Kevin V. Hunt
Scouting Historian, Author, Scouting Veteran, Camp Director
Well, we made it through our first two weeks of camp – and did it in grand style. And just when we were geared up for big things, with the staff all enthused and energetic – and kind of knowing what they were doing, … along came the 4th of July week. This proved to be kind of a “bummer” because we had only about 30 Scouts in camp – and a lot of staff to keep entertained even with a trimmed-down schedule. But the week – or at least Monday the 4th of July, we were able to stage a few events to help us remember and celebrate our great country of The United States of America.
JULY 3RD – SUNDAY
After a very busy and engaging week, it was really nice to sleep in this morning to 7:45 AM. I forgot that it was Fast Sunday – so I ate some food. I typed on my journal of the staff week experience.
We went to our church services and participated in a testimony meeting. I went up and bore testimony of Scouting in the Church.
A troop came to the meeting and said that they have been coming to Camp New Fork for 29 years. (Camp New Fork was created in 1924!) One of their leaders said that he has been coming to the camp for all of the 29 years. The troop also said that it was they who constructed the sacrament trays years ago. Pretty cool!
Nathan taught the Priesthood lesson – on the subject of our pioneer heritage.
After the meetings, we went back to the cabin. Lou and Larissa took naps. I typed on my staff week journal package and finished it. It came out to be 19 pages. Wow!
At 2:00 PM, Lou and I went to the dining hall kitchen to cook a July 4th meal for the staff. Braeden and Jonathan were dedicated helpers and we greatly appreciated their help. We cooked baked potatoes for Cowboy Potatoes – where one puts a variety of toppings (beans, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, onions, BBQ sauce) on them. We cooked the corn on the cob. Lou made some of her famous rolls (from scratch). I made the raspberry Jello salad last night and put whipped topping on it today. I also created an apple/pear cake – in a giant pan.
5:00 PM found us all at the Area Director meeting. We reviewed the evaluations turned in from the Scout leaders from last week. There were a lot of positive comments – for which we were happy and grateful. Lou actually missed the meeting. She remained in the kitchen to finish the meal details. We got three staffers to volunteer to help serve. Larissa and Keira plated the Jello salads. Everyone loved the food. It was a nice break from the usual leftover mode. We were pleased that we could create this special meal for the staff.
After the meal, Lou put away the leftovers. Daxton and Golden helped me wash the dishes.
I went to Headquarters and was actually able to get enough WIFI strength to send out the 19-page journal package to my family members. Back at the cabin, Lou and Larissa and I watched a movie about Olympic Jamaican bobsled racers. This was a great movie. Lou and I both walked Larissa back through the woods to her cabin at the climbing tower. We got her back right at the 10:320 Pm staff curfew time.
JULY 4TH – MONDAY
Today was the 4th of July and a special day to celebrate the US independence from England in 1776. I wore my Uncle Sam bolo tie for the occasion.
Many of the staff members were late to breakfast – and this did not go over well with the camp administration. Jack did not make it to the flag ceremony so we let him do KYBO duty as a result.
The area directors gathered with the Administrative team for the check-in procedures. The whole process went slowly this morning. The troops just trickled in. Most of them do have four or five hours to drive to get to the camp so it is a challenge for them to get here at an early hour. And then when they arrive late, it is a challenge for them to get all of their tasks done before noon – especially their swim checks in the lake. We have to stop letting troops begin the test at 11:30 AM – to be finished by noon. Actually, though, the check-in process was slow because there were not many folks to arrive today. With the 4th of July holiday this week, we had a real small group of Scouts arrive. We had only 4 troops – with a total of 28 Scouts come to us. So, this will mean a lot of boredom for the staff – since the classes will be super small.
I typed up a revised check-in spreadsheet reflecting the check-ins of today. This report is helpful to many of the Area directors. I got David onto my computer to make sure that we could use the John Wayne and Red Skelton patriotic words for use in our campfire program tonight. We used these items in our flag ceremonies at our Camp Jack Nicol Cub Scout Camp last summer and I really liked the messages. John Wayne talks of “America … Why I love Her” and Red Skelton talks of the Pledge of Allegiance.
The High Adventure group went to the kitchen and brought back food for all of us still at our posts on the porch of the headquarters building. This was nice for all of us.
Waterfront director, Rachae, came back today. She was gone for the weekend as her grandmother was ill.
After a quick lunch, I went to conduct the orientation meeting we staged for the scoutmasters and the senior patrol leaders. Lou and David conducted their Scoutmaster Specific Essentials training. Three leaders attended their training. I went to visit many of the program areas – including the waterfront, nature and climbing areas. I found the programs and the teaching going well at each place and was pleased. I made two visits to my own cabin. One trip was to get a coat – to be used at the campfire program this evening.
I reported to the Takota training campground prepared to teach young men the Junior Leader Training course. No young men came to be trained. So, I sat on the headquarter porch and visited for an hour. This is actually a pretty productive activity since a plethora of Scouts and leaders come there – mainly to the trading post – and so it is a good opportunity to talk to them to see how things are going and to offer assistance as needed.
The opening flag ceremony came off well. This is always a rather fun activity and I enjoy conducting the affair each morning and evening. At the flag ceremony we played the recording of Red Skelton’s Pledge of Allegiance. Our Blue Tooth amplifier seemed to work pretty well. Everyone was able to hear the program. It seemed a scant group there with only the four troops (plus some additional high adventure trip boys) present.
