It takes a lot of coals to cook everyone's Dutch Oven.


Staff families and boys have fun making lunch together.

Adding coals...


Music makes the time go faster.


The food is well worth the wait!

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Around Camp

The Session

This session we had a lot of work for our Suwannee River trip. We finished our trip menus. We made about 48 trip menus. We have started on our Master Food list. The itinerary is on plans for Thursday, February 28, 2013. We are excited for the Suwannee. We are done with the commissary! The Supervisors are boiling maple sap into syrup that tastes like maple. We are making alot of kindling and shavings. E. H. – Explorer

The Explorer group enjoys Sledding Hill.

Day Trip

Today we went to a small coal museum in the basement of a library. This museum was very interesting. It was full of artifacts from some very early mining days. For example; lunch pails, picks, shovels, squibs, and many other things. One of the things I learned is that Hanna Mine Co. made their own currency. We also went to my house to tour the cheese house. We had lunch then my dad gave us a tour of the plant. I did my best to pay attention, but I’ve been there a time or two. That’s a little about today. A. E.Discoverer

My fun one day trip!

It was fun riding in the van. We went to a coal museum with facts of coal. I learned that the big Muskie bucket can hold 210 cubic yards and the Gem can hold up to 156 cubic yards. After that we went to Austin’s family cheese factory. I ate so much pizza and cheese I felt like a balloon ready to burst. I had fun learning how they make electricity out of the waste water of the factory. I had fun taking a siesta on the way back to camp. You really need to visit Pearl Valley cheese company. D. M. – Discoverer



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Pinewood Derby Car Race

The session theme for January was Physics, and at it’s conclusion, Camp hosted a Derby Car Race.

Boys and staff created some unique cars.


Physics – The science of matter and energy and their interaction. Physics was originally called natural philosophy. A wedge shape blade converts a forward movement to part an object. Nail clippers are a type of wedge. They are also Levers. An elevator is a single pulley lifting machine. A car is raised and lowered by a cable running over a pulley at the top. On the other end of the cable is a counter weight to help balance. R. M. – Discoverer


"Drivers, start your motors..."


I was reading a book about derby car racing and I realized how extreme people can be. I mean this guy takes derby cars to a whole new level. He makes 2 so if 1 has a speed error he has another one. He also sands his wheels and axles. But there is always opposites in this world so I guess the earlier guy is better than a guy who buys the block and makes a junky car and doesn’t sand it very well. So I guess my lesson is whatever you do put effort into it. A. E.– Discoverer

Physics in action!


Physics is not my favorite subject but there are a few people that used to like it a lot. I’ll talk about some of them. Archimedes, a Greek inventor that discovered many basic principles of physics. He also invented a number of different measuring techniques Galileo in Italy discovered the law of falling bodies and the law of pendulum. He also started to make telescopes to observe the heavens. Sir Isaac Newton of England started laws of motion and gravitation during the late 1600’s. He also demonstrated that white light is made up of all colors. Wilhelm Roentgen of Germany discovered X-rays in 1895. The use of X-rays help doctors diagnose illness and injurys and helped medicine. Marie Curie of France made many advances in the study of radioactivity. In 1898, she and her husband, Pierre, discovered the radioactive element radium.

All their work has been so important to our work now that they are the base on which we build our physics on today. K. A. – Discoverer

Race night - an exciting finale to the session.


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New Year’s Eve 2012

At Camp boys and staff enjoy fun activities while waiting for midnight to welcome in the new year.

On your mark, get set...


Wheelbarrow Relay Race

Humorist Sam Fisher

After wheelbarrow relay races in the snow, it was great to relax in Chuckwagon and laugh at Sam’s skits and mimes. Everyone made some great New Year’s Eve memories!



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Staff contributions

The Discoverer group hosts the Cooks and Secretary in Chuck Tent.

