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Summer camp: an opportunity to learn real-life skills

Sunrise+in+the+valley.+Outside+of+the+Admin+building%2C+a+camper%27s+bag+waits+to+be+picked+up+and+taken+home+after+a+week+of+adventure.
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Summer camp: an opportunity to learn real-life skills

Sunrise in the valley. Outside of the Admin building, a camper's bag waits to be picked up and taken home after a week of adventure.

Sunrise in the valley. Outside of the Admin building, a camper's bag waits to be picked up and taken home after a week of adventure.

Douglas Seely

Sunrise in the valley. Outside of the Admin building, a camper's bag waits to be picked up and taken home after a week of adventure.

Douglas Seely

Douglas Seely

Sunrise in the valley. Outside of the Admin building, a camper's bag waits to be picked up and taken home after a week of adventure.

Douglas Seely, Staff Writer

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Cars arrive on Sunday morning, screeching to a halt on a gravel parking lot. Scouts pour out, faces full of pure joy and excitement. They climb the upward sloping hill. As they reach the top of the hill, they are taken by awe by the sight of a lake surrounded by three massive mountains. Shortly afterward, they are greeted by the friendly faces of staffers. After a tour of the camp, they are shown to their campsites where a week of fun and adventure awaits.

Camp Rainey Mountain is a Scouts BSA (previously known as the Boy Scouts of America) summer camp in north Georgia. CRM gives both males and females the opportunity to staff over the summer; a time-frame where leadership and responsibility are learned through many experiences. While not only teaching its staffers, the camp has many activities for campers to participate in throughout their week-long stay.

Scouts BSA gives people an opportunity to learn skills that they might not be able to learn in their day-to-day life. Once a scout learns about a specific skill and completes all the requirements, they earn a merit badge. The BSA has summer camps spread throughout the country that scouts can go to and earn merit badges. Camp Rainey Mountain is one such camp. It has its own private lake and spans nearly 500 acres. The camp also contains three shooting ranges and a granite amphitheater, which can seat over a 1,000 people. The sleeping arrangements consist of Adirondacks – wooden shed-like structures –  that sleep up to six people. Campers stay at CRM for one week while they earn their merit badges. Courses the scouts can participate in include swimming, canoeing, pioneering, welding, shotgun shooting, archery, cooking, chemistry, personal fitness and many others.

“My favorite is when the kids get their requirement,” CRM staff member and junior Amelia Clark says. “Their faces light up with joy after they finally tie that knot or get the swimming merit badge they’ve been working so hard for.”

The campers arrive on Sunday and are taken to their campsite after a tour of the camp. After dinner, they attend a campfire at the Stewart amphitheater, where each department introduces themselves and put on entertaining skits. Once Monday courses begin, campers meet their teachers and start learning the material that will help them earn a merit badge or go up in scouting ranks. On Tuesday and Wednesday, classes go on as normal. During the Wednesday night campfire, campers can put on skits and shows at for people to see. On Thursday, the campers have the choice to spend day participating in activities like free swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and free shooting. The staff also put on demonstrations and competitions. Friday night, there is the final campfire and award ceremony where the winners of competitions are recognized, and campers can recognize their favorite staff members.

Camp Rainey Mountain also gives jobs to highly-motivated individuals who help scouts earn merit-badges during the summer. For scouts who are 14 and 15, there is a counselor-in-training program called LAUNCH. Where they are figuratively “launched” into the world of CRM staff members. Staffers learn how to be an engaging instructor, sing songs and cadences, and how to follow the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. Every day, staff members wake up early meet at the Administration building for morning notifications before they march to the Parade Field for flag-raising and camp-wide announcements. Directly after the flag-raising, breakfast is served and the staff members begin to teach their classes. After three hours of courses, lunch is served, then the program continues until the flag lowering ceremony and dinner. Some departments will have activities after dinner that some staff may be required to attend. After evening activities, staffers may go to sleep and prepare for the next day. On Thursday, after flag lowering, staff get to go into town for the night to spend time with friends and shop for things they need.

Registration for campers is already open and spots are filling up fast. The sooner a scout troop applies, more campsites and weeks are available to stay at. People who want to be staff members can choose the weeks they want to work and can apply to work at different departments; each teaching a category of merit badges. People who are over 16 can skip the LAUNCH program and apply to become a paid staffer.

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About the Contributor
Douglas Seely, Staff Writer

Douglas Seely is a junior at South Forsyth High school. This is his first year working on The Bird Feed. Douglas likes to spend his time working on cars and trucks. Over the summer Douglas worked at a summer camp named, Camp Rainey Mountain as a Ranger and an Instructor.Douglas is very active in Boy Scouts and likes hiking and backpacking. Douglas like to fence on the South Forsyth Fencing team. Douglas’ visions for The Bird Feed  is to bring a lot of information to the readers.

 

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Summer camp: an opportunity to learn real-life skills