We had BBQ chicken for our dinner and the cooks did a good job on this. They served a beautiful cake decorated to resemble a US flag – in the red, white and blue colors. This was a fun dessert for our 4th of July celebration.
Normally our campfire programs start at 8:30 PM but for tonight we decided to stage the event at 7:30 PM. We had told the troops about 4th of July fireworks and celebrations in Pinedale and thought that some of the troops might want to attend these. We also planned to take the staff in for the events – which were not to begin until about 9:30 PM.
I changed our campfire program plan to be more in keeping with the 4th of July holiday. So, most of our songs and program features were different than our usual Monday opening campfire plan. They were mostly patriotic and as such, were quite inspiring and wonderful. The program was also much shorter than our usual Monday night plan. Here is what we came up with:
NEW FORK CAMPFIRE PROGRAM – MONDAY JULY 4TH
PROGRAM ITEM WHAT TO DO Jace
Start of Program Bugle Scott
Fire Starter Patriotic Staff
Active Song Waddleachee Daghen and others
Patriotic Song My Country Tis of Thee
Patriotic Song with Uke God Bless America Katie
Patriotic Song Star Spangled Banner Andrew
Flag Folding Ceremony Jonathan
Patriotic Song America the Beautiful David
Flag Retirement Ceremony Jonathan
Bugle Taps Scott
Patriotic Song America Round
Scouter’s Minute John Wayne – America Why I love Her Kevin and David
Quiet Song On My Honor Matt
Quiet Song Scout Vesper Kevin, Staff
We held the special patriotic program as planned and it came off well. It proved to be very inspirational and helped to get us all in the mood of gratitude for the great country that we live in. We had a lot of good comments about the program. We were done with the campfire program by 8:00 Pm.
At 9 Pm, Lou and I left in the camp’s silver van. We had 10 staffers in the van with us – including, Daghen, David, marina, Theo, Kent, Jack, Brayden, Kameron, Jonny and Daxton. Larissa rode with Travis and his family in the camp truck. Twenty staff members opted not to go down for the festivities and remained in camp. We also formed a convoy with other people and vehicles. We went down to Pinedale – located about a half hour away – down the mountain. We all converged on the Pinedale Middle School playground to watch the Pinedale fireworks. The town put on a pretty good show. We got to see some great displays. We left after just a half hour (10:30 PM) and returned back to the camp – since we have to get an early start tomorrow morning. We got back to camp at 11:15 PM. We had a fun July 4th program together.
JULY 5TH – TUESDAY
I arose at 6:00 Am – as I do most mornings in camp. We had watched a late movie last night – entitled, “A Walk to Remember”. We had our staff breakfast as usual. The High Adventure group were assigned as the clean-up crew – but they had to leave right away for their high adventure outing on the nearby Green River. Right after eating I hurried off to conduct my meeting for the senior patrol leaders of the camp. We got done in time for the morning flag ceremony.
Lou and David presented the second session of their Scoutmaster training. With only 28 Scouts in camp, we didn’t have all of our usual merit badge classes. We cancelled many of them. This meant that many of the staff were free a lot of the time today. This was good and bad. It is nice to have a relaxed day but with too much free time, the staff gets in trouble.
So, I was determined to keep the staff busy – after last week when we didn’t have enough for them to do. I took a bunch of the staff members down by the front gate to do a camp service project. One comment from a leader last week was that our “front gate looks like the back gate”. So, we were anxious to clean things up a bit. With my crew – including Jace, Jacob and more. Jacob has a stump arm and is pretty amazing with it. He can do more with his one good arm and that stump than most guys can do with two full limbs. (And he jokes about it – so that everyone can be comfortable with it.) We worked hard to clear junk logs and limbs from the entry way up to where the high adventure groups stay. We filled a full trailer full of the junk wood and took it out to a large “slash wood” stack – as directed by the Forest Service. (They will burn the wood piles later.) We also filled the camp truck bed with a bunch of logs suitable for burning at campfire fires. Some of the wood had to be knocked off of large wood pieces.
We worked until lunch time. The high adventure patrol was assigned to clean-up but they were gone. So, I assigned myself to help clean up the dining hall. I had the task pretty much to myself.
After the KP duty, I went to Takota and conducted an orientation and the first session for the three guys taking the Outdoor Skills Training. I then went to the rifle range for a meeting with the Scouting leaders. At this meeting I reviewed upcoming camp programs and activities. Lou and David were there to talk about hikes and maps. David handed out maps for each troop going on hiking trips tomorrow.
I returned to the service project – this time with ten staff members. I got a lot of work out of David, brad, Daxton, Max, Marina, Jacob, Tannon and Kameron. All of the staffers worked really hard. We took several trailers of the wood junk over to the slash pile located outside of the front gate.
By the end of the afternoon we were racing the clock to get to the evening flag ceremony. I drove the camp truck with five staffers right up to the parade grounds (and Travis said later that we really made a dramatic entry there for the program). But, we made it just in time for me to conduct the ceremony. In Mason’s absence, I invited Daghen to lead the group in the Bazooka Bubble Gum song. This is always a great song and the scouts love to jump and down as they sing:
Our cook, Mabel, had to take a quick trip (15 hours each way) back for some business in Missouri. So, this meant that the younger staff had the task of staging dinner on their own. They did a pretty decent job of it and even had it come off on time – at 6 PM.
