Thursday, June 30, 2011

Getting Ready for Camp

Our Three Falls staff has been hard at work for the past week preparing the camp and themselves for a great summer season. With the first session of Webelos Resident Camp just days away, we are very nearly ready to receive our first campers.
  • We have relocated Scoutcraft and Pathfinders (Trail to First Class) from the central corral to the former Sitting Bull campsite, which is much closer to most of the other program areas -- above the lake and half way between the pool and the Fort. The Scoutcraft staff has constructed a couple of large scale pioneering projects, with more to be built over the course of the summer.
  • We're almost done setting up Louella's Cantina, also located at Sitting Bull. It's a kind of whimsical recreation of an old-time western watering hole, complete with swinging doors, a bar, and atmospheric lighting. It will be a great spot for campers to hang out in the evening for a cup of lemonaide, a game of checkers, and some music.
  • We've moved the camp office upstairs where there is more room for the staff to work, brought in more computers, and even have a good enough internet connection that I can add posts to this blog from camp. Not enough bandwidth for camper use yet, but hopefully that will happen next year. Unfortunately our copier died on us -- if anyone can help with donation or loan of a robust office-quality copy machine it would be a lifesaver.
  • We're remodeling the Trading Post to accommodate more stock and let us serve customers more efficiently. (As I write this at 11:30 p.m. Tom and Gordie are still down there putting on a few finishing touches. I need to send them to bed soon.)
  • The T-shirts, mugs, hats, and Three Falls logo knives that I have been telling you about are here, and they look great. The Scout Store also has a few of the knives -- check them out when you are there.
  • The pool house has been painted, thanks to the Order of the Arrow and Gary Lee.
  • The dock at the lake has been rebuilt with new decking and we have four new Sabot sailboats arriving tomorrow to join our canoes and rowboats, thanks to the efforts of Skip Johnson.
  • Just today, our High Adventure staff set out caches to be used in teaching the new Geocaching Merit Badge.
  • Nate, our Frontier Skills instructor, has added a bunch of new activities for Webelos and Boy Scouts, including gold panning, tinsmithing, candlemaking, roping, as well as the traditional tomahawks, branding, trap setting and flint and steel firebuilding.
  • We have a great opening campfire planned for you, with lots of new and original songs and skits, again tied together with our frontier theme.
We're all excited to start camp and we look forward to seeing you soon at Camp Three Falls!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Online Merit Badge Signups

Three Falls has entered the 21st century by providing online merit badge signups for Boy Scout units. We have sent information on the process to the e-mails units provided on their reservation forms. If no one from your troop received this information, e-mail us at and let us know where to send the info, and we'll get it right out to you.

Please submit your scouts' merit badge requests electronically at least a week before coming to camp so we have time to collate the data and distribute it to area directors. Boys can make last-minute changes when they get to camp, but bear in mind that some popular classes may fill up by then. With advance registration, we have time to deploy extra resources to meet demand; we may not be able to do that at the last minute.

Also, please make ONE leader from your unit responsible for entering the information online, not individual scouts or their parents. This is to avoid potential abuse of the system.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Gotta Have Souvenirs

Dianna at the council scout store worked with a knife vendor and came up with this nice lockback knife with graphics that match our camp t-shirt, patch, and mug. We'll be selling them in the camp trading post. Remember, Scouts need their Totin' Chip to buy one. Webelos need their Whittlin' Chip and must bring a parent or den leader to the trading post to buy a knife.

I spent some time this weekend going through our trading post stock, and there's a lot of cool stuff, including all kinds of handicraft kits, walking sticks, pocketknives, cups, patches, and of course camp t-shirts. We also have a bunch of different kinds of hats, including coonskin hats, Civil War kepi caps, straw cowboy hats, boonie hats and more -- whatever your style, we've got something to keep your head warm, keep the sun out of your eyes, and most importantly, make you look good. I tried on one of the coonskins, and have to say, it made me look even more ruggedly handsome than usual. I definitely have to have one of those for my hat collection.

That's Some Pioneering

A Vietnamese Buddhist youth group held a training weekend at camp this past weekend and built a pretty impressive gateway in front of the Trading Post. They very generously left it for us to use. We had to disassemble the sign and the left side of the structure so our food delivery truck could get through, but the tower is still intact and we plan to move it up to one of the program areas next week as part of our frontier village. Water tower for the gold panning activity, maybe?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Forms Posted

See the downloads menu in the right column of this page for some new forms:
  • Unit Roster Form: Fill this out and print a copy to bring to camp with you. You can also e-mail the form before coming to camp to
  • Trading Post Order Form: Use this to collect advance orders from your Scouts and parents. For your convenience, you can take or send the form to the council trading post and prepay for your purchases. Please do so at least seven days before coming to camp so that we receive your request before you arrive -- the Pony Express takes some time to get to us out here. Advance orders help us to ensure that we have exactly what you need. If you don't wish to order in advance, you can still use the form to aggregate your Scouts' requests into a single purchase and hand it in when you arrive at camp -- we'll pull all your items and box them up for you to pick up on Sunday evening.
  • Special Needs Form: Fill out one of these for each person in your group who has special dietary, mobility, or other needs. This form needs to be turned in to the council office or e-mailed to us at least two weeks before you come to camp so that we have time to make needed preparations.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Camp T-Shirt

I'm really excited about this year's camp t-shirt -- it's a real departure from the usual camp shirt and I think will be very popular with Scout-age boys.

Thanks to local Scouter and graphic artist John Chinn for helping us create the design.

And here's the patch: