Thursday, June 30, 2022
HomeYouth OrganizationsHaddam Scouts BSAHaddam Scouts Learn & Win at Camp Mattatuck

Haddam Scouts Learn & Win at Camp Mattatuck

By Kathy Brown.

High ropes course

On July 25, 2021, four adult leaders, along with 18 Scouts from Haddam’s Troop #44 and their sister troop, #44G, attended a week of summer camp at Camp Mattatuck in Plymouth, CT. Mattatuck is a 500 acre camp outside of Waterbury. The Scouts earned merit badges, attended campfires, participated in troop activities, and had a great time learning about new interests and skills.

There were 82 merit badges offered during the week at Camp Mattatuck, in the categories of Waterfront, Nature, Scoutcraft, Shooting Sports, CAPE (Coolest Adventure Program Ever), Wheels, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). The 17 boys and one girl earned merit badges from Canoeing to Chess, Climbing to Astronomy, Fishing to Orienteering, Rifle Shooting to Wilderness Survival, and Swimming to Robotics. On average, each Scout earned three merit badges during the week.

Getting blobbed

There was also time to learn new skills and explore interests in open Climb, open Ziplining, open Swim, open Boating, open Shooting, and Open Blob. Are you wondering what a Blob is? A blob is “a giant airbag floating on water, [where] one person sits on the side closest to water and waits to be bounced into the air by other people [who] jump on the other side of the blob.”

This year there were a few changes due to COVID. Instead of eating in the dining hall, the Scouts picked up their food in the dining hall, then ate in the picnic grove. Masks were worn inside any buildings, and each troop wore different colored wristbands to establish cohorts. That didn’t slow down the fun though!

There were troop activities as well as downtime where the Scouts talked, played football, cards or chess, learned lashings, worked on rank advancement requirements, or went to the Trading Post for a snack. Some of the troop activities were:

BMX trail led to a great view!
  • Troop Blob & Turbochute, where both Scouts and leaders had a lot of fun launching people into the air, and whooshing down the hill into Lake Kenosha
  • Moby Duck, where the participants were two to a rowboat, and without oars had to rescue as many rubber ducks as possible and bring them back to shore
  • Troop Blacksmithing, where several of the Scouts took a turn at forging hooks
  • Troop BMX, where the troop rode bikes on a trail to a scenic overlook
  • Troop Conservation, where the Scouts took an hour to do some community service at camp, clearing an area of brush and downed limbs.
  • Troop Fire building, where the younger Scouts learned the proper way to build a fire, then competed in a Trial by Fire competition.
Troop shoot

The Scouts stayed in tents on platforms, ate meals together, divided up responsibilities like Firewatch, waiter duty, and latrine cleaning, and were entertained at the campfire by various skits and songs during Family Night at the end of the week. The Scouts who attended are age 11-16.

This year at the Court of Honor at the end of the week at camp, the Troop was happy to learn that they had earned first place in the Water Carnival, as well as first place in the Trial by Fire time trials, 2nd in BMX time, the biggest frog of the week, and the biggest fish of the week. Participants in COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience, for ages 14+) and participants in Wandering Wednesdays each received recognition as well.

Trial by Fire competition

Both troops welcome new members, ages 11-17. Troop #44 is Haddam’s Boy Scout troop, and Troop #44G is a regional Scouts BSA troop, accepting girls from Haddam, Killingworth, East Haddam, Chester, Deep River, and Essex.

After Labor Day, the troops will once again start holding weekly meetings on Tuesday evenings. For more information about joining either troop, please contact Scoutmaster Mark Pach at markcp571@gmail.com or Scoutmaster Kathy Brown at kjbrown92@aol.com.

Raising the flag

Photos by K. Brown.

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