Later this evening I conducted the campwide games for the troops of the camp. But, we had only two troops come to participate. So, the staff – all at their assigned posts for the event – had a lot of sitting around time. I was grateful to them for their patience. We ran through all nine of the events – so were there until 9:30 PM. It got a bit chilly by the time that the event was over.
One of our staffers did not drink enough water today and passed out. So, this added a bit of excitement to things. This 8,000 altitude and the physical demands of such – really does weird things to the body system of some.
Lou and I had some added excitement of our own in our cabin. Lou saw a mouse skirt around the living room. She went into a major panic – since she can’t stand mice. She says that they are “too sneaky”. In her panic, she put up a bunch of boxes and other stuff in front of the doors to the two bedrooms – in an effort to keep the mouse out of the bedroom. She was afraid that the little mousy would come to attack her in the night. I really had to laugh at the whole scenario. It was pretty funny.
JULY 6TH – WEDNESDAY
I had my usual camp routine this morning – except that I had no hot water for a shower. I had played with the thermostat and thought that I was turning the temperature up – but actually turned it down. And so, I suffered for it.
I conducted the flag ceremony this morning but it was just for the staff. The troops (all four of them) were off on their Wednesday hike outings. After the ceremony, I sent the staff off to work in their areas for just 45 minutes. We received mail and it was nice that Lou and I both received small checks from our home school system jobs. This was from a recent Prop 123 that passed to the benefit of all employees. So, I was able to pay some bills. Yeah!
Six staff members went to work with the Forest Service. I took all of the rest of the staff to work on a log and trail clean-up project We got a great deal accomplished and the front gate trails and roads now look a great deal better. I was proud of the whole staff group for their efforts. We also had a fun time together. I think that the staff sang – quite loudly, I should add – as we worked. This added to the fun time together. We took three big loads of wood to the pile outside of camp. It was good to be able to keep the staff busy. And I think that the time was enjoyed by all – and beneficial to their general attitude. Work is good!
I let the staff go to eat lunch in their work clothes – and not their usual uniforms. We did not have time to get showered and changed. I helped with the breakfast and then also the lunch clean-up today – since the high adventure group is still gone. (They have their participants come on Mondays and then they stay overnight in the camp. They just use the camp as a base camp. They then leave on Tuesday mornings and remain on the river until Fridays about noon.
Lou and David conduct Scoutmaster training in two sessions. I signed up myself to present the third session of the training. I am excited to do this – since it is on one of my favorite Scouting subjects – that of planning the annual calendar and program. I love teaching this session. In the session I taught from my own book on the subject (and sorry about the goofy formatting when the material is imported):
THE PROGRAM PLANNING PROCESS (Summary)
PLANNING THE ANNUAL SCOUTING OR YOUTH PROGRAM
STEPS TO TAKE BEFORE THE ANNUAL PROGRAM PLANNING CONFERENCE:
- REVIEW LEADERSHIP NEEDS OF THE UNIT
Determine what additional leadership roles need to be filled in the unit. Recruit other team members as needed and begin training for them.
- SET A DATE FOR THE PLANNING CONFERENCE
Arrange for a facility in which to hold the planning conference. Make other physical arrangements for meals, sleeping, recreation and planning sessions. Arrange for a secluded retreat setting that has comfortable facilities. Recruit parents or committee members to prepare scrumptious meals for conference participants.
- COLLECT ALL APPLICABLE CALENDARS
Collect calendars for the church, school, the Scout council and district, and the community to which your members belong. Make large calendar sheets (one for each month) and preprint these with applicable key dates from the various calendars.
- SURVEY YOUR AVAILABLE RESOURCES
Take a survey to determine contacts, skills, clubs, equipment, memberships and facilities that may be available to you. Invite all members of the chartered organization to complete a survey form to show resources they have and are willing to share to make your program a success. Then tally the results together onto one form. There are forms specific to packs, troops, teams, and crews. Use the form best suited for your needs.
- REVIEW BOY INTERESTS AND NEEDS
Determine boy interests and needs for each member of your group. For Varsity and Venture age youth, distribute an “Interest Survey” with a list of many potential activities. Tally the sheets to determine program features which have the greatest overall interest from the majority of the team or crew members.
- MAKE LARGE POSTER SHEETS
Make large poster sheets to be used for brain-storming during the conference. Make charts for basic Scout skills (Scouts) or for each of the FIVE Varsity Scouting “Program Areas” (Personal Development, Special Events, Advancement, Service, High Adventure) or the SIX experience areas of Venturing (which are: Outdoor Programs, Citizenship, Leadership, Fitness, Social and Service).
FUNCTIONS OF THE ANNUAL PLANNING CONFERENCE:
- CONDUCT LEADERSHIP TRAINING SESSIONS FOR YOUTH AND ADULTS
Leadership Training should be a part of the annual Program Planning Conference. Training should be conducted for both youth and adults. For youth leaders, focus on the duties of all boy’s leadership positions and a job description for each (to include SPL, PL, Captain, President, etc.) Adult training should focus upon all members of the unit (Pack, Troop, Team or Crew) committee and a review of the jobs for each committee member.