Strangers In Campsite

   Well, I was just minding my own business in Cook Tent tonight, taking note of any tidbits Ryan, T.J. or Chief Peter were dropping (a mouse has to live on something, you know), and I saw the oddest thing. Three strangers were coming through Entrance Tent, and all the Discoverers greeted them cheerfully. I’m used to the normal strangers who come to campsite but don’t live here – Supervisors, for instance. But these weren’t Supervisors. Oh my tail, no. I suddenly wished I were one of those ladies, the Discoverers treated them so warmly. They all trooped into the cozy Chuck Tent, and Chief Peter served everyone Ryan’s delicious steaks and T.J.’s scalloped potatoes, gourmet salad and delectable cherry-coffee-bean-chocolate cake. The sheer amount of laughter that resonated from those tarp walls was tantalizing, and I scurried over to see what game they were playing. “Feel my wrath!” a voice intoned, and my whiskers quivered as someone else groaned. It might be safer for such a small mouse being as myself to curl up right here and just listen to the delightful guitar and harmonica sound waves alternately swirling, dashing and floating around me. Those Discoverers are quite the enthusiastic singers. Finally, out come the lady cooks and secretary. They turn and yell “Yum, yum, yum!” into Chuck Tent before walking away, still laughing.

Tip – Cook Tent Mouse

(as voiced through Miss Grace, Secretary)

Chief and camper in beautiful musical harmony.


Bob the Salamander

    “I was totin’ my pack along the dusty Winnemucca road…”

    Actually, I was just lying along the trail that more like muck than a road, when along came a big galoot and almost stepped on me. “Watch it big guy!! Hey, what are you doing?” I screamed.

    I was hoisted some 48 inches off the ground and rudely pinched right behind my front legs. Oh no, this isn’t good. Meanwhile without even moving my legs the ground moved under me, and I headed up a hill faster than I’ve ever traveled before, not without some substantial pressure to my upper body.

    As the ground moved under me I thought, I’ve got to make a break for it. So I wriggled my tail and all other parts not currently in the pincers hold. Suddenly I felt myself falling and, not having time to deploy my parachute, I plopped unceremoniously on the trail. “Now we’re talking,” says I.

    “Oh no, that galoot might be scared of wrigglers, but he is definitely persistent,” I said as I again was hoisted off the ground and held in the pincers even tighter than before I was dropped.

    After a little while I was dumped into a round house. I could hear the big galoot say, “Did you ever see anything like this?”

    “Hey, check it out!” I heard as my round house door was opened and a whole bunch of small galoots peered in at me. It was a little unnerving because I hate being seen at all, other than by my salamander friends.

   “What is he?” the galoots asked. One said, “A slimy salamander.”

    Now that really made me mad. I roared as loudly as my lungs would allow, “I am a Jefferson’s Salamander, you dimwit! I don’t appreciate being compared to that sleazy, slimy cousin of mine.”

    A few minutes later I was passed from pincers to pincers in a midsize group of galoots. Ugh, that’s gross, I thought. Their pincers were dry and sickly feeling and one of them made a loud noise and showered me with little drops of…not sure what it was, but something like rain, which I very much enjoy. Oh well, maybe I’ll survive after all.

    “Ouch! What’s this? Hey folks! I’m back. Let me tell you about the dream I had last night – it was scary. But first let me find some damp leaves to crawl under to recuperate.”

Later, Bob   

Chief Kevin – Program Director



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Christmas at Camp

Many activities happen at Camp during the Christmas session. Boys help to decorate Chuckwagon and everyone practices singing Christmas Carols.

Stringing popcorn and cranberries for decor.


Many hands make light work!


This activity takes teamwork and patience.


We all help make, bake and decorate dozens of cookies to give away to neighbors, as well as have plenty leftover for our appetites.

Cutting out cookies.


The Explorers had lots of enthusiasm for making candies!


The Discoverers crank out chocolate chip cookies.


Delicious pretzels and buckeyes!


That evening Camp staff and boys all go caroling at several neighbors’ houses and give them a plate of cookies and candy. Don’t you wish you lived nearby?

Chirstmas Caroling - a gift to bring joy.


