From the Archives, January 6, 2019

Camp Traditions: Stahlman’s AY

It is clear that every camp has it’s own traditions. Whether that camp be the first Camp Boxwell in the 1920s or Gaylord CubWorld today, every camp (and its staff) has things it does that are unique to that camp, regardless of how similar overall program may be. We will look at other examples of this, but for this week, let’s go to Camp Stahlman.

For several decades now, Camp Stahlman’s Activity Yard has had a Pioneering tradition: expansive pioneering projects. Pioneering projects are hardly foreign to the AY, but while Craig and Parnell’s Activity Yards tended to be singular, individual “big” projects for Pioneering Merit Badge, Stahlman took the projects to the next level. Every week, the project grew. The centerpiece (a quadpod) was often the same, but the branches coming off of that centerpiece were different every week and every year. While there may have been a plan, the projects appeared completely organic and no one has ever revealed the secret!

This week’s photo is part of this organic, expansive project. Taken in 1994, you can see the quadpod in the background on the bottom photo. From there though, the project has expanded around the program area to include several different projects, all of which Scouts could not only use, but incorporated several different lashings. In short, the projects were great examples of practical application of skills. These expansive projects were Stahlman traditions; none of the other camps have anything quite the same.


Part of the sprawling Pioneering Merit Badge project in the Stahlman Activity Yard, 1994

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