Boxwell Reservation - Camp Stahlman - July 2017

This year was Troop 521s 21st year at Camp Stahlman, the majority of which we've spent at site 13. We have a tradition that the Troop (youth and adults) carry their gear to camp on their backs. This keeps everyone from taking too much with them. The guys learn to pack just what they need and know where it is in their pack.

One of the first things we do is hang the 521 sign. This has been with the Troop since it was first used at the 1996 Council Jamboree which was also held at Boxwell.

When we first arrive at camp, we gather in the Stahlman parking lot until everyone is ready to go to our campsite. When we're ready to go, everyone puts on their pack and loads up to hike to our campsite about 300 yards away.

Next, it's time for swim checks at the waterfront. I remember doing this when I was a Scout in the early 60s and it's pretty much still the same.

The goal is to pass the BSA Swimmer test which gives a Scout access to all areas of the waterfront and the swimming pool.

There's alway time for the traditional Scoutmaster nap. This is me demonstrating it for the first time campers.

Sometimes you just have to rest and relax wherever you can find a place to sit down.

As night fell we were all ready to get some sleep. The next day is the start of our merit badge classes, adult training, and Boxwell Boot Camp (starts at 5:30 in the morning for adults and youth who want to participate).

In the morning, we raise the flag in camp and the guys get plenty of practice performing flag ceremonies. There's also a camp-wide flag raising in the morning before breakfast. Speaking of breakfast, the food in the dining hall is great and of course we get to sing songs and sometimes we get a little silly.

This year, one of our Scouts caught the Gizmo and got to be part of the lunch skit the next day. It involved armor, swords, being knighted, and of course saving the dining hall from an evil knight. What else could you want?

There's always something to do. The three Scouts on the left earned their Totin' Chips for completing a knife and axe safety course. Merit badge classes start at 9 in the morning and run until 4. Between breakfast and the start of classes, there's work to be done preparing the campsite for inspection. We do well every year and this year made perfect scores all week and earned most of the bonus points, too. Of course, there's time to relax and play and the Scouts know how to take full advantage of it. This year, one of the Scouts bought a light-up frisbee at the Trading Post and it got a lot of use during "down time."

Of course, card games are a camp tradition and this year was no exception. Just as a note, the Scoutmaster was actually awake when this photo was taken.

In addition to things to do at the campsite, theres also free swim at the pool and the trading post where you can get ice cream, pizza, knives, and frisbee footballs.

We left camp at 8:00 Saturday morning, heading home for hot showers, naps, and games. But wait, didn't we just do all of those things in camp? We'll be back next year!

Before the week was over, we had to get a few more photos. You can tell we're almost ready to go home. One Scout could be seen wearing the Boxwell Boot Camp t-shirt recognizing his willingness to get up early and hike all over camp learning about its history.

There's always time to go fishing. You can bring your own gear or, in the case of one creative Scout, make your own. It looks like the Scout in the middle has just been asked to be the bait. What could possibly go wrong?