Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sun, Stars and Sounds in the Woods

Last weekend I enjoyed a spectacularly good campout with Jacob, my 16 year old.  A Scout Camporee actually.  That's what we call our annual weekend of competition, camping, and shared Scout spirit among local troops.  Something like 400-500 participated.  There were contests with map and compass, plant identification, first aid (don't kill the patient), fire-starting, tower building (poles and lashings), and more.  We saw and heard many creatures, including frogs, owls and osprey, plus the beautiful Clackamas River. 

I'm glad and proud to report that Jacob's patrol won first place in fire-starting and so earned their second consecutive "Burning Man" award.  They also won a first place ribbon for the best and most stable tower built.  There was also a big trail repair service project for the state park so that visitors can enjoy the trails for another year. We did a good turn and left (hopefully) no trace other than footprints.

Usually Camporee means signing up for either mist or a microburst, but daytime temps hit 70 for the first time this year, which is unheard of.  We were treated to nighttime stars and temps near freezing.  Whatever the skies, I often think of our native brothers and sisters who lived on this beautiful land for millenia, with a deep respect.  The Boy Scouts seek to honor and preserve some of the spirit, skills and traditions of Native Americans in ceremonies, prayers, and in our calling to get close to, appreciate, and take care of the earth.  We camp, we use and care for the resources we find there, we listen for and share our time with creatures in the woods. 

Scouting isn't living off the land by any stretch of the imagination...but it definitely lets each new generation appreciate the land, and our walk on the earth in a way that most of modern life does not.  I love that. 

No comments: