Camp E-Star Blog

Monday, June 24th, 2019

It’s Monday morning and Camp is very peaceful.


It is peaceful for a few reasons: At this point, the boys are accustomed to the Camp routine, roles and expectations. They know where to be and what to do. That familiarity and structure gives them the freedom to imagine, advance and relax. The boys also have time in which they are free to do as they please. It is a good mix. The patrol leaders and adults are at peace with our increasing role as mentors and diminishing role as traffic cops.


We are also at peace with the fantastic forecast of upcoming weather and activities. Currently, the breeze is gentle, the temperature in the 70’s and the sky partially cloudy – perfect! It should get into the low 90’s today and the upper 60’s at night – ideal! To top that, the next several days look to be the same.

The forecast of activities is also looking good. We are coming off of an amazing few days of fun activities (Rockfish Fishing, sailing with the Hervys, and trips to town with parents on Visitor’s Sunday). The week ahead is equally exciting with another Hervy sailing cruise this evening, completion of advancements, great waterfront time in the days ahead, the Mile Swim, the scouting Olympics (Icosolon), the 2nd Scouts vs. Dads Softball Game (Thursday) and a polishing of skills on the archery and hatchet throwing ranges.

We had a very nice visit from Judy Eliason – the owner of the E* property. She is a lovely lady who grew up on the family farm. She shared stories of finding arrowheads in the fields after times of plowing and oyster shell piles placed by natives in centuries past. It was fun for us to show her all of the ongoing activities and achievements. The boys were articulate and endearing in sharing with her their camp highlights as she toured the grounds. We are very grateful for the kindness and hospitality the Eliason family.

Thanks to those of you who made the drive from the comforts of Baltimore to what Scoutmaster Carroll calls: “The Land of Pleasant Living.” Your boys were proud to show you their pioneering projects, their patrol home in the woods, the list of their achievements on the advancement board and even, perhaps, a few of the critters that are enduring a brief prison sin the nature hut. Lunch with you in civilization was a treat! Those scouts who did not have a parent present were swept into other families and also shared time in town. Of course, the boys, young and old, enjoyed seeing their visiting loved ones. “Absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder.”

Separation can be hard, and as is the case every year, we had a few melancholy scouts at dinner missing family. Fortunately, emotions were quickly distracted by a vigorous and lengthy mandatory game of kickball, a bath in the Bay, an abundant dessert offering and an early “Silent Nighter” to bed. A morning special arrival of Duncan Donuts (Vitamin D) further put minds and emotions in a good place. All are happy and fully engaged with Camp life.

As I write to you, we are currently finishing up 2nd Symposium. Pioneering, Nature, Archery and Environmental Science merit badge classes are in session. Skills are being honed, information learned, leadership developed and mentoring feedback communicated.

It is really hard to describe how rich the multifaceted E* Camp experience is to those who have not lived it. No single metaphor or illustration captures the depth and breadth of the experience. Veteran participants relate it to “Neverland” for the Lost Boys, the banks of the Mississippi River for Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, a learning laboratory and a Kairos moment. The experience of E* is unlike any other part of your son’s calendar, will be a highlight of their adolescence and will forever mark their life.

Some of the scouts went home after week 1 due to prior commitments, or due to the length of time away from home. We are really proud of their accomplishments and enjoyed the adventures of Camp with them. They left Camp with a few bug bites and a thirst to come back for more next year. Ask them lots of questions in the days ahead to help them process and get the most out of the experience: mistakes made, lessons learned, new areas of interest encountered, new friends, and hopes for the future. If you have any questions or suggestions for improvement, please email me.

Week 2 builds upon week 1. Great weather, fun activities and valued mentoring lie ahead.

Thank you for your encouragement and support - - Charles

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