This summer Camp Krietenstein was very fortunate to have hosted Po-Chun, an international Scout from Taiwan. Below are Po-Chun’s thoughts and favorite memories from his time at camp this summer.
To camp Krietenstein:
I am so glad that I was sent to camp Krietenstein. The people, food and campground are amazing. I will never forget what I experienced here. In Taiwan, most campgrounds are really small, compared to here, and most of them are close to the city. This makes it hard enjoy the nature. But that is not the case here!
When I first time entered the scout craft area, I saw so many beautiful tools in the storage. I was so excited! Tools like the ones at camp are not very easy to get in Taiwan. Learning and using these tools made me like real a carpenter. The food here is awesome too! Although I am still not totally used to American food, the food at Krietenstein make me feel comfortable. The food was clean and plentiful, and the cooks were all so nice. I cannot eat beef so they prepared lots of chicken and turkey for me and I appreciate them a lot for that. Every time I was hungry, the cooks always gave me food generously and the dining room made me feel like that I am in family dining room.
The people were awesome here as well. Campers were so cute and energetic. Scout leaders were polite and nice and the staffers were very friendly. The directors and commissioner were friendly as well. I imagined that directors in camps must be solemn, but it wasn’t true in Krietenstein. When I got off the airplane at 11:00pm, the director came to pick up me. That made me very grateful. The camp director was so nice and patient. He always explained everything to me slowly. Also when I had trouble, he always had someone help and guide me. Other staffers were so kind, too. For example: Speaking to me slowly, telling me what to do, sharing good things, and helping me along the way. There are too many nice deeds to mention but I will always remember that they brought me to eat American food, gave me a guide for my travel, brought me to museums, taught me how to light a firecracker, played yoyo with me, brought me to swim, sang with me and so many more fun memories. I hope I have a chance to comeback.
I feel fortunate that I came here. It’s so hard to say goodbye.
Thank you Krietenstein.
Click the link below to see the great work Po-Chun and the rest of the Krietenstein staff did for their day of service!
- So, it’s the last day of a week at Camp Kreitenstein and I’m talking to an international exchange camp counselor from Taiwan about “stinky tofu,” a Taiwanese food I saw sampled on a TV show.
“Oh, stinky tofu! I would only eat it if my mother fixed it,” says the counselor, smiling.
I know what he means. There are foods I would eat only if my mother fixed it.
People from all over the world connect over commonalities when they are brought together.
- We’re at a campfire and a troop from another town launches into one of my favorite camp songs from 40 years ago, “If I Weren’t A Boy Scout.” As the 12 boys go through 12 of the song’s almost innumerable verses, the audience of another 150 boys and leaders roars in laughter.
The distance between generations isn’t so far apart that a simple, funny song can’t bridge that gap.
- It’s late on Friday night. I’m at the Firecrafter program area, a noisy, frenetic beehive of activity as midnight approaches. Teenage Scouts who haven’t been able to make a fire from their handmade friction sets are trying as hard as they can to get their sparks. When one gets going and smoke pours out of his set, the whole place starts yelling encouragement over the loud music. Time after time this happens, time after time a boy feels the support of a group of people he’d never before met, cheering him on, helping him do something he probably didn’t know he could do.
Cheering and helping someone they may not know except for this short week at camp, people who’ve already done it lend a hand to boys on their way to becoming successful adults.
— Bob Hansen
Another week is in the books as the last few campers leave from the smoldering s’mores campfire. It’s weird to think that there are only two more weeks left of program; then the obstacles will be put away, the crafts packed up, and the cubs (and staff) will be anxiously waiting for the summer of 2017 to arrive.
Camp Belzer had a break during the week of July 4th—but it was not a typical “break from camp.” It was during that week when we had our first group of community kids this summer. You may be wondering, what is a group of community kids?
The community kids are exactly what their name implies—kids from the community. As a community kid, the child does not need to be a Cub Scout to attend camp, nor does said child even need to be a boy; the group is also open to girls. The only catch is that the kids attending must be in the age range of five to eleven.
I have personally helped lead community kids around, and I can confidently say that it is a fun-filled opportunity.
We can’t wait to see all the Cubs, Webelos, Boy Scouts, and community kids next week!
