June 15, 2015
Dear Scouts, Scouters and Scout parents---
This is Jimmy LaBrecque’s wife Sharlee---former Troop 2877 Advancements Chair and two-time Camp T Brady Saunders survivor (among an assortment of other Troop roles over the years!). So, I’ve “been there, done a little of that”---and am happy to pass along some tidbits along to everyone who has “someone special” at camp this year!
So, for this week, I’m resuming my old role as your Faithful Camp Reporter, giving you the day-by-day update on the news and events from Camp T Brady Saunders!!! [PLEASE let me know if I’m missing any troop e-mail addresses!!!!---and maybe Mike can post to the Troop website??!!??]
BIG THANKS TO CHESTER COMMUNITY REC POOL!!! As you know, the fellas took their mandatory SWIM TEST last week… Thanks go out to Susan Irvin for making it happen for us!!
The Troop is staying at the Newlon Campsite (the one near the center of camp)---and we’re sharing the site with a Troop from Powhatan this year.
The drive out to camp was uneventful, and by dinner time, the site was in good shape: the leaders' tents erected, the blue community canopy in place---and the boys already settled in.
All in All: We have 6 boys at camp this week---including one of our newest Scouts, Ethan, who is going to the Trailblazer program, and the rest are doing some really cool Merit Badge classes, like ROBOTICS! Anthony is going to attempt the Half-Mile Swim at 6:00 tomorrow morning…Good Luck, Anthony! Alex is working on Geocaching, Archery and more…Tyler is our Senior Patrol Leader (it’s a BIG JOB), and he’s now carrying a bigger-than-planned part of the leadership role (more about that in a minute)….Michael is also stepping up to the plate and demonstrating a lot a maturity by doing a LOT without being asked. Andy is showing a lot of personal growth since last summer…doing a lot to help out, too…and enjoying several technology-related Merit Badge classes.
There’s a BIG volleyball tourney tonight and the Order of the Arrow (Scout Camping Honor Society) election TONIGHT! More about that tomorrow…
AIL CALL! If you'd like to send your Scout a note or a treat during the week---SEND IT TODAY!!! Mail into Maidens, Virginia is notoriously SLOOOOOW. If you send it after Monday, it probably won't make it. The Camp Address is—1723 Maidens Rd. Maidens, VA 23102 Include your scout's NAME, TROOP 2877.
(If you miss the mail, you are welcome to drop off a note or a package at our house---Jimmy will be home Tuesday, and then returning to camp on Wednesday evening. We live in the Wellington Farms neighborhood, off of Chalkley Road: 10812 Kriserin Circle, Chester, VA) :)
Good things to send: Snacks, anything homemade, sunscreen, aloe, swim goggles, playing cards, etc. Mr. LaBrecque especially likes homemade brownies and oatmeal cookies (hint, hint.)
Mid-week Arrivals and Departures From Camp: (This is discouraged, but things do happen.)
All campers, youth and adult, are required to check in and out of camp at the camp office. This applies for all reasons: discipline, doctor's appointment, leadership change, etc. If a Scout leaves camp midweek, the Scoutmaster must escort him to the administration building. If a Scout leaves, we ask that they do not return after 10:00 P.M. If a Scout returns after dusk, we ask that the Scoutmaster meet him at the administration office and escort him into camp.
Cell phone coverage at camp is better than ever!! Not sure why. But, if you need it: Jimmy LaBrecque's cell phone is 804-306-1592.
FRIDAY NIGHT CAMPFIRE: Plan on attending!!! Families and friends are discouraged from dropping by during the week, however, strongly encouraged to attend the special Ceremonial/Awards Campfire to be held Friday night. Those planning to attend should arrive in camp no earlier than 7:00 PM. Please observe the 15 mph camp speed limit. The life you save may be your son's. REMEMBER NO PETS ALLOWED.
The ceremony is held at the amphitheater on the left hand side of the entrance road, on the edge of the big pond. Do wear STURDY SHOES and plan to sit on the wooden amphitheater bleachers, unless you bring a sport chair. Be prepared for skits, awards and lots of fun! If you are able-bodied, we've always been allowed to walk out to the campsite and visit with the boys before the ceremony---but family cars have to park out by the pond, and will not be allowed to enter the campsite areas on Friday night.
That's all for today. Plan on getting another update tomorrow!!! :)
Your Faithful Camp Reporter,
June 16, Tuesday
(Best to view in HTML)
Dear Scouts, Scouters and Scout parents---
Your Faithful (albeit tardy) Camp Reporter is here again, giving you the day-by-day update on the news and events for TUESDAY---DAY TWO of the festivities---at Camp T Brady Saunders!!!
*Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate… I hear the boys have gone through TEN GALLONS of Gatorade already!!! Whew, it’s HOT!!!!!
Camp question of the day…Remember that rain, rain, rain we had in Chesterfield County yesterday? Well, it showed up at camp too, but how much rain do you think they got? (Answer is at the end of this message.)
