The last time our troop ventured up to West Point for camping was in 2009 for the Orienteering Skills Workshop, so this was our troop’s first time to be invited to West Point’s 51st Annual Scoutmaster’s Camporee and it proved to be extraordinarily memorable! The boys had a great time as did the Dads! The weather was perfect and the boys gave it their all throughout the weekend, whether it was 6:15am physical training, cooking their meals, or competing in the events. One of the many highlights was hiking to the campsite, including a steep hike up to the summit of Bull Hill, which rewarded the boys with a great view of the area and a special pin given to them by the West Point Cadets for braving the challenge. A special pat on the back for a job well done to the boys who chose to carry their full packs on the hike in – Alejandro U; Johnny R; Joseph M; James T; Alas, only Alejandro had the gumption to hike out with his full pack.
On Saturday evening the boys were treated to a huge bonfire and concert that kept many of them dancing, bouncing and laughing the night away. At one point, we cheered on the Colonel of the event with the chant: Go Colonel! Go Colonel! Go Colonel! and the Colonel danced in front of the boys to everyone’ laughter. Colonel Graham thanked the boys for the high spirits and high-fived them all. The chants went on through the evening as soon as they were able to identify the cadets, cheer them on and get them to dance…good times, good times. Some of the younger boys looked a bit like “deer in headlights” in part because they were exhausted and in part because it was their first “rave”. Again, not your fathers boy scout event!
In all, 5,200 boy and girl scouts attended (approximately 250 troops) and our boys placed third in the Commanders Challenge, which is very impressive! One of the more memorable highlights was viewing a sea of 5200 scouts, all lined up and having Dewan T as SPL and Alejandro as PL and flag bearer break ranks and run up with the troop flag to accept their award from the Cadet Commander. ASMs DeKnatel, Panico and Urbina were proud to share that moment with the boys.
It was a pleasure planning and participating with the boys. It’s an honor that our troop’s parents trust us with their boy’s well-being and knowing that they are going to grow up to become fine and honorable young men. More great pictures can be found here!