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The best laid plans of scouts and Zekanys go aft agin. After some running around on Friday dealing with the transmission on minivan 2 blowing up, the logistics train was completed with another Mahowald family vehicle, and the group got out on time. A big thanks to the Mahowald's for their huge assistance.
Crossing the border proved little difficulty, and the McDonalds rendezvous was handled well. There were some truly amusing moments for those who have not yet been on their own in a foreign land. After buying his Happy Meal, young Lucas Tittle received his change, and horror of horrors they gave him some weird pieces of paper with pictures of a lady with a crown and a bunch if hockey players on it instead of giving him MONEY. What's up with that? Despite the confusion of being issued monopoly money and funny two dollar coins, the boys were well fed and got back on the road in good order. The odd cry from many of the first year scouts as they jumped into cars was "I want to listen to diarrhea!!" which got us some odd looks in the parking lot. Apparently that is the new favorite troop 8 joke song.
After a brief regroup waiting for a lost Scouter Luke, we arrived at our destination in Milton, to discover that we had been locked out (again). Management seems to have trouble remembering to leave us key, but the Patrol Leaders took it in stride and organized a quick hike in. A gentle breeze blows across the ridge and the sleeping is pleasant.
Ah, the wonder of first year scouts! Up at dawn! The group started a massive game of the Hut, an energetic Troop 8 favorite at 6am, and were packed up and ready to go in record time, led by the Patrol D guy who really seem to have their act together under the leadership of Sam Taylor and Jason Dean. Meanwhile the Vulture and scouter Conner went out to find a Tim Hortons (it took a couple of minutes) and request 6 dozen donuts and milk. "You want coffee with milk?". "No, just milk.". After resolving the confusion, they returned to feed the neatly lined up patrols, and the group was off on the road again.
Scouter Steve's car seemed to be the party car for this segment, which continued as a rock concert in the KFC parking lot as we waited for the rest of the cars to gather. The singalong to Bon Jovi was led by Jason Dean and the Taylor brothers, with backup by Ryan Gooch and the dips. They only paused a moment for the grumpy KFC manager who came out to find out why nearly 40 people were in her parking lot partying. We of course were waiting for Scouter Luke, who was lost again.
Eventually we cleaned the place out of chicken and mashed potatoes, and Brendan Klein's emergency navigation got Scouter Luke to the destination, so we headed off to camp. The camp parking lot by that point was pretty loaded, but the guys were patient as we waited for other groups to clear so that we could catch our ferries out to the island. This was a massive group effort as we quickly unloaded our whole kit and kaboodle onto the ferry boats. As guys hauled our kayaks over there were some memorable moments of smaller guys lifting loaded boats. One memorable quote was "Hey, it's my turn to provide moral support.". As we headed to the island, in fine pirate fashion, Patrick Wellman volunteered to Walk the Plank, but was restrained by his colleagues.
We're now settled into our own private corner of an island, with a gentle evening breeze blowing across the water. The mosquito population is nowhere near as bad as it was a few weeks ago, and the vista is stunning. Each patrol has their own campsite with a small field overlooking separate bays, and the guys have settled in and started making it home. A brief flag ceremony in the evening to retire the Troop 8 flags (a US flag on top of an even larger Jolly Roger pirate flag (with a Canadian courtesy flag to the side) was lowered to taps, and camp dismissed. From where we sit in the adult hub, we can hear Jackson Sweeney on his guitar with the Patrol C chorus, the crisp instruction of Chris Kuzel to Patrol A ("the reason you never sit down while cooking, dude, is that if you knock the hot pot off it spills in your lap, and then important parts might have to be removed"), and the Patrol D guys just enjoying the sunset.
Welcome to the first night of camp.