- EVALUATE PAST PROGRAMS AND SET GOALS FOR FUTURE
Evaluate past programs, activities and methods of the past year. Evaluate outings, advancement and effectiveness of programs. Set new goals to be accomplished during the coming year. Use the list of “10 Keys to Successful Scouting – Keys to Scouting Leadership” as a discussion guide.
- BUILD YOUR LEADERSHIP TEAM
Plan activities at the conference that will unite your leadership team (both youth and adult) to accomplish the mission of your unit and your chartered organization.
4. INCLUDE ACTIVITIES THAT WILL PROMOTE FUN AND FELLOWSHIP
Although this will be a working session, you will want to include some FUN activities throughout your conference.
- COMPLETE THE ANNUAL CALENDARING PROCESS
- Have a brainstorming session. List a multitude of potential activities – that the boys want/need to do – using the large poster charts (monthly themes, program areas, etc.), prepared before the conference.
- Calendar programs or activities that occur regularly (i.e.: the day and time of troop and patrol meetings, combined activities with girls or the chartered organization, committee meetings, monthly hikes, courts of honor, etc). Post these dates to the calendar.
- Determine monthly themes to be followed for the coming year.
- Calendar the major program for the coming year – the annual summer camp experience or the high adventure activity. Then plan the steps, training and programs necessary to achieve the major program goal. Put dates to these steps on the large calendar posters.
- Calendar specific dates for the events listed earlier during the brainstorming session. Calendar only the BEST OF THE BEST activities. Select activities from each of the posted charts to ensure a varied program. DO NOT plan specific event times, places or other details of activities. This will be done later in the 3-month and 1-month planning processes.
- Be sure to plan the date for next year’s Annual Program Planning Conference
- DEVELOP A PLAN OF ATTACK FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CALENDAR AFTER THE CONFERENCE.
- Make plans to automate details of the planned calendar. Determine who will enter the dates and activities into a master computer calendar. Set the goal to have all of the calendar sheets and the data thereon condensed down to just one or two pages for the complete annual calendar.
- Plan a date and agenda for an upcoming parents meeting where the full annual calendar will be presented and distributed to parents.
- Make implementation plans for the unit committee and youth leadership councils.
- Establish 3-month and 1-month planning cycles and processes to plan, delegate and implement details of the planned annual program. Plan to utilize a “rolling” 3-Month calendar. As one month ends, drop it from the calendar and add a new month to maintain a 3-month planning cycle.
- Distribution of the calendars to all youth, adults, committee members, leaders of the chartered organization, and other applicable parties.
- Recruit parents and youth to chair specific events and programs. Use a combination of youth and parent/committee member teams where possible. Give these program specialists the charge to move forward and to begin planning events and programs that they are responsible for. Recruit additional help as needed. Delegate to, train, and utilize the program planning youth, parents and committee members.
- Plan a mid-year review of the calendar.
- WORK THE PLAN AND HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIVES AS BOYS AND ADULTS WORK TOGETHER TO PLAN GREAT PROGRAMS, AND TO HAVE FUN WHILE MEETING THE AIMS OF THE SCOUTING PROGRAM AND THE CHARTERED ORGANIZATION.
[@ Kevin V. Hunt – Scouting Trails 1994, 2007 – Quoted from the book: “Scouting Program Planning”
Available on Website: www.ScoutingTrails.com or via E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org]
I had a good time teaching this to the three leaders. After the training I visited the waterfront and climbing program areas. All was good in both areas.
In other excitement of the day, Kendra – in the kitchen – sliced off part of the end of a finger. She cut her finger while using the meat slicer to slice ham for dinner. I heard the news on the radio and rushed over there with Lou, Katie, Bruce and others. This team cleaned the kitchen and the slicer after Kendra went off for assistance from the medical professional, Steve. We sanitized all of the tables. Kendra is okay but took a bit off of her finger.
At the flag ceremony I took an extra ten minutes with the program – since dinner was to be a bit late after the kitchen excitement. We sang some additional songs. I helped with clean-up after the meal. A lot of other staffers came to assist with kitchen clean-up and once again, they loudly sand their repertoire of camp songs as they worked. I love it when they do this. It is fun to see them enjoying the songs together.
I also went over to conduct the branding session. Only the “orange troop” 166 showed up. I got back to my cabin early – at 8:15 PM. I there typed on my journal as Lou watched another movie. Also, Travis asked me to make the rounds of the staff cabins to make sure that all were in the cabins – where they should be – and quiet at 10:30 PM – the time established for all to be in bed. This was the first time that Travis has asked me to assist in this effort. He usually makes the rounds himself each night. I enjoyed the activity.
JULY 7TH – THURSDAY
Our youngest staffer, K-Kade, had a birthday today. He is only 14. Normally only young people age 14 and over can come up on staff but we allowed him to come since he has been so close to his birthday. And he has done a really great job this summer. He is a real asset to the staff. We sang “Happy Birthday” (“Scout style” – which is real loud and ugly) at the flag ceremony.
Also at the flag ceremony a Scout leader announced that it was just 33 degrees this morning. Wow! Thirty three degrees in July. (I have heard that in many camps – including Camp New Fork, there are only two seasons – winter and July. That truly seems to be the case here.)
