Written by: Sheldon Bender | Education Coordinator
Late spring, early summer…this has got to be the best time of year to live at Camp. Winter has loosened its strong grip, and the muddy, chilly days between winter and spring have faded away. Welcome to cool, misty mornings, warblers making their melodious music, and fresh, green foliage unfolding on every tree in sight.
Here at Camp, we enjoy each season, but this one is especially exciting as we look forward to a summer full of planning, trips, and tent building. “Spring cleaning” is in full swing, as boys have been busy taking the roof tarps off their tents and scrubbing them until they shine before reinstalling them with strong, new lashings. Some of the areas in their campsites are looking matted and tired after a long winter. Groups are bringing these areas back to life with a fresh layer of leaves. On Memorial Day, each boy’s family will be coming for a tour of his campsite and some hands-on camp activities; each campsite needs to be in tip-top shape for Families’ Day.
Another theme around Camp this spring is spotting and identifying all the different bird species that we have the privilege of sharing the forest with. One of our favorite birds to watch is the brilliant scarlet tanager. We are also entertained by the many ruby-throated hummingbirds vying for position at our feeders on Chuckwagon porch.
The Mountaineers are busy preparing for a lengthy canoe trip on a river not too far from Camp. They are also making plans to replace one of their sleep tents. They are pleased with the new railing around their wood corral and are proud of the giant ‘M’ entrance into that area. As a group, they are learning the value and importance of following their chiefs’ directions.
For months, the Adventurers have been dreaming of dipping their paddles in the clear waters of the Current River in Missouri. The cool, clear springs along the river are just waiting to be discovered and explored. They plan on doing a set-up trip for several days on a river closer home, just to get some trip routines perfected. They are learning the importance of doing little things right-small, everyday tasks like making the bed or sweeping the floor. They also are building a new sleep tent, and it is nearly complete.
The Prospectors are learning the value of being authentic in life and in relationships. As a group, they are also having a lot of fun just living in the woods and enjoying the sights and sounds that go along with it. Seeing wildlife and sharing about their discoveries with the rest of Camp is something they really enjoy. They are planning a canoe trip on the Allegheny River in western Pennsylvania. One of their sleep tents was just dismantled and replaced.
The Highlanders really enjoyed their agricultural bus trip to the Midwest this spring. This trip helped them in the process of learning to do things together as a group and in following their chiefs. As they continue making progress as a group, they are doing a canoe set-up trip on the Clarion River, with hopes of completing a longer trip on the James River in Virginia later this summer. They are almost finished with their new chiefs’ tent and are pleased with the finished product.
Amidst the exciting times at Camp, there are many “normal” days. Boys are learning how to make good choices and what it takes to be real men in these times we are living in. Continue to lift up the staff, boys, and families in prayer, specifically that we could be faithful to the cause of Christ and His kingdom. God bless you for your interest in this ministry and for your prayers.