The meaning of Christmas

To me the meaning of Christmas is to rejoice with family and friends. It is also time to praise God for Jesus’ birth. I like to spend time with my family on Christmas Eve and day the most. My family goes up to my aunt and uncle’s house for the days before Christmas. I think so often people deface the real reason for the holiday. It’s about Jesus’ birth into this world. He came to save us from our sins. He came to die in our place so we could have eternal life in heaven. My family could do better at remembering the reason for the season. I think we could all do a better job at that. It’s fine if you get a lot of nice gifts, if they’re the newest and coolest thing but remember that Jesus gave the ultimate gift. We could all be a lot more giving. I think we all care too much about the “big I”, the “1 and only”. We could all give our time and effort to help each other and the less fortunate. I’m going to try to get my family to help others. I’m going to make Homevisit about my family and fellowship not presents and TV. So this is what I think the meaning of Christmas is.

G. P. – Discoverer


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Boys’ Articles from December Session

Traveling Currency

Have you ever sat down with a dollar bill and wondered, “Where has this thing been in his time,” or maybe you’ve wondered, “How many things has this thing seen that I haven’t?” I mean who knows when it was printed. For all you know that bill could have been the President’s. Well money is anything that is accepted by people in exchange for something else. So if I traded my shirt for a fishing lure, that makes my shirt money. Gold and silver used to be the universal currency; now a lot of countries have their own form of money. In the U.S. it’s the U.S. dollar. Canada uses the Canadian dollar, Japan the yen, Mexico the peso, Russia the Russian Ruble, etc. Money has three main uses. 1) Is a medium of exchange. This eliminates barter. 2) Unit of account, this is people stating the price of things. 3) Store of wealth, this is when people save money for future uses. This is a little information about money.

A. E. – Discoverer

My last Article

In some ways it seems sad that this could be my last article. But if you look at it as a stepping stone going from one place to the next (Camp to home when I graduate) it wouldn’t be so bad. I remember my first article I wrote about homemade spotlights and then my longest article to go in the Beaver Splash: 3 pages. Articles are what I learned from and occupied my time driving to New York from Ohio. It was always pretty cool to see other people’s writing styles and how they saw things. Like Christmas last year. It was cool reading about other people’s family traditions. I think some of my most memorable articles were on river trips. Hiking trips are cool but river trips are by far the best. I remember the one campsite where there were a bunch of toads and they sang so loud that you could hardly concentrate on anything except the toads. Or when we stepped out of powwow because somebody thought they saw an oriole but it was just some trash. And so we wrote articles about it.        

S. N. – Explorer


There are a group of large swimmers known as crocodiles. They consist of Alligators, Crocodiles, Gharials and Caimans. Alligators are from Southeastern America and China, crocodiles are found in oceans, rivers, and swamps. Caiman are found in Central and South America. And Gharials are found in India. They have long slender snouts with a bulb point and it contains 160 teeth. They eat fish. They are also not aggressive. Gharials are quiet, shy and timid. Crocodiles cannot chew their food so they tear their food into smaller pieces. A crocodile can grow up to fifty sets of teeth. Crocodiles usually swallow stones to help grind up their food and so they can float in the water at a lower level.

R. M. – Discoverer


   Most flowers smell good. Some flowers smell absolutely atrocious. I love having flowers in front of the house. My Grandma likes her flower gardens.

  Flowers start as a seed, or a bulb. When spring comes they take root. To start a seed it needs water, soil, and sunlight. After taking root they shoot out of the soil. They then start leafing to get sunlight. Next they bud. Then they flower. Last they pollinate and take seed. The cycle then starts all over. Some of my favorites are lilac, hydrangea, and roses.

T. B. – Discoverer

Girls and Boys Town

  Did you know that Boys Town was and still is a private institution? The town is home to a lot of homeless, abused, neglected, disabled children of all races and religions. One good thing that I found out about the town was the fact that they had a grade school, a high school, and a career center. Boys and girls town also has a youth center and most of all an institution for kids with communication disorders.

