Summer Camp 2016

The time has come. I’ve been completing the final paperwork for the last couple hours and in a little bit some of us will be doing a special service project for the church and then packing one of the trailers so we are ready to go tomorrow.
Drivers, we will have our annual breakfast tomorrow morning. Please meet at 7:30. If you are not sure where it is, please give me a call. All troop members going need to be in the Home Depot parking lot NO LATER than 9:30 to allow us time to check everyone in. We will stop in Clayton on the way to camp for lunch. Each scout needs to include money for their own lunch.
Please follow our daily activities here. I will give you an overall update on how things are going.
If you followed the Scoutmaster’s Corner last year, you will be happy to know THE head minion will be at camp and will try and maintain control of all his assistant minions this year.
I am looking forward to spending the week with your boys and hope each creates a wonderfull memory that could last the rest of their life.

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Day 5 Supplemental

The head minion in charge “figurehead” made a surprise appearance this afternoon to get the Minions back on track and then disappeared just as fast. The reports are all good with the scouts finishing up their classes and preparing for the final camp fire. They will back at Fairview tomorrow morning with the time dependent on when the trailers are picked up.

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The Fifth Day

Our boys had a successful Thursday, taking full advantage of the “Free Range” format. They participated in every Marquis event and placed in several. Many attended make-up sessions for merit badges, staff demonstrations, and some even partook of adult leader advanced napping training.

A tropical monsoon started as we reported for lunch, so you will find many of your sons fully rinsed when we return home.

True to promise, our head Minion of the Order of the Dutch Oven arrived in advance of the dinner hour. The monsoon broke briefly, and we feasted on lasagna, salad and garlic bread. To quote one MInion as he groaned with pleasure, “What is supposed to be hot is hot, and what is supposed to be cold is cold”. It was fantastic. Desert was sent by a couple of dedicated troop Mom’s.

My hope is that the rainy season is now over, as it stopped in time for our troop to again show its skill in presenting the flag ceremony for the camp this morning before breakfast. Much praise was received from staff and other troop adults.

However, to spite all of these successes, still no sign of our scoutmaster. You do remember him, right? There has been much talk among the Minions about forgetting him, and perhaps forming a new form of governance. A council of Minions was considered as well as a new dictatorship, with leader selected through a vigorous game of Rock/Paper/Scissors. We all know that we are kidding ourselves, we would not be the same without our token figurehead so we must renew and focus our search efforts. For that reason, and that reason alone, we must return your boys to you at our earliest opportunity. Depending on how fast the camp staff pulls our trailers Saturday morning, we hope to depart Rainey between 9:30 and 10:00 AM. Please expect us at the church somewhere in the neighborhood of 11 or 11:30. We will have the boys call when we are 20 – 30 minutes out.

MINIONS FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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The Fourth Day

The situation grows serious with still no positive search results. Last night, drastic measures were taken. The Minions coordinated with Camp Rainey Staff to bring in a professional and stage a large fireworks show during the Wednesday campfire. The hope was that all the bright shiny objects might lure our delinquent Scoutmaster back to camp.

Oh, and as I was asked by a parent before we left, no fireworks on Friday. All were used in our attempt to lure said scoutmaster.

Today is the boys “Free Range” day where they can pick the activities they would like – whether to follow-up on merit badges in progress or perhaps try activities they could not fit into their schedules. The “Blob” is on the lake – a giant inflatable pillow with a tower for the boys to jump/bounce into the water. The shooting ranges are open, and “Marquis Events” scheduled at various locations for Troop competition. The boys have teams planned for Plant Detective, Rifle and Shotgun, Aquatic Adventure and the Game of Life. I know Archery, a flag pole for camp, and climbing are also planned. Already this morning, two of our most motivated have completed the mile swim. This included practice and getting up at 5:15 AM every day since we arrived.

For the Minions, mandatory napping will continue though one, who thoughtlessly brought a camera, is banished to walk the camp in eternal search for that perfect shot. Reinforcements are arriving daily, one last night and one eagerly awaited this evening to bring us non-camp food.

More to Come…..

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The Third Day

The Yeti search party has not yet reported back. Unrelated, local news is full of reports of theft from farm stands and sightings of bears walking upright. We hope the added police and DNR presence may stumble upon our missing scoutmaster.

The boys still have not noticed his absence. They continued on to class yesterday with some finally noticing (after 2 days) that they were in the wrong place. Partially completed baskets, broken rocket pieces, and wet swimsuits litter the camp. As we emptied the trash again this morning, we were reassured that the Trading Post is doing well. The boys day culminated with a victory at Scout Skills and entertainment provided the nature studies staff.

The minions however, had to suffer through the tradition day of napping and rocking, interrupted only by brief periods of consciousness. Our energy was restored by a scoutmaster dinner of grilled beavershark and roast snipe.


More to Come….

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The 2nd Day

The search for our wayward Scoutmaster continues. Search efforts were getting in the way of adult nap schedules. As reinforcements, a team of Himalayan Yeti, trained in advance tracking, have been recruited and deployed. We attempted to give them priority search areas (cots, napping chairs, etc.), but none of us spoke Nepali.

Monday was the first day of classes with a wide variety being taken by our Scouts. The newest were off to TNT to start learning basic Scout skills and get a head start on rank advancement. Others are taking everything from Nuclear Science to Canoeing. In particular, two of our finest combined their canoeing class with an impromptu swim test as they forgot which side of the canoe was up. Our first camp inspection was performed with a troop score of 54 out of 60.

Two of our elder statesman began a service project by climbing one of the minor Rabin County peaks to upgrade the camp radio repeater.

I can’t name names, but the day was topped off by one of our adults having our ‘Back’ by representing the Troop in the scoutmaster Belly Flop contest. Pictures will be available next week, suitable for framing.

More to follow…

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The First Day

To spite the name of this blog, we have been abandoned by our Scoutmaster. He left abruptly Sunday afternoon using some weak excuse about continued employment. His minions have taken command of the adult patrol until he can be located.

The boys have settled in at the Powell campsite for those of you familiar with Rainey (same campsite as last year). The last few swim tests were completed and a couple class schedule issues worked out. Yesterday was a full day with building the gateway, organizing camp and the opening campfire. It ended up also being a late one with boys being excited about finally being at camp (till well after Taps). Each day starts early for two motivated youth that have signed up to complete the mile swim (in pristine Lake Taccoa at 5:30 AM). This morning was a gourmet breakfast and then it was off to their first classes. More to come…

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Summer camp 2015

Summer camp begins on Sunday June28! Please meet us in the Home Depot Parking Lot. We ask everyone be there NO LATER THAN 9:30 so we can load the trailer and get on the road. We will stop at Wendy’s for lunch in Clayton before going to Camp Rainey Mountain. Make sure your scout has money for that and if you would like money for the trading post as well. Also, they should carry their water bottle with them as they will be separated from their footlocker before they get to our campsite and they will be walking around camp. All medication should be checked in with John Shepard at Sunday. Please put it in a plastic bag with instructions on the amount and when the scout is to take it.
Have the boys leave the electronics at home. First, they are there for the outdoor experience and not to have their noses stuck in a video game. Second, there is nowhere to charge them. Finally, cell phone coverage would be described as non-existent. The camp is located at the head of a long valley with mountains on three sides. Don’t expect to hear from your scouts until 07/04/15 when they give you a call when they are getting close to the church to be picked up.
Weather in Clayton doesn’t look to bad with high temperatures in the low to mid 80’s and lows in the low to mid 60’s. Rainey Mountain is typically a couple degrees cooler. There is a good chance of rain mid-week so make sure you bring your rain gear! The call it Camp RAINey Mountain for a reason.
Thanks for the two families who have RSVP’s for the dinner Thursday evening. We now have our numbers set for buying the food for the scouts.
If you are interested in sending a “Care” package to your scout please mail it so it arrives at camp while we are there. In other words mail early. Be mindful of what you send as the boys will be sleeping in tents or Adirondacks which are still open shelters which means they can have visitors it they have food laying around. The address for packages is:
Camp Rainey Mountain
Troop 514, Scout Name
1494 Rainey Mountain Road
Clayton, GA 30525

Don’t mail anything to them after Tuesday as they will not get there in time. Remember Friday is a holiday.
If your scout is taking a handicraft merit badge, make sure they have money to purchase their kits from the trading post when they get there. It’s not fair to the adults to ask them to fund these purchases for the scouts.
Please take time to thank the adults taking a week of their vacation time to spend it with your sons. I can speak from experience, the adults have a great time with the boys and always have a sense of pride in all of them as they band together and take care of each other. It is a very special time. The adults attending are John Shepard and Todd Kruegler who are taking charge this year. Steve Back will be back as well. New comers are Bernie Barnhardt, Scott LaRou and Matt Smith. Mike Leary will be coming up the beginning of the week and Ed Fleeson will be there towards the end of the week as well.
The leaders will be updating the webpage with activities and things going on. For youth protecting, they will not be giving the names of any scouts on the Web page.

