Blair Atholl Day 9 – The Haggis strikes back Thursday, Jul 31 2008 

We are expecting the Home Hosting list late tomorrow afternoon, Thursday. It will have complete contact information on it. We will not post this information on the blog. It will be e-mailed for privacy reasons. We would ask that you not forward the full list to anyone. Do not worry about giving the Scottish parents a call if you desire. Just remember there is a five hour time difference. 9 PM in the US is 2 AM in Scotland. Try not to call after 9:30 PM Scotland time unless the Scottish Parents direct you to do so. Our Scouts will be departing camp anywhere from 9 AM to Noon on Friday. Travel time to their destinations will be anywhere from an hour to several hours depending on where they are going.

Refer to yesterday’s blog about the collection process for gathering our Scouts in Markinch. The bulk of them will arrive twenty minutes on either side of 5 PM on three different trains. A few will arrive by car. We will post a message as soon as we have them all.

THE HOME HOSTING LIST HAS JUST BEEN SENT BY E-MAIL. IT HAS NEVER BEEN READY SO EARLY, THANK YOU MRS R.

Do not like the activity that you have, then just ask Mr. B. He takes on the challenge of fixing things. Sam R and Jeff K wanted a more exciting activity today. They asked for the most difficult if not impossible activity to get, Canyoning. Everyone said no. Mr. B said he would take on the challenge even after the Subcamp said it was full and the same from the Activities Office. Mr. B talked the team into taking these two guys even when they thought they did not have enough wet suits. Then Aargh! Sam changed his mind. Jeff went off to do it with Colin, a Scottish Scout and, Sam went to Orienteering.

We did Scout Vespers tonight to a disappointingly small group at the Staff Club. It was soft and very pretty. For our efforts it was all the hot chocolate and raisin cake they Scouts could eat except for Chris D, he found the milk machine. We are hoping to be invited to play at the closing campfire tomorrow night. This is a slim chance but just maybe.

Today was the traditional Robert Burns Dinner across the camp. The Scottish Staff went formal wearing white shirts with their kilts. I was honored by being asked to sit with the camp leaders at the “Top Table”. There is a very tradition laden dinner. The Top Table is piped in then introductions are made. Our Contingent was recognized as the largest. Then after an invocation and a key reading (of which I understood very little) they pipe in the Haggis. Because of where I was seated, the whole Haggis ceremony took place inches from me including the carving of the Haggis. I guess you can say the who event was up close and personal. I thought I was invited to the Top Table because of charm and good looks. Mrs. R is convinced it is because we had the largest and best organized contingent. (Information on Burn’s Suppers can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burns_supper)

Mark R rented a kilt for the day and as luck would have it, a shop clerk gave Mrs. R a Black Watch kilt in her perfect size. It used to be the store uniform and they had changed to a different tartan.

Everyone please take note. Mrs. R consumed the smallest amount of Haggis of anyone. Her portion was compared to a finger nail size.

Andrew A-G is reported to have eaten two bites of Haggis. Hey, at least he tried it.

The laundry saga. Steve O’s patrol finally picked up their clean laundry tonight after it had been back for 24 hours.

Scott R is the very last person in the contingent to resolve his home stay.

Colin O registered for his college classes on line from Scotland. However, we are wonder if he will pass the Freshman orientation. First he tried registering at 9:45 Scottish Time. Then he tried it at 9:45 Eastern Time, oops, he is going to school in Colorado which is Mountain Time. When he finally tried it at 9:45 in the right time zone, he made it.

A couple of boys are down with coughs. We are running out to get medicine for them in the morning.

Yesterday was the last of the regularly schedule activities. Today is the Atholl Antics. It started this morning with crazy dress. Yes Mrs. A, we captured all three of your sons in picture. Peter even made me wait while he got back into costume. Please note the oranges. Mrs. H, you son is a landmark. Needless to say, that if there is a prize for this morning, it goes to the Old Greg Patrol. Mothers be proud.

We are making provisions to provide cash to those Scouts who are having ATM card problems.

