I have been a part of scouting with Scouts BSA, formerly Boy Scouts, since I was a Wolf in Cub Scouts. It’s been one of the most integral parts of my upbringing as I have met some of my best friends from scouting.
My most recent venture into scouting was working on the staff of Boxwell Reservation this summer. I earned my Eagle rank in 2016 and left scouting for about a year until I received a letter asking if I was interested in working at the summer camp I used to attend.
I thought “why not?” and applied. My first summer working at Boxwell was in the summer of 2018 where I worked at Camp Craig and still do. That was a wild summer as most of the staff members were in high school, and I was a first-year staffer going into my junior year of college.
With that said, there were other staff members my age, but they were all directors while I was just an instructor for the cooking merit badge. That year, I was actually older than some of the directors. My age was such a topic of conversation, my age ended up being my camp nickname.
I got in trouble on my first week of staffing with one of the rangers, and he said “I’m going to call you 19!” He gave me that nickname to remind me to act my age. This year was my third year on staff, and I am still known as 19 despite now being 23.
In 2019, I returned but as the pioneering instructor. And by pioneering, we really mean "rope skills." I got asked to return for a third time but to now be a director and the pioneering instructor. As a director, I now had to oversee the jobs of seven instructors and run a whole area of camp. Being that camp was cancelled in 2020, we were coming back from a two-year hiatus. This meant we had brand new staff members, our old broken equipment is now older and more broken, and we had the lowest numbers this year when it comes to attendance.
This year was by far the hardest year at camp which made it one of the most rewarding camps I worked. During staff week, which is a week where the staff sets up camp without campers actually being there, we discovered that most of our tents were broken. That whole week was filled with building new tent supports and setting up tents.
The directors weren’t even able to get to our teaching areas to set them up until Thursday of that week when we’re usually able to go to our areas by Tuesday. We then had four very successful weeks of camp thanks to the enthusiasm and hard work of the staff. I gained some new friendships, strengthened old ones and gained some enemies as well, but that’s a whole other story.
I am not sure if I will return after this year, but it was a memorable year to say the least.
Standard reporter Taylor Moore can be reached at 473-2191.