Friday, June 15, 2012

Worth Ranch Visit

Little Troop 5 has four boys and three Assistant Scoutmasters working at Worth Ranch Scout Camp this summer.  In addition to them, I also have my godson working at Camp.   I went out last Wednesday to visit the whole crew.

I must first preface all of this by saying that working my three summers at Camp Freedom in Dauphe Germany are an integral part of my life.  That experience has been the main reason I encourage all the boys of Troop 5 to not only to go to summer camp, but one day be a staff member.  I get a sense of peace when I step onto a scout camp.   Having been camping at Worth Ranch since 1997 and having numerous boys from Little Troop 5 work camp over the years, I feel quite at home on the sacred soil in the Brazos Valley.

Summer camp staff evolves a scout in way no other scouting experience can.    You are on the go for seven straight days, working and living with what will become lifelong friends.  More importantly, you also learn to work with people that may not become your friends.   That huge organizational skill has carried me quite well.

What is most interesting as a scoutmaster is to visit young men working their first year of camp.  All four of the first year staffers, I took to summer camp as eleven year old to Worth Ranch.  They have evolved from boys who could not find the pool to young men help first year campers find their way.    They have caught the magic that is known as Worth Ranch Spirit. The skills and leadership they will bring back to Little Troop 5 are immeasurable.

What makes it even more special is their Program Director was also taken to summer camp by me as a first year scout at Worth Ranch.   Zack Wisch, contrary to what he may think, will not be able to work at Worth for the rest of his life, but he can pass on his spirit of the camp to the whole staff, but especially the boys of Troop 5.   Thanks to Zack, a long time Worth Ranch Staffer has become a Troop 5 ASM.   Evan Voorn.   He is an excellent foil for the boys of Little Troop 5.
Caught in the middle and on the banks of the Brazos is Hayden Pierce.  Next summer he will have to done the uniform of a ROTC cadet for real summer camp.   This summer he making sure Alex McKee knows what it is like to be staff at Worth and how to fish the river.

Brackton Bennett is spending his summer working at the shotgun range.  Can a young man in Texas not have a better dove hunting training job?  Drew McKee is being a monkey down at the climbing gardens and intellectual August Riehle is keeping the scouts green by working in the Ecology/Nature area.   (As the former director of the Nature Nut Nest at Camp Freedom, I think the best place at camp)
Luke and me
What makes this whole experience very spiritual is that Luke Schubert is the staff SPL.   I have lamented before that I have done a lousy job of being Luke’s godfather, but the divine intervention to have him in scouting at Worth Ranch is such a blessing.  The boys of Troop 5 know he is one of our family.   More importantly, he counts as one of mine at Worth.
Finally, the trip is complete because I went with the venerable Worth Ranch hero, Adam Rogers.  Adam always keeps me in check when I walk around Worth.  Adam has had to put up hearing about my Camp Freedom stories since 1998.   I have been listening to his Worth Ranch stories for the same period.

I look forward to visiting my boys at Worth Ranch for many years to come.

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