Weather report, … today we had off and on rain with a couple of real gully washer downpours. A check around indicates we do not have an wet sleeping bags. When these Scout return to the US, they will really understand how to site a tent then how to prevent water from collecting in it.

I was surprised to learn that as the largest Contingent here we represent around 13% of the International Scouts and 12% of the International Patrols. The next largest is Russia with 20 Scouts, Gibraltar is next. We still do not get how they get off calling Gibraltar a country. We do make a big impact on the camp. There are slightly more Scottish Scouts than International Scouts as all the Scottish Patrols are full patrols of six members each.

Francesco volunteered his patrol to do flag duty again. Unfortunately, with so many American Contingents, we only get to do it for one day.

I have now determined that Alex V is the lead Phantom of Alissa’s patrol. He has this way of not being there even when he is there. He is having a great time and is participating in everything as far as I can see.

Bryan L is delighted to have more money in the bank. Some of the Scouts who deposited money with us, that is now in Mrs. R’s care, are looking to make withdrawals. We will cover anyone who is short of funds for one reason or another. Our interest rates are not too high.

Chris D cannot find his travelers checks. We will cover him with funds in the interim. Also, we understand that he is taking home a Scottish cow, a milk cow that is.

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Blair Atholl Day 8 – Wet, Wet, Wet Wednesday, Jul 30 2008 

And the rains came!

There is a strange pennant hanging over Carmine’s Patrol. Can it be, yes, it is the Camp Chief Pennant. Upon inquiring, yes they did win for inspection today. Carmine, Jason B and Mark D all said, they were really not so great today; it was just that everyone else was so bad. After my own look around, I had to agree. But, we did win. Drew A’s Patrol is only a few feet away. You should hear him on this subject.

Yes, Yes, Steve O’s patrol did send out laundry today. We may let them rejoin the Subcamp

We are really going to please the staff here when our volunteers appear to clean toilets. Carmine, Alex, two Chris’s, Bryan and Brendan are going to make the camp toilets shine. I do not know how many warnings it takes to get them to write an e-mail home. Hopefully this will be a non-issue by morning.

The rains came in with a vengeance this morning. Sometime after 6 AM we got hit with a heavy downpour. Connor told a story of a Scot climbing the 20’ rigging that supports their dining fly and table like he was a monkey during the worst of the storm. He relashed the dining fly to keep it from tearing in the wind. Then to tighten it, he put the end of the rope in his teeth, pulling it taught as he slid down the pole, ….ouch. Wouldn’t you like your son doing this after the big Orthodonture bill.

I saw Andrew A-G and Ed Hickson heading off for a tour of the real Castle.

Will K does not seem to be any worse for the wear for his overnight high adventure. I am guessing we had a half inch of rain in a half hour. Francesco Z is going out on this trip tonight. I question his basic judgment as the forecast is for more rain, lots of it.

Connor has some interesting new head gear. I am trying to think of what pop group would wear it, …… in the night, in places where people would not look.

Sam R and Jeff K have not been getting the activities they wanted. They are having a great time but it is time for Mr. B to take a trip to the activities desk with them.

Alissa’s Patrol still holds the record for not being there when the leaders visit. Still, a great sign as they are all fully engaged in activities. Mark found most of this patrol sneaking through the Caravan Park, which is off limits to Scouts. They were on their way to a Fish and Chips shop. Mark only let them proceed if thy would agree to bring him back some Chips.

The closet Subcamp for the leaders when we begin our “walkabouts” is Murray where the Old Greg (Drew A) and Badger Patrols (Carmine M) are located. It seems that we can never get started without the “sentry” Mark D spotting us.

FANTASTIC, Unbelievable, and any other superlative you can think of. The Austrians were to perform at the Staff Club Show tonight and they had three people who were unable to perform for one reason or another. They recruited Will K to fill in. You would not believe his performance. If you did not know better, you would have thought he was part of the Austrian team. He was flawless. This is a folk dance that goes on and on. You spin your partner, reverse directions and do all sorts of turns. Will was fantastic. Then if you thought he was faking it, they do it a second time pulling people out of the audience. So you really have to know what you are doing to be able to lead a rookie from the audience through the routine. Will will become Blair Atholl folk lore over this.

