The Scouting Games council camporee this past weekend (April 29 – May 1) was very engaging and successful for everyone involved. We want to extend a big thank you to all of the staff, but especially to Adam White and Sam Taylor for all of the themed programming and for bringing to fruition a great event in such a short amount of time. Kiondaga Lodge’s contribution to the weekend was most visible in two ways: the trading post, and our call out ceremony. Linda Schweickart had FOUR different flavors of squishees, cotton candy, ice cream, candy, a silent patch auction, and managed to sell out, and take many more pre-orders, for the Old Ben commemorative blankets.

Due to the unpredictability of the weather, our call out ceremony was completed just outside of the dining hall with not-so-distant thunder rumbling throughout. While not the traditional voyage across the lake and extensive line on the hill, it was a decent presentation for our candidates, and was much more impressive than what otherwise would have been conducted in the dining hall. We greatly appreciate the arrowmen who enthusiastically volunteered to help as principals, torch bearers, and runners Saturday evening, and congratulations again to all of our new candidates!

In addition to the camporee activities, a number of previous camp staff visited camp in a bittersweet reunion. As has been made public knowledge, Old Ben Scout Reservation is in the process of being sold, and the camporee was the last council event at camp while it is in our possession.  However, the OA was able to squeeze in one more event at Old Ben, our Spring Fellowship from May 13-15. We find it fitting that Kiondaga Lodge was the first to camp at Old Ben in the 80’s, and about 40 years later, we will be the last to do so. To be clear, Old Ben is not being demolished, nor are we banned from using it in the future, simply for now its ownership is being passed on. Many cherished memories have been made at Old Ben since its opening, and added to those were the memories made this weekend at the camporee.