In November of 2021, Troop 6 attended the USNA Scout Day Camporee at Camp Barrett in Annapolis, MD. Our troop had the privilege to not only attend the Camporee but also to tour the United States Naval Academy with a Cadet and catch the Navy Football team play Eastern Carolina University.
There are many components to making a BSA Troop thrive. One of the most critical, and rewarding, is adult participation. People talk about how this time goes so fast in their young lives, and it is so true. Believe me, the Scouts know it too.
I volunteered to take the Scouts to the two day 2021 USNA Scout Day Camporee. In all, over 4000 Scouts and adult leaders attended this Camporee which included the Naval Academy Midshipmen v. Eastern Carolina University Football game, and a flyover by Blue Angels: one of my sons “top three highlights” of the trip.
The drive down, I expected to hear normal teenage conversations and was prepared to remain silent and just listen. To my total and complete surprise, the conversation was adult, reflective, funny and at times serious about their future career thoughts. They were excited about this outing even if only a small number of the Scouts attended. Upon arrival, I was amazed at how efficient they were in setting up camp. Once they finished, there were swings at the campsite where they continued their banter.
The next day started with “breakfast” by the Elks. I use quotes as my only requirement was hot coffee. The Scouts had danishes and cereal.
Then Ethan Gamble, Plebe at the Academy and an Eagle Scout himself, took us on a two hour tour of the Academy. Some of the highlights being: John Paul Jones crypt; Vice Admiral Stockdale’s Statue and triumph of his POW ordeal; and the markers of where the speed of light was first measured.
While the boys voted unanimously to end the trip an evening early due to the extreme cold, the trip was one they will not forget! No matter how prepared you are, 27° temperatures is not something to take lightly or can be called “fun”. In time, however, they will remember their tour of the Naval Academy, seeing John Paul Jones crypt below the Chapel, the Midshipmen parading onto the field, the Blue Angel Flyover, the NAVY v ECU football game and, yes, the frigid cold they had to contend with. All in 24 hours!