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2010 Summer Camp

Recap from Mr. Strickler:

I promised your scouts a life changing experience back in March, and Camp Ottari delivered. I am sure by now you have noticed your scouts walking a little taller, standing a little straighter, and smiling a little wider. I expected my own children to rush home and jump on the video games, which happened, for about 5 minutes. They have been playing outside every since! Camp can really change your daily habits.

Let me first thank our amazing adult leaders who stepped up this week. Without these adults, summer camp would just not be possible. Mr.Tyson, for the monumental job of wrangling medical forms and being the medicine dispenser, Mr.Gould – our banker, and guardian of the gluten-free, Mr. Duke – our medic, and clutch player, everyone’s best friend – Mr.Boshak, our cracker barrel samurai, and finally, Mr.McNeil – my right hand man, and future camp co-coordinator. We had an incredible scout supported leadership core in John Gomes, SPL; and Tyler Gould and Alec Livingston, ASPLs. Special thanks are in order for Mr.Teffey, who’s Mountain Man contingent of 13 grew to a patrol of 20! Daniel Robins who got our small Claytor contingent up and running, and Mrs. Worely, who operated a completely independent New River Adventure group, and finally, Matt Godon, who took on the 61 miles of the Voyageur trek on his own.

What an amazing WEEK! I am so proud of our scouts for the both the way they conducted themselves, and the responsibility they demonstrated. There were highs and lows for everyone this week. Lows ranging from a very early case of homesickness, Woodcarving Merit Badge class running out of band aids, and highs from our troop completely dominating the paper airplane competition and a western free-for-all, that lifted the entire camp’s spirit on Wednesday night. Several of our scouts were even able to ride the mechanical bull (a bungee barrel beast).

The week started out predictably rough with some minor flare ups of home sickness. The key is always to contain these and prevent a troop wide outbreak, which we successfully managed. Our boys jumped in head first, and began their daily routine. By Tuesday morning, everyone was used to the walking (uphill both ways), knew where their classes were, and clearing their tray of most food. Even veggie lasagna was a hit at Ottari.

It is always amazing to see the scouts’ faces the first time they come up to you and ask you what they do next and you say, “What every you want!” The activation of fight or flight, pupils dilated, abject terror and excited anticipation all mixed up in one terrifying emotion. Riflery, Shotgun, Swimming, Canoes, Rowboats, Sailboats, Kayaks, Archery, Open crafts, Fishing, Open Zip Line, so many choices can be overwhelming for a first-timer.

We had some major accomplishments this week including a large group of Polar Bear Swimmers, and Winning a handicraft competition, a scout spirit award, a hound’s tooth award for a scout run service project, and the cleanest camp award.

The staff at Ottari is second to none in the Nation. For every position filled at the camp there are hundreds of applicants. As a result, the staff consists of a cast of super stars, who know every boy’s name by Tuesday. They brings out the magic of the camp’s spirit in their daily programming, and are just as quick to take a homesick scout aside and make them feel special.

As you can see by the merit badge completion sheets, we had a very successful and productive camp. Our spots are already being held for next year for the Week of July 10th.

Three years ago I took a reservation tour with a small group of leaders from camp Ottari. One of the sites we visited was Camp Powhatan. Here we discovered that one of our tour-mates had made a bench with his troop 35 years earlier. After some poking around we located the bench! The man was overcome with emotion as all of those scouting memories rushed over him, and he was transported back to the uncertain, awkward beginnings of the first summer camp of a 12 year old boy. The man explained to our group the incredible impact scouting had made on his life, and how until this one moment, he had really never made the connection. I will tell you now, you have never seen a more pitiful sight than 7 grown men standing around crying over a bench.

I was reminded of this event on Tuesday when we were treated to Scout Chapel with Big George. Big George is an amazing man in his own right, having traveled the globe bridging the connections between Scouting and faith. At the heart of Big George’s message was your scout’s individual story. He explained that your story was still being written, and that we were all responsible for the stuff that gets in our story. Scouting makes up a critical part of the story, and puts our youth in the right spot at the right time

I tied both of these themes together for our guys. Our adult leaders made a bench this week, and every boy signed it. It is my deepest desire that 30 years from now, they will be back, and show their scouts their name on a piece of history. A moment in the story, captured forever at a magical place in a magical time.


YIS,

Eric Strickler

 

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Remember we are departing Sunday, July 11th from behind Clover Hill Elementary School [5700 Woodlake Village Parkway; Midlothian, VA 23112-2434] (in Woodlake). Plan on being in the parkinglot by 8:00 a.m. We are leaving promptly at 8:30a.m.

Remember, parents are free to come up Friday night for the closing campfire and ceremony. You are welcome to pitch a tent and stay in camp with us -- for this evening. If you are planning on driving your child home, please let me know as soon as possible, so I can make the necessary accommodations to our seat count.

You will need to check-in with the camp office upon arrival, and you can also purchase a meal ticket at that time -- if you so desire.

Remember no scouts are to leave camp without being properly checked out by me.

