After spending all day in the notorious Texas sun, in the blazing heat of summer, the Cub Scouts of Circle 10 more than deserve their afternoon swim, but not before sweating a little and certainly not without their buddies.
The Lake Highlands Scouts, between the ages of six and eight years of age, enjoyed their Water World Day Camp this summer.
Responsibility for organizing and coordinating the day camp was that of Cub Master Donna Smith, who has been a Cub Scout leader for three years and been in charge of the camp for the past two years.
The group gathered at Ridgewood-Belcher Park at 8 A.M. each morning, ready for a full day of camping that includes a variety of physical challenges and educational experiences.
Similar camps for Cub Scouts, which meet numerous standards from the State as well as from the Boy Scouts of America, have been a tradition for more than half a century and have grown consistently through the years.
“Attendance has more than doubled from 35 last summer to 79 for this year,” Smith says.
At the beginning of every day the various dens organize into their assigned groups by animal names like the Lions, Bears or Elephants, which are chosen at the start of the week. They meet at the tree they adopted as a den, also at the beginning of the week, and work as a group on various skits and sing songs.
Everyone participates in the opening flag ceremony and then the groups disperse to their assigned stations. The activities vary from day to day, and include various arts and crafts, team sports and athletics — even a B.B. gun and archery range — and always ending with a cool dip in the pool.
“We stress achievement and recognition,” Smith says. “It is a good learning experience.”
Another point of emphasis is safety. The camp has its own first aid station and safety rules for the games and events.
A prime example of this learning-while-having-fun attitude, coupled with a concern for safety, is the B.B. gun course run by certified instructor Robert Smith.
“With all the trouble in schools with shootings,” he says, “this course helps teach responsibility with firearms as well as good sportsmanship.”
It is hard to spend so much time sharing wisdom with kids without receiving some knowledge in the exchange.
“I have learned that all kids are different and they all need individual attention.” Donna Smith says.
While Water World Day Camp offers opportunity for Cub Scout advancement, many of the lessons learned will be recalled years from now.
Unfortunately, no Scouts could be reached for comment without the necessary underwater equipment.