Scouts get “Back to Basics” at the Aquia District Fall Camporee.
On the weekend of October 15-17, 2021, 175 Scouts from ten Troops and seven Webelos Dens Aquia District gathered for a joint Camporee and Webelos-ree in Stafford County’s Curtis Memorial Park.
The theme of the Fall Camporee was “Back to Scouting Basics”. In addition to doing typical camping and fellowship activities, Scouts competed as Patrols in a series of basic Scout skills challenges in the Scout Activity Area which the Scouts discovered Saturday morning after a one-mile hike from Curtis Memorial Park. Seventeen patrols demonstrated their knowledge of topics such as navigation with map and compass, first aid, rescue techniques, outdoor preparedness, US flag etiquette, and even basic seamanship. A bonus station involved testing the Patrols’ abilities to cook a nutritious meal while hiking.
The average score of each Troop’s Patrols was added to the score each Troop received from a campsite inspection to determine the winner of the 2021 Commissioners Cup award. Coming in 1st Place was the Bobcat Patrol from Troop 199G and Troop 1717G chartered to Hartwood Presbyterian Church posted the highest overall score! The girls of Troop 1717G will keep the Commissioner’s Cup until the next Aquia District Camporee in 2022.
In the Patrol competition, 2nd Place was earned by the Wolverine Patrol from Troop 840B and in 3rd Place was the Panda Patrol from Troop 218B. Placing 2nd in the overall Troop results was Troop 1717B and 3rd Place was claimed by T26B. Congratulations to all Scouts who did their best!
The Webelos-ree’s theme was “Scouting Olympics”, and centered on teaching and perfecting traditional Scouting skills like knot tying and fire building. However, as with every Scouting activity, there were interesting “adjustments” to each activity. For example, the knot tying station did include rope, of course, but the rope was 50 feet long and 2 inches thick! The eyes of the Scouts popped wide when they saw the rope and realized what they were going to have to do to be successful… And then came the smiles.
The foot races, a standard component of Scouting’s physical fitness mantra, were not merely races against the clock. For instance, there was a 3-legged race where the Scouts had to cooperate and coordinate with each other to get down the track. It proved a good idea to hold this event on the grass, as many Scouts spilled over as they tried to run, laughing as they fell, rolled, struggled to recover, and fell again before finally crossing the finish line. The cheers and laughs from fellow Scouts provided good motivation.
Another of the seven stations the Scouts traversed was fire building, a staple of Scouting experience, skill and knowledge. However, this time the Scouts were amazed to learn they could spark a fire without matches! How? They learned to use steel wool and a 9-volt battery. The amazed and giddy enjoyment of yet another Scout-learning experience was an apt reward for the many adult Scouters who had planned and organized this great weekend.
In the evening, after the end of a fun-filled Saturday, the Webelos and Scouts gathered for a campfire hosted by the Aquia Chapter of the Order of the Arrow, BSA’s honor Scout society. Numerous skits and songs were performed by the Scouts. A great time was had by all!
After a long hiatus from the 3-dimensional fun of the Scouting program, this “Back to Scouting Basics” and “Scouting Olympics” weekend was a welcome reminder that the Scouting program is still alive and well in Stafford, Virginia. Come join us! Learn more about at ncacbsa.org/aquia/.