By Donovan Dunham
Attending summer camps are some of the greatest experiences you will ever have during your scouting career. For three years, Troop 96 has attended Pioneer Scout Ranch in Ohio. It’s an awesome place! While at Pioneer, you will earn Merit Badges, learn new skills and make new friends. Here are just 10 top reasons why YOU should come (with me) to summer camp with Troop 96:
Earn those Merit Badges! You can choose from over 100 merit badges to earn at camp. Some are crucial eagle-required badges, which can be difficult to earn back home during the year. But you can knock out a key badge in less than a week at summer camp! And many of our scouts have come home with up to six badges from a single week at camp!
Take an active Leadership role! Our weekly meeting leadership positions last several months. And sometimes that can be intimidating for younger scouts. Well, Summer camp is your chance to gain leadership skills, for just one week! Responsibilities run from Librarian to Bugler to Quarter Master to Senior Patrol Leader. This is a perfect springboard into the longer posts throughout the year.
Lasting Scouting friendships. You will be amazed by how many friends you will make in one short week at summer camp! Not only will you meet new friends from all over, you will strengthen the relationships you already have in Troop 96.
SNACKS!!! Make sure to bring some of that money for a small pick-me-up at the camps trading post! Just the sort of thing you need between Merit Badge classes. Oh, I also should mention the mess tent. We get three squares a day, under a circus tent, with lots of great food choices. And they do the dishes!
Exciting and Unique Merit Badges. You definitely won’t be bored at Pioneer. Aside from earning the badges, the experiences you gain are priceless. Do you like stargazing? Driving a four wheel ATV? Swim in a lake AND in a pool. How would you like to actually FLY A PLANE? I did it. You can, too!
Camp activities. Camp Pioneer offers many cool activities that take place after merit badge classes are over. They host not one, but TWO root beer cantinas. Enter the duct tape contest or take a midnight nature hike. There is also the popular Waterball competition, a drenched, muddy, exciting spectacle, featuring a classic firetruck and… Well, you need to see it for yourself!
Play outside. Video games and computers monopolize our lives at home, so it is a breath of fresh air (literally) to spend a week outside with your scouting buddies! Chill at camp with a Frisbee, or maybe some stickball, and you can be sure that you won’t regret leaving your digital life behind for a week.
Opening and Closing campfires and “Flags”. These events start off and fill out our week, featuring funny shows, skits, awards, mail calls, and lots of information. Last year, one new award was given at the closing campfire. It was called the “Titanium Cranium Award”, brought into existence by the bravery and hard-headedness of our own T96 scout, Garrett Schreck. Let’s just say, it pays to wear your helmet!
RUSTY THE DOG! This adorable little guy makes his daily rounds, going from campsite to campsite, visiting random troops, and gracing us with a little doggie smile to start off our mornings!
Making Memories. The things we do as scouts will stay with us the rest of our lives. And Summer camp is something that holds special meaning. So don’t waste your youth, get out there, live life and make things happen for yourself!