Sunday, May 8, 2011

Final Camp-o-ree for Four Rivers

Final Camp-o-ree
for Four Rivers

The Westchester-Putnam Council of the BSA has decided to close up the Four Rivers District and fold the troops into the Algonquin and Manitou districts at the end of the summer. Four Rivers has included troops from Yonkers (including Crestwood), Bronxville, and Mt. Vernon.

So last weekend's (April 29-May 1) camp-o-ree was the district's last. And it was a good one. It took place at Durland Scout Reservation (formerly called Clear Lake) in Putnam Valley, an hour’s drive north and west of N.R. About 150 Scouts and adults at the Four Rivers District camp-o-ree in Putnam Valley, an hour’s drive north and west of here. Most of the troops stayed for the whole weekend; one or two may have come up just for Saturday’s activities.

We had 12 boys from Troop 40 and 3 adults (Tunji Renner, Louis Antunez, and I) for the whole weekend, another adult (Chris Maselli) for part of Saturday. As usual, we left Mt. Vernon around 7:30 p.m. and were setting up our tents in the dark. I hate setting up in the dark!
On Saturday there was a general assembly: flag raising, pledge, announcements, etc.

Then the Scouts went in patrols (12 of them, including 2 from 40) to 5 stations where they demonstrated their skills at first aid, fire building, knots and lashing, map reading, and flag etiquette. After lunch, they went to 6 activities: tug-o-war, Kim’s game (memory test), walking sticks (whatever that means?), 2-man saw, earth ball, and caber toss. I missed most of the afternoon events because we (the 3 adults) had a visit from former asst. scoutmaster Ron Dingler, who lives in Putnam Valley.

One of Troop 40's patrols doing lashings

One of Troop 40's patrols demonstrating flag etiquette

3 Scouters and 3 Scouts working on Kim's game

After the lads cleaned themselves up a little (not too much, judging from a few of the hands that I saw a Holy Communion), we had Mass at an available campsite more or less centrally located. About 60 came to Mass in the great outdoors. My homily was similar to the one I gave on Sunday evening at St. Augustine's Church in Larchmont: http://http/

Scouts and Scouters at Mass, with your humble blogger greeting them at the left.

Scouts Brendan McManus, Matthew St. Hilaire, and Mike Berman preparing chili for supper.

Supper followed in our various camps (we had chili), then a contest in dessert-making with Dutch ovens, and finally a general campfire with songs, skits, and Yonkers Troop 5’s annual ritual of retiring worn-out U.S. flags (a solemn ritual in which they’re burned). Chris did a good job as MC for the campfire.

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