Breakfast – before the flag ceremony – came off on time today – so this was good. It gave me time to eat quickly and then to get to my meeting with the senior patrol leaders. Travis headed off on a service project for the Forest Service and took six staffers with him.
Lou went with me this morning to visit the program areas. We went to the nature area and found it nice and clean. At the waterfront we enjoyed visiting with Troop 166 – “The Men in Orange”. They have orange neckerchiefs, hats, etc. They look good.
We also went to the Climbing area. With so many classes cancelled and so much free time for the staff, I “assigned” many of them to go to Climbing to participate in Cope games and activities. Larissa willingly staged these games.
She was trained in Cope games while at her National BSA camp school but has not really had time and staff resources to stage the games. So, she was pleased to get the chance to teach some of the games to the staff.
Larissa blindfolded staff and had them go through various tasks while in the dark. We all enjoyed watching the staff work together to climb the 12’ wall. It was real fun to watch 6’5” David trying to get his big body up over the wall – with the rest of the staff above – and down below – trying to assist as needed to get him over.
I went to the handicraft area and noted that they have a lot going on there. I was impressed with the staff and their craft and merit badge activities. Next I went to Archery and found no Scouts there. I went on to the Rifle Range and found only one Scout there. He got some personal one-on-one time and help on his merit badge.
This afternoon at noon we staged a luncheon for the Scoutmasters in camp. And with only a handful of leaders present, I was pleased to have all of the warm and wonderful brownies that I could eat. Thanks, Mabel, and staff! The group included only the four Scoutmasters, Lou, David and I. It was a nice cozy gathering.
I did not get enough of my scripture reading in this morning so returned to the cabin to read for a few minutes this afternoon. I returned to the camp office and created a program for tomorrow’s campfire program. I combined elements of our usual Friday night program with some from the Monday schedule – since with our July 4th program, we didn’t get to do our usual skits and songs. I went to the climbing area and watched Larissa go down the zip line.
I have a couple of “trademarks” that are just me while in camp. One is that I wear a different carved bolo tie each day. I also have a different walking stick for each day. I have about fifteen of the carved sticks but with space restraints in our car – coming up from Arizona – I brought only about five sticks up to camp with me.
The bolo ties and the sticks create a lot of conversation opportunities with Scouts and leaders and it is fun to talk to them about the items. Tonight I decided to make a display table with all of the bolo ties and sticks so that the Scouts and leaders could see the whole collection.
I showed Scouts and staffers that I have many bolo ties (six or seven) carved by the late Bill Burch – the granddaddy of Scout bolo ties.
I enjoy telling Scouts about Bill and how he carved some 50,000 ties in his lifetime before his recent death. Bill Burch taught Gary Dollar how to carve the bolos and I am sad that I have only one of his ties. This is a Jamboree Scout. I then show the Scouts that I have five or six bolos carved by Jason Reed (who was taught to carve by Bill and Gary). I tell them that Bill and Gary live in Utah but that Jason lives about three blocks from me in Mesa, Arizona. And whenever I have a special need for a bolo tie, I write Jason an e-mail message describing my need. And then in two or three weeks, he sends me an e-mail telling me that the new bolo is carved and complete. I note too, that I have a bolo carved by Fred Jepsen and two or three carved by Guy Nelson. I absolutely love these bolo ties and they truly are my “trademark”. I wear them each day at Scout camp – as well as almost every other day of the year at home – even when not on Scouting business. The Scouts today enjoyed checking out the bolos and sticks. (i have about 15 each of my carved sticks and the bolo ties. I love the bolo ties so will have to try to find some more!)
Travis had told us that tonight could be a date night in town for Lou and me. But, the plan had to change. Travis and wife instead went to town to eat with Doctor Steve and a staff member who has been helping him with his painting of the dining hall as he has been here this week. We were sad that we had to miss our planned “date”. I guess we can go for it next week.
Since I was “in charge” of the camp tonight, I opted to remain on the porch of the office and trading post to be present if needed by anyone. I am a bit hard to find when away at the “Hill Cabin”. I talked side by side with a Scoutmaster, Sheldon Laird – a red-head like my son Keith – for an hour or more. We talked of Camp New Fork, the many summers and places that Lou and I have served at Scout camps (eight camps in six states) through the years, LDS Scouting and other subjects.
Sheldon said to me, “I can tell you’ve done a great amount of work to teach and train these staff boys. I can feel the energy and enthusiasm you’ve given them”. I loved this special comment. Such comments make all the work and effort worth it all. Sheldon and I had a good conversation. This Sheldon seems like a really great guy and I enjoyed the visit with him.
Travis got back to camp about 8:30 PM so I went back to my cabin. Lou had us watch another “chick flick” entitled, “It Takes Two”. This is a fun movie. I also spent much of the evening typing on my journal entries.
I thought that the excitement of the day was done – but not so. One staff member from a cabin next to ours came and said that guys from a nearby cabin were throwing glass at them and their cabin. Tallin and Rachae came to our cabin also upset about what they had heard. So, I went in my pajamas outside to deal with the issues. I talked to staffers from both cabins. Travis soon arrived and he and I and Tallin talked to the guys in Cabin #1. I think that we got the issues resolved. The one staffer got a “strike” and will have to call his folks tomorrow to tell them of the incident and his actions.
