Troop 5 Scouts paddle boarding at Summer Camp 2022

Troop 5 Bivouack at Tupper Lake

(Two-Weeks at Massawepie Scout Camp)

By Matthew V.

     There are a lot of traditions that come with coming to Massawepie Scout Camp.

You can’t really experience the full potential of these traditions in one week — that’s why Troop 5 stays for two weeks.

We got to the Maplewood Pool Parking lot around 6:00 or 6:30. The bus arrived, we loaded up the bus in preparation for the 5-and-a-half-hour ride up to Tupper Lake in ‘upstate’ New York.

When we got there, we went to our campsite — Newcome — as we’ve done in past years.

We didn’t also have a campsite at Tupper this year, so it’s kind of jampacked, but with the number of people coming and the number of people leaving, it all worked out in the end.

After we set up a tent, we went down to the dining hall for a medical check-up.

After that, we went down to the waterfall to take the BSA swim test. After the swim test, we went back to the campsite and finished setting up.

There’s a lot of time in between the evening Flag ceremony and the swim test so we set up our grills, made our duty roster, and made our beds.

At dinner time, the “Gophers” (patrol dining helpers designated on the roster) went down to get our buckets of food. We patrol-cook the first week of summer camp, and go to the dining hall for cooked food the second week of encampment.

We had the evening Flag ceremony, after which we eat dinner.

After dinner, there was the Monday night campfire where the Massawepie staff introduces themself and they’ll do a skit related to what they teach like sports or art.

The next morning, we got our schedules and started working on the merit badges we’d asked when registering for camp to be scheduled to work on.

This is the easiest place to get merit badges done because you have everything there.

Some of the merit badges I took were camping, small boat sailing, and pioneering.

Every day after lunch was ‘siesta.’ Siesta is a time where we can do some organizing or play cards with our friends or kind of like relax.

Also during certain hours the ‘Trading Post’ and ‘Big Jakes’ is open.

“This is the easiest place to get merit badges done because you have everything there.”

Big Jake is the snack shack of Massawepie, where you can get special slushies and can even request your own flavor. They also have candy and chips and ice cream.

During siesta is also when the ‘Bank of Tom’ is open. The ‘Bank of Tom’ is run by Mr. Tom Kilkenny, who holds individual Scouts’ funds in trust and safety during the encampment. When Scouts need money for things like at the ‘Trading Post’ or ‘Big Jakes,’ they need to visit the ‘Bank of Tom’ to be able to withdraw money for such things.

We went through the first week which was patrol cooking, which was an interesting experience, and finishing merit badges. When Friday comes around all of the other troops leave but we stay because we stay for two weeks.

During the weekend, we usually do a campfire in which we sing a song and each patrol does a skit. We do laundry, play ‘commandos,’ and do whatever we want to. On Saturday night, we have a Troop 5 cookout where we borrowed Massaweepie grill and grilled hotdogs and hamburgers. Usually, Mr. Stein and Mr. Barry do that. On Sunday we have a lot of free time because all the new troops are showing up and they have to do the medical checks and swim test. During Sunday ‘siesta’ we get new schedules for the next week and hang out.

The next morning we eat breakfast in the dining hall and then went to our first merit badge activity of the new week. We went through the second week like the first week.

During the last Saturday night we do something called the Honor Campfire. It is when Troop 5 Scouts vote on who should be named the ‘Honor Camper.’ We vote for three people during the siesta and they announce it during the campfire.

Also, we retire an American flag ceremonially and appropriately over the fire. Then we did some songs. When someone wins Honor Camper they get a leather neckerchief slide with the letters H and C. These neckerchief slides are made by a former Troop 5 scout.

When it was Sunday, it was time to leave, and everybody was so sad.

We packed up and got out of the camp around 11:00 a.m. We were heading back to Maplewood and we stopped at a rest stop it get some snacks and stretch our legs.

Over the course of the bus ride, we watched “Spaceballs” and “Monty Python” and the “Holy Grail.”

I think we watched more, but I fell asleep through two of them, so I can’t remember.

We arrive at  Maplewood at 5:15 p.m. and there’s a large crowd of parents and adult leaders waiting to greet us.

