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Attending camp this year from Troop 344 were: (top row l-r) Assistant Scoutmaster Andy Dukarski, John Dukarski, and Tim Steel.  (bottom Row l-r) Rob Dukarski, Rory Lewis and Joe Lewis.
Attending camp this year from Troop 344 were: (top row l-r) Assistant Scoutmaster Andy Dukarski, John Dukarski, and Tim Steel. (bottom Row l-r) Rob Dukarski, Rory Lewis and Joe Lewis.
The Boy Scouts from Troop 344, chartered through Waynedale United Methodist Church, chose the last full week of June to attend summer camp this year. The Unit had briefly considered another camp in a bordering state for a little change of scenery for this year, but when all of the factors were considered, we were headed for the Anthony Wayne Scout Reservation and Camp Chief Little Turtle once again. One of the decision makers this year involved the fact that about half of the Troop are new Scouts going to resident camp for the first time with the Unit. And coincidentally, Camp Chief Little Turtle has developed and offers a premier first year camper program called, “ALANYA.” In this program the first year campers get a little taste of just about everything that‑the camp has to offer, except spare time. Most of the Scouts in this program even come home with the Swimming Merit Badge. They also have time on the Firing Range, the Waterfront, First Aid, Nature, Hiking, and Wildlife Study in addition to the other more traditional Boy Scout activities. They also hike to their own overnighter before graduation!

While breaking camp Saturday morning Joe, Rob, Rory, and John asked if we “couldn’t just stay another week?” The leadership is accepting that statement as a vote of confidence in our decision about camps.

All of the Scouts took complete advantage of what the Camp can offer.

Zach Firestone, Senior Patrol Leader, worked in little time to obtain the mile-swim award. That is a long way to go in the water. I still vividly remember the three hours that I spent in Sylvan Lake at Camp Big Island in 1963 to earn that award myself. Way to go Zach – a tremendous effort.

Sean Driscoll made certain that the Troop brought home a Ribbon in the “Gateway Competition” by tying and lashing a great entry to the Campsite. Several Commissioners were very impressed by the spider web design that Sean had incorporated in his efforts.

And even our Crafty Scoutmaster Bob Rainwaters constructed an eye-catching model of the Starship Enterprise using a pop bottle and other items taken from a grocery bag that had been issued to us. Bob’s diorama was terrific and the vote was unanimous for First Place in the “Whatzit?” competition. The Unit participated in the Wednesday Waterball Event, sponsored by the Pleasant Lake Fire Department, and Troop 344 battled the 4″ Fire Hose into a 4th place overall finish – and that is one tough competition.

As a Troop activity the Scouts wanted “The Flying Squirrel” this year. The Squirrel is one of the stations on the C.O.P.E.‑ (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) course. It is basically a set up with telephone poles, wires, and pulleys. The Scout or Scouter wears a climbing harness that attaches to an overhead running between the two phone poles. That in turn has a line running back down to the rest of the Troop. On command the ground crew takes off running with one end of the rope and the person wearing the harness turns into Rocket J. Squirrel to a height of 25′ or so. It was a tremendously popular activity.

We had chosen a great week to be at Camp. A little warmer than last year, but at least the mosquitoes were not present in absurd numbers. The only rain that we got, involved very light showers at night for perfect sleeping background.

Scout Alex Rhoades has been visiting this local unit for more than a couple of years as he travels north to stay with Grandpa and Grandma Dick and Jean Loney. Alex was able to renew friendships with fellow Scouts that he has been visiting over the years and Alex was also‑again a‑welcome guest and asset to the Unit. We wish Alex all of our best as he returns to Savannah, Georgia and another school year.

It was also great to have Joe Baumgarter with us on the Leaders side of the table. Joe turned 18 since last year but he still wished to remain active with the Unit and with his fellow Scouts. So we welcome Joe on board as our most recently acquired Leader.

We also express our thanks to Assistant Scoutmaster Andy Dukarski – Andy survived his first resident Camp with the Troop in great style. Although Andy does have lengthy credentials in the Cub Scout Program, Troop 344 is even stronger with Joe and Andy on board.

The Waynedale News Staff
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