If you are not on Facebook, you can still see all the activities of summer resident camp. Just go to Facebook.com and “google” for a particular camp. If pictures tell a story, you want to check out the video of the kayak slide at Gardner Dam. There is a lot of great things happening, safely, at camp.

We are excited that all four camps received their national accreditation. The certification, based on BSA National Camp Assessment standards, means they have reached or exceeded hundreds of standards that demonstrates a higher level of camp professionalism. You might notice a pennant displayed in the camp office that announces the camp “passed inspection.” Staff work hard for that pennant and are rightly proud of the accomplishment; it. Meanwhile, here is a peek at what else is happening.

From Brit, Camp Director at Gardner Dam:  Things are moving along quite swimmingly here at Gardner Dam. We’ve had an excellent few weeks and the staff are as energetic as ever. We’ve seen a lot of cool wildlife and have gotten to experience some of the hidden gems of the property with the Scouts. Just today they found a salamander and learned how to make a terrarium for him out of items from the natural habitat. It was a really awesome experience. We’ve also had a blast with many Scouts completing requirements for Aquanaut, Into the Wild, Castaway, and Outdoorsman. Hiking through camp has been a big hit this summer and a stop on the lower bridge has been quite welcomed by those having a program in Petter’s Place (also known as Henchman’s Hideaway in the training academy). We are in the middle of session 8 right now, and while the energy is high, the end of summer is looming near. We can’t believe we were able to actually open summer camp and now we can’t believe it’s almost over. #bestsummerever

From Erick, camp director at Camp Hiawatha:  The first session of campers arrived this past Sunday. The wildlife is on duty to amaze the Scouts. (Lots of visitors from the snapping turtles laying eggs on the beach this spring, to the three new baby deer that are running around camp. We have a pair of Loons and a couple of Sand Hill Cranes that are hanging out. We have been listening to the coyotes and whip-por wills at night.) The water heater has been on and waterfront reports they have plenty of water for their activities. Shooting sports are armed and action is underway at the shooting ranges. Ecology/Nature is abounding with a chorus of birds, bugs and squirrels. The night sky has turned on so the skylights are burning bright. The campfire skits are unveiled to the laughter of the campers. Staff is delivering an awesome experience. [Editor’s Note: Camp Hiawatha was featured on WLUC-Marquette TV news earlier this week. Check it out here.

Did you know? Before units leave camp, they are asked to complete surveys about their experiences, highs and lows, and what needs improvement. We ask the leaders to complete one survey and give or help the Scouts complete their own, because the Scouts see differences that we adults might miss. Here is a very short sampling:

From Troop 15, first week at Bear Paw: Staff was very accommodating all areas, very helpful with completing merit badges. From Pack 3016, first session at Gardner Dam: Thank you so much for doing camp this summer. Hard situation with COVID-19 but you guys did a great job; and from their Scouts: Really great job with camp. Scouts had a blast. From several leaders and youth of Pack 4143,  third session at Rokilio: Love the bog walk, thought you guys did a great job with all the hurdles, can’t say enough about staff’s positivity, missed the dining hall, but food delivery was great, food was better than years past, I liked the new scheduled when I thought I wouldn’t. [There are many more units with many more comments, and many suggestions to improve even the COVID-impacted protocols. Know that each camp’s camp and program directors review the surveys with staff before the next session and adjust/accommodate what they can to improve the experience. So, camper feedback is always important. We are already using the information to plan for next summer.]

Share with us: We know that you share your summer camp pictures with your unit. Consider sharing some of them with us.  You see and experience differently than camp staff and those photographers.  We will try to publish them as best we can and may use them for our 2021 summer camp promotions.  (SPOILER ALERT: The 2021 guide is out and soon — the pricing for next summer!  So, units can make their reservations yet this year. Watch for details.)