Written by: Sheldon Bender | Groupwork Supervisor
Summer at Bald Eagle Boys Camp is a wonderful thing. We are so blessed with a lush, green canopy overhead as we walk trails and enjoy the long, warm days and cooler nights that summer offers. Our 650 acres of pristine wilderness in northern Pennsylvania becomes the place of many good times as summer moves along.
We have kept occupied this summer with lots of work, but we have made some fond memories during play time as well. In July, our session theme was the study of bridges, their designs, and how they work. We studied many different bridges, near and far, old and new, and were fascinated by learning about different bridge disasters. During the session, each of the four groups designed and constructed a bridge made primarily out of popsicle sticks. Near the end of the session, we spent several hours as a Camp community watching as the strength of each bridge was tested. Each bridge was to span a two foot gap. A strap was hung around the center of the bridge, and weight was added incrementally until the bridge broke. The Adventurers won the competition, with their bridge holding an impressive 455 pounds! Part of the event also included a tasty low country boil. What a feast it was!
The Mountaineers have been busy building a new sleep tent and are really proud of the way it is turning out. Filling their wood tent for the coming winter is another task that is high on their priority list. Their goal is to cut and split 100 wheelbarrow loads in the next 6-8 weeks, which they estimate will fill their wood tent to capacity. They will celebrate the accomplishment with a trip to Ice Shack!
The Adventurers have been working hard on preparing for a two week canoe trip on our very local West Branch of the Susquehanna River. Along with planning the trip, they have done a fantastic job of completing another sleep tent. They have constructed a straight, strong tent that will withstand the wind and weather for the next few years. They have enjoyed watching some deer and bears in their campsite this summer; one deer made herself right at home and bedded down near one of their tents as the group moved about their campsite on one of the cookout days.
In the Prospector campsite, a new chuck tent is taking shape. A unique feature of the tent is the entrance, built at a 45° angle on the corner of the tent. They are quite pleased with it and can’t wait until it will be finished so there will be a roof over their table once again. They are learning to do some basic things well here at Camp, and are planning a canoe trip on the Green River in Kentucky in September.
The James River was the destination for the Highlander group this session. Navigating Balcony Falls safely was one of the goals they had for the trip. They were hoping for some good bass fishing and memorable times as a group. They have constructed a completely unique sleep tent in their campsite-an octagonal tent with a large center post. Lots of time and energy went into designing the tent, and they even built a scale model of it just to make sure that everything would work as planned. The project is a good example of the skills of planning, doing, and evaluating that we teach boys at Camp, and how it all pays off.
Many problems are being solved, and the lives and hearts of boys/staff are being changed in the process of doing these many things you just read. We thank God for the opportunity we have to work with struggling boys and families and want to be faithful in being His hands and feet as we live here, meeting the challenges and seizing the opportunities that come our way. God is good, and we praise Him for His constant protection and daily provision for us. Thank you for your interest in Camp, and for supporting us through prayer and other ways.