SCOUTING SMOKE SIGNALS

Scientifically it is called “convergence”. It is what happens when a random series of things fall into place just right in order to allow a major event to occur. In the case of Boy Scout Troop #344 the event was a “mosquito bloom”. The massive rains from the first session at Camp Chief Little Turtle combined with the nice weather from the second week at Camp to leave the third week set up for mosquito heaven. The Scouts even changed their normal Patrol yell a little to accommodate their week at camp. The new and temporary call shouted “We are the Panthers , mosquito bitten and sore. But we are still the best Troop – 344.” Enough said about that.

While at the Anthony Wayne Scout Reservation at Pleasant Lake, the Scouts worked on many skills and advancements. First aid and Environmental Science were popular with Alex Rhoades and Karl McOmber. Ed Howaniec kept busy studying Indian Lore, Astronomy, and Sporting Clays with the Shotgun. Joe Baumgarter had a full schedule of Fingerprinting, Wood Carving, Reptile and Amphibians, Mammal Study, Canoeing, and Rifle. Chris Olry watched the stars in Astronomy and studied First Aid. Rick Machnowski worked on Fingerprinting, First Aid, and Rifle. Zach Firestone learned Wilderness Survival, Snorkeling, Camping, Emergency Preparedness, and Rifle. Assistant Senior patrol Leader Michael Grindle studied Wilderness Survival. Senior Patrol Leader Joe Wilder had a full week with Troop Leadership and skills of Forestry, Nature, Weather, and Wilderness Survival. Sean Driscoll completed the Alanya first year camper program to advance well past the entry level. Sean participated in a little of everything in this program, with Swimming, Canoeing, Camping, and Outdoor Skills dominate.

The Scouts dealt with mosquitos as well as they could, even though the Red Cross would be jealous of the amount of blood donated. These Scouts did not let a few insects ruin their week. They still took advantage of the many activities available. And they strengthened old friendships even as they made new friends. The weather was great for a week at camp as the scouts pitched their own tents and sharpened camping skills. During the week the Troop completed a service project that involved hanging bat houses in hopes that natural insect control would help the Scouts at future summer camps. The Unit also participated in the Camp-Wide games on Friday afternoon; and in a tradition that should make Mr. Ray McCune proud, Troop 344 brought home the Grand Prize Blue Ribbon and Wooden Spoon trophy for submitting the absolutely best entry out of 12 in the dutch oven cook off!

It was a fine week of Scouting friendship, fellowship, and skills. These Scouts will remember this summer camp for many years, just as they will benefit from the skills, knowledge, and new bonds that they brought home with them.

The Unit would like to thank Scoutmaster Bob Rainwaters for taking a week of his summer to lead the Troop at Camp this year. And thanks to Assistant Scoutmaster Randy Brautsch and to Gary McOmber for their help throughout the week.

The Waynedale News Staff

Gary McOmber

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