Troop 868 in Action


CAMP SAWMILL  (H. Roe Bartle S.R.)

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Day 3 was dry and merit badge classes started to click.  But it also became obvious that many of the teenagers on the camp staff were exhausted.  As a rule, many members of the staff just seemed to be "going through the motions" and enthusiasm was generally lacking.  We heard these comments from nearly all of our older scouts who had a basis of comparison from their experience visiting other camps.

Despite a rather elaborate on-line pre-registration system, the camp didn't seem to make any effort to balance or limit enrollment in merit badge classes.  Some classes were small and intimate; others were packed well beyond a number that a teenage counselor could effectively teach.  Some program areas --- notably archery, the climbing tower, the rifle range, and the waterfront --- were excellent.  Unfortunately, only a few of our scouts had signed up to work on any boating merit badges because Camp Sawmill didn't have any lake frontage.  Going in, we knew that all the boating activities would be conducted at Camp Lone Star.  It turned out that Lone Star was within easy walking distance, but we didn't know this in advance, so most of our boys shunned the boating badges.

Gabe, Spencer (standing behind a scout from another troop), Adam, and Drew all took Lifesaving Merit Badge. Scouts taking the Forestry Merit Badge.
Dylan at the rifle range working on Rifle Shooting Merit Badge. Chase also worked on Rifle Shooting Merit Badge.
D.J. and Gabe working on either Environmental Science or Geology. Some of the classes were small; others rather large.  The camp made no attempt to balance or limit class enrollment.
Preston working on Pioneering Merit Badge. The waterfront at Camp Lone Star was top notch and Lake Truman was large, clean, and beautiful.
Toby was one of only 3 scouts to "win" a limbo contest during lunch one day.  Various antics at mealtimes were routine. Scouts wore Class A uniforms to the evening meal.  Chase, Toby, Tyler, and Spencer has a few extra minutes to play cards.
The second night in camp (evening of day 3) units were expected to hold a campfire in their campsites.  Troop 315 (in green troop shirts) and Troop 868 (in ash-colored troop shirts) held a joint program with scouts from both troops performing skits and leaders from both units telling stories.  For many in our group, this was the best campfire of the week.

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