Monday, February 21, 2011

Getting into the Frontier Spirit

As part of our Frontier theme emphasis this year, our staff is going to be portraying characters from Western history (and Lockwood Valley in particular). That will include wearing appropriate costumes during many activities. Campers are welcome to join us by wearing Frontier clothing as well. We encourage both Boy Scouts and Webelos to wear period clothing for Campwide Games on Friday (Tuesday for Webelos Session 2) and for the barbeque dinner and closing campfire.

Lockwood Valley has a rich history, from the Chumash and other native American people who lived and visited here for thousands of years; the Spanish explorers and rancheros, mountain men (yes, they did pass through here); American soldiers from Fort Tejon; loggers and miners (there were sawmills and mines within a few miles of camp); homesteaders and farmers. Our staff willl be representing all these groups.

Here are a few links to youth-friendly sites that will provide more information about reenacting some of these periods, including suggestions for dressing in period clothing:

Mountain Men: Site for a Rendezvous program at Mataguay Scout Reservation with lots of information on clothing and frontier skills:

Early Settlers: State of Missouri educational site on early settler crafts and skills. Includes a pattern for a frontier style shirt:

Civil War Reenactment for kids:

Fort Tejon Historical Association: Click the Student Living History link and look at the Teacher Handbook for ideason teaching frontier skills to your Scouts:

Ridge Route Communities Historical Society: Lots of information on the history of the mountains of northern Ventura County and southern Kern County, including Lockwood Valley. A visit to their museum in Frazier Park would be a good stop on your way to or from camp:

Participation in living history activities, and visits to historic sites like Fort Tejon and the Ridge Route Museum, may count toward the Boy Scout American Heritage Merit Badge, the Webelos Home Town Historic Sites adventure award, or the Venturing Outdoor Living History elective toward the Ranger award.

Summer Camp Update

Sorry for the long silence, but it's been a busy few weeks. Here's a quick overview of what we've been up to:
  • We conducted staff interviews early this month and most staff members got preliminary offers by phone or e-mail last week. Many of our staff from last year are returning, a few from earlier years are coming back, and we have a lot of enthusiastic new faces as well. I'm excited about the quality of our 2011 staff. We've set an extensive schedule of staff training and camp preparation for them starting next month and continuing until camp opens.
  • The Leader Guide has been almost completely re-written to be better-organized and more informative. It's close to finished and will be available shortly.
  • We've been working with council staff on improving billing systems. Registered units are receiving invoices that will make it easier for you to keep track of what you owe for camp and when it is due.
  • We are developing an online signup system for merit badges and other activities. This will help unit leaders when it comes time for them to work with their scouts to plan schedules and set goals for camp. We will keep you informed about the details.
  • Staff and unit leaders we've talked to are enthusiastic about our Frontier theme. We're adding a number of new activities that reflect the theme -- I'll be blogging about that in more detail in the future.
  • In keeping with our Frontier theme, we're going to call our Trail to First Class program the "Pathfinders". We're beefing up the Pathfinder staff and planning new activities that will make this program even more fun and productive for your younger Scouts -- the older boys are going to be jealous.
  • Of course, registrations for camp are coming in. We're well ahead of last year's numbers. Boy Scout Week 1 is getting close to capacity and Week 2 is filling up nicely, and we have a solid start for all the Webelos Sessions.
  • Maybe the most gratifying thing has been the many offers of help and support we've been getting from individuals and units across the council, and for that matter, from folks outside our council. 
It's going to be a great year for Camp Three Falls!