By Kathy Brown.
On July 21, 2019, 16 Scouts, along with four adults, attended a week of summer camp at Camp Mattatuck in Plymouth, CT. The Scouts belonged to Haddam’s Troop #44, along with the regional girls troop (Troop #44G) that began in February of 2019, when Scouts BSA allowed girls into the upper level of Scouting. The boys and girls earned merit badges, attended campfires, and had a great time learning new skills.
There were 76 merit badges offered during the week at Camp Mattatuck, in the categories of Aquatics, Nature, Scoutcraft, Shooting Sports, CAPE (Coolest Adventure Program Ever), and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). The fourteen boys and two girls earned merit badges from Small Boat Sailing to Chess, Climbing to Astronomy, Archery to Metalwork, and Swimming to Cooking. On average, each Scout earned three merit badges during the week.
There was also time to learn new skills and explore interests in open Climb, open Swim, open Boating, open Archery, 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.”
There were troop activities as well as downtime where the Scouts talked, played cards, worked on rank advancement requirements, or went to the Trading Post for a snack. Some of the troop activities were
- Float and Fauna, where the Scouts took to canoes and kayaks to learn more about the plant life around the lake and islands,
- Troop Archery where the troop learned archery safety as well as to shoot arrows, and there was a Scoutmaster vs. Senior Patrol Leader contest (the Scout won),
- Grinders and Gears, where the Scouts took to BMX and Mountain Bikes to ride through the woods over jumps and down drops then had grinders for lunch,
- Beginner Boat and Intermediate Boat, where Scouts learned different canoe and kayak strokes, as well as boating safety, and
- Troop Improv, where there were a lot of laughs as Scouts volunteered to be part of the fun.
The Scouts stayed in tents on platforms, ate meals at the dining hall, divided up responsibilities, and were entertained at the campfire by various skits and songs during Family Night halfway through the week. The Scouts are age 11-17. Both troops are always looking for new members to join their troop. Troop #44G is a regional troop, accepting girls from Haddam, Killingworth, East Haddam, Chester, Deep River, and Essex.
After Labor Day, they will start holding weekly meetings again on Tuesday nights 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Haddam. For more information about joining either troop, please contact Scoutmaster Mark Pach at email@example.com or Scoutmaster Kathy Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Kathy Brown.