Heyoooooo, as you can probably tell, I kind of stopped posting for an entire week. *Gasp*. This may or may not be due to the fact that I've been spending this past week roughing it in the wild outdoors, at a Boy Scout Summer Camp.
I've been an avid Boy Scout since I was 12 years old, I'll soon be 18, ending my journey :(, and I've enjoyed every single minute of it. For those that may not be familiar with the organization, here is a brief history:
Scouting began in England in 1907-08, created by General Robert Baden-Powell. B-P, a 50-year old bachelor at the time, was one of the few heroes to come out of Britain's Boer War. He was known primarily for his unusual ideas about military scouting, explained in his book Aids to Scouting. Startled to discover that many boys were using his military book as a guide to outdoor activities, he began to think how he could convert his concepts of army scouting for men to "peace scouting" for boys. Gathering ideas from many sources (including Ernest Thompson Seton, who had founded a boys organization in the US), he tested his program on a group of boys on Brownsea Island in 1907. The island camp was successful, so B-P rewrote his military book, calling it Scouting for Boys. The climate was right for a youth program like Scouting, and it spread quickly around the British commonwealth, then to other countries. Throughout the years scouting has evolved and grown, and now encompasses over 2 million boys world round.
The earliest Scouts could earn only three ranks: Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class, which covered basic Scouting skills. The BSA soon added three higher ranks to recognize First Class Scouts who earned merit badges: Life (5 merit badges), Star (10 merit badges), and Eagle (21 merit badges). In 1925, Star was placed before Life (because the five points of a star could represent five merit badges). Over the years, the advancement plan has changed little in its overall structure, but specific requirements have been changed many times.
I myself, have managed to acquire 23 merit badges to date, and I'm currently working on my final Eagle Scout required badge and 2 extra badges that will net me a Bronze Palm. An Eagle Scout must acquire 12 badges off a set list, and 11 more of their choice, every 5 after that will give them a palm, in order of Bronze, Gold, Silver. (This continues after the first 15 as Bronze2, Gold2, Silver2, so on so forth). In order to achieve Eagle Rank, I must also complete a 15 hour service project that I plan, and lead construction on. If I manage all of this, I'll become the first Eagle Scout with a palm of any kind chartered to my troop. =D I know right?
So now that you know a little about the amazing organization that takes up my time out of game... let me outline my week for ya.
Saturday: We were tasked to handle our own transportation to the campsite. I'm able to drive so that wasn't a problem. The problem, however, was the meeting time. Nine A.M in the morning. Yeah, that was definitely 4-5 hours earlier than I wanted to wake up. Good news is I managed to make it there only 30 minutes late. After arriving, I helped finish setting up tents and whatnot, and was called into our makeshift kitchen. (Which is actually a miniature cabin that we've built, that is fully stocked and could probably be used as a fall out shelter in case of a hurricane.) It was then that I was told that I was to be our Senior Patrol Leader for the week. Awesome. For those that are unaware, the SPL is basically like the President of the Troop. They are the ultimate authority. This means I'm in charge of 15 10-15 year old boys. Woopty-freakin-do.
Sunday: We went to church. We came back to the campsite and pretty much chilled, nothing to special.
Monday: Merritt Badge classes began. I was looking forward to teaching my rowing and canoeing classes, but was informed that I would not be teaching any classes this week. I would, however be taking 6 classes within 3 time blocks. How? I don't even know.
Tuesday: My friend and I went hiking during our hiking class, and got lost in the woods. After about 45 minutes we found our way to the road, and ended up hiking approximately 10 miles to reach our campsite. We were gone for about 3 hours, and the best part was, noone noticed we were even gone. -.-.
Wednesday: The Boy Scouts of America has a sub-organization called the Order of The Arrow. Basically, once scouts reaches a certain rank and age, they are eligible to be "initiated" into our Order. It's fun =D. So we were doing a Tap-Out ceremony on our beautiful lake, when a thunder storm rolls in. The ceremony consisted of me paddling across the lake in a little john-boat. So there I am, going across a lake wearing nothing but a loincloth, as gail force winds rock my boat back and forth, fun stuff.
Thursday: We went to the Okefenokee Swamp park. One of our kids almost got eaten by a croc, nothing special.
Friday: We went to Summer Waves and I got shot down by 2 of the lifeguards that work there. Oh well.
Saturday: I was burnt as a piece of toast, but we packed up camp and I waved farewell to my final Summer Camp as a youth. I'm gonna miss it, for sure.
Oh, so I guess I should stop boring you. WoW related, we didn't put in any HM LK attempts Sunday, but I heard that my guildies were managing phase 1 transitions while I was gone. Great Job guys =D