Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Scout camp promises fun

Boys try for badges

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer Contributor

[photo] Cub scouts gathered at East Fork State Park in Clermont County for a day of summer camp activities.
(Dick Swaim photos)
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        TATE TOWNSHIP — For nearly 130 Clermont County cub scouts, the first day of camp hit the bull's eye.

        Even the weather was on target as camp programs got under way Monday morning at East Fork Lake State Park. Under sunny skies, campers organized into groups and rotated among activity sessions. In keeping with the day camp's “Space Odyssey” theme, each group bore the name of a space program. And activities were termed “missions.”

        A group of Apollos waited their turn at the firing range as instructor Cindy Leen of New Richmond reviewed the basics of BB gun safety. Then they donned goggles, loaded their guns and popped away at paper targets.

        Nearby, young archers tried their hands (and arms) at traditional and compound bows.

        Other activities included nature studies. After learning about raptors and meeting owls, a falcon and a red-tailed hawk, Nolan Tucker shared some other facts he'd learned about the outdoors.

[photo] Ricky Cmar, 9, of Batavia fires a BB gun after being shown the proper way to handle the weapon.
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        “Poison ivy has three leaves,“ said the 7-year-old Amelia resident. “Poison sumac has a red stem. If you're allergic, you'll get a rash and you should wash the oil off.”

        “Let's find some poison ivy!” shouted one scout as his group headed off into the woods.

        The wolf cubs, bear cubs and webelos work toward a number of achievement badges at the camp, said director Virginia Briggs. Boy Scouts helping supervise the activities satisfy requirements for merit badges.

        Fire safety, obstacle courses, crafts, games, ceremonial dancing and swimming await campers as the week progresses. Ms. Briggs was confident all would go as scheduled, even if - as predicted - the weather turns rainy.

        “The only thing that stops us is lightning,” she said. “They don't care how muddy they get — they're boys.”

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