|The roaring opening campfire that greeted us to Camp Oest.|
|Ryley earning beginner swimmer at the pool.|
|Ryley and Kane catching catfish|
|Our home away from home for the week.|
Once we completed the tour and our swim check we headed back to camp to set up our tent and unpack. This was going to be my big chance to test out a bunch of gear we had purchased specifically for summer camp as well as some other things we would be able to use year round. I quickly pulled out our Outdoor Research Bug Bivies and Ryley and I set them up on our cots. Next we got out our sleeping pads and sleeping bags and made our bivies as comfortable as we could. This year I thought I was going to be ahead of the game by having these bivies on hand to keep the bugs out once and for all. Things didn’t go as planned but you can read the full write up on the bug bivy here. After unpacking we set off for Ryley get meet some of his fellow campers for what would prove to be the activity of the week; Ga-Ga ball.
Now if you don’t know what Ga-Ga ball is, you aren’t alone. I had no clue what it was until we got to camp and I saw all the kids playing it, as often as they could, in between activities, in place of activities, in the heat, in the rain; it didn’t matter when, they just wanted to play Ga-Ga ball. For an in depth explanation of what Ga-Ga ball is you can visit Wikipedia here. But essentially it is a variant of dodgeball which some believe is kinder and gentler. They must not have watched 9 and 10 year old scouts play Ga-Ga ball because there is nothing kind and gentle about it. It is quite vicious. But it is a load of fun and keeps the kids exercising without even knowing it. You basically try and hit the ball with your hands into other peoples legs (below the knee) to get them out. It is a pretty fast paces game and it done within 5 minutes or so, then the kids jump back in and play again. Ryley loved it so much he never even made it to the BB or Archery range all week. He cannot wait to get back to school so that he can suggest that they construct a Ga-Ga ball pit on his playground!
Ryley completed several activities towards his advancement during the week but I think he learned the most on his overnight camp out under the stars.... without Dad. This was his big chance to start acting like a Boy Scout. We packed up the minimal equipment he would be taking with him which was basically a sleeping bag, pillow and water bottle (More on how his water bottle performed all week here). Ryley spent that evening bonding with newly made friends around a campfire roasting apples, marshmallows and making memories.
|Ryley and Matt returning from the M.O.O.S.E. Overnighter|
(Moving Onward and Outward Scouting Experience)
|The OTM Brand.|
Hopefully he will follow in his older brother's footsteps and find himself receiving another brands in the not-so-distant future; the coveted PS (Philmont Scout Ranch). Although I do not know all of the details of that night, those are memories for him to cherish. I only hope that his first night alone in the woods was a formative experience in his life. One which he will hopefully repeat in the years to come on his trail to Eagle.
Some other pictures and videos of us from camp...
|Pool party was where it was at!|
|Ryley with the special necklace he earned at Project M.O.O.S.E.|
|Ryley with our Den Chief Nealan.|
A little sing-along fun.
A STEM project; Egg drop.
Slip & Slide Fun!