Half Mile Swim: Anthony completed the ½ mile swim this morning at O’dark hundred (that’s 6:00 a.m. for you civilians). Way to go, Anthony! And, thanks go to Alex, who “spotted” him from a rowboat during the swim. Wednesday morning Anthony will attempt the 1-mile swim. Hopefully there are a few boys (adults?) at camp who will get up to cheer him on. J
Volleyball Tournament Our boys got knocked out in the second round of the annual tourney, but they acquitted themselves admirably!
*THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!!!* Our various adults attending Summer Camp this week are Jim LaBrecque, Mike McDaniel, Stacey and Chuck Sulewski, and Mr. Willis (NOT “Mr. Williams!” Yikes! Sorry about the name mix-up on Monday’s report!). No one was able to stay the whole week---but everyone seems to be working well together to “pass the baton.” Jim was joined by Mike McDaniel to ensure TWO-DEEP LEADERSHIP on Monday….then Jim had to depart and was relieved Tuesday afternoon by Stacey Sulewski. Be sure to pass along a thank you to ALL of these folks who took vacation time to spend with our boys. (Okay, truth be told---it really is a lot of fun.) Our HATSare off to all of them!!! :)
Andy, Anthony, Ethan, Michael and Alex went rock wall climbing in the ScoutCraft area yesterday evening. It’s good to a couple of ‘em out of their comfort zone! J Tyler continues to do a great job leading the fellas and keeping everyone on-track---to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and activities in-between. Michael and Anthonyfinished making their arrows for the Archery merit badge.
Happy Birthday, Ms. Stacey: She actually came out to Camp on her BIRTHDAY!!!---and the fellas all sang a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday To You!!! Wednesday night is the Scoutmasters’ Steak Dinner----so Stacy, Mike and Jimmy will get a nice treat. Afterwards is the Scoutmaster Shotgun Shoot-Off at the skeet range. So, we are planning to WIN the women’s division!!!! Am sure Ms. Stacy will NEVER forget THIS birthday week!
Merit Badges: The Boys began work Monday on their merit badges. There’s a terrific variety of badges to explore: photography, fishing, archery, swimming, etc. More details to come.
*Alternate MAIL CALL! Remember If you've missed getting a CARE package out to the Post Office, there's another option: You can drop it off at the LaBrecque house TODAY (Weds) before 3pm (306-1592 cell home 454-0568)
The Golden Broom Award… The Troop has been getting 100% scores on camp cleanliness…but have yet to be awarded the coveted Golden Broom at Retreat. Maybe they got it last night…???
That's all for today. I'll give you another update as soon as I get word from Camp!!! J
Your Faithful (but tardy) Camp Reporter,
Answer to Camp question of the day: “Just enough to revive all the mosquitoes!”
June 17, Wednesday
The Mile Swim: Anthony completed the one-mile swim this morning!!! Although it was not a race, he was FIRST to complete for the scouts. (Only one adult finished before him.)
You make us proud, Anthony!
Waterfront Games were held last night at (where else?) the waterfront! Troop 2877 entered the Canoe Race, the Pyramid and the Canoe Overload Race. Andy andEthan did the canoe race. Later,Anthony raced to the top of the pyramid and Tyler cheered them all on! They didn’t win, but…..
The Canoe Overload Race was a different story! First, for those of you who don’t know, let me explain that the Canoe Overload Race is exactly what it sounds like. The goal is to get as many scouts in the canoe as you can without tipping it over or having any of the boys fall out. This year, our boys were on the team that WON by somehow piling 14 boys into one canoe! (…and then it sank.) Woo Hoo!!!! Way to go, guys! [Little known historical fact: Waaaay back in 2010, Troop 2877 set the all-time CAMP RECORD of 18 boys in one canoe! Yup, JohnRyan and the rest of the Trailblazers were awfully LITTLE back then…]
Michael and Alex did some fishing, and Michael saw a big black snake, just off the walking path---so everyone got some QUALITY waterfront time!
Camp Store: This is a veeeerrrry popular place---with candy, slushies, and pocket knives! What else could a boy want?
During the day, Tyler assisted the Archery director with the instructing the Webelos, while Michael, Alex, and Anthony repaired arrows. (Well done, fellas!)
ChowTime!!! From all accounts in the Scouting community, T Brady Saunders’ is the best BSA camp food on the East Coast. (Perhaps a dubious honor…but let’s try to think positively, shall we?) :P For those who don’t know, Brady Saunders is one of the last BSA camps in the nation that continue to serve meals “family-style,” instead of cafeteria-style. Each 8-man table has a designated scout waiter to bring food and drinks out, and another designated scout to clean the table afterwards. (Adults DO NOT serve in this capacity!!!) J (So, Parents---there are NO SLACKERS. YOUR SON has been pulling his weight at camp. Just THINK about THAT!!)
