Tuesday, June 2, 2009

2009 Crossover Campout

This past weekend was Cub Scout Pack 220's annual Crossover Adventure Campout. Each year, at this time, we plan a big campout with lots of fun activities, a crossover graduation ceremony and dinner on Saturday night.
This year's campout started on Friday night. After everyone had set up their campsite and had some dinner, we set up an outdoor movie theatre and showed the movie, "Night at the Museum." The kids loved it. I don't think I have ever seen a group of 25 kids sit so quietly for that long.
Saturday morning everyone got up early. We served a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, sausage and juice to the whole group. The morning activities got started at 10:00 am. The younger boys (Tigers and Wolves) stayed at the campsite to work on their geology belt loops and go on a nature scavenger hunt. The older boys (Bears and Webelos) went on a 3 mile hike. The park has a really nice 3 mile hike to a destination called "Split Oak."

Here are the Bears and Webelos, along with a few Boy Scouts from Troop 22o, at Split Oak. Split Oak is a spot in the woods where there is an actual "split oak." Apparently this 200 year old oak tree was struck by lightening. Each half of the tree has continued to grow. It was very cool to see. The boys did great on the hike and were able to see many other natural wonders along the way. We found lots of deer and raccoon tracks. We also found some frog eggs and tadpoles and saw a few different types of birds.

Saturday afternoon the younger boys made "creatures" out of the items that they collected on their nature scavenger hunt. They came up with some very cool little creatures made from sticks, leaves, pine cones, moss, and rocks. The older boys worked on earning their geology belt loops and geologist activity badges.
The big event of the afternoon was the end of the year Pack meeting/graduation ceremony. The boys were each awarded all of their last awards and advancements for the year. We awarded 21 boys their religious emblems for completing the God & Me and God & Family classes. We handed out recognition awards to all of the adult leaders to show them a small amount of appreciation for all of the volunteer hours that they put in during the year. And finally, the big event of the day was the graduation ceremony. Each den was called to the stage. The boys were painted with Native American style face paint and received the neckerchief and slide for their next rank. It was very exciting for all of the boys. Each one of them looked thrilled to be moving on along the scouting trail.

Here is my boy and his best friend during the graduation ceremony. The most exciting part of the day for them was to be able to wear their new uniforms. They graduated from the Webelos I to Webelos II rank. As Webelos II they get to wear the same uniform that the boy scouts wear. What a difference it made in them. They all walked around the rest of the day with just a little bit of "attitude" and a little bit of a swagger. It was really cool to see. Many of the parents of the Webelos II commented to me about how grown up they looked. We hardly recognized our own sons.

This is the Webelos II den after the graduation ceremony. They look great in their new uniforms. We are glad to have reached the end of another scouting year. We had a great campout and a very productive year. The boys are looking forward to their last year as Cub Scouts. The time has gone by so fast. Soon they will be earning the "Arrow of Light," and crossing over into the Boy Scout Troop.

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