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Sea Base – Last Day

We only had one dive this morning and the rest of the afternoon has been free time until a few minutes ago when the divers turned in their gear. We didn’t have a second dive because you can’t fly for a period of 18 hours and better 24 hours after the last dive. This is to allow the nitrogen to come back down to normal. With the dive we took this morning that only took a few hours. But, better safe than sorry.
The best conditions were save to last. The visibility was 75 feet, and we dove on Chuck Norris. This was a patch reef built from bridge rubble. We met at the bottom when we first got in and met with our dive masters where everyone received their Sea Base patch. Then it was time to explore the reef. Because of the depth, 30 feet, we had a longer time to explore the reef. Every one was satisfied and enjoyed this reef as well. We saw blue angelfish and queen angelfish. Not much in the way of lobster hear but bustling with color and interesting shapes. Blankey Boy took pictures of everyone entering the water and getting their patch.
Tonight is our Luau and the menu includes blackened Mahi Mahi, rice, and for desert Key Lime Pie. There will be a “camp fire” and the boys have their skit ready. Should be a fun evening.
Tomorrow our bus will pick us up at about 9:30 and we will head to the Everglades for lunch and an air boat ride. The to the airport. We are on two flights on the way back with the latter, Delta flight 1527 arriving back in Atlanta at 8:48 PM. Jennifer, Tracy, Mary and Laura will be waiting in the cell phone lot and I will call when we are ready to be picked up. I anticipate we will be back at Fairview around 10:00, but will call when we are about 20 minutes out, just like on campouts.
Everyone is tired, but satisfied and all had a good time. Hopefully there will be lots of memories made.
Thank you for allowing me to share this experience with the sons and spouses. This is truly an experience that few get to do. With 7/10 of the Earth’s surface being covered by water, the boys got to enjoy something truly unique.

Bill “Turtle” Faulkinberry

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Sea Base 05/29/15

Sorry there was no post yesterday, but as you will see, it was a busy day. Everyone is up by 6:30 to get ready for the day. At 7:15 the Midnight Rambler, Slush Puppy, Keeper, Doc, FroZone, Annarobic, Nemo and The Inquisitor are working on the Duty to God Patch. They have to attend chapel in the morning, lead a prayer and do a devotional with the crew. Afterwards it flags, then breakfast. Food is good with no complaints I am aware of. Usually scrambled eggs and different fixings. We are then back to the dorm to change, put on sunscreen and change for diving. We load our gear on the boats get two tanks and make a sack lunch. Then its off to the reefs. Conditions have approved greatly since the first day. We went to the Pillars and Tennessee. Pilars bridge debris from the destruction of the first bridges that was dumped in piles to start artificial reefs. These are a favorite among the scouts. Lot’s of sea life and interesting formations. Tennessee is ledge dive and again good visibility and lots to see. We had lunch on the boat at about 2:00 and then back to base. We arrive at about 3:30 and rinse our gear, unload tanks, and shower. Then it was dinner, pot roast, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. Instead of class room we had our third dive of the day, a night dive!
We got a late start and got to Alligator Reef at sunset. Everyone was give a light and tank marker so the dive masters could see where everyone one. The first half of the dive was led by our dive masters and then we were released to continue with our dive partner. The reward for me was when everyone, got back on the boats and was just astonished as to what and how much they say. We got back at about 10:30, cleaned up and went to bed exhausted. This was a memory I hope they have for ever.
Today we followed pretty much the same schedule. The dives to day were are Aquarium and Ham. The conditions were even better with 60′ visibility. You can ask your son what it was like diving with sharks. If they said they did, they really did. We think there were two at Aquarium but they moved around. We were within a few feet of them. FYI, they are nurse sharks, and have no interest in us unless they feel trapped, they just swim away. They are one of the two species of sharks that don’t have to swim to pump water over their gills. Also saw morays eels (green and spotted) and sea turtles (green and leatherback).
Some of the boys (Stinky, Tree, Nemo, and the Inquisitor) like to ride up with the captain on the bridge. Slush Puppy and Bookworm generally stay below and sleep. The trips to the reefs take about 45 minutes to an hour.
Have to end this here as it is time for flags and dinner.


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