Daily life at camp has its rituals and routines. At the troop level, each day starts by rising, cleaning, dressing, and in general getting around. Sometimes we rise alone, other times we are greeted by others and we talk about the day before and the day ahead of us. Some mornings it is time to look out over the lake and enjoy the peacefulness of nature. Thursday morning was cool, but warmer than Wednesday morning, it had been a late night for our scouts. The Order of the Arrow ceremony and the fellowship afterwards had our scouts walking back into camp close to ten and lights out soon after. The activities of the week had tired our scouts and they were content to sleep. In camp, the next group to wake is usually the SPL or other scouts who get up and shower, clean up, or just get ready for the day. At seven the SPL begins to wake the scouts, there is a little grousing but, most scouts simply wake and are excited about a new day. The hoppers are the first to leave for the dining hall because they need to set up tables before breakfast. By 7:35 to 7:45, the rest of the troop begins to walk or cycle down to the dining hall and form up at the flagpole for the flag ceremony. Troops can sign up to lead the flag ceremony in the morning or evening, but we did not sign up this year. The camp staff assembles on the steps above the flagpole and the officer of the day calls attention and orders the color guard to advance and post the colors. The color guard marches the flag toward the flagpole attaches the flags to the halyard and awaits further instructions from the officer of the day. The OD orders the scouts to attention and to salute the flag or hold their hands over the hearts as the color guard raises the flag while the bugler plays reveille. Then the OD leads us in the Pledge of Allegiance:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all. Source: Section 4 US Flag Code.
The scouts release their salute and can stand at ease while the color guard retreats. Once the color guard retreats, the OD dismisses the color guard, staff, and scouts all walk over to the dining hall. This is how we start; it is routine, and a great way to begin each day. We will form up at the flagpole for evening flags later, but we have much to do in between and we will start all over the next morning. Continue reading Day 34: Flags