West Coast Camporee 2016 Rocks!
Cadets from the U.S. – Mexico border to Northern California gathered at Bear Valley for Camp Lodge Pole, from June 21st – 25th, 2016. This triannual camporee serves as a run-up to the Cadet International Camporee which this coming year will be held at Camp Elk Run in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Camp Lodge Pole was hosted by counselors from Golden Bear council with Modesto CRC acting as the coordinating church for the camporee. Dennis Lucas served as Camp Director. Eighty-five Cadets and Counselors from twelve clubs, representing all three California Councils – Pacific Sierra, Southern California and Golden Bear – attended this five-day camporee.
From an obstacle course (including a 50’ zip line) to Geocaching, Marksmanship and Archery, to Frisbee Golf and water sports, every day presented each Cadet with a new set of challenges. Each Cadet also had an opportunity to earn two R-P-B badges: Knots & Lashing, and Pipes & Fittings.
Each day began with morning watch at 6:30am. A different cadre would raise the colors and lower them during the evening watch at 5:30pm. For many, participating in this was a first-time experience.
A special treat for the Cadets was a visit from on-duty Lake Alpine County Deputy Sheriff Tim B. He spoke to the Cadets about gun safety and showed them some of the tools he uses. Sheriff Tim answered many questions about his job, both as a law enforcement officer and as a member of the county’s search and rescue team.
Some fathers had brought their four-wheel vehicles, and on Wednesday evening some went four-wheeling to see what was at the top of the nearby peaks. They found snow (in June??) and a deep crevice in which one vehicle got stuck.
Everyone attending Camp Lodge Pole had a chance to visit the New Spicer Meadow Dam near Camp Lodge Pole. This 189,000 acre foot (233,000,000 m) reservoir is formed on Highland Creek, a tributary of the Stanislaus River. The 265-foot (81 m) tall dam is composed of rock-fill and was completed in 1989. Additional water is diverted from the North Fork of the Stanislaus River by the North Fork Diversion Dam and a two-mile (3 km) tunnel.
On Friday afternoon, each color group competed in a race on Lake Alpine. Using two kayaks and one canoe, each color group had to work as a team to complete a buoy race around six markers.
Many recreational activities took place in the late afternoon and evening hours. The highlight was a double-sided kickball game using the same field. One pair of team’s home plate was the other team’s second base! As described by more than one Cadet, “This is crazy, but fun!”
Leading our camporee devotions from Nehemiah was Pastor Bret Lamsa (Emmanuel CRC in Ripon, CA). On Saturday morning, he reminded all the campers of the many steps taken to build the wall around Jerusalem. Those at Camp Lodge pole have also built friendships and memories which would last a lifetime.
As a sign for us, each camper was asked to bring a rock to this final assembly. With it, Cadets and Counselors lifted a memorial to God for our time at Camp Lodge Pole.
The Golden Bear and Pacific Sierra Councils are planning to host another Camporee on the West Coast this summer. The site will be at Lodge Pole Campgrounds near Lake Alpine. The dates are June 21st through 25th.
Registration and invitation letter are provided here. Please note that a rough count of attendees is due next weekend!