This year’s Summer Camp was very successful. 18 of our Scouts enjoyed a week of fun despite the tropical weather the first couple days. They learned basic scouting skills and earned many merit badges. The first couple afternoons were almost a bit unbearable, but we had rain every afternoon to cool things down. The weather rarely gets scouts attitudes down, but rather our scouts make the most of what they are dealt. They worked very well together and I am proud to report this was the most successful summer camp I’ve witnessed as a Scoutmaster.
We had 7 first-time Nighthawk scouts learning about 50% of their Tenderfoot skills, 40% of their 2nd Class skills and 25% of their First Class requirements. They are spring-boarding into Boy Scouts with their first Boy Scout summer camp. All these scouts can realistically earn 1st class within the first year of scouting. Other crossover scouts who start in September can also earn 1st class with in a year, but it will be more difficult. The skills learned in these early ranks will be with them throughout scouting and their life.
10 scouts took merit badges throughout the week; Shotgun, Rifle, Archery, Emergency Preparedness, Water Sports, Camping, Computers, Electricity, Space Exploration, and dozens of other merit badges were earned by our scouts. Some of these were Eagle required, some just for fun and others to determine career paths.
One of our scouts, Alex, elected to take the high-adventure course “Cannon Blast”. He tackled the COPE course (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) with flying colors. He concurred his fears and performed the ropes course 30 feet above the ground, zip line, rock climbing, whitewater rafting at the US National whitewater center in Charlotte, tubing on the lake, and repelled from the 30 foot tower being run by no other than his Scoutmaster!
Barnhardt offers several adult classes to keep them busy such as This is Scouting, Aquatics Supervisor, Paddle Craft Safety, Climb on Safely, among others. In addition they offer a class to run the Barnhardt climbing tower. It was interesting to be fearful of heights and still be able to concur my fears with the help of the wonderful staff and scouts. One scout descended from the 30′ repel and said “that was fun!” to which I responded “My first repel was terrifying, my second frightening, and my 3rd fearful. I haven’t reached fun yet!”
Summer Camp is the culmination of Boy Scouts. It’s fun, exciting, adventurous, daring, sometimes hard, making mistakes in a safe environment, making new friends, and learning a few things along the way.