February 19-21, 2018, Troop 37 participated at the huge Challenge Trophy Camporee at Camp Babcock Hovey, and was blown away by the event (literally). The Camporee started off well enough on Friday evening, when our troop and about 2,000 other Scouts descended on Babcock Hovey to set up camp. We were in the “Blue” area, and set up our tents and two 10×10 tarps, all staked down securely.
Breakfast was pancakes (with real maple syrup), sausage, oatmeal, cider and orange juice. The Scouts flavored their pancakes with chocolate chips, the leaders made theirs with orange peel crisps and almond abstract. The weather held up nicely for the morning flag ceremony
Afterward our patrol headed out to the program areas, where they could participate in, literally, hundreds of activities. Meanwhile Mr. Boyle, Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Scribner from our Troop reported to the Sports area; as a troop from the Blue area, leaders were asked to volunteer to help run sports activities in the morning. Mr. Mitchell managed an event where Scouts were to kick a shoe into a hula-hoop; Mr. Boyle supervised a wiffle-ball version of lacrosse catch; and Mr. Scribner – well let’s just say that large wooden dice were involved, and he called his game ‘Lucky 7-11″.
Lunch was grilled cheese and turkey or ham; Scouts enjoyed theirs on Italian bread and real (not processed) American Cheese. The leaders opted for rye bread and Monterey Jack. Then the Scouts returned to the program areas, Mr. Boyle worked with the Seneca Waterways Historical Society table, and Mr. Scribner took a nap.
The weather held up all day, the sun even peeked out occasionally in the morning, but come around 6 PM a pretty massive rain squall blew through the camp. It didn’t last too long, and dinner was charcoal-barbecued spare ribs and vegetables stir-fried in a wok.
Overnight the wind picked up, and picked up, and picked up some more. Our tents held up just fine, but one of our 10×10 tarps blew right over, despite being staked down with rebar, and one lanyard kept it from sailing away (not every troop was so lucky: the Babcock Hovey dumpster was overflowing with wrecked 10×10 tarps that morning).
With our tarp out of commission and the wind continuing to gust, we decided to pack up best we could. The parking lot was a muddy mess, and many troop trailers – ours included – needed the help of the camp back hoe to be pulled up to the road. Breakfast on Sunday was at the Victor McDonalds.