by Thing One
Must be a teenager thing: Thing One has serious thrill issues this summer, from climbing mountains with one arm tied behind his back, to swimming with jellyfish. He earned merit badges in Oceanography and Rowing (plus two partials to finish up at Pigott), thus completing all the elective merit badges needed to earn his Eagle. Read on! (and see all our Camp Parsons photos in the Gimlet Gallery, which is also getting a serious workout this summer.)
Many thanks to the scoutmaster and scouts of Troop 125 for inviting Thing One to be their guest this year. He had a wonderful time and looks forward to more adventures with his new friends!
The Gimlet reports: Thing One’s shoes are still drying under a fan after the canoe capsized at the start of the Octopus Cup race, filling the house with the delightful aroma of manky teenager shoes well steeped in salt water. Thing One really was not planning to join the racing team, but the troop needed a fourth man. They rallied to the middle of the pack from last place. It showed a lot of grit … or salt.
From August 2-8, I went to Camp Parsons with Troop 125. Camp Parsons is at a bay on Hood Canal, Puget Sound. It has 3 beaches: The Pier, where the pier jump, swim test, and boat classes are held; Swim Beach, which is self explanatory; and Mystery Beach, where people can throw rocks and beach comb. (You can find porcelain crabs, eels and starfish there, and I have even seen seals in the Sound. There are also jellyfish. The red ones sting, the white ones don’t).
Talking a little trash before the tug of war
Click the above photo to watch the movie
Sunday morning we left for Camp Parsons and got there about 1:00 pm. Fortunately, we were waiting in front of the camp before it opened, so we weren’t in too much of a line for the swim test. The dock by the pier also has jellyfish. After swimming with the jellies, we had some opening ceremonies, introductions and merit badge sign ups. I signed up for rowing, woodcarving, oceanography, and reptile and amphibian study.
The merit badges started on Monday. The troop time activities were a scavenger hunt, and then canoe swamp. There were four people to each canoe, and the goal was to swamp the other canoes by rocking their boat hard enough to get water into it (but you had to be inside the boat). My canoe was only swamped twice, and in one of the times, the swampers swamped themselves while swamping us. The other canoe the troop was in was swamped more, and one of the adult leaders who was a scout in the troop before he was and adult was in our boat. Somebody from the other boat called the adult his brother’s name (he had been doing this throughout the 2½ days the adult leader was there) and he rocked the other boat and said, “WHAT’S MY NAME?!” and the people in the other boat said his name so he would stop.
On Tuesday, one activity was the well-known pier jump. This was at mid-tide, so it was not a very long jump, but not very short. This pier is the 50-year-old pier that a picture of is on lots of Camp Parsons T-shirts. One thing to be sure of on the pier (even at high tide) is don’t belly flop, it would hurt! I did not prove this, but it is common sense. The best jumps were the scoutmaster jumps, where the dock and the guy in the rowboat would get splashed. Once I jumped at the same time as one of the scoutmasters. When I got in the water, I heard a “Boom” and when I got up, I could see the top of the pier dripping and foam and waves on the water. Unfortunately, I missed seeing when both the scoutmasters jumped.
Kicking up their heels at the Hullabaloo
Click the photo to watch the movie
On Friday, the Hullabaloo began. First, the patrols did lots of activities like dancing, get the tire over the pole and back, tug of war, and lots of others. Then the hullabaloo relay began, where there was canoeing, swimming, speed walking and running. I sprinted from the chapel, on the trail past Fort Duckabush museum, and to Silver Marmot Grill (The “SMG” is the trading post), where the next runner was. We got 10th place out of 20 participating troops. Then, there was the octopus cup, a canoeing race to a rock in the bay Parsons was in and back (about a mile each way). In the beginning, just barely in the water, we swamped because some of us fell down and tipped. Then, we quickly made it back up to the middle, to the rock. We made it 7th to last (10th place), because some people swamped and some people went in a wavy line, and we did not. Later, we had closing ceremonies.
Saturday we packed up and waited for the awards ceremony, and buying last things from the SMG. The “Camp Dismissed” yell was accompanied with a gunshot (unlike Pigott and Fire Mountain) and we talked with an adult leader picking up his son who was there with another troop who earned his Eagle Scout from Troop 125 in 1978. On the way to and back from Camp Parsons, the ferry had other troops on it. The cook from camp was also on the ferry with us.
When I got home, I did the routine of getting back from scout camp: shower, laundry, write a blog article about it, and get ready for the next camp (I’ll be doing this every time until WashJam, my last scout camp this summer).
Tags: camp parsons, scout camp