I had been back at my cabin for only a few minutes when I heard some screaming in the cabin below us – not the first one referenced above. A staff guy was having some nightmares and did some sleep walking and stuff. I went down there and found another staff guy consoling him. I continued the task. I put my arm around the boy and told him that he was okay and that everything would be okay too. This all seemed to have a calming influence upon him. The boy who had the sleep problem did not even know that he was doing what he was doing. Travis came over again and we put the sleep-walker in a tent alone for the evening. After Daghen was off to his tent, I gathered the other boys in the cabin and we prayed together. And by my first instinct, I used the power of my Priesthood and invoked a calm and peaceful spirit to be over the cabin. (David later said that this action was exactly what was needed and ask me what made me think to do this. I told him that I honor and respect the Priesthood and that I look for opportunities to use it in service to others.)
What a night! Wow!
JULY 8TH – FRIDAY
The staff was all kind of shaken over the events of last night. I said a prayer at breakfast and asked the Lord’s Spirit to assist and calm each of us.
The flag ceremony went well. After the flag ceremony several staff members had little to do – since so many classes have been cancelled this week. One staffer, Marina, is a real go-getter. She always wants to be busy and she comes every few minutes for more tasks. Lou took her this morning and was able to provide tasks sufficient to keep her entertained. It is great to have staff members so willing to go the “extra mile” as this Marina does. David was kind of all over the place. He seems to put forth his influence all over the place. I appreciate his efforts.
I went and visited the Nature Area for a few minutes.
They always have good things going on there. I found one Nature staffer kind of depressed. I guess he has seen many staffers who somehow get the privilege to go down the zip line – but the Nature area never seems to get this opportunity. I went immediately to the Climbing Tower and Larissa agreed to let the Nature folks come at 3:00 PM for a zip line ride. I went back and told the Nature guys and they were surprised and pleased. (But then 3:00 PM came and it rained for a few minutes so the Nature guys had to be put off. I felt bad about this.) I’ll have to work to get them down there another time.
Travis again left camp with a few staffers. They did another project for the Forest Service – from whom we lease the camp property.
Lynn Gunter came from the Ogden Scout office today to the camp. He is the boss of district executive, Travis. He brought us many new bows for the archery range. I called Lina the Archery range staffers and told them that Christmas had come early for them. They were real excited when they came to the office and were given the new boys.
I knew this Lynn. When I was involved with the production of the “Century of Honor” book (about the 100-year history of Scouting in the LDS Church) I had opportunity to meet him at a special dinner held for the book contributors (and with many Scout executives of which Lynn was a part). See more about the book at this blog article: Century of Honor bookCentury of Honor book. So, it was fun to visit with him once again. I found it interesting that he brought his stuffed dummy – whom he called “Rufus” with him. He sat this Rufus in various places in the camp and took his photo for future use in marketing publications.
I retyped the program for the campfire program and made some changes. I decided to make a series of blog articles about our 8-week camp season. I think that the events and activities that we do here might be of general interest to others. So, I prepared the first blog today – and will post it soon. This will be about our staff week. Read the post about the New Fork Staff week here
In spite of some staff challenges of the day, our Bull Run relay race did happen as planned. At 3:00 PM all of our merit badge classes ended for the week. Then at 3:15 PM, most of the Scouts in camp gathered with me at the flagpole at the parade grounds. Staffer, Braeden, did the “Iron Bull” – meaning that he ran the entire 1-mile race by himself – and then also did the water and canoeing portion. We had three troops participate with teams for the Bull Run.
I talked to the Scouts and then directed them to staff members representing each leg of the run. Then each staffer led their groups off to their areas on the course. I then led the “#1’s” down to the campfire bowl. David was there and got the boys into different “heats”. We – and the Scouts – were all disappointed when we got thunder right as the race began. So, with the thunder, we had to cancel all of the water parts of the Bull Run. We did add an extra running leg at the end in lieu of the water event. It still proved to be a fun event and was enjoyed by all.
After the run I returned to my own cabin for a few minutes. I there worked on my blog about the staff week of camp.
Our 5:45 PM flag ceremony went well as usual. I was sad, however, with some of the events of the day – but put on a good front. Dinner was good, as usual.
After dinner I again did branding for a while – until the High Adventure staff guys came to take over the function. I then went to the dining hall to assist and serve the unit leaders as they participated in our “merit badge madness” event. At this event, leaders of each troop are given a packet prepared by David and Lou – containing medical forms, camp patches, merit badge completion and partial cards, etc. Then each leader takes the time to go through his own packet to make sure that everything matches – our records of what was actually completed – and what the Scouts said that they should be getting. The whole gathering was quite calm with only four troops there to participate. It was a real “walk in the park” as compared to most other weeks when twenty or more troops are all in there trying to get help from our Area Directors for whatever problems might come up.
At 8:15 PM I again greeted the troops at the parade grounds. Jace and I led them down to the campfire bowl for our closing program. I again used silent signals to calm and direct the Scouts. Each of the four troops performed their own skits but with only four present, this left extra time for staff to add and perform in the program.
