Happy Campers

Good soggy morning!

By now you have reflected or been debriefed on the 2012 T648 summer camp that was.  And oh, what a summer camp to remember!  Last weekend the scouts were just getting settled in, and a short week later they are the recipients of camp awards, earners of individual merit badges and advancements, and contributors to an excellent week of team bonding and accomplishment.  The mud-covered youngster delivered to the family car yesterday in the parking lot of Blessed Sacrament can be rightly proud of his development and many contributions to another successful year at Camp Geronimo.  Many thanks for your investment in the week, the benefits will be many and long-lasting.

From the start of the first dry weekend to the final morning of packing for home in the much-needed steady, soaking rain, the troop hit all of their marks, and had a ton of fun doing it.  Our new Senior Patrol Leader hit the ground running, the senior scouts were fully engaged in assisting with troop activities, and the patrols were supportive and helped in getting by a few small twinges of homesickness.  I also would like to note the terrific investments of time from our dozen and a half adult leaders who went above and beyond to ensure we had trailers pulled, coverage during the week, and enough seats for boards and transport despite the occasional mouse attack or confounding new camp policy.  The troop achieved individual awards (the top shots of the whole summer in archery) and group awards (the bandaid award from the health lodge for the most use of that facility – of course, also a reflection of the size of our troop).  We did camp service projects, helped other troops cover their flag ceremonies or KP, and excelled in all required activities, to the point of once again (to the delight of Mother Hen) achieving the coveted Big ‘G’ Award with Gold designation – the highest troop award given at camp.  Later this summer in our next Court of Honor, you will see evidence of the skills developed, the ranks advanced, and the 70 merit badges earned.  But for now, bask in the memories of doing your best, working well as a unit, playing cards by lantern-light, Revelry at 6AM played right next to our campsite, Polar Bear swims, Cat’s Eye hikes, the Mogollon monster, and being once again, the smartest looking uniformed scouts in camp.  You have represented our troop and scouting well this week, and I’m once again reminded of how proud and honored I am to wear the T648 patch.

This week we again resume troop meetings on Tuesday at 7PM at the church.  We will have Patrol Leader’s council on 8/7 at 6PM, chaired by Mr. Harness.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing SPL, Mr. Martin, for his leadership and excellent support at summer camp.  Please also put on your calendars our August outing at Military Sinkhole east of Payson.  That will be accompanied by canoeing in Willow Springs Lake and a special award dinner prepared by Mr. Parizek for all those boys who met the pancake breakfast ticket sales target (you know who you are!).  Please also note that the boys’ annual planning meeting at a local resort (PLC Weekend) will be August 24-26.  It is never too early to begin thinking about which outing locations, fundraising options, or service projects you would like us to do in 2012-2013.

We have a couple of our troop family in the hospital this week.  One of our Eagle Scouts, young Mr. Huston, had successful leg surgery on Thursday, and one of our Assistant Scoutmasters, Mr. Grisa, is in the hospital preparing for surgery on multiple vertebrae in his neck.  Please keep these members of our troop family in your thoughts and prayers this week.

Have a great week!

Mr. Cole