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Day 3: Sunshine on my shoulders gives me sunburn!
Monday is our first day of full activities, and it dawns with the sun burning off the fog over the lake, heading toward a sunny day. Pancakes and sausage is the meal of the morning, with Patrol D cooking up beautiful pancakes under the culinary direction of Bean Rago and Thomas Larson. Patrol F produced good pancakes as well, but we're barely making their morning departure with help from other patrols, including Evan leading a mad dash down the steep slope behind their site to their canoe cache. Happily, their speed over water allowed them to arrive in time.
This morning, the first group went off at 9am to Treasure Island, the snorkeling site where scouts can dive on buried treasure (well hidden in the silt in the lake). The scouts paddle over to the obvious dock, only to be forcefully told that's the wrong dock, prompting Fred to comment "If we're not supposed to stop on that dock,why don't you put a sign up. Are we supposed to read your mind?" Go Fred! Patrols G and D then dive into the (cold!) water and go questing for treasure. Short Round (Daniel McNeill) totally got into treasure finding despite the chill, cementing his nickname as the indominable sidekick for Indiana Steinl and the Patrol of Doom. Kethan got all excited that he'd won a prize for finding something that another troop had lost, but it turned out that the snorkel he raised from the deep was one that Finn had dropped earlier. I'm not sure how Finn was snorkeling without a snorkel, but we learn not to ask these questions.
Patrol A was today's out-trip, hooking up with Big Joe and Tim for a ride over to Sir Sam's Ski Area. Now, why would they go to a ski area you may ask? Well, it IS really cold in Canada, right? Our trip planners can be a little bit odd. They arrive at the ski hill and proceed to grab a bunch of mountain bikes for a crazy ride around the area. Bob had challenged Ben to make it to the top of the ski hill, but Ben's determination drove the whole patrol and everyone made it to the top. Together they did three kilometers of the two kilometer loop at the top of the mountain. Big Joe and Tim then led a mountain biking clinic in preparation for the descent down the mountain. Brian Boehman was skeptical, but turned out to be a solid mountain biker when he overcame his trepidation, and Arul was cruising. Rockin' Robin was unintimidated by the blue-square ski run on a bike, and blazed with the others down Python. Patrick, Ben, and Mountain Drew then demonstrated the power of senior scouts by running the whole up-the-mountain down-the-mountain trip again in about 30 minutes, though it did include a spectacular Patrick wipeout, followed by a wipeout by Scouter Tim at the same spot (with Patrick leaping out of the way), followed by a spectacular dodge by Mountain Drew of the two goofballs lying in heaps on the trail.
Meanwhile, patrols E and F went over to the camp hub for the morning sail lesson. At camp, after you take your sail lesson you can take a sailboat out whenever you like on the lake. It was, alas, a very calm morning, and so in fine Troop 8 tradition when you can't go forward you can go over. Nima, Pike, and Joe Wade proceeded to capsize their sailboat, leaving the staff to wonder whether they did it on purpose or whether they were just incompetent. When asked whether they had just capsized their own boat, Nima responded "Oh No, that would be way too childish."
After sailing, Patrol F grabbed a camp War Canoe, a large 14 person canoe to take around the lake. Parker beat out a cadence with his paddle while the group stalked the sail and kayak area looking for victims. Scouter "Admiral" Connor was helping Captain Evan in identifying women and children for the pirate vessel to go after.
Patrols E and F also hit the camp archery range for a while. We only have sketchy reports because the adult spies had to dodge friendly fire. Ryan Pandya impressed everyone by having no trouble handling a big bow, and nailing a bullseye. Jacob "Dead Eye" Iwashyna proved to be the top archer of the bunch, a total hotshot. We know who will be representing us at the camp shoot off at the end of the week !
As afternoon came around, Patrols D and G went for sailing lessons, and the same Troop 8 shenanigans resumed. Fred was heard to shout "Don't tip the boat! Well, let me jump off first!" A pirate boat with Admiral Connor seemed to be causing much mayhem. After capsizing one boat, the female staff member came by and told the victims they should stop flipping over. When informed that it was the pirate boat, they were told, "Yeah, but that's Connor, and he's kinda hot!"
Later in the afternoon, Patrol D headed off to Raider's island for a fun swim and jumping off a local rock, with Finn Sweeney demonstrating the flying front flip.
Patrol E meanwhile started working on kayaking, with us working to outfit all of the boys in our Troop 8 boats. Ryan Pandya proved a small challenge, but Scouter Bob cannibalized a camp life jacket for foam padding and he was good to go. The first exercise in whitewater kayaking is to flip over and "wet exit" from a boat. That can be quite nerve-wracking being strapped in upside down and having to get out in a timely fashion. Liam was nervous but proved to be just fine, and Noah of course had no problems. Russ Endicott had trouble with his first one, but stuck with it and completed his set of 3 exits including Scouter Bob's surprise flip. Ryan followed Russ's lead and completed 2 out of 3, but by then was getting pretty chilly so he switched to an inflatable kayak along with Joe Wade. Jacob and Tony both did well, and soon a group of guys was out paddling to nearby Taxi Island while Scouter Bob tried to help Patrol Leader Pike perfect his Eskimo Roll.
By the evening, the boys settled in to grilling burgers and dogs over the fire, and attempting pineapple upside down cake over coals (much harder than the stove). The calm peace is interrupted only by a mock trial of Aedan Mulcrone for using a really annoying Japanese voice. Scouter Connor ruled in favor of the prosecution, but was reversed on appeal to Scouter Ray.
Weather is clear and cool and beautiful, and after evening flag ceremony the boys all collapsed happily into their tents. No army helicopters tonight, so the twilight is peaceful here at camp, and the adult and senior scout crew finished plans for the Tuesday and followed the boys to bed.