Dawn of Civilization
Rum River Scout Camp
This Camporee got off to a weird start when I received a call from a guy who asked if I was the Viking Council Camporee guy. I explained to him that I did the Camporees for the Metro Lakes District of the Viking Council and asked what he was looking for. He indicated that he did educational 'seminars' for YMCA type camps focusing on various types of ancient ways of life. He told me that he was "looking to break into the Boy Scout market".
I told him that I wasn't sure how much of a "Boy Scout market" there was but I was willing to discuss it further with him. At first I wasn't sure if it would work out. Then after I explained how Camporees worked to him I don't think he was sure he could make it work. I got the impression that at the YMCA camps he did his classes for about 40 or so kids for a couple hours. We finally worked it out to where I would provide jr. leaders to run all of the events except one and he would train them all Friday night. He would provide all of the materials needed, such as bolos, slings, etc and we would pay him $300 for the day. Originally he was asking for $250 but I agreed to pay $300 provided we weren't liable for any broken equipment (and with 250 or so teenage boys this seemed a prudent clause).
The events we worked out were: Atl-atl throwing (which in case you don't know what an Atl-atl is, it looks like a spear/javelin and you throw it with a piece of wood to extend the range), Bolo throwing, slinging rocks, firebows and crystal lenses to focus sunlight, catapult building, and a demonstration of flintnapping (which, once again, for those of you who didn't know, flintnapping is the art of making arrowheads and such out of pieces of flint.
Pictures (coming soon)
You can see by the above form that I left the actual activities kind of vague. I was a little concerned about some of the feedback that I was getting from a few of the adults about the nature of some of the throwing activities. They thought that it might be focused a little too much of violent activities. I knew that the Scouts would enjoy it once they got to the event, but I was afraid that if I published it too much in advance that some Scoutmasters would elect not to come to the Camporee. That turned out not to be the big issue.
What went not so good:
Unfortunately Mother Nature is a fickle mistress at the best of times, and Camporees are not that. The morning wasn't too bad but by afternoon it was 50 degrees and raining. The weather had been forecast to be even worse so we had a very poor turnout. When it started raining we tried to move the fire starting events under a shelter but we couldn't get the word to everyone in time so we had a lot of confusion as to where to go in the afternoon. Many Scouts ended up hanging out at either the trading post, the flintnapping display, or the throwing events.
What went good:
All of the throwing events went wonderful. The Scouts had a great time throwing the various things and some of them had to be dragged to the next event. Even with the weather the catapult building was great. Unfortunately we broke numerous pioneering poles because the crossbars were not padded adequately. The Scouts really liked the flintnapping display, (and it had nothing to do with it being under a shelter house roof).
If you would like to contact the guy who was helping out with the event I will be posting his info soon. I just want to double check with him that he wants the info posted online before I do it. I am pretty sure he does because he wants to get paid for this kind of stuff and is looking for the good referral to other Camporee people, but once again I want to make sure before I do it.
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