  The history of the town was that a man named Father Flanagan started it. It first started with 5 boys. So Flanagan borrowed $90 for a house in Omaha, Nebraska. Flanagan didn’t need to help the boys. But he made a choice to help them. When more boys came, the house got crowded so Flanagan bought a 160-acre farm.

   So as time went on the farm was enlarged. Today the farm land is about 1,400 acres. Most of that is the town (900 acres). The rest is all farm land (500 acres). In 1936 boys town was incorporated as a village. And in 1979 girls were brought to the town. By 2000 the name Boys Town was changed to Girls and Boys Town. Well that is all I have.

Z. M. – Discoverer 


Where do you think basketball started? Since I’m writing and you can’t answer me I will just tell you. It was started at a college in Massachusetts, by a Canadian named James Naismith. His boss asked him to come up with a team sport they could play in the winter. He used a soccer ball because it was easy to catch. He then asked for boxes but got peach BASKETS instead. The baskets were attached to the railing at 10 feet. In December 1891 the first game was played. The game has come a long way from then, but it’s pretty much the same game.

A. E. – Discoverer

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Turkey-in-the-Hole 2012 (Thanksgiving at Camp)

Lots of spirit (enthusiasm) is put into Camp’s annual Turkey-in-the-Hole. For weeks ahead of the date, the groups and Supervisors prepare by splitting wood, hauling it to the site, and digging the hole. Here’s a camper’s description of the festivities.

Turkey in the Hole

  Fall!! The word brings lots of things to people’s minds. Some people might think about raking leaves, cooler weather, or even deer season. But one of the first things that comes to my mind at the thought of fall is “Turkey in the Hole”!!! The mere thought of “Turkey in the Hole” drives me crazy with excitement.  First of all one evening in Chuckwagon we smear butter all over the turkeys. After we put spices on them, we fill them up with ice to make them juicy.

Preparing the turkeys with butter, spices, and ice.

After we do all that messy work we wrap them about 12 times with aluminum foil, and put wire around them to keep it together and so that we can pick them up when they are done cooking.

Finishing up with aluminum foil and a wire handle.

We get up early the next morning and hike up the mountain to where a blazing fire awaits us. Chief Larry’s, Chief Joe’s, and Chief Kevin’s are there and have a good fire started over the hole we dug earlier. Their fire definitely needs some of our help, so we heave armload after armload of wood onto it so it blazes higher.

Everyone helps build Turkey-in-the-Hole fire.

We all take turns fanning the fire till we get too hot and have to back away. We even sing a few songs. Then we all sit there talking and enjoying the hot chocolate and donuts.

Hard work makes donuts and hot chocolate doubly appreciated!

We take one last look at the fire leaping into the black sky and walk down the hill to campsite. Then we crawl back in our beds and doze off dreaming about that good turkey we wrapped up. Later that morning when the fire has died down, we put those juicy turkeys in their simmering grave to cook as the day progresses. They will be in that dusty cradle for eight hours. We will take them out of the hole and escort them to Chuckwagon where they will be cut up and be ready for our annual Thanksgiving dinner. If you still don’t understand why “Turkey in the Hole” is such a blast, then you have to try one, and see for yourself why we look forward to it so much.  J. M. – Discoverer

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Articles from the Thanksgiving session

The Explorer group's finished Chuck tent, complete with bell in tower.

Cutting and splitting fire wood

   When we want to cut fire wood, first we get a tool list of all the tools we need to cut and split the wood. Next we use the cross cut saw to cut the wood into a size that is about 16 inches long. Next we get our axes and mauls and start splitting. We use a chopping block so that we do not dull the axes. A chopping block is a big hard stump that we put our wood on. Cutting and splitting wood takes hard work and a lot of team work. Some tools we use – cutting wood: bow saw, buck saw and a cross cut saw; splitting wood: boys’ axe, mans’ axe, maul and a wedge and hammer.

N.B. – Explorer

Our Tent

Our tent is going good because we don’t put alot of work on our weekly plans. We put on how much we need; we put on a minimum and work our way up. Also our group doesn’t fight. And people work together and why this helps our group is ‘cause it doesn’t rush us. And everyone has time to figure out how to work as a group.