Thanks,

-e

 

Eric Strickler
(804)402-7279
www.pcrx.biz

______________ 
So you are about to be completely overwhelmed with Summer Camp 2010 emails. Don't worry, it will all be over soon. Below is a general overview of camp, with a specific list attached.
 
Be sure you are at this week's meeting. I will do an extensive Summer Camp demo, including the packing info AGAIN.
 

This message has most of the final details you might

need to know about camp.  Please see attached and below.  Mountain Man and

Claytor Lake campers, please contact Mr. Teefey or Mrs. Worley for specific

gear questions.

 

There's a lot packed in this message.  Please go over the attached

carefully.  They should answer most of your camp questions and we'll discuss

again on Wednesday.

 

 - Have a car lunch for trip out, money for lunch on return

 - Identify EVERYTHING with name and Troop number, name alone won't do it

for return at camp

 - Have swim stuff handy (on top of the bin), swim test is first up after a tour of camp

 - Have meds ready WEDNESDAY, we're not doing this in the parking lot!!

 - Survival and Camping class need a pack or carry bag for off site

overnighter (an oversized trash bag works best)

- First Aid – make sure you bring a personal kit to get checked off for the class

- Review the merit badge pre-reqs for your course selections : http://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

 - Have your gear packed in waterproof tubs include waterproof bags

-- It is handy to have clothes packed in ziplocks, labled by day, etc.

 - NO food in your gear, mice (and maybe a bear) will find it, chewing their

way in.

 - Departure, Sunday the 11th, be there 8:00am sharp, Clover Hill Elementary Parking lot behind the school

 - Return, Sat, 17th, pool parking area, normal meeting place, about 3:00pm

 - Reminder, no scout electronics in camp they must stay in the car you rode in.

 - Reusable WATER BOTTLES, absolutely essential equipment, send two or three

 

 - Money, Mr. Gould is banker for Ottari, save some for lunch on return

trip, all extra class fees have been paid

 - Blue Cards, you'll get them at camp

 - Scout Books, scan those critical pages before leaving, losage or

destruction is possible

 

Zip line - limited to 12 years old and minimum 100 pounds in weight.  Cost

is $5 for two rides.  Many scouts do not meet the minim weight at base camp.

Please discuss this with your scout so he's fully aware of the limits. 

 

Food restrictions - contact me if needed

 

A light back pack that has a water bottle side pocket works well for holding

class materials and water.

 

NO Camel back water systems at camp. 

 

Don’t forget to bring a SHIRT TO BE SHOT at SHOOT YOUR SHIRT NIGHT(light colors show the holes better) or any other clothing article

 

You can also bring your fishing rod, you can fish during your free time if you wish. The lake is heavy with large trout and largemouth bass. 



 
Thanks,
-e
 
Eric Strickler
(804)402-7279
www.pcrx.biz

 
___________________
Moutain Man: Please see the attached document below called "Mountain Man Helps".  If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Beuglass at:  804-306-0267
 
Camp Ottari: The moment you have all been waiting for has arrived. I will be discussing at great length the merit badge sign ups for first and second year scouts in a breakout meeting for all parents of scouts attending camp ottari. Attached is the map of camp, a custom designed spread sheet that you can either fill out on the computer, print out and fill out, or bring to the meeting and fill out. (there is a pdf also in case you do not have excel)

Also attached is a map of the camp, and the prereq sheet.

Below is a partial copy and paste of an earlier email I sent regarding the process.

I look forward to meeting with you all Wednesday night.

More detailed info on each badge can be found here: http://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

I recommend First Aid for all first year scouts. They do an excellent job with it at camp, there is a lot of hands-on practical instruction. Additionally, you will find that, many other activities and Merit Badges, require a scout to have earned the First Aid Merit Badge.

Here is my list of what not to take first year:

E-Prep(2nd year), E-science (2nd year), Climbing, Lifesaving, BSA Lifeguard

Here is a cautionary – what not to take list:

Basketry (very very difficult – unless your scout is a craft-superstar, and very dexterous)

Shotgun (need to be a pretty good size to handle the firearms)

Bird Study and Fishing both require an extremely early riser, and are generally discouraged – unless you have buddy signed up with you. Usually by Wednesday - the scouts are ready to drop it.

Keep in mind that BSA kayaking skills is not a Merit Badge, but a educational offering for which the scout will receive a patch of recognition.

BSA Snorkeling is not offered at Ottari, but still on the prereq. list for some reason.

If your scout is planning reptile and amphibian study, you should obtain a small reptile or amphibian (if you do not already have one) and keep for at least 1 month. Record daily goings-on such as feeding, activity, waste, etc.

Wilderness survival will require one overnight campout in an improvised shelter that the scout will build.

We strongly encourage all scouts to leave 4pm time slot open, as this is the time most will be at the waterfront.

Keep in mind, when you look at the map, that everything at the top of the map is on top of the mountain and slopes down toward the lake. The lake, and everything thing around it are sort of level, like in the bottom of a bowl.


Thanks,
-e

Eric Strickler
(804)402-7279
www.pcrx.biz
 
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Aj Mezynski,
Mar 12, 2010, 8:05 AM
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