Also, if you are a new Scout or a parent that has a Scout in the Troop, I strongly encourage you to come to Massawepie and don’t come for one week because then you’re not getting a whole Massawepie experience.


Philmont 2022

Scenes from High Adventure trip to Philmont Scout Ranch, 2022

‘One of the Most Magical Places in the World’

By Teddy O.

Philmont Scout Ranch, in Cimarron, New Mexico, is one of the most magical places in the world. Its lofty mountains and babbling brooks have captured the hearts of many Scouts since its opening in 1938.

In July 2022, I was one of the lucky few Scouts who visited Philmont from Troop 5, as part of the crew 709-R-02. Over the 12-day trek, we hiked over 60 miles, and went as high as 10,000 feet above sea level, experiencing one of the most amazing locations on Earth.

Our trip started in Denver, Colo., where we were picked up from the airport by Blue Sky Adventures, a company focused on enhancing high adventure trips for scouts. During our two-day time with BSA (an acronym that is no coincidence), we stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge in Colorado Springs, enjoying such amenities as a full in-hotel water park, several small storefronts, and the last real bed we’d sleep in for two full weeks.

It’s a place where you can let your mind wander, taking in the sights and sounds, where you can let yourself forget about what was, what is, and what will be

During our stay, we went to several local Colorado attractions, including the Garden of the Gods, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and whitewater rafting at Echo Canyon. The fun and games were about to end, however, because at dawn on July 9, it was time to board the bus to Philmont Scout Ranch.

Once we arrived at Philmont, it was time to get all the supplies we would need for our trek: tents, food, and our route. The tents were simple two-person tents with only the absolute essentials – a tent body, poles, and a rain fly. Food was usually dehydrated and strictly non-perishable – we’d be carrying it for five days before restocking.

With everything we would need, it was time to set out.

Our trek began with a bus ride out into the backcountry for some quick training before we started the hike. Philmont Scout Rangers taught us everything we’d need to know before they left us on our own on the third day.

The first hike was probably the hardest – steep uphill, midday sun, and New Jersey-induced naïveté. After that, things got easier, and by the time our Rangers set back off to base camp, we all felt a little more confident.

From there, time passed quickly, with such amazing opportunities as the Tooth of Time, campfire performances at Urraca and Beaubien, and black powder rifles and tomahawk throwing.

(I’ve also been asked by our troop historian, Tucker Spence, to mention the missed opportunity of goat naps, a luxury we were unfortunately unable to indulge in for fear of getting to the next camp too late). By the time we got back to base camp on July 20, we were all ready to go home.

Words truly cannot describe the beauty Philmont Scout Ranch has to offer. It truly embodies the best of the American landscape. It’s a place where you can let your mind wander, taking in the sights and the sounds, where you can let yourself forget about what was, what is, and what will be. It’s a place where you can let your mind wander, taking in the sights and sounds, where you can let yourself forget about what was, what is, and what will be

Philmont has provided people with some of the greatest experiences of their lives, and it will continue doing so for many more years to come.


Scout Master ‘Roger’ Retires

An interview with Roger Brauchli, former Troop 5 Scout Master

By Keegan B., Troop 5 Historian

Roger Brauchli became Troop 5’s Scout Master in September 1969.

He officially stepped down Jan. 1, 2022.

Roger Brauchli became a Boy Scout in 1960.

He wanted to join because his friends wanted to join. 

He also wanted to go camping and he had a lot of encouragement from his parents.

He earned the rank of Eagle Scout at age 16.

He became Troop 5’s Scout Master because he was asked by the people in the committee and he said “why not?”

He wanted to make a big impact on the Troop. 

Roger Brauchli’s favorite part of being Troop 5’s Scout Master since 1969 has been meeting new people.

He has liked guiding scouts and making long lasting friends.

He continued as Scout Master as long as he did because of how much fun he had, and he wanted to continue making a big impact.

His favorite ‘High Adventure’ trip was either St. John, the U.S. Virgin Islands trip (he went eight times) or Philmont Scout Ranch (he went two times).

He liked the Long Beach Island trip, the cooking competition, the canoe trips and the bike hike.

In his more than 51 years as Troop 5 Scout Master, Roger Brauchli, known to all his Scouts as, simply, “Roger,” has made a huge impact on Troop 5.