Levi’s Summer Camp

Every year since he turned 12, Levi has had the chance to go to Scout Camp in the Summer. The first time he went he lasted 3 days. The past few summers he hasn’t gone at all. So you can imagine my trepidation as we headed out this year to camp.

Add on to this that I got the assignment for organizing the activities that would be done during the camp for Levi’s age group. He is a Venture scout and in the age group of 16-18. So, here we are with 50+ other 16-18 year-old young men and their leaders.

Monday morning we got up at 4AM in order to load the bus and start out on this adventure. We went to Lake Pleasant for Lake Ball, Canoe Tug-of-War, Paddle Board/Snorkeling, and Gutter Ball. It was a full day and Levi had a great time.

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Lake Pleasant
Levi Playing Gutter Ball

After the Lake we travelled up to base camp at Camp Raymond near Parks Arizona. The young men setup camp, had dinner and then attended a camp fire program. Levi isn’t the best at attending these kinds of things and he skipped out this night and went to bed.

Tuesday and Wednesday brought a split of the group. 1/2 of them went by bus to Mount Humphries which is the highest point in Arizona. They hiked the mountain and most of them made it to the summit. The other 1/2 went to Sycamore Falls. They had to ride 8 miles on bikes to get there and it was an enjoyable ride (yes I rode the path). At the Falls there were three activities: Rappelling, Rock Climbing and a Tyrolean Traverse.

Sycamore Falls Tyrolean Traverse
BJ on the Tyrolean Traverse

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Wednesday night was the second of three program events. Levi attended this one, although it might have been grudgingly.

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Thursday we stayed at camp. The highlight of the morning was shooting pistols. Most of the young men hadn’t done this before (outside of video games that is) and so it was a great learning experience. Levi did well.

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The afternoon activity got rained out (we saw rain everyday). This was the only time that we got rained out for an activity all week. Thursday night was spent in camp with the scout unit (local unit not the big group).

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Friday was the last day of activities. We went to Schulz Creek for a downhill 4 mile mountain bike ride. Everyone got in the vehicles just before the rain hit. We then traveled to the Lava Cave for a little exploring. Again the rain hit while we were in the cave and so most of the group stayed dry.

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Friday night was the last night of the program and Levi came willingly. That’s progress for the week.

Saturday was time to pack up and go home, but not without helping the quartermasters clean up their area.

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The best part of the week? Levi didn’t once ask to go home. In fact, his tent stayed dry (unlike mine) and he had an enjoyable time. I couldn’t be with him at every step and he did very well independently. And I still had a smile on my face when all was said and done.

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I'm a father of five adopted children, three of whom have special needs. Life is an adventure! Soccer is my pastime when I'm not doing things with my family.

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