Truth be told, as I see it---the worst thing about Summer Camp for parents is simply this: After all of these new experiences, your boy will come home little bit more grown up than when he left. There will be something about the look in his eye, perhaps in his demeanor, or just in the new way he carries himself. It’s sad and it’s sweet. But, I promise you this: You will see it in him…and you’ll be glad he went.
Y’ALL COME to the Friday Night Campfire (and DINNER)!!! NEW this year: Parents, friends and family are invited to the camp to enjoy that marvelous CAMP CUISINE in AIR-CONDITIONED BLISS on Friday evening!!! (Must RSVP and bring $7 per person. CALL JIMMY at 306-1592 to make your reservation ASAP.) Plan to arrive at camp in the 4:30 timeframe---dinner should be around 5:00 or so. Wear STURDY SHOES, and plan to WALK A LOT---especially if you want to hike out to the Newlon Campsite. Note: Family cars will not be allowed to enter the campsite areas on Friday night. Please observe the 15 mph camp speed limit and park near the amphitheater. REMEMBER, NO PETS ALLOWED.
If you don’t make it for dinner----still try to come out for the CAMPFIRE: The ceremony is held at 7:00 at the amphitheater on the left hand side of the entrance road, on the edge of the big pond. Do plan to sit on the wooden bleachers, unless you bring a sport chair. Be prepared for skits, awards and lots of fun! It is WORTH THE DRIVE!!
That's all for today. I'll give you another update tomorrow!!! :)
Your Faithful Camp Reporter,
Dear Scouts, Scouters and Scout parents---
Yours truly is here to give you a FINAL update on the news and events from Camp T Brady Saunders, Summer 2015!!!
Merit Badge Work: In the Archery merit badge workshop, Tyler, Michael, Anthony, Alex, andEthan had hands-on experience making a bow string. Tyler and Alex got to work with Excel for Digital Tech. Michael made a REALLY COOL MOVIE of their camp experience in the Movie Making merit badge workshop. Can’t wait to see it at the next Court of Honor!!!
Etc: Ethan and Michael made survivor bracelets. Unfortunately, Andrew went home early because he wasn't feeling well. L The Astronomy/Star Gazing event was cancelled due to cloud cover, but the boys got to watch a movie in the dining hall instead (and cooled off in the DELIGHTFUL a/c)! Ethan cooked and did lots of other things to meet the basic requirements for First Class!!! (Did he catch ‘em all??)
Order of the Arrow: Alex, Tyler andMichael represented the troop well and attended the Order of the Arrow Ice Cream Social.
Just so you know: It's NOT all FUN AND NAPS when you’re a leader at camp…! :) Please take an extra moment to give a BIG THANK YOU to Jim LaBrecque, Mike McDaniel, Stacey and Chuck Sulewski, and Chad Willis. Although they didn't all get a lot of press in this week's newsletter---they ALL did a lot of behind-the-scenes work---coordinating 6 boys going 6 different directions, drying a few tears, cleaning up a few scrapes, talking to the boys when they needed it and listening to the boys when they needed it more. [But, hmmmm, no tussles to bust up this week…so far…!!!]
Congratulations!!! Tyler and Anthony took 2nd place in 3-D archery competition last night!! They are a force to be reckoned with!!!
*The Retreat Cup, the Golden Broom AND the Spirit Log: The Retreat Cup is given to the Troop that performs the best on the Parade field that day. The Spirit Log is earned for showing (what else?) Troop SPIRIT…and the Golden Broom for the cleanest campsite that day. During the course of this week, our boys have done VERY WELL (even earning a 100% score EVERY DAY during camp inspection)---but THE COVETED AWARDS STILL ELUDE US. Drat! (SOMEONE’s going to have to really start schmoozing with Miss Debby, the sharp-eyed, but easily charmed, Camp Inspector. Where’s that handsome Mike Harrah when you NEED him???)
After FIFTEEN YEARS of Jimmy’s whining, the camp staff finally installed a NEW HANDWASH STATION outside the Dining Hall for the boys. (And there’s a new, rather popular---and lucrative---Coca Cola machine inside!!! What will they think of next?)
There’s also a brand-new Frisbee Golf Course that starts at Dining Hall and goes all the way down to the amphitheater. The boys have put some mileage on it already!
No fish caught yet. But not for lack of TRYING.
Help packing out TODAY: Parents are welcome to come on out to camp to help clean up and pack out! (Again, do not expect to drive out to the campsite…you'll be walking there.) Work---on what little is left after Jimmy’s whirlwind efforts yesterday---will start in earnest by 1:00 PM…with a projected departure time of 9:30 PM.
Friday Night Campfire!!! C’mon out to the Newlon Campsite! (For additional info, see yesterday’s report (attached below---scroll down). Special notice: The formal (and very cool) Order of the Arrow “Tap-Out”ceremony will take place during the amphitheater festivities…and Troop 2877 has some well-deserving (but so far CLUELESS) candidates being tapped out TONIGHT! J
That's all for THIS year at Camp T Brady Saunders. Have fun when you GET THERE TONIGHT!!! :)
Your Faithful Camp Reporter, signing off,