Emma, please note. Will was drafted and really did not want to do this. Also, I have a bridge to sell you.

There are several pictures included of the acts we had in the Staff Club show. We are chasing down some pictures of our Scouts’ performance.

We performed with our Boomwackers and Tub Thumpers tonight at the Staff Club Show. The Scouts were great. So good in fact, that they have been invited back tomorrow night to do Scout Vespers to close the club at 10:30 PM. If that goes well, I am hoping for an invitation to do Scout Vespers again at the Closing Campfire on Thursday night. Usually this is an in and out thing for the performance at the Staff Club but, the team that runs the Club came around the outside of the building with hot chocolate for our folks. It was their way of saying thank you.

We had a couple of heavy downpours today and, the mud in the camp is starting to form. It rained so hard a few times that my rain jacket was not keeping me dry. I was as wet on the inside as I was on the outside. I broke down and went to an outfitter shop in Pitlochery and bought a new rain jacket. At flag down tonight, Mark and I outfitted ourselves complete with rain pants and are we glad we did. The sky just opened up on us. It is supposed to be like this the rest of the week. This is the time when the quality of the raingear the Scouts brought will really demonstrate its value. I noticed Chris D in a really sharp yellow and grey rain jacket. Some boys were just wearing their red nylon jackets which are really not waterproof.

We improved Peter M’s quality of life. The dampness from the rain makes it feel colder and he has a summer weight sleeping bag with him. We fixed him up with a high grade emergency shell/blanket that should make him the warmest kid in camp. This morning he confirmed that we had indeed improved his quality of life.

Alex N went back to Pitlochery this afternoon. I assume he is accessorizing the really sharp kilt he bought earlier.

We will check for wet sleeping bags in the morning and get them dried. It is midnight here at the moment and we just got another huge deluge.

The Royal Air Force regularly flys over the campsite. So far, we have seen their Tornado and their new advanced fighter. Today, we had a flyover of four US F-15’s. I doubt the boys even knew the difference but Mark is the expert on this. He grew up as an RAF Brat.

Wednesday night is the Burns Dinner across the camp. This is Haggis night. All over camp there will be very formal dinners. The Haggis gets piped in and there is a lot of ceremony, special readings and more. The Scots dress to the “nines” for this. Since Mark was born in Scotland, he is going native. He is renting a Scottish National kilt for the occasion. We will definitely get a picture of this. Mrs. R was also given a Black Watch kilt for the occasion so she will be very authentic too.

Some catching up on Scout comments:

Ed H My water shoes imploded gorge walking, but my feet are OK.

The Old Greg patrol has passed the responsibility of their comments to Jack A who has not been forth coming. So, let’s see what “damage” the Scoutmasters can do.

Drew A is growing a goatee. In reality, he needs more hair growth hormones and some hair dye. He tried to convince the leaders this morning that there was a Camp Pennant for inspection flying over his patrol but the wind had blown it away. Ha!

Sean H, Old Greg himself, was seen throwing into the tent all the patrol shoes which had been lined up for inspection. He is still committed to a circus career.

Jack A Still does not believe me when I say his mother will appear at the camp gate if he does not communicate effectively, eat healthy, stay dry and most importantly stay clean.

Will H was seen hanging out in the back of the Staff Club long after the Scouts left. Obviously, he was looking to partake in the leaders “supper” which is served about 10 PM. It is a little tough to distinguish Will from the legitimate staff.

