Saturday, July 10, 2010

Noah's Boy Scout Trip to Camp Alpine in Kandersteg, Switzerland

Noah spent a week away at camp.  He had a GREAT time camping with some of the guys from his troop as well as meeting scouts from all over Europe and the US who travel to participate in this camp.  He is helping me write this blog post.  The 6 hour drive to get there on Sunday July, 4th wasn't too bad as all the boys in Noah's van were so excited to get there.  

This is a picture of the boys in front of the Troop 156 camp site and a shot of the entrance to the site. The canopy tents (In Boy Scouts they're called "paha que" ) were the central meeting place where they would eat and plan their hikes and things.  To the left are the sleeping tents.  Noah shared a tent with 2 boys, both his same rank and age.  They did not require much sleep and enjoyed wrestling and chatting very, very late into the night.  The boys were responsible for planning and cooking the meals on the camp stoves.  They ate things like pancakes, bacon, bananas, sandwiches for lunch, spaghetti, pork chops, mashed potatoes, hot dogs, and lots of cobblers and fruit cakes made in the dutch ovens.

The boys took lots of hikes and Noah was great about taking his camera along.  He would have an adult leader take the pictures with the boys in them, but Noah took all the scenery shots himself.  During the days the boys would go to different classes based on their rank and interests.  There was also time alloted for their troop to do different things - most of the time Noah's troop would hike together, but on the first or second day the troop buil the entrance to their camp site shown in the one of the first pictures on this post.  After supper there was campfire time and sometimes there were activities that included all the scouts at the camp.  Those were the times when boys would exchange neckerchiefs, slides, and patches.  There was also a campstore where the boys could purchase Tshirts and other items from Camp Alpine.
Noah and his troop taking down the flag at retreat.
One of the most fun things Noah did was participate in the Wilderness Survival  Merit Badge Class.  For this class he went to instruction for 4 days.  They learned lots about survival, first aide, ways to protect themselves. Then on Thursday afternoon the boys went out into the wilderness with only what they could carry on a hike to camp overnight - ON THEIR OWN - in the forest.  They were not allowed to break any trees or bring tents.  They had to make a shelter with items they brought and sleep in it!  Noah was partnered with Ian and thanks to older boys who told them what to expect before leaving for camp they had enough tarps and rope to make a decent shelter.  The other class Noah took was FROGS (formally called ACE) which wasn't a merit badge class.  It is a rank building class recommended for all first time campers who are usually at one of the first ranks in scouting.  In this class they played games which were designed for team building, learned lots about safety, and other rudimentary scouting skills like knots, fitness, health, first aide, etc.
A shot of Noah at the pick-up point on Saturday the 10th.  He was so tired and exhausted from the week and the long car ride home.  Mom was VERY GOOD and did NOT cry when She, Sarah, and Micah went to pick him up....... but after all 3 kids were buckled in the van and we were pulling away from the rendezvous point it felt SO GOOD to have all 3 kids in the same small space that a few tears did escape.
This post wouldn't be complete with saying how very much Micah missed Noah, too.  With Daddy still in his school and Noah gone Micah got a lot of "girl" time with Sarah and Mom.  We put a lot of puzzles together, played Wii, and kept busy trying to find ways to stay cool.
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