A Week of Fun at Camp Keowa!

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This past summer, 26 scouts enjoyed a wonderful week at Ten Mile River Camp Keowa. The fun-seeking scouts who came, earned over an amazing 100 merit badges. Badges that were earned included ones required for Eagle Scout, and many other merit badges were earned for fun. Many scouts also advanced to a higher rank such as, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class.

Along with completing merit badges and advancements, the troop participated in events that were optional, but were still extremely fun.

These events were:

  • Archery shoot on Monday
  • Rifle shoot on Tuesday
  • Canoe / kayak lunch trip on Wednesday
  • Wayne County Fair in Honesdale Pennsylvania on Thursday
  • And the COPE course on Friday

Starting off with their adventure, on Monday, Scouts went to the archery range and competed with each other as well as the adults, to see who could score more points. Some Scouts were so good at archery that they took the badge.

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On Tuesday, the rifle shoot took place. Scouts had a blast, loading their bullets, and shooting at cans, targets, and piles of dirt.

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Wednesday afternoon was the canoe / kayak trip across Crystal Lake to a campground for lunch. The Scouts loaded up in their watercraft of choice along with a bagged lunch to start the ½ mile journey across the lake to eat. The trip included the usual water fight that happens whenever they end up in any sort of boat.

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On Thursday, the Scouts went to the Wayne County Fair in Honesdale Pennsylvania. They had an awesome adventure as they went on dizzy rides, drank homemade soda, looked at farm animals, and purchased random things as they walked through the fair.

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For their last event on Friday, scouts had a thrilling time, zip lining across wires, climbing obstacles, and grappling onto nets, as they tried the High and Low Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience (also known as COPE).

Besides troop events, the camp had other fun and daring things to try.

Such things included:

  • The Polar Bear Swim
  • Mile Swim
  • Camp Keowa’s Campfire Skits
  • Critter Hunt

At 6:00 in the morning five scouts woke up, put on their bathing suits, and dove into the freezing cold lake for over 15 minutes! This optional challenge called The Polar Bear Swim was achieved by Scouts Alejandro U, David E, Dillon P, James P, and Jeffrey F.

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For his breathtaking effort, brave and daring, Dillon P dove into the cold lake and swam One Mile.  This feat was only achieved by nine scouts in the whole entire camp! Dillon received the coveted Mile Swim award for his accomplishment.

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At the closing campfire the whole troop preformed a skit called “Raisins from Jamaica”. Of course the skit was the funniest of the evening.

Troop 353 came in second place in the critter hunt!  Scouts went out and searched for frogs, toads, snakes, bugs, and many other creatures to claim this rank.  Some scouts found critters in the most unlikely place!

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Other things that also kept us entertained were Matt I’s surprise birthday, singing and laughing at our troop campfires, Jack M and Alejandro U having guitar battles throughout the week.

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All in all, the boys had an amazing trip at Camp Keowa Summer Camp 2013, and plan to have another awesome trip next year.

A very special thanks to acting Scoutmaster Dave F who ensured that we all had fun, Assistant Scoutmaster Julio U for planning the trip and making sure everything went smoothly, and Mickey M for taking care of all the boys that needed medical attention as part of the Keowa medical staff.  We also would like to thank all the adult leaders who drove the boys up and stayed with them during the week Tom B, Phil K, Mike I, John M, Joey P, Ed P, and Matt S!  This trip, as well as all of the others, would not have been possible without all of the outstanding effort put into it by our adult leaders!

For more great pictures click here!

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Troop 353 Dominates District Event Honoring Gordon Hamilton, Former Troop 60 Scoutmaster

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On Saturday, October 7 thirteen scouts and five adult leaders from Troop 353 participated in the Gordon Hamilton Memorial Cook-off and dedication of a lean-to in Gordon’s honor at the Durland Scout Reservation.  The day started out somewhat chilly and overcast but soon brightened.  The first order of business for the day was the dedication of a lean-to in Gordon’s honor.  As many of you know, Gordon was a longtime Scoutmaster for Troop 60 in Scarsdale and very active in scouting.  If there was a district, national or even international scouting event happening, you were likely to find Gordon there swapping stories and collecting badges.

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The lean-to provides not only shelter for camping scouts during inclement weather but is also used as an administrative office during the Boy Scout Day Camp held at Durland each summer.  Troop 353 conducted the opening flag ceremony as part of the dedication which featured representatives from the Westchester-Putnam Council, BSA Area II and Troop 60.

After the dedication ceremony, it was time to head back to our campsite to prepare for the cook-off! The boys prepared an excellent meal of Alamo Chicken, grilled potatoes, cornbread, fruit salad and Pineapple Upside-Down cake (a Gordon specialty).  The tastiness of the meal was surpassed only by the presentation to the judges.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All members of Troop 353, including the adult leaders, wore white shirts and black bow ties.  Two of our scouts meet the judges in the parking area and escorted them to Chez 353 where they were greeted by a phalanx of scouts and ushered into their private dining room.  The two waiters presented the first course of fruit salad while the “sommelier” poured two flutes of the finest sparkling apple cider.  The judges then admired their meal while being serenaded by a violinist.

After asking the cooks some probing questions about the meal prep, the judges were escorted back to their car by two members of the troop.

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After the presentation, the troop lined up and marched to the strains of the violin to the tasting area where the meal was presented to a different set of judges.  After all meals and desserts had been presented to and tasted by the judges, there was a brief consult and then the winners were announced.  Troop 353 won first place!

After a brief troop celebration, it was time to head back to the campsite to prepare dinner which was followed by a nighttime hike down the trail to visit Pack 353 who was also camping at Durland that weekend.  Sunday morning was a quick breakfast and pack-up in the rain.

Despite the rain, it was a fun weekend. We learned a few cooking lessons, i.e. always line the Dutch oven before attempting to bake a cake and potatoes take a long time to cook. We intend to successfully defend our title next year and hope to have all of you join us.

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