Jack C After the Boomwackers performed last night there was to be one act then the Tub Thumpers, as our drummers have become known, were to go on. Jack disappeared. He was at the back of the Staff tent getting his third cup of hot chocolate. He dashed in after the rest of the team was on stage seconds before the performance was to start

Pam was working till midnight tonight making the arrangements for Ho Ho. The process that the Scots use for this is one they have been using for years. The day the Scouts return from Ho Ho is the most amazing part of it. With few exceptions, all the Scouts will come back by train. Scouts very close may come by car and those in the far northern or western islands will return by air. On return day, each contingent has a train station somewhere near where they will stay until their departure. There may be 25 to 30 different collection points. In our case, Markinch just outside of Glenrothes, has a train station on the ScotRail East Coast Mainline, Scotland has three privatized railroads. Anyway, in every rail station on August 6, there will be a uniformed Scout Leader with a complete list of Scouts indication who is on each train and, who should be getting off at the station he is managing. Scouts travel in uniform so they are more recognizable. There is a telephone net backing this up. The airport has a similar manning system and there is a ground transport plan to get those Scouts back to their collection points. As Contingent leaders we will have a complete plan on how each Scout is returning. Our target time is 5 PM which means we can receive Scouts three hours on either side of that time. As additional back up, each of our Connecticut Scouts will have a card in his passport that will have the Mobile Telephone Numbers of all our leaders.

You should note that once the Scouts go into Ho Ho, the Blog will go silent. It will wake up again for one last time as the Scouts return on August 6 probably around 6 PM your time.

Blair Atholl Day 7 – The Rains a’coming Tuesday, Jul 29 2008 

Monday, the day before it rains.

Today we are trying to provide you some commentary written by the Scouts themselves. This was not easy to do as there were many excuses as to why they do not need to communicate. Tonight, we are trying not to give them any choice. The most common note I am getting from parents in some form is to “have my son communicate home”.

We had a Contingent meeting tonight after flag down. We reviewed a variety of topics.

  • We want to insure that everyone is having a good time and is getting the events they want.
  • We checked on the general health of everyone.
  • A Passport check
  • A reminder on emergency procedures – they will be given leader telephone numbers before they go to Home Hosting.
  • A review of Home Hosting etiquette
  • Once more on “limits” with girls. I did open myself up to a barrage of questions on this subject on the last trip. I did do this lecture much more carefully this time.
  • Subcamp or Activities Staff that have earned recognition from our contingent. We are gifting the Contingent hats and “neckies”
  • Gifts on the “tab”. If Scouts need extra home hosting gifts because then now know the make up of the families they will visiting, we will provide them things out of the Troop supply of hats, “T” shirts and “neckies” where they do not have to pay for them until they get back to the US. The idea is that we do not want to drain their cash.
  • The requirement to wear uniforms while returning from “Ho Ho”
  • E-mail home, call if you are in doubt or, find a way for Mr. Berry not find out that you have had a failure to communicate.

A Norwegian “bomb” must have exploded inside John J’s bag. If you are going to mess up your bag, you do not leave it open at the front of your tent so the Scoutmaster can see it from ten paces away.

Will K is doing the overnight high adventure trip tonight.

Matt S got his patrol up extra early so they could win inspection today. But he claims there is a patrol of girls that get up even earlier and do everything right including “combing” the grass. Francesco has the same observation in his Subcamp.

Chris D has a neat looking new Scotland hat.

Steve O’s patrol may have to be relocated. Since they have not done any laundry, they may be pretty ripe by now. Actually, they decided tonight to send out a bag of laundry tomorrow

I saw Kevin C getting ready to go into Pitlochery. If you every want to locate our boys there, just hang out at the Chinese Fish and Chips Shop at the far end of town. This seems to be the destination. Yes, I did say a Fish and Chips shop that is also a Chinese take out.

Peter M and Francesco Z went trout fishing today. They got a little bored because the fish were not biting so, they herded sheep up the mountain. They literally were chasing sheep all afternoon.

Clean laundry at 5:30 tonight for those who turned it in.

Our eight patrol leaders had a real treat tonight. There was a special program, musical entertainment and meal for them starting at 9 PM at the Staff Club. The Scottish supper they ate had sausage rolls, the worst hot dogs, cakes, hot chocolate, tea and coffee plus “some damn fine entertainment”

I think I am going to rename Alissa’s patrol from the Connecticut Yanks to the Phantom patrol. They are rarely if ever in their campsite when I come around. The good news is that this means they are out doing things,

Tonight at the Kastle it is the Karaