Fun at the Southwest Florida Council Camporee
|On the weekend of January 21st -23rd, the Scouts from Troop 140 went camping. . . . along with hundreds of other boys from throughout the newly formed Panther District. The once-a-year event, known as the Council Camporee, took place in the Price Sanders Scout Reservation (Camp Miles). This, the first Camporee of the new millennium, was a huge success. After arriving in a swarm of traffic entering Camp Miles, Troop 140 waited to have the trailer towed by tractor back into the campsite. Friday night, the camp was assembled, a fire was built, and everybody proceeded to bed in due time, as lights out for camp occurred at 11:00pm. The night was crisp, and rumors report that the temperature might have fell below freezing.|
|Saturday morning, the boys and the leaders cooked their own breakfasts, while other Scouts, instructed by Assistant Senior Patrol Leader Kevin helped erect the magnificent gateway. After cleanup and a quick assembly led by Senior Patrol Leader Steve, the three patrols (Flaming Arrows, Dragons, and Seahawks) headed out of camp to participate in activities.|
|The events revolved around Scouting activities, and each of the patrols were required to visit four events, one challenge, and one special event. The events ranged from building and lighting fires to canoe racing, obstacle courses, and log heaving. The special event consisted of flag signaling and translating messages at the Camp Miles Amphitheater. During the day, a fire truck arrived and firemen demonstrated the dismantling of a Nissan with the "Jaws of Life". The Scouts took a break for lunch at noon.|
|In the afternoon, the Scouts continued with the activities until dinner. After the boys and leaders ate their fill, the elite members of the Order of the Arrow (OA) coordinated a fabulous campfire and Order of the Arrow "tapouts" (new boys, previously elected by members of their own troop, are initiated into the Order of the Arrow). The campfire went without a hitch, with many entertaining skits from troops and music, accompanied by overwhelming audience participation. The campfire continued with the firing of a lit arrow from a bow across the Camp Miles Lake, and then each of the OA candidates assembled on stage to be initiated by OA members dressed in Native Indian attire. After silently filing away from the campfire, the troops, worn out from a hard day of fun, fell asleep in their campsites.|
Sunday morning consisted of cooking, eating, and cleaning breakfast, taking down camp, signing out of camp, and heading back to the church for 1:00pm. In between these events, however, an awards assembly was conducted at the amphitheater, at which Troop 140 recieved several awards.
The turnout for Troop 140 was phenomenal, and each of the Scouts and adults in attendance received a weekend they will never forget.