While on the High Adventure river trek, one of the Scouting units performed their own version of “If I were Not a Scouter … A … I would be”. Nathan and Andrew asked if this group could perform tonight at the campfire program – raving about how fabulous they were. We had not performed this song at the Monday night program (because of our special 4th of July program) so I was willing to add them to the agenda. From what I heard from Nathan and Andrew and the other High Adventure staff, I knew that they would out-perform the staff.
This is a song that I grew up with at Camp Geronimo in Arizona and it was very traditional and perfect in its performance by staff members. It was the best part of camp – in my opinion. And a few years I even went the 100 miles – one way – from home to camp – just to see it performed on opening night. And with that tradition burned deep into me, I was anxious to stage the same song and show at Camp New Fork. I assigned our staff various parts – or let them volunteer. I have also participated with my own “A farmer I would be … give Bessie give, the baby’s got to live” while going through the motions of milking a cow. But, sadly, as we have performed, we have done so without the energy and enthusiasm that I have come to expect from the song. Nothing that I could do has been catalyst enough to get it going the way that it should be. So, admittedly, it has actually come off pretty boring.
And so, tonight, I had high hopes from this outside performing Varsity team. I hoped that they would really outshine the staff – and by so doing, would energize the staff to make it a great deal better in their own performance next week. These guys had the desired effect. The Varsity Scouts were fabulous. And the staff really got the message – about how bad they were – and how good that they could be with added energy and focus. I was elated and looked forward to see what the staff might come up with for next week.
Also, our staff at New Fork this summer has traditionally performed the “Raisins” skit. We were all surprised this week when a troop – through their senior patrol leader at my morning planning meetings – said that they wanted to perform this act. So, I let them go for it too. …
5 or more scouts.
big dark-colored garbage bag for each.
all but one scout puts a garbage bag on like a coat – with a hole cut out for his head.
All scouts but one are Raisins and they come on stage and line up. They sing the Raisin Bran song.
“We are the raisins that make the Raisin Bran so great.” over and over and over …
Last scout walks onto stage with his fingertips together over his head so his arms make a big circle – he is the spoon.
Raisins: Spoon! Aaaaaah! (and they all run around in a panic, but not too fast)
The ‘spoon’ catches one raisin and takes him offstage.
Raisins line up, settle down, and start their song again.
Spoon reappears and takes another raisin.
Repeat until only one raisin is left. He stands there sadly and sings:
“Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Meyer weiner …”
For added fun, have the ‘spoon’ enter the stage the 2nd or 3rd time with only one arm pointing straight up – he’s a knife. 🙂
One Raisin yells – “Spoon!!!”
Another yells – “Hey, its just a knife! I think he’s after the jelly.” and they all settle down while the knife walks across.
Can do the same thing with both arms pointing up with elbows bent to the side slightly – a fork. 🙂
One Raisin yells – “Spoon!!!”
Another yells – “Relax, that’s a fork! The eggs are in trouble now!” and they all settle down while the fork walks across.
See this and other fun skits and campfire stuff at this website:
Actually, tonight was the first time that I had seen the “Oscar Meyer Weiner” ending and I loved it. And we never used the part about the eggs. I just found that on-line. We’ll have to try this another time! It was fun to see a troop perform the skit that the staff has had so much fun with.
Also on the program I called forward the three guys who completed their Scoutmaster Essentials and also the Outdoor Skills training this week while at camp. I presented them their course completion certificates. I then called up other troop leaders – telling the Scouts that I wanted them to see “what great leaders they have had here at camp”. Then after ten or twelve other adults come forward, I lead the group in the “Alice the Camel” song.
This is another one of my long-time favorite songs for closing campfire programs (training courses, etc). I love the song and I especially love leading at each campfire program (or other event) where I have the opportunity to do so. And I especially love the ending of the song. There locked arms with many adult Scouters, we sing, “Alice the Camel has no humps … and then I leave the guys hanging as I run off stage saying loudly, “BECAUSE ALICE IS A HORSE”
Though sung by a group other than mine, you can experience the words and the tune of “Alice” at this link:
I also presented the “Scouter’s Minute” after tonight’s campfire program. I used a quote on the subject of “personal worth” from my own history book of “Scouting in the LDS Church”.
From the campfire bowl and program, we led the four troops – individually – through the Honor Trail. This went well and the Scouts and leaders seemed impacted positively from their walk through the Scout Law trail.
After all of the Scouts had departed to their campsites, we had our usual post-campfire-program staff time together. This is always a wonderful experience as together we sing, “Friends We are …” Travis talked only briefly of the departure of three staff members today. This became an emotional moment for the remaining faithful staff.
Lou and I went back to our cabin. I looked from the cabin deck to the campfire area below. I could tell that the dual fires were still burning down there. So, I went down and hauled water from the nearby spigot to put out the fires.
Back at the cabin, I got out my trusty 3×5” note cards and made journal notes (for this journal writing and blog article) about the events of the day. It took three cards to handle all of the notes of the day. It has been a day of joy and trauma – one of those days that it is good to have as history.
As a note, our staff is really dwindling. We did not have enough staff members when we began camp but now we are really down. But, we will go forward!