After an eventful day of merit badges and trainings, Scouts and leaders enjoyed many evening events throughout the week. Scouts worked on their Firecrafter, played tether ball, went to the trading post and hung out at their campsites throughout the week; but in the evening they had fun with staff at different events.
On Monday evening everyone was having fun playing Western Wiz Bop and singing some tunes to close the night with a karaoke party. We had campers, Scoutmasters and staff singing their hearts out.
The next night we learned more about nature and the stars, as we visited E for nature night and a star gazing party. Also on Tuesday after dinner was Cowboy Action Shoot, where Scouts had fun shooting at targets cut into different shapes such as cowboy hats.
On Wednesday, the Scouts invited their families over for dinner and a campfire that the campers ran themselves. Sadly we had some bad weather and everyone ended up in the dining hall; but we had a lively time watching a movie and held the campfire in the dining hall, along with the Order of Arrow ceremony.
Onto the latter half of the week, Thursday after dinner the anticipated Beach party happened. They had fun playing games, swimming and enjoying a campfire with S’mores.
We ended the week with a game of capture the flag and the closing campfire. The campfire included a Firecrafter ceremony, flag retirement, skits and songs and fun camp awards, such as best campsite and scoutmaster cook-off.
It’s week two of Camp Belzer: Scouts of the Round Table. The new staff has gained further confidence in their program areas and they are performing their leadership duties with flying colors.
Here with me is one of those afore mentioned “new staff.” He works in Camp Belzer’s STEM area. This staff member requests to remain anonymous, thus I shall be referring to him as Elliott. Elliott’s first comment is—“it’s a little less rainy,” followed quickly by an explanation to one of Engineering’s (a section of STEM) newest program device: a pneumatic crane. This pneumatic crane is an eight-inch tall structure that uses air pressure to lift an arm up and down. This crane is one of the many exciting tools Camp Belzer has recently built and implemented into the new program.
Amongst other new and exciting developments happening here at Camp Belzer; we have somewhat gotten rid of the photography position. In the past, Camp Belzer had a photographer go around and take pictures of the packs and later compiling all the photos together on DVD. This year, the photographer position is no longer, instead it has been combined with another job—one which includes more administrative duties. This is where I, the writer of these blog posts, have come in. This new position happens to be my job; the official title is Administrative Office Assistant. The job definitely keeps me busy, but I enjoy the controlled chaos of rushing around camp.
Week two has been the biggest week in Camp Belzer history. I feel incredibly honored to be working on the 2016 staff, as all of these huge changes and increasing group sizes are taking place. Change is good, and the changes our camp has been making are definitely those of the good kind.
I’ll see you guys in week three!
Ransburg Scout Reservation recently celebrated 50 years of operation on Sunday, July 17. If you missed the special ceremony that took place, be sure to visit the council’s Flickr page.
Aside from the ceremony, Scouts have been having a great summer. Take a look at the first three weeks of camp with these videos created by Scouts who received their Moviemaking Merit Badge.
You can see the rest of the recap videos leading up to week six on Ransburg Scout Reservation‘s YouTube page.
One of my most favorite areas in all of Adventure Camp is T.A.C., which means Think and Act Course. The main goal is to test your skills, to think creatively, to enhance physical strength and to have fun. In T.A.C. we have an obstacle course with tunnels, laser mazes, a spider’s web and the amazing gator pit. Once you have completed the obstacle course you can go test your thinking and climbing skills on the bouldering wall. There are seven walls to climb around and if you complete them all, then you enter the T.A.C. wall hall of fame and forever have your name signed on the wall. What is even better in T.A.C. is that you don’t have to wait in lines. You can repeat the obstacle course or the bouldering as many times as you like.
This past session, one memorable moment was one kid who kept falling into the gator pit. This kid fell in time after time, on purpose; just because he wanted to be covered in mud and he said it was the best area in camp. Another exciting thing happened in T.A.C. when kids completed the bouldering wall. We had five kids complete it this session, and two of them did it total of 10 times! It is amazing when kids can do that and to see the excitement from the other kids when they ring that bell is something that I can never forget. That is why T.A.C. is one of my most favorite and memorable areas for our third session of Adventure Camp.
Jeremy “Muffin” Proescel