As Boy and Cub Scout camps are in full swing during June and July, Lake of the Ozarks Scout Reservation is abundant with activity.
Scouts are learning how to operate jet skis, boats and other watercraft along the mile and a half shoreline of the 450-plus-acre camp grounds. They are learning about ecology, blacksmithing, leatherwork or campfire building in designated areas. They are taking their aim at pistol and archery targets in respective ranges, and they are studying about Citizenship of the World with a visiting overseas student from the Dominican Republic near the camp office.
The 40-plus seasonal staff of adults and high school and college students are instructing the Cub and Boy Scouts to earn merit badges and for general skills. All in all, it is to help these young boys and men become better leaders, better citizens and better individuals.
While at camp, the Boy Scouts cook three meals a day at their site, learning survival skills and social skills as they are also encouraged to invite fellow campers over for a meal. Plus, with increasing technological equipment donated by Scout Reservation supporters, Boy Scouts get the opportunity to learn new skills that could garner future careers.
Janelle Dimond, Lake of the Ozarks Scout Reservation assistant scout executive, said the 40-plus classes offered during the course of a weeklong Scout summer camp are blocked meeting for two and a half-hour sessions twice a week, or special classes four days a week.
Dimond said from August through October, the Scout Reservation staff will work on the next season’s leaders guide, which showcases all the classes — many tiered for different level Cub and Boy Scout ranks — reservation times, new classes and other details. From there, the leaders and Scouts can decide if they want to earn merit badges or do activities that they may not be able to do outside of camp.
“It is different for everybody,” she said. “Some Scouts coming back for a second or third year may have loved archery or the waterfront activities, and they’ll do those again.”
Dimond said many Scouts will also return to certain classes because they love the instructors, often high school and college students such as Daniel “Cookie” Wright, who has been the archery director for the last four summer camp sessions.
Now a college graduate getting ready to start a teaching career, Wright’s enthusiasm for education, enjoyable personality and caring nature have been nurtured through his experience both as a longtime Boy Scout and camp instructor.
“We are proud of our staff from high school on up, and a lot of our college staff have been with us for a few years, like ‘Cookie,’” she said. “He loves archery and is such a good teacher. He is so good with the kids, and many of our staff are. You get such different personalities with our staff, but they all come together to make this a great experience for our Scouts.”
Whether it is earning a merit badge in chess, which was founded through a Scout Reservation supporter and donor, or crafting items made from the leatherwork class, Scouts continue to find new skills when attending summer camp. For staff such as Dimond, they are always looking and accepting ideas to keep Boy Scout summer camp a priority for the organization’s members.
“You have to keep camp interesting and fun. If you don’t keep the Cub Scouts interested, you are not going to have Boy Scouts,” Dimond said. “Nowadays, Boy Scouts is not the first choice for many kids with other things such as football, baseball and hockey leagues and camps available. However, these kids find Boy Scouts and camp interesting, and we know the boys enjoying being here.”
Boy Scouts who took a Communications class during a late June summer camp at Lake of the Ozarks Scout Reservation were asked to write letters to the editor as part of earning their communications merit badge.
Fifteen students submitted letters to the editor for The Lake Today, and our staff decided to print the select letters in the newspaper, with the following online.
My name is Matthew. I am a Boy Scout with Troop 52. I am in Communications Merit Badge class at Camp Hohn.
I have been having fun at camp with my troop. We cook, play, swim, relax, and enjoy nature here. This place is great. It truly deserves recognition.
I am writing this simply for a requirement for the badge, but I hope that something comes out of it!
Troop 52, Columbia
My name is Caleb, and I am a Boy Scout from Troop 52. I am a first class scout and I am writing this letter to complete the communications merit badge. I will then be ready to advance to the rank of star.
After I complete this merit badge I will have pistol shooting and the cooking merit badges. I am writing this letter to practice writing business letters.
First Class Scout
My name is Michael, and I am at summer camp. I am in communications and this letter is to tell you how great camp is going.
There is a great big lake here that you can go boating, swimming and other stuff in the lake. The food is good and all the staff is nice. You can also shoot guns and bow and arrows.
I hope from just the little things I’ve said about camp will make you want to visit us.
Troop 44, Collinsville, Oklahoma
I’m Austin from Troop 96 out of Russellville, Missouri. I’m at Hohn Scout reservation for summer camp.
I’ve had a lot of fun this week. My favorite part of the week was taking the shotgun merit badge. This wee we have an international student at camp.
Thanks for reading!
Troop 96, Russellville, Missouri
Hello! I’m a Boy Scout at camp. I have to write a letter to earn my communications merit badge to get my eagle in my future.
Just so you know who I am, I’m a future gold medalist in water polo cat camp. We have water polo games every day to see who the winner will be. My troop has had one game so far and won 8-2.
So save this letter because I’ll be a famous gold medalist (in camp) by the end of the week.
Troop 7, First Class Scout, Columbia
My name is Zacherie. I am writing this letter so I can get my communications merit badge and to try to help Camp Hohn.
What I plan on doing for fun this camp is the water carnival and the water polo games. Also I want to use the new 3-D printers!
I hope you get to come see it and enjoy it!
Troop 138, Laurie
I am writing to you because they told me I had to write to you in my communications class.
I just wanted to let you know that I am a Boy Scout from Troop 300. We are camping at Camp Hohn and it is a really fun camp. I was hoping if you could come and take pictures.
Troop 300, Sedalia
My name is Nathan and I am at Camp Hohn here at the Lake. I am writing for my communications class.
I am having a blast at camp Hohn. I am writing for a requirement for communications. I always have a blast at Boy Scout camp because I can go down to the waterfront every day.
Camp Hohn is a great camp, and I have a lot of fun at camp.
Second Class, Troop 120, California, Missouri
Hello, my name is Jacob from Troop 96 of Russellville, Missouri. I am currently staying at Camp Hohn at the Lake of the Ozarks.
To my troop, this is the greatest camp all year. We usually stay for six days, cooking meals, earning merit badges, and putting together pioneering projects. Our troop has won the pioneering projects’ award four years in a row.
I really hope you inform other people about this camp.
Troop 96, Russellville
I’m a Scout at camp Hohn. I don’t personally know you but I would like you to know that there is a Scout camp here and is a Scout Reservation. Please come visit soon.
First Class Scout, Troop 300, Sedalia, Missouri
I am wrigihting you from Camp Hohn Boy Scout Camp at the Lake. We are having a good time here with all of what the camp offers. It is an awesome camp with everything we can do.
Thanks for your time.
Hello, my name is Kyle, and I am in Boy Scout Troop 120 out of California, Missouri. I am writing this letter for communications class and to inform you of the fun at summer camp.
This week we will earn merit badges and have fun with our friends here at the Lake.
Troop 120, California, Missouri