It was a beautiful weekend at Camp Parsons with a mild north wind (making the cove very still) and scattered clouds with temperatures in the low to mid 60's. We had several activities at camp this weekend; the first of course being our monthly work party and the second being the Pre-Camp Adult Leaders meeting. We had a good turn out for both the work party and the meeting. I would say we had about 25-30 folks show up for the leader's meeting, most of which were from outside councils that had not been to camp before. We went over the usual preparation items and had some of our staff who attended the work party take them on a tour. A tour that apparently lasted close to two hours but the leaders all seemed engaged. After all, it was a great day to walk around camp. The meeting to me however, was the first "shot across the bow" for the summer season. We had the power point going with some of the key take home points for camp preparation, we had scout leaders listening intently and asking questions about specific points of information and of course we had the usual banter that only coffee-carrying, red coated scouters can have. I even got a few jokes in as well though not as good as my summer material. To me, the 2012 season has started.
One of the interesting things about being around the camp facility all year long is you see the steady transition from the end of a season into the projects that are undertaken throughout the winter months and then the "re-birth" of the facility as we get closer to the season. When we did the SMG re-model we had things dismantled, torn up and wiring hanging from everywhere. Each time you went in to work on something it looked like nothing was getting done. You would stand back and wonder how are we going to get this all back together prior to the season......but we do. The same thing happened this past year. The trading post frame work had been complete by the beginning of last season, but the real work didn't take place until this past winter. We burned down the old program office and cleared out a few trees that were in the way of expanding parts of the field and parking lot. As you all know, we have had a cold and wet winter so the SMG parade field was nothing but one big mud swamp. This was even further exacerbated by having heavy equipment, trucks and people moving all around it. However, this past weekend as Ken was taking a large straight-edge and dragging it across the parade field to flatten and grade the entire area it was beginning to look good. The TP is all but done and the material has been removed from around the building. Meredith Daniels and her crew were in staining the concrete floor (and it looks good). The staff moved all the concrete parking bumpers back into place (it is great to see young backs ruined at an early age), and the field tapered down to the parking lot. It looks so natural and I know that by the time camp starts, it will have a very "lived in" feel. We made the first attempt at seeding the field, but it is going to take much more than what we did, however it is a start.
We had folks working on the floats, anchors and other aquatics equipment and the re-model of MBC is continuing on. It will be nice to see a great cabin re-born. The main kitchen has been re-opened in anticipation for our next AWP which will see the 2012 staff swing by for a day or two and the parade field was mowed. Perhaps even more tangible for us is that we began finalizing some of our contracts for the 2012 staff in hopes that we will get them out next week.
So here we are on the figurative eve of the 2012 season. Of course this eve will extend for the next month or so as we head towards ordering equipment, housing assignments, camp school invitations and the such. We still may have a few key positions that need to be filled as well if some of my boys decide at the last minute not to return, but as I have mentioned in the past, that is part of the dance. For now, I will be happy with the anticipation.