James F. Wellock
Early every sunny summertime Sunday morning, a boy will rise from his bed. Heíll eat breakfast, shower, brush his teeth and get dressed with his swimsuit on underneath his scout shorts. Heíll tuck away all his worldly possessions in a trunk. Heíll cheerfully hop in the car with Mom and Dad and head deep into the scrub pine of Myles Standish Reservation in anticipation of the best week of his summer vacation. On the way there, heíll remember last yearís week at camp: the staff, the activities, the apache relay, the friends from other towns he made and the food. In all he remembers from the previous year, and all that he will experience in his week to come, the spirit of Squanto lives. It is the producer and the product of years of laughter, achievement and earned respect. In this way, the Spirit of Squanto grows with each passing week as more scouts are molded in its name.
The Spirit of Squanto is more than the twelve points of the Scout Law, more than the oath, more than the motto, more than the slogan; yet, instead of burdening the scouts in camp, it liberates their spirits. It is not a restricting force, but an expanding one. It is not an easy course, but a challenging one. It is not a universal force, but a personal one. Experiencing the Spirit of Squanto is something no scout ever forgets.
The Spirit of Squanto causes a thirst inside each scout to push themselves in new ways, encouraging new experiences and adventures. One time, on the fourth and final stretch of the mile swim, a scout stopped believing he could complete the mile. He was the slowest swimmer that week and had been struggling the whole way. Just as he was about to throw in the towel, the Spirit of Squanto intervened. The Spirit of Squanto nurtures each scout to believe in himself. The Mile Swimmers who had finished ahead of him appeared on the docks of the Camp Squanto Waterfront and cheered on the young scout, offering him words of encouragement and support. With this support, he had no choice but to believe in himself and finally achieve his goal. He believed, and he achieved. What he left with was a sense of pride, a sense of camaraderie, courage and compassion. The mile swim for that young scout was a success.
So many activities busied this scoutís week: Archery, Wilderness Survival, Orienteering, Scout Vespers. He had so many experiences, so many adventures, learned so much by accepting challenges, believing in himself and working hard to achieve his goals that it tired him out every night.
Saturday mornings come with mixed emotions. The week is complete and the scouts are going home having laughed and achieved so often and so much. Sadness sets in as the scouts leave, but they realize that what they have learned here is not locked within the scrub pines and dusty roads of Camp Squanto, but goes home with them deep in their hearts and minds.
So much ties the camp together, but the one tie that stands out is that of respect. The mutual respect that is saturated in the fabric of Camp Squanto is a quality the camp cherishes and nurtures. Without a mutual respect for all the staff, campers and adult leaders, the camp would not function and the Spirit of Squanto would perish. This respect allows for and nurtures the Spirit of Squanto, and the Spirit of Squanto allows for and nurtures a community of respect as well.
Early Sunday mornings are filled with excitement and anticipation because each scout knows he is going to a special place where he will be respected, and where he will have countless opportunities. By the end of the week they will have found the Spirit of Squanto inside of themselves and will accept the last challenge of the week. This challenge is bringing the Spirit of Squanto home with them so that they will continue to bloom into fine Eagle Scouts and brighten the days of their friends, family, and community.