Canyon Camp had a very successful 87th summer on the banks of Coon Creek with over 800 Scouts and Leaders coming through our front gate between five weeks of Scouts BSA
camping and our Webelos/AOL Weekend. Our promotional theme for this summer was ‘The Place to Be in 2023’, and Canyon Camp was indeed just that! Our Staff was successful in going above and beyond to serve the little Scouts that follow us, and that intangible ‘Spirit of Canyon Camp’ continues to instill a particular sense of place and magic that we all feel when at camp.
Over the summer we had 1,855 merit badges taken by Scouts all around camp. With a 78% completion rate, 1,448 merit badges were earned! Favorites included Archery, Woodcarving, and Swimming merit badges. Scouts also enjoyed the new program offerings of Sculpture, Entrepreneurship, and Personal Management merit badges, as well as Snorkeling, Paddle Craft Safety, and Swimming and Water Rescue activity patches. Our adult Unit Leaders enjoyed a new set of training opportunities to take, as well as the addition of the ‘Camp Commissioner’ role to our camp staff. We also relaunched the O.W.L. program this summer as a more flexible “complete-a-sheet” model for our Older Scouts to pursue high adventure-esque activities and be challenged in leadership, service, and camaraderie as well. We look forward to better advertising this for next summer along with our soon to be announced new merit badges and program activities for the summer 2024 program.
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, Paul Holz was recognized for his longtime service to Canyon Camp, especially in making delicious pies for the Canyon Camp Staff each summer since 2007.
Eight Staff members were presented with Spirit of Canyon Camp Scholarships, adding on to our legacy of $72,525 awarded to 186 Staff recipients since 1992. Owen Wells of Galena, IL was voted ‘Staff Member of the Year’ once again, David Lancaster of Stockton, IL was voted ‘Rookie of the Year’, and Zeke Loveland of London Mills, IL received the Gilwell Staff Recognition.
A huge slate of important property projects are on the way this off-season, such as
the construction of a new Maintenance Building, some new campsite latrines, a new off-the-hill campsite named Driftless, the installation of a new Low COPE course, and if all goes according to plan, a brand new Shower House to better serve our Scouts and Leaders for the modern day. This is all possible thanks to generous funds raised by the Friends of Canyon Camp and the Blackhawk Area Council. 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 7th, 2023 if you’d like to lend your skills and efforts to help us out as well!
Canyon Camp will continue next year for an 88th summer as there will be, *drumroll please*, “More to Explore in 2024”! We hope to see you all there! Thank you all for your support!
Yours in Scouting,