We've recently watched the temperatures drop and many of us have used our umbrellas more in the past week than we've had to most years. Hurricane Alex continues to bring wet weather to West Texas, but the campers at the Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch were prepared. Some of them even said this is a nice change from the typical summer heat.
Scouting is commonly associated with outdoor activities, but when it's pouring the rain outside some of the activities have to be moved indoors. Cabins become classrooms and tents are put to the test by heavy rain. But what happens to the pool activities?
"We've always got an alternate program prepared and so long as there's no lightning or thunder we're more than happy to let them in the pool. It has been a little cooler so we've got some coffee for the adults and some hot chocolate for the kids up at the office. And we've been having a great time making sure nobody turns blue," Erik Ulvestad, the BTSR Aquatics Director, said.
On top of the mountain, older scouts were learning about the life of a mountain man from the fur trade era. Not only were they collecting the rainwater, but many of the re-enactors were still outside brushing up on their black powder shooting skills. Even I got to squeeze the trigger of a gun similar to what Daniel Boone might have used. I missed the target, but I'll just blame it on the rain. Some of the folks at camp said they were actually excited to see the rain.
"This week it has been a little cloudy and drizzly and rainy, but it's better than 110 degrees blazing heat. So we'll take it. The ground needs the moisture, that's for sure," David O'Neill, the BTSR Field Director, said.
And it got plenty of moisture while I was there. But through it all...the scouts continued camping, continued learning, and continued doing exactly what it was they came to do.
“They came out here to the wilderness and have an opportunity to learn skills that will help them someday...maybe to save a life, or just learn a career path, or just to make a friend, or have positive memories of an experience in the outdoors. So we believe strongly in the summer camp program and we're glad to have such a beautiful camp to make it happen," O'Neill.
Those activities will continue all summer long, and then it's time to start planning for next year. Again, our thanks to Scout Executive Lyman Gifford and the Buffalo Trail Council for providing that unforgettable experience.
For more about the Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch and how you can get involved with scouting, check them out on the web at www.buffalotrailbsa.org or give them a call at (432) 570-7601.