Monday, October 18, 2010

Centennial Camporall

This past weekend I took a few of the young men to the Centennial Camporall. in Heber City, UT. We had a great time.

We arrived on Thursday afternoon and set up camp.
Notice the lack of chairs. Just one of several things I forgot to pack.

There was supposed to be a service project, but we never got any information about it at check-in, so we missed it.

At the opening ceremony, we heard from the council president and had a flag retirement ceremony. Then a fireworks display.

Following the fireworks we watched the movie "Scout Camp." I'm not going to give a thorough critique, but I will say that it had good potential. It just didn't seem to take off. If I were in charge we would have watched "Follow Me Boys" instead.

Friday morning came early--before the sun came up--and it was cold. Given the setting of the camp, we weren't allowed to have fires. That would have been nice.
We fired up the stove to make breakfast, but it was so cold we couldn't get any fuel out of the tank. It worked fine the night before but in the morning it just wouldn't put out any heat. We were able to get just enough to warm up the pre-cooked bacon. It took a half hour to half cook a pancake. So, we made do and started the day.

We were allowed to register each young man for up to three activities. Several of the activities were competitive in nature, complete with awards. One young man took third place in his mountain bike ride. Two others placed first and second in the cowboy action shoot. And that was just Friday morning. The awards were a special addition "ghost" patch in gold, silver, and bronze. Here's what the bronze looks like.
There were full color versions available to those scouts who visited 10 different venues. None of my young men wanted to get one and I didn't find out adults were eligible until too late. I'll have to check ebay to see if anyone is selling theirs. I would really like one. They are cool.

Friday afternoon we had signed up to go rappelling. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed in the rappelling. It was really just a climbing wall and anyone was allowed to participate. If I had known that's what it would be like I would have registered them for something else and they still would have been able to do the climbing wall.

Anyway, I think they boys had fun. They were also able to do the ropes course and zip line. We also crashed the chess tournament for a game or two.

There really were a lot of activities to participate in. There was a guy showing boys how to do flint knapping, a mountain man bartering post, a traveling scout museum, and a visit from the national guard.

Friday night saw us attending another program. This time we heard from a professional football player with the Utah Blaze (don't ask me his name), as well as Elder Ochoa, the Second Counselor in the Young Men's General Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We also sang happy birthday to Leonard "Woody" Woodward, the Nation's oldest Scouter, who celebrated his 99th birthday the day before.

Also friday night was a concert from a band I've never heard of and never care to hear again. 

Saturday morning, like Friday, came early and cold. Knowing our stove wouldn't be able to cook our french toast, we went to McDonald's instead. That is one good thing about camping in town.

After breakfast the boys headed off to their ultimate frisbee tournament. Because of differences in size of the various groups, one of our young men played on a different team than the others. That team ended up taking second place in the tournament, earning him a silver patch.

That made four winners for our crew, which put us into fourth place overall in the total winnings.
The boys didn't know there would be awards for the best overall groups and wanted to skip out on the closing ceremony. I wouldn't let them. I think they enjoyed it though.

Overall, it was a really good experience. Sure, there were things I would have liked to see happen differently, but that will happen with just about any activity. We all had a really good time and I think there were some memories made that will last for quite a while. And maybe, just maybe, those young men will become better people because of it. And isn't that what scouting is really about?

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