07/26/2009 – 08/01/2009
On Sunday July 26, 2009 scouts from many local southeastern Massachusetts troops arrived at Camp Squanto. All of the newer scouts – now fondly referred to as the “Hiking Moose” patrol, arrived early but we were all pretty much on time. One of the traditions of Squanto is that the entire troop marches in to our ‘Delaware’ campsite together. The day before, Saturday, all the scouts came with their lockers and duffle bags to Deer Hill School. Mr. Brown met us there so we could load up our gear into his truck. He then kindly drove our gear down to Squanto and all the way in to “Delaware” campsite which is the farthest away from the entrance of all of the campsites.
This year was our largest attendance at Camp Squanto. We had 21 scouts including, Adam B., Derek B., Greg B., Julien G., Kevin M., Jack O’B., Luke O’B., Nick R., John N., Reagan B., Alec H., John C., Sam G., Thomas F., Brodie J., Dylan M., Evan A., Robbie H., Sasha N., Hugh G-M, and Andrew L. The adult leaders included Mr. Hillman, Mr. Ackley, Mr. O’Brien, Mr. Brown, and Mr. Lehr.
Another tradition at Squanto is taking the swimming test in the lake after all the scouts arrive the first day. Troop 28 was way ahead of the curve, because we all had our swim test at the town pool a few weeks before. Greg’s sister is a certified swim instructor and works as a lifeguard at the pool. We were very organized and had fun swimming the laps required for the BSA-Squanto swim test.
So because we didn’t need to take swim tests on Sunday afternoon, we had time to relax and set up our campsite. We all went to dinner at 6pm and then at 8:00 we went to the ‘opening camp fire’ where they have skits, songs, and welcome us to camp. The next day we started our merit badges ate some “camp food” and did some more merit badges. Tuesday was pretty much the same thing as Monday. Wednesday night is reserved for ‘Apache Relay’ where the various troops race against the clock to compete in several skill areas, including swimming, canoeing, burning rope, archery and running. Your historian is proud to announce that Troop 28 finished a very close 2nd! All the scouts enjoyed the competition and were happy with our performance. Mrs. Fogarty and Mrs. Benson drove down to Squanto with coolers full of drinks and snacks for all the scouts. Mr. Hillman and Mr. Ackley made us all take showers after the relay and we sure slept well on Wednesday night!
Thursday was theme night and the theme was ‘Men In Black’. The camp staff dressed up as aliens and special agents. Our job was to decode the alien messages and find the mother ship. On that same night, ‘Order of the Arrow’ elections were held and every single boy who was at least First Class rank who ran for election, got in.
On Friday we finished up our merit badge classes. Then at 7:00 pm when we would usually have open areas, (when a scout can go to the rifle or archery range or other area skill area without being scheduled) Troop 28 went to the waterfront for a game of ‘War Canoes’. In this game, you need to sink the other scouts’ boat by throwing water at the same time they try to sink yours but you cannot bail your own boat. After a brutal game of War Canoes, we had the traditional Friday night ‘Closing Campfire’. At the campfire, all present and past members of the armed services – Mr. Ackley represented Troop 28 — place unfolded American flags into the campfire, blue star field first, then folded the rest into the flames. For all who watch, it is a solemn event. We all sang some more songs, and then went to bed.
Saturday, our last day in camp, we got up bright and early around 6:00am. We loaded all of our gear on to Mr. Fogarty’s truck – Thanks, Mr. Fogarty for getting up even earlier than the scouts so you could be at Squanto at 6 am! – we did a last check for trash around the campsite and made sure everything looked neat. After final cleanup, we had ‘colors’ which is the morning flag ceremony, and then we ate breakfast for the last time. At the closing ceremony, Alec donated the traditional troop plaque, which lists the name of each scout attending camp from our troop. The plaque goes on permanent display in the dining hall. After the ceremony, we were all happy to pile into the waiting vehicles and go home to Cohasset!
Derek Benson, Historian