Sunday, June 10, 2012

Boy Scout Camp

Here in Germany, we’ve found boy scouts (overseas American version) for Adam and girl guides (overseas British version) for Tori. Unfortunately, no Brownie girl scouts for Royce though. Apparently, there was a much larger American military presence in our area (based out of Garmisch to the south of us). Since the US military has downsized, American girl scouts have as well. British girl guides has picked up any girl scouts. Tori was nonplussed by this change reminding me that all girl scouts started in Great Britain over 100 years ago. It was a little funny though to see her carrying the British flag in a recent scout flag ceremony.

Though we have had a lot of transitions this year, we’ve tried to hit the major boy scout events this year: Pinewood Derby and of course boy scout camp! In Hong Kong, girl scout camp was girls only and boy scout camp was boys only and that worked well for us. In Germany, boy scout camp was a family camp this year and that worked well for us too. We all went along with Adam to learn a little about camping in our new locale.

The kids were super excited and ready to go. Tori took her survival tips book, Royce took a regular reading book and Adam took a little plastic case for collecting bugs. The camp was about an hour drive to the north of Munich, very lush and green. Located in a small village, the camp site is a youth hostel rented out to different groups. On the site was also a church with Sunday service and Sunday bells calling the villagers to services. The entire area was the local castle, high on the hill some 300 years ago. Surrounded by farm fields and connected to the forest by a foot path, the site was lovely. I was particularly happy to see a wooden main building with a kitchen and bathrooms and even showers.
We had a great time. We hiked and did crafts. We ate Mexican food prepared by the Webelos. We had a camp fire and flag ceremony. Though the planned activities were all great, the down time of kids just running around on the green grass was wonderful. We all felt very warm and fuzzy towards the boy scouts.
Like in Hong Kong, our boy scout troop here is made up of kids from all over the world, with Americans in the minority. When we arrived at the camp site, we parked our cars near the church and then walked a short distance into the camping area. We noticed one of the cars had an Obama 2008 sticker on it. We spent some time trying to figure out who’s car that was. Of the four Americans there, the actual Democrats Abroad organizer was the last person we guessed. It might be hard to recognize the Democrat overseas but rest assured it is pretty easy to recognize the boy scout. Some things looks the same no matter where you are.


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