It was a windless, cold day when I was able to steal up to the Hood Canal to welcome in the New Year. In the years past this was one of my more favorite activities but between work and other events I haven't been able to do this much. Outside of a few folks visiting, it was a fairly uneventful yet very enjoyable day. It is nice when you don't have to work on a schedule and the meals are planned whenever you decide to fire up the grill or crack open a box of something. Perhaps the best part of the New Year event is that it really is a "non" event when you are at camp. That evening was no different. The pier was covered in sea ice (as it was that cold) but it was very calm. There was a slight cloud cover but what that did was basically reflect the lights from a distant Seattle, Bremerton and cities beyond. When the New Year came, all you could see was reflections of all the fireworks being ignited and the distant rumble of noise that finally would make its way down the canal. Of course, there was the sound of a .22 caliber hand gun going off in the cove which had everyone ducking their head like we were taking fire......but that sound quickly drifted away.....
So now we enter our 94th season of camping on the Hood Canal. What we know currently is that we are full and are taking reservations for 2013 currently. We know that we have troops coming from Alabama, Texas and points in between. What we know is that we will have a great, enthusiastic staff once again and soon the camp will be full of excited young scouts enjoying their time at scout camp. What we don't know yet is what staff are going to fit into certain slots. The usual "dance" begins as we start looking at our organizational chart and decide who is best to fit into what position, at least for the upcoming season. I have no doubt things will work out, but in the meantime I will have to put up with lobbying efforts and bartering for some staff to take certain jobs. Although all jobs are important in my mind, that is not the mind set of most of the staff.
Not knowing about staff positions yet is one thing; another concern is not knowing about things that we have little control over. How is the weather going to turn out? Weather can facilitate or ruin a camp event, particularly when it comes to our outdoor buffet and of course our campfires. Is it going to be a warm summer, or is the weather service right in its prediction that we will have another summer like last years? One of our favorite out-of-camp eateries, the Timberhouse is now closed without much hope of it opening soon. The other options in the community are a possibility, but not good ones for us anymore. What "issues" are going to pop up this summer whether it involves the staff, scouts or the adults? These are things of which we really have no control over but will deal with as we have through the countless past seasons. It can be somewhat exciting to deal with the unknown.
One thing is certain though, as we come to each new year we slowly make our way up the list of "oldest Boy Scout camps" in the United States. As each year comes, it seems that some other camp in some other council closes due to a lack of funds or attendance. However that seems to be offset by the fact that those councils have found a way to keep them opened and running mainly due to the support of their local communities. That actually is a good thing as those facilities are obviously important to that community. As far as we are concerned, we are looking at a busy future as we continue to expand some of our services and hopefully expand our attendance, particularly with our new dining hall.
For an old lady, camp is looking pretty good at 94.