Return of the Mataguayans

Good evening Scottsdale!

T648’s 28 summer camp scouts returned triumphantly from Mataguay Scout Ranch yesterday, leaving the beautiful 42 degree morning and arriving back to the Blessed Sacrament parking lot and our depressingly normal July 110 degrees.  It was a hugely successful, fun and safe week, where the boys averaged more than 4 completed merit badges per scout (much higher than normal), there were a number of rank and skill advancements, smiles and laughter too numerous to quantify, and best of all – a spider bite was the worst T648 injury of the week.  In between negotiating massive COPE courses, glider flights, pirate overnights, spooky fire stories, raccoons in tents, cinematography, radio broadcasting, lifesaving, wild turkeys in camp, horseback riding, black powder rifles, compound bows, dragon boat races, and fishing competitions, our youth learned many things about themselves as scouts and as people.  Our troop was the sharpest dressed and most orderly marchers, and had 100% participation in many camp activities such as the daybreak water dogs swim, the daylight nature hike, the spooky campfire story night, and the overnight “Rugged O”, where every scout slept on the ground under the stars somewhere within the scout ranch (or perhaps more accurately stated, tried to sleep).  My favorite memory is of our entire troop on the dam far across the lake, cheering our entry in the cardboard dragon boat race to a 6th place finish, but then staying on as a group and wildly cheering a tiny California scout in his mini-boat to a successful and exhausting finish long after all other boats had finished or sunk, and many other troops had left.  Your young men are outstanding individuals, and together make an exceptional troop – one with which I am most proud to serve.  Thank you for sending them to camp this year.  Thanks as well to the 6 adults who joined the troop for the entire week.  It was sometimes an exhilaratingly wild ride, but ultimately extremely rewarding for all of us.

Next on the horizon, a dozen of the more senior scouts and scouters are looking forward to an even more exhilarating trip in a couple of weeks – a 10 day backpack through Philmont Scout Ranch.  We have announced the first of our leadership changes as young Mr. Andrews takes over for young Mr. Finnegan.  We owe many thanks to both of these terrific young men as they transition the Senior Patrol Leader role.  We will also be reconfiguring the patrols and assigning other new leadership roles within the Patrol Leadership Council (PLC) as we work our way toward the PLC planning session weekend, to be held at a local resort the weekend of August 19th.

This coming Tuesday we have our normal troop meeting, preceded by an optional tenderfoot and second class scout skills session at 6PM at the church with Mr. Butler.  I look forward to seeing you there!

Mr. Cole