Cub Scouts from the Great Valley District held their annual Day Camp at Camp Hope Tree (Hope Tree Academy) in Salem during the week of June 19-23. The Great Valley District is a member of the Boy Scouts of America Blue Ridge Council. The camp is traditionally held the week after Father’s Day.
Ninety-three scouts registered for the camp this year— up from 70 in summer 2016 with one of the largest Webelos groups (fourth and fifth graders) in recent history. Six Cub Scouts from Pack 235 in Vinton attended this year: Jhorden Sink, Royce Apple, Carson Bivens, Nathanial Rucker, Kingston Lees, and Franklin Apple.
Cubmaster Ryan Apple of Vinton Pack 235 served again as camp director. Kathie Mantey was the Cub program director, with Janette Hunt as assistant program director and Webelos program director. Brian Cook was Webelos assistant program firector. Jayden Sink, Thomas Wood, and Michael Lovell, who are all Boy Scouts, volunteered as staff Troop Guides.
This year’s theme was “Bug Hunters.” The camp program ran from 8:30 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. There were 26 different “adventures” across four ranks available to the Scouts in addition to earning a NOVA award and one in shooting sports.
Organizers planned many highlights for the campers including the Bricks 4 Kidz program, who were at camp for two days helping the Scouts to use Lego bricks to explore the world of engineering, architecture, science, and art.
Scouts also built Bristlebots— imple micro-robots made from a conventional toothbrush head and micro-motors. Their primary purpose is to make robotics education accessible and affordable— a “way for everyone to dive into the world of robotics.”
Campers also built rockets to launch, participated in archery, made slime, swam, and shot BB guns.
The Virginia Tech Department of Entomology (the branch of zoology concerned with the study of insects) visited one day led by Jacqueline Brown, who had presented a program to Pack 235 earlier in the year with her scorpions and tarantulas. Salem Fire and EMS came to talk about communications.
According to Jannette Hunt, the Webelos group traveled to Camp Ottari in Hiwassee on June 21 to participate in a tour of the camp where many of them will go in the future as Boy Scouts.
“They hiked 5.3 miles to Mountain Man at the camp, and completed a conservation project where they raked the sand on the beach and pulled weeds to keep the camp looking pristine for current and future campers,” said Hunt. “The boys were able to see Boy Scouts participating in camp, as camp was in session currently. We are so proud of these boys for this accomplishment!”
Scouts brought a sack lunch each day except for Friday when a campfire hot dog lunch was provided by the Scout camp with families invited to attend the closing ceremony and awarding of badges.
Apple thanked Trysh Bannan, who served as camp nurse once again. Other adult volunteers included Richard Coen and C.D. White (shooting Ssports), Joe Ostronic, Dina Kimball, Lee Edwards, Pat Apple, and Woody Sadler (den leaders), along with several others who helped out during the week.
Anyone interested in getting involved in Scouting should contact www.beascout.scouting.org or www.bsa-brmc.org/. The Vinton Pack and Troop meet on Monday nights in the Scout building at Thrasher Memorial UMC in Vinton.
If anyone would like to be on staff or help develop camp program ideas for future camps, contact Apple at firstname.lastname@example.org.