Submitted by Alex Rodriguez.
The boys and families of Cub Scout Pack 105 grew together and individually, as they spent this past weekend camping in Fort Washington Park.
Activities ranged from gathering firewood to performing short humorous skits around the burning campfire on Saturday night. The weather cooperated fully, and Fort Washington Park provided the perfect setting for the boys to spend a quality weekend outdoors.
The trip started quietly enough, as the boys helped set up camp on Friday evening, raising their tents then gathering around a warm fire. Activities kicked into full gear on Saturday after a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, oatmeal and various breads.
Their morning hike, followed by a trip to the hawk observatory tower, burned off the morning’s fuel and the boys were ready for lunch upon returning to the campsite at midday. After refilling their bellies, and cleaning up the ensuing mess, the scouts and their families were led through an afternoon full of team-building and image-enhancing activities.
The Bear Scouts played an intense game of Frisbee golf, with den leader Sam Miller showing the boys the finer aspects of the sport. Other dens enjoyed tug-of-war matchups, impromptu games of hide and seek, and rehearsing for the skits which they’d participate in later that night. Throughout the afternoon the boys were taught about the mathematics of branch and leaf development and the different species of trees that inhabit the area.
The scouts were given the responsibility of collecting firewood for the dinner fire while the adults prepared the meats, vegetables, cheeses and sauces for the Silver Turtles. These Silver Turtles consisted of each child selecting one meat, one vegetable and topping it with whatever cheese or sauce they wanted, then wrapping the entire meal up in an aluminum foil wrap. Dennis Smith masterfully crafted various animal shapes out of these foil wrappings, and then the whole thing was thrown onto the hot coals of the fire. The scouts and their families gobbled down the meals, which varied from meatballs (just like mom makes at home!), to chicken and steamed peppers, to a tempting mix of sausage, onions and mozzarella cheese.
Night began to fall around the site, and the bonfire was in full bloom as Pack Leader Ken Ford discussed the life and accomplishments of George Washington. Ford then led the group, which was circled around the fire, in rousing and melodic renditions of traditional campfire Cub Scout songs, followed by numerous dramatic and humorous skits put on by the scouts and their siblings.
By this point the darkness had set in fully, which meant it was time for two Cub Scout favorites - s’mores and man hunt! The boys reenergized with the delicious, sugary treats of graham crackers, half-melted marshmallows and chocolate, then took the darkened woods for a game of man hunt. Their shouts and hoots rang through the trees, mingling with the crackling of the campfire – a chorus of old memories surfacing for the adults, and new memories forming for the children. Eventually the fire dimmed, the boys grew tired and quiet, and the night came to an end as everyone turned in to their tents.
A slight chill inhabited the air on Sunday morning, greeting the groggy campers. The scouts were slightly subdued, partially from the chill and partially from the previous night’s revelry, but all were in great spirits.
The same tents they had helped set up on Friday, they now had to help bring down, and all of the boys were also instrumental in combing through the campsite to clean up any debris that may have escaped the trash bags throughout the weekend.
The boys, their siblings and their parents had a tremendous time this past weekend, forging friendships, learning and practicing responsibilities, and being given the opportunity to enjoy themselves while exploring the outdoors.
All involved are
looking forward to the next opportunity to spend a weekend in the open air,
under the cover of the great sentinels of the woods.