Pipersville, PA - Boy Scout Troop 145 of Clark made their 15th annual trek to Ockanickon Scout Reservation in Pipersville, Pennsylvania last week. 34 scouts, 6 leaders and 5 parents attended for a week of fun and adventure. During their time at camp, the scouts participated in a variety of educational programs to earn merit badges and rank advancements necessary to reach the position of Eagle Scout.
This year Troop 145 earned an impressive 185 merit badges. 60 of those badges were earned by 11 first year scouts while completing the Dan Beard Program. The Dan Beard Program is an all day course for first year scouts. This program is specially designed to give new scouts a comprehensive kick off to their first full year as a Boy Scout. In this program, the scouts participate in instructional swim with the opportunity to earn the swimming merit badge. They also learn about the Boy Scout patrol method as well as knife, ax and saw safety. By the end of the week, most scouts in the Dan Beard Program earn between five and six badges.
This year the troop received accolades when the Black Hawk and Coyote Patrols earned the Honor Patrol Award and the entire troop earned the Honor Troop Award as well as the Clean Campsite Award. In addition, Troop 145 received the Service Project Award after reconstructing the campsite's stone fire pit and rebuilding the stones lining the trails around the Bischewi campsite.
In keeping with Boy Scout tradition, every challenge faced at camp is an opportunity to learn another necessary skill. When this year’s annual Water Carnival was cancelled due to strong lightning and thunderstorms, troop leaders seized the opportunity to demonstrate evacuation procedures as the boys were escorted to a safe building and housed for several hours. This proved to be a value experience for scouts working on their Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge.
Along with all the hard work, there was plenty of opportunity for fun during the week. Troop 145 took first place in the annual camp volleyball tournament, beating their archrival, Troop 615 from Maryland. This is the troop that stole the win from Troop 145 in the finals last year. This victory was especially sweet since it has been 13 years since Clark last won the event.
Watch a slideshow of some of the Troop's activities while in camp:
Troop 145 hosted a Pig Roast Dinner for all the Camp Counselors after the Closing Campfire ceremony on Friday night to end the week. It was well-attended and everyone was well fed and happy with the week’s accomplishments.
Exhausted leaders and parents left camp for their return to Clark on Saturday with exhilarated scouts hauling bags of gear and laundry. The scouts’ faces clearly indicated pride in having tackled another year of adventures at Ockanickon.
Joe Giamella, Troop Committee Chairman and Assistant Scoutmaster who has been involved in scouting for 26 years said, “Scouting gives young boys a chance to grow into responsible young men, and I have had the enjoyment of watching this change in all my boys (scouts) throughout their years, especially my own three sons. It has been as rewarding for me as it has been for them.” He continued his salute to the boys, the organization of scouting and his own dedication by saying, “If I can alter the life of just one young man in a positive way, isn't it all worth it?”
Summer camp is an important part of the Boy Scout experience. The principal objectives of the Boy Scouts of America are to build character, foster participation in citizenship and to develop physical, mental and emotional fitness. Troop 145 finds Ockanickon to be an exemplary model of these objectives and chooses to attend each summer because of the camp’s highly acclaimed programs, exceptional customer service and state of the art science center and facilities.