This year it was Ciárán’s turn to attend Cub Scout Day Camp. With August already having crossed over into Boy Scouts he couldn’t participate – he will be participating in his own adventures. Also this year is the first time I helped out.
After registering and checking in the activity was within our group to make name tags and come up with a den cheer. There were 15 boys in our den, 3 Boy Scout leaders and 3 adults there to supervise and support (my role). Our den cheer? “Hail Hydrate!” It took us a day to figure it out. Whenever anybody said the word “hydrate” we would respond loudly “Hail Hydrate!”
The first round of morning announcements is when the idea struck, but it wasn’t until the second day of camp that we truly started to accept our den cheer completely. By Friday the camp’s chief of staff would pause whenever he was reminding people to drink plenty of water so we could effectively respond with our den cheer.
Our first activity of the first day was crafts. This day it would be tile making. Well, more like tile decorating. Then it was on to archery, an activity they would get to do every day.
Before you can do any archery there are rules and procedures to be gone over. Listen to and obey all instructions from the range master.
Lore was another station, and this time it would focus on knots. Then on the to BB gun range.
Finally it was Field Sports, which is Bocce Ball. This game was something I was interested in but it always looked a bit more complicated than it actually is.
The second day started out a little damp, but not by much. Our first station was crafts and this day we made catapults. These were much sturdier than the ones you might make at Cub Scout Winter Camp. It took a lot of preparation work for these to be ready for cub scouts to finish in 45 minutes.
The lore station was a tale of King Arthur with an emphasis on Sir Gowain. The theme of this year’s Cub Scout Day Camp was Cubs In Shining Armor, so much of the program was around that theme. Of course some stuff was not (like BB guns) but in general the theme was utilized to good effect.
The cooking station this day was a sort of apple turnover desert type edible. Most of the kids liked it, then on to pelele, where they needed to assemble a person using a swim noodle and some bits of clothing to lift up on a blanket.
And yes, archery and BB guns were to be had.
Day three started off with BB guns. Then boffing sticks were made at the craft station which we were to use the final day. Then field sports was soccer.
And again we did some archery. Ciaran was definitely getting better, even by shooting only a few arrows every day.
One of the more interesting stations of the week was the lore station on the third day. It was centered around music. The kids got a great demonstration of medieval music and even got to get their hands on some reproductions, even if just for a moment.
What made this such a fantastic part of the camp was not just getting to hear a wide variety of medieval instruments, but some of the types of songs one might hear from that time. The kids even got in on the act with “Hot Cross Buns” (which requires only three notes). At lunch the musicians performed even more than they did during their station.
The cooking station was “hedgehogs” (a pile of meat with seeds in the back sticking up) and BB guns. The next morning, the final day of camp, started out with crafts working on a board game – Fox And Geese. Then on to archery.
After lore, which was about the knight’s code, which there really wasn’t one, but what we regard as one and is very similar to the goals of Boy/Cub Scouts, it was on to jousting.
The kids used their boffing sticks from the previous day and stood on balance boards and tried to either knock the crest off of the opponent’s helmet or not get knocked off the board. This was a major hit and an absolute highlight of camp. There was a presentation as well from the Society For Creative Anachronisms similar to the previous day’s musical one.
What was neat about this year as well was August came and helped out on Thursday and Friday afternoons. Since he is now a Boy Scout he is ineligible to participate as a Cub Scout, but he could be one of the Den Chiefs, the Boy Scout leaders that are helping the participants. I think Ciaran got a bit of a kick having his older brother there to help.
It was great to see what all goes into making this annual camp happen. No, I didn’t see all the preparation and planning over the previous months to get the camp pulled off, but being there every day certainly was an eye opener. While August wasn’t able to go every year as a Cub Scout I am hoping to be able to send Ciárán every year. We need to check when it will be happening earlier rather than later. Ciárán got a lot out of it, and so did I.