Thank you Times Camp Fund! I have just returned from my annual trip to the Long Beach Area Council Boy Scouts summer camp with my Scout troop. Again I have been privileged to witness a group of boys making a part of that wonderful journey from childhood to manhood.
This year it was a small group, only seven boys, all from the downtown Long Beach area. Each with their very own problems, strengths, fears and joyous; the same ones that have been with every boy who ever lived. Seven boys with skin and hair of black, brown and blond, and one bearded middled-aged scoutmaster. We spent the week on the edge of a meadow nine-tenths of a mile down hill from the center of camp.
During the week the boys cooked, went canoeing, enjoyed archery and air-rifle shooting, tolerated a bird-watching scoutmaster yelling, "Look, a yellow-bellied sapsucker," saw deer in the meadow, learned scouting skills, and just goofed off. They also learned about living with others, the need for cooperation, the fact that an unkind word spoken cannot be un-spoken, and how hard but necessary it is to heal a friendship that has been wounded by word or deed.
Without The Times Camp Fund this experience would not have been possible for most of my guys. Over a decade ago the man who helped to drive these boys to camp received a Times campership to attend this same camp when he was a boy in our troop.
How much is a camping experience like this worth? Come on up sometime and sit with me under a tall tree by the edge of a meadow and I'll let you see the wonder of boys growing into young men.
Scoutmaster, Troop 25