JUY 9TH – SATURDAY
I arose as usual at 6 Am. I conducted a morning flag ceremony – with staff and outgoing troops – at 7:30 AM. The troops were not happy campers. They did not want to be up at that hour – and had probably been up and cleaning and packing in their campsites for two hours before the gathering. Hence, the spirit was dead at the event. After the program I directed all of the gathered group to the dining hall for a group breakfast.
After breakfast Lou and David went to check out their troops and to make sure that their campsites were clean.
I directed the rest of the staff to their program areas for clean-up and a refreshing of the areas for another week of Scouts. I later made the rounds to check on progress in each area. All were looking real great.
My real reason for wanting to see the camp areas was to take camp photos to be used later in my blogs of the camp and the summer. I did get a lot of good shots.
After the work of the morning was complete, I returned to my cabin and typed for a while on my journal.
Travis promised a town trip for all who might be interested. I was planning to drive one of the two camp vans. We mostly filled the other van – (driven by Rachae) but there were not enough other staffers who wanted to go – so I opted to just drive my own mini-van with Lou.
We have been looking forward to this weekend in Pinedale for a long time. We have known that the town was hosting the “Green River Rendezvous” event – to celebrate the American mountain men. Lou and I were so late in leaving camp (behind the other van) that we missed the Mountain Man parade. I was a bit disappointed in this. I did enjoy seeing the Native Americans dressed royally in their traditional attire. They were fabulous. I got a few good photos of them.
We parked the vehicle and for a few hours just wandered around town. We saw other staffers there who just kind of did the same thing. We saw one or two staffers everywhere we went. We went to the Ridley’s market for a needed “drink and drain” break. We then went to the junky thrift store. (One can tell that I am not a fan generally of such places, but this one takes the cake in being “underwhelming”.) Lou bought three “new” (actually OLD VHS) movies – for a total of 37 cents between the three of them. Such a deal!
We walked down the main drag – Pine Street – and visited many of the booths set up by various vendors. There were some rather interesting displays – and a bunch of food booths. We were enticed by many places but price was a deterrent. We finally settled on a booth where a small Mexican family was selling their home made items. We bought some tamales from them and really enjoyed them. We went across the street and ate them under the shade of some giant trees near the library. We and many other staffers ended up at the library.
Travis and Lindsay suggested that we visit another field – that we did not know was there. In this field the true blue Mountain Men had set up their authentic tents and wares.
I loved this place and gathering. A while ago I mentioned the charge from the chain saw bear carver to find some black marbles for eyes for his carved bear. I have looked at the limited places around us for such marbles but to no avail. But today, I saw some marbles in some of the Mountain Men booths and so began a search in each of the tent booths. And wala! There they were. I found just the black marbles that I was seeking. I bought a pair in two or three different sizes – to make sure that I got the right fit. And so, for a quarter or so per pair, I was all set. I was very pleased. [And back at camp I was anxious to get the eyes set in place on our carved bear. The smaller marbles fit – and the completed bear looked great. Thanks, Ty!]
We returned to Ridley’s for a few items. That place sure has the corner on the market for all things food in Pinedale. We left town about 5:00 PM – with Larissa and roommate, Kiara, with us this time – and returned to camp.
Back at camp, we learned that 8 troops had already arrived early for next week. Wow! We talked to the folks that we saw but kind of left each troop to do their own thing – whatever that was – under the direction of their own troop leadership team.
Early in the camp season I made up a staff duty roster with various assignments to be done – rotating each week. One of the assigned tasks was for the area patrol to plan a staff activity night for the staff. And most of the groups decided to stage their events about 6:00 PM on Saturday nights – after the troops were gone – and the streets totally explored in Pinedale. Such was the case tonight.
The Waterfront staff planned a staff event at their place. They staged canoe races – with five people in each canoe. Larissa and David took their swim checks at the “ice rink” as I call the lake. David passed his test but Larissa did not. She could not do the back stroke as required. But she did better than I did at it. The next event was a kayaking event. Lou and I did attend the event but did not participate. Instead, we tended the two little boys of Ranger Reed as their parents participated in some of the events. The mom had a bit of a hard time giving up her baby into the hands of someone else. She looked at us as if she was not sure if she should do this. But, being the parents of nine children ourselves – and having 31 grandchildren, it was an easy task for us. We were happy to do it for them. Lou left after the parents returned – to work on her never-ending laundry project. It is a real challenge to keep the dust washed off of our uniform parts.
We again tried out the do-it-yourself dinner deal with leftovers of the week as Lou finished our laundry using the washer and dryer at the kitchen. Back at the cabin Larissa wanted to watch “Annie” but was disappointed when one of the expensive videos did not work. I typed again on my journal. Lou and I walked Larissa back to her cabin at 10:15 PM.
Also today I began writing a blog about our recent trip to Camp Bartlett for the rededication of the lodge there. I made progress on this article Camp Bartlett Lodge Rededication.
Wow! Another rather busy week. There was plenty to do – and plenty of excitement to keep us entertained. And with the end of this week, we noted that we were half way through the summer. The time is going all too quickly. We have had some really great times here at Camp New Fork. We have enjoyed the association with the Scouts, the leaders and the staff members. Stay tuned … the Week 5 Blog will be posted soon!
Best wishes along your Scouting Trails … Kevin
Excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership” and others at his Scoutingtrails website. Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy Scout, The Scouting Trail and The Voice of Scouting. Feel free to comment on anything you read!
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