They Don’t Teach the 15-Point Turn in Driver’s Ed

Boise Dentist at Scout CampI got the privilege this year to join my son at Scout Camp as a group leader in the beginning of July.

They put me in charge of bringing the Scout trailer down from the mountains after our last day. Now to get the trailer in, the other leader that brought it up had to come down a 200 yard dirt road and then park it in a very small spot.

I got the honor of turning it around in this same small spot and getting it out of there.  I think we completed a 15 point turn!

At one point I was sure I was completely stuck, but we got it out of there without having to resort to a compass and clear cutting the forest.

The camp started out great though! Scouts first responsibility upon arriving at Camp Morrison is setting up their tents and campsites. I arrived a little later in the evening on our first day at camp. Before I left I had to finish up all those last minute dental appointments at my dentist office back in Boise.

When I arrived late on Thursday it was raining some, not a lot, but just enough to get you wet. Unfortunately, a bunch of our Scouts had forgotten to tuck their tarps properly under their tents.

No one got too wet, but it did make those particular kids a little soggy for the rest of their stay!

After Thursday, we had great weather for the rest of the camping trip. The other really nice thing this year was they have been spraying for mosquitos at Camp Morrison for a few years now so there was not a lot of them this year.

Also on Thursday night our Scouts worked on a new merit badge, the Orienteering badge. In order to earn this badge the boys are given a compass with coordinates and sent out to find that next spot. We also used reflectors on the stations they were supposed to be finding to assure they found the right way.

Rowing merit badgeFriday, I got to watch my son participate in a couple of really neat events.

The first was for the Rowing merit badge. First, the Scouts had to swamp a rowboat and then flip it back over and get back in all in the open water.

It was an exciting event to watch and my son did a great job!

The second fun event Friday was for a Rifle Shooting merit badge.

We are not really hunters in my household. I have taken my boys out shooting a few times but never anything regularly.

My son qualified on his FIRST try! I was absolutely amazed and so proud of him. I’m thinking this is some natural talent I should nurture, what do you think?

On our last day of camp we had a competition bull run.  It was a relay of 5 events: Running, shooting a bow and arrow, orienteering, throwing a hatchet, and tie a knot. One the boys completed this the adult leader of the group had to do a belly flop!

Our group got lost on the orienteering part and we were unable to complete the course, but we had a lot of fun participating. And as long as it was fun it was worth it.

The Value of a CompassCompass

A compass gives you direction. It is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as: a device for determining directions by means of a magnetic needle or group of needles turning freely on a pivot and pointing to the magnetic north.

It might not lead you straight to my dentist office in Boise, Idaho, but it will get you out of the woods.

Something that is often overlooked is the moral compass that we all have inside us. This is something that should be nurtured and cared for in our youth so they grow up to have a strong moral compass of their own.

My son is in Boy Scouts, he has been for years, and this experience has greatly helped shape his moral compass along with his family.

Just look at their Scout Law: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.” How many kids do you know these days that fit that description?

What I like a lot about the Boy Scouts, is their ability to teach young men about that moral compass, but do it in a fun and engaging way.

All in all, it was a great trip and I’m very excited for next year.

~Dr. Wagner