Canyon Camp had a very successful 86th summer on the banks of Coon Creek with more than 1,000 Scouts and Leaders coming through our front gate over five weeks of Scouts BSA camping and one busy Webelos Weekend. On top of this, we have many school groups coming in this late summer and early autumn to experience our property and program areas, particularly our high ropes course, zip line, and climbing wall!
This summer, we had 2,599 merit badges taken by Scouts all around camp. With a 70% completion rate, 1,811 merit badges were earned! Favorites included Archery, Camping, and Environmental Science merit badges. Scouts also enjoyed the new merit badge offerings of Citizenship in the Society, Exploration, Fingerprinting, Scouting Heritage, and Theater. Additionally, the Golf MB day trip with the O.W.L. program was a hit with the Scouts!
At the end of summer Staff Dinner, we presented many recognitions to volunteers and Staff members in thanks for all that they do at Canyon Camp. In particular, Gene Nott was honored for his completion of 35 years as the Canyon Camp Properties Chair, Lee Binkley for his 55 consecutive years on the Canyon Camp Staff, and Bruce Small for his 40 years of service to both Camp Lowden and Canyon Camp. Six Staff members were presented with Spirit of Canyon Camp Scholarships, adding on to our legacy of $67,325 awarded to 178 Staff recipients since 1992.
A new tradition this summer is that of a ‘Gilwell Staff’ presented to a Staff member who has shown significant growth and above and beyond effort in trying to be the best Staff member they could be. In a way, this Staff member is always trying to move forward, just as the Scouting movement moves forward as symbolized by the story of Lord Baden Powell's carrying of the Gilwell Staff. The first recipient of this honor was Samuel Satterlee, our Dining Hall Director this summer.
Many important projects are on the way this off-season, such as the completion of Staff Cabin #9, our new Maintenance Building, some new campsite latrines, a new off-the-hill campsite, and critical updates to our Showerhouse facility. This is all possible thanks to the Friends of Canyon Camp non-profit organization, as well as the Stewards Initiative fund which raised around $60,000 in its second year. We’re very grateful for our kind donors and loyal volunteers who make all of this important work for camp possible. Come join us at the Woodcutter’s Ball event on October 8th, 2022 if you’d like to lend your skills and efforts to help out as well!
Although the summer of 2022 provided lots of leadership transition for Canyon Camp, our Scouts and Scouters had a great summer full of camp traditions just like any other. Our Staff was here to serve the little Scouts that follow us and the ‘Spirit of Canyon Camp’ continues to instill that sense of place and magic we all feel when at camp. Next summer, Canyon Camp will continue on for an 87th summer as “The Place to Be in 2023”! We hope to see you all here!
Yours in Scouting,