Events

August 9, 2012

Fort Irwin Boy Scouts attend Camp Emerald Bay

By Jeffrey Paulin
Senior Patrol Leader Troop 67

Members of Fort Irwin’s Boy Scout Troop 67 pose for a photo at Camp Emerald Bay, Catalina Island, Calif., in July.

Six Scouts and three adult leaders of Troop 67 went to Catalina Island for summer camp from July 8th to the 14th. At Camp Emerald Bay, each scout concentrated on one to three merit badges of their choice. Most of the scouts of Troop 67, took field sports merit badges like Rifle, Shotgun and Archery. Other merit badges earned were Art, Basketry and Mammal Study. Two high adventure merit badges earned were the Scuba and Wilderness Survival merit badges.

Many of the classes taken at summer camp required research, prerequisites and /or an online course that needed to be done prior to the camp. For the Wilderness Survival merit badge, scouts had to make a homemade survival kit that would help you in a emergency situation. The Scuba merit badge required an online PEDI course and the research of three Scuba diving careers. The summer camp also had other activities that the Scouts could do to cool off after a hard day of work or just have fun on their free time. Activities like dodge ball, bike riding, hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving, and camp fires. One camp tradition was the War Canoe activity which required the Scouts to take a five to ten person canoe up the coast and spend the night on the beach under the stars. This allowed the Scouts more time to snorkeling and hiking at a different part of the island.

The Scouts that took scuba diving did not have the opportunity to go on the War Canoe because they had to dive on the same day. Scuba diving offered different adventures for the Scouts under the surface of Catalina Island. To complete the scuba diving merit badge, Scouts had to complete a number diving skills during open and enclosed water dives. While underwater, the Scouts saw lots of cool things like a sunken sail boat, giant kelp leaves, and many different kinds of marine life.

On Thursday night the scouts that took the Wilderness Survival merit badge had to make a shelter and sleep in it for one night. When the scouts got ready to make the shelters it started to rain, which was a rare occasion on the island. Their shelters kept them dry from the rain, but they did have one flaw. There were no leaves on the branches used to keep the wind out, so when the wind picked up it blew off the hay they used for cover. The storm tested the scout’s survival skills and determination. It turned out to be a long night and offered them the opportunity to tell their own survival stories to the rest of the troop.

Over all the scouts of troop 67 had fun and look forward to more camping adventures next year, wherever they may chose to go.




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