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Saturday, May 11, 2019
Camp Scouthaven, Freedom, New York
In 2014, my son Nathan and I went camping in Freedom, New York. Scouthaven in a massive campground for Scouts. On this day, we were "up on the hill", a test skill to end a scout's time in Webelos before moving on to Boy Scouts. On the last night at Cub Scout Camp, the oldest scouts go up on the hill for a little archery.
This isn't your typical archery range, it's action archery. Some of the targets move. Some of them are everyday things you aren't allow to shoot at under normal circumstances. Others are just plain fun distance shots.
Nathan loved MOST of it. The one that got him was a series of three lines with bells, a giant truck tire and a regular bulls-eye target behind it all. On his first shot there was a "tink-tink-thunk!" as the arrow struck bells, zipped through the tire and landed in the middle of bulls-eye.
Fifteen minutes later, he was crying. The problem? He couldn't hit 3 bells, thread the tire and hit the target with one shot. The range instructor told him "The bells are set up close, medium and far. You aren't supposed to hit three of the them, just one."
Nathan replied, "Why would do that to kids. I've been hitting two bells at a time and couldn't figure out why I couldn't get all three."
The range instructor asked, "Two bells?"
Nathan fired arrow after arrow into two bells, threaded the tire and hit bulls-eyes, flawlessly. Then he switched hands and repeated the trick. The range instructor was flummoxed. The only reason he could hit two bells was because the wind was blowing them into a line. "Okay, Hawkeye. Go to another station..."
Later, there was a bonfire. There is a whole story that goes with this event. I won't ruin it for you. No spoilers, but it is amazing. If you get the chance, you must see this.
That's enough for now. I'll come back and update with more details on the pictures below.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
This is the first year I haven’t been to camp with my boys. Both have moved up from Cub Scout to Boy Scout and no longer require their parents at camp.
The program run by the Greater Niagara Frontier Council is amazing. Through out the summer, they mentor and guide youngsters to be the best they can. The leaders and counselors work gruelling hours out in the rough, week after week, all through July and into August. Parents and leaders only see a brief 4 day window of camp life. The staff lives it for weeks to make it all possible.
I already miss our 4 day camps. One of my favorite people at Camp Scouthaven is Digger, the camp Ranger.
To put a point on it, I went to camp as a child and don’t really have a clear recollection of it. No one really stood out. My daughter dropped in for a closing dinner raves about Digger and his antics. If she remembers from a brief encounter over dinner, my boys are going to have wonderful memories of their time in camp.
If you have the opportunity to camp at Scouthaven, jump at it. If camping is not your thing, be sure to check out the GNFC website for other happenings at the camp, like the yearly sugar mapling breakfast.
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