Another year means another trip to Camp Royaneh for Troop 14. Outside of my duties as acting scoutmaster, I was very excited to continue documenting the boys at Royaneh following last year’s fantastic experience.
For two weeks in Summer, Troop 14 has been going to Camp Royaneh since the camp opened around 1925. After the first week, the boys’ concerns and desires about the outside world begin to dwindle. Their goals shift from popularity and consumption to group success and unity. Pride and morale are what concern them most.
Each week, all of the troops in camp compete is the Gladiator games. They take place in a rodeo corral and include tug of war and obstacle courses. The trophy is only a small piece of painted plywood, but the bragging rights are priceless.
Once again, Troop 14 took first place this year.
The boys eat, sleep and work together for two weeks straight. Thus, they develop bonds and friendships faster than they would at home or on any other scout outing.
Even quiet, personal time is mostly spent surrounded by others in the troop.
Wake up is at 7 AM every morning. In half an hour, the 50 boys in the troop have to be dressed and ready for morning colors.
Take too long to get out of your sleeping bag? You might you own personal revelry call.
A few of the merit badges require field trips. For oceanography merit badge, the boys have to go to the beach and identify 10 species and write about how they interact.
After accepting that one boy’s failure is a failure of the troop, the boys learn to support each other rather than compete. I was amazed to watch how the boys would cheer on each other with such tenacity.
Royaneh and Troop 14 are chalk full of tradition. Some seemingly normal, others such as the birthday-fork-scream is just indescribable. I still don’t understand what this is about.
Inevitably, the boys will get curious about my camera. I often let the boys carry it and take some pictures.
Here are a couple I thought were interesting:
Our campfires are wonderful: guitars, banjos, hotdogs and s’mores. This image was taken on our last night at about 1 AM. Several of the boys fell asleep by the fire, not wanting to see the night end.
This year’s Troop 14 at Camp Royaneh.