Goshen had a big, busy summer this year! Attendance was high and weeks filled up quickly, with Week 1 being especially popular. Week 2 was more populous than normal this summer, which made the Independence Day celebration at Goshen even more fun – with field games, snacks, special trading post items and sales, and fireworks over the lake. Our Wilderness First Aid Courses, run out of the Goshen Health Lodge, were also quite popular this summer. Adult leaders from all camps took part in those and other training courses around the lake, improving their skills and getting more prepared for the outdoors and other Scouting experiences.
Youth campers enjoyed earning Merit Badges, working toward Adventures, and doing all kinds of fun activities. The older Scouts at the three Boy Scout Camps all got together – for the first time – as Bowman’s Vets program opened up participation to Scouts from Marriott and Olmsted. Other older Scouts vied for a place in our ATV Ridership program – which was opened to those as young as 14 this year and was so popular another section had to be opened. In addition to opportunities for older Scouts, each of the Boy Scout Camps also improved the program in their own camp. Camp Bowman introduced a new area – Culture Craft – which offered various humanities- and citizenship-based Merit Badges. Meanwhile, Camp Marriott continued to improve its Provisional provisional program as it grew in popularity. Camp Olmsted expanded the offerings at an existing program area – Handicraft – by adding Merit Badges like Graphic Arts and combining Fingerprinting with Crime Prevention. Camp Olmsted also piloted the first Goshen Adirondack in Site 19.
The Webelos Camps thrilled the Webelos with dinosaurs and cavemen in their slightly historically inaccurate, but wonderfully fun Stone Age and Prehistoric theme for the summer. Camp PMI introduced Dungeons and Dragons-style role playing in Handicraft, which quickly overtook and replaced making tomahawks in popularity. Camp Ross added to their already wide assortment of general games around the Parade Field and Admin Building. The new Gaga pit was very popular, but the really cool new game was the Escape Room.
Lenhok’sin High Adventure continued to further introduce crews to the wilderness. On the Lenhok’sin Trail Trek, crews backpacked to great views between fun, challenging adventure activities at the outposts. Other crews experienced class I and II whitewater on the James River Canoe Trek. Lenhok’sin also welcomed many crews that were suddenly without a summer high adventure when the fires closed Philmont. Crews commented that it was a mild hassle to pack differently than they had been anticipating – more socks were required for the damper environment – but they had a great time on the trails, visiting the peaks, and taking part in program at the outposts.
In big news, Camp PMI and Camp Ross welcomed the first female Webelos to camp this summer, whether they attended as a whole Den, as part of a large Pack, or with just mom. Camp Marriott, Camp Bowman, and Lenhok’sin High Adventure have had girl campers for many years now, as part of various Venturing programs. Camp Olmsted has welcomed girls as part of international units. Though only a few girl Webelos attended Camp PMI and Camp Ross this summer, we’re looking forward to welcoming girls and boys at all our camps as part of Family Scouting in 2019.
There’s also more exciting sneak peaks of what’s to come next summer. With the success of the Adirondack at Camp Olmsted, we’re looking at adding more 4-person Adirondacks in place of tents at camps across Goshen Scout Reservation. Camp Marriott is working on adding a new program area with some life skill and extreme crafting options. Camp Marriott and Camp Bowman will also be joining the rest of the camps on the lake in becoming 6 day, Sunday to Saturday camps. By transitioning to 6 day, the camps hope to improve camp logistics and camp program for all campers. Meanwhile, Camp Olmsted will be running a special schedule – the camp will be closed during Week 4 to welcome in the German World Jamboree Contingent on their way to Summit for the 2019 World Jamboree. At this time, we are looking for volunteers to help the camp staff during that week. If you are interested, please contact Phil Barbash at Philip.Barbash@Scouting.org for more information.
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