~ Submitted by Boy Scout Troop 194 of Bedford
Scouts from Bedford’s Boy Scout Troop 194 enjoyed a long-awaited return to summer camp last week at Treasure Valley Scout Reservation in Rutland, MA. The group consisted of fourteen boys ranging in age from ten to sixteen and three adult volunteers including an adult Eagle Scout who is now a US Air Force Captain and stationed at Hanscom Air Force base.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) model of summer camp is distinct from other youth organizations in that troops go to summer camp together as a unit and stay in one site, sharing a tent with another scout from their own troop. Troops are organized patrol groups with youth leaders responsible for group activities, cleaning duties, and waiter assignments. Parent volunteers also stay onsite for supervision, safety, and support (and fun!). This summer camp model is great for new campers as it allows them to try an away from home experience within a group they know. In addition to the week of camp with the troop, scouts can go to summer camp for additional “provisional” weeks at any BSA camp throughout the region or country. Access to fun and affordable BSA summer camps is a great benefit of joining a troop.
At Treasure Valley Scout Reservation the Bedford scouts spent their mornings in merit badge classes, pursuing badges in the following diverse subjects: animation, camping, chess, climbing, cooking, emergency preparedness, engineering, environmental science, family life, first aid, fishing, geocaching, Indian lore, kayaking, lifesaving, metalwork, orienteering, rifle shooting, search and rescue, shotgun shooting, small boat sailing, swimming, welding, and woodcarving. In the afternoon boys participated in group activities with their patrols and had free time to enjoy the waterfront, shooting range, or many other open activities. In between, there were also many stops to The Trading Post for treats. Family-style meals were held in a large open tent along with all the other troops in camp. During meals, staff members led lively entertainment in the form of songs or chants.
Friday’s culminating event was the Jabberguzzle social event with a war canoe race. A war canoe is a very large canoe capable of carrying up to fourteen scouts. In Troop 194’s first attempt at racing a war canoe the troop placed second overall and won their heat. At the closing flag ceremony on Saturday morning, the troop cleaned up on awards (literally) winning The Golden Broom for the cleanest site (1st out of 16), The Honor Unit Award, and two Baden Powell awards for each of their patrols (The Flaming Lemons and The Lumberjacks). In addition, two scouts were recognized with Honor Camper awards.
While the weather was more than a little soggy during the troop’s stay in the woods, it did not manage to dampen the fun.
To learn more about Troop 194 visit www.Troop194.org or find us on Facebook.