides...the doctor says my toenails will grow back six months from now. That means I'll be ready for another Scouting adventure next summer.

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