Z. H. – Discoverer

 What I’m learning at Camp

You should respect your Chiefs’ calls. When you get a direction from Chief you should do it right away. Sometimes it’s easy to make excuses but we all need to work on it.

D.T. – Explorer


Since Hurricane Sandy has been blowing up the coast, in Ohio we have been having some of the after effects. It has been raining for about 6 days. All the trails have over an inch of mud on them and all the ponds are coming up. We haven’t seen the sun for so long it  almost seems like there never was one. The rain was nice for the first day or so. It was something that we needed. After about the 6th day it is really wearing on people.

S.N. – Explorer

Chemical Oxidation of Wood

In case the title went over your head I’m talking about fire. Fire is a great thing. It comes from the wood breaking down. Fire is a very helpful thing. It can be used to cook, keep warm, or to light your way through the dark. No one really knows where fire came from. Maybe it was a cave man throwing a piece of steel against the flint wall of his cave, and the
spark fell on a pile of tinder in the corner. Then bingo, it’s fire! He then invited all of his friends over for fried dinosaur eggs. With all the good that fire does, if it is not used right it is a bad thing. Forest fires destroy thousands of acres of woods each year. This one is from Smoky, “Only you can prevent a forest fire.” So next time you light a fire think about everything fire has influenced.

J.W. – Discoverer

 Wood corral

Wood corral is a good place to play games, make kindling and shavings and cooking wood and firewood. We made the truss for crafts tent in wood corral. It was fun making that tent; it took a couple campers to push up the truss. We made the bell tower top up there in wood corral too. It has 10 chopping blocks and 7 saw bucks. That’s wood corral.

D.T. – Explorer

How fast will our fire burn through the string?

Fire Starting 101

   To start a fire you need three things: heat, oxygen and fuel. We are learning how
to start a good fire. Some methods are flint and steel, bow and drill, lightning and chemical reaction. We are also learning about fire safety. We have contests to see who can light the fastest fire. Our group is learning alot about natural fire starters. Some are sap filled wood, pine needles, pine canoes, birch bark and pine knots. Fire safety is also a big part of fire
lighting. That is what we have learned so far.

G. P. – Discoverer

Starting a quick contest fire with shavings and kindling

A group can accomplish a lot in a minute or two!

Problem solving

When we have a problem we first identify it. Next we tell the person that we the problem with that we are sorry. One of the last but one of the most important steps is to get a plan so if the problem comes up again you can work on doing the right thing! N.B. – Explorer


In late September or early October the leaves begin to change and animals begin to get ready. Squirrels and chipmunks start to make their nests warmer by adding leaves and dry fluff. Bears find caves and little nooks and other tight spots that they can sleep through the winter. All animals start to grow an extra thick layer of fur. Little animals start gathering all the nuts and berries they can find. This fall sometimes we would go and dump out nuts and other stuff from our shoes that mice and chipmunks put in there. The days start getting colder and that triggers the sap to go down the trees and the leaves to stop sending nutrients to the trunk. When the leaves stop getting sap they slowly die. That is what makes the leaves change color. The color that a leaf is in the fall is its real color. But when it is getting sap and sending nutrients to the tree they are green from the chlorophyll that they get. There are some trees that stay green year round. They are called evergreens. In the spring everything happens again, just backwards.

S.N. – Explorer


This session we are studying fire in Chuckwagon. So far we learned what some ways to start a fire are. Some of the best ways to set a fire are ‘Cabin’ style or ‘teepee’ style. The cabin style is really good because it is roomy enough so that enough oxygen can get in and also it is compact so it gets more heat and you can get enough fuel like shavings, kindling, then your bigger firewood. The teepee style is also really good because it also has the needed room for all the 3 needed things for a fire. If you are in a pine forest and you have no lighter or matches there are some things to look for: pine cones that have a lot of white sap on them, dead pine branches and then get bigger wood. You will have a fire in no time.

J.H. – Explorer

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Discoverers’ Manistee River Trip

The Discoverer group hits the Manistee River

Flip and Cold

Well today we flipped and it was cold. What happened when it flipped was funny. It was me, T.J. and Joe. We were going down the river in a little bit of a current. Well, I’m not going to say but somehow the back paddle flew out and the canoe went sideways and T.J. leaned and pop, pop, pop, we were out. I personally made sure my hat was still on and I started looking for my tackle box. I heard T.J. saying, “Get on the canoe,” as he sat there on top of the flipped canoe. I was freezing and looked across the water and Joe was walking on the water. Well I found my tackle box was safe, and we got new clothes on and were on our way. Zachary H.

The BI-POLAR River

The Manistee river is bipolar. Yesterday the river was nasty. Today the river was calm and pleasant. I even started fishing. Either the river was nice, or I was not as nervous today. I saw some nice big sucker carp. Hatfield and I were fishing and he cast into the current. He had it about ten or fifteen feet away and he started raising a holler. The fish he hooked into then jumped out of the water and spit out the hook. The fish was a walleye. We are going back and catching it. It is going to taste great. T.J.

Canoeing the Manistee River

This morning at around 9:50 we put our canoe in the water and started paddling. The current was going at a good pace this forenoon which saved our paddles. We had a couple times where we almost tipped the canoe, but since people realized they had brains and used them we regained our balance and were fine. There was a time when my canoe got stuck on a log and we couldn’t get it unstuck, being inside the canoe, so one of my canoe partners jumped out of the canoe in cold water and got it unstuck. At about lunchtime we found a place to pull of the river where we ate lunch. We also took siesta there. We found 2 pairs of shoes in pretty good shape there. We then started canoeing again but the current started getting a lot slower. We did more paddling and the water was also a lot calmer. We had a couple close calls today but with people communicating and teamwork we did pretty good. Joe

Beautiful canoeing weather

Day 4

We got up to a good fish breakfast and fig bars. Then we packed the canoes. Then we canoed for 3 hours. Then we ate lunch in the canoes and had siesta in our canoes. It was cool. Then we had some races; it was cold. After that we came to the back of Tippy dam at 2:30. Then we unloaded the canoes and we walked them to camp. It was 100 feet long but we made it. It was hard but us men made it work. Then we set up our tents and went swimming. It was cold but I was fine. I looked like a man; Chief Peter looked like a penguin but he was cool. Then we cleaned the canoes and had fun with them. It was funny. Then we went up that big hill to a big warm fire. It felt good to me. Then we are making supper. Can’t wait. Caleb

The hard work of porting

 This morning was the hardest time of my life. We had to take our canoes ½ mile around Tippy dam to report our canoes. The first trip was with 2 heavy canoes. That was the worst of them all. The other 2 were a lot better. Then we all took off & went about 5 hours down a river full of dying salmon to our campsite. When we got there we did our chores and our articles. When we were done we went fishing. Then we had supper and powwow and went to bed. Zach M.

Day #6

We left in the late morning and the rain stopped half ways so we could operate properly. It rained all night and my tent is not 100% water proof so it got a little wet in there and yet there is more. There was a 4 inch root in my back so sleep was a little hard. But God blessed us with a great day and warm weather so we could fish, set up tents, and have a good time. So even if your night was bad don’t make your day bad too. Keaton

Furbearers in Michigan

  Michigan is home to an abundance of furbearers. On our trip down the Manistee River we saw evidence of several different specimens. At one campsite we found several beaver chews. Another day we passed a big marshy area that had several slides along the bank. Our best sighting was when we were paddling downstream Tuesday morning and Zachary spotted a mink running along the bank. As soon as the mink realized we spotted him, he dove into some tree roots growing along the river’s edge. We soon saw him peeking through a gap at us. The little white patch on his throat gave him away. Then we paddled out of sight. That mink reminded me of days gone by when I used to trap. There’s no place like being in the outdoors enjoying the nature. Chief Randall


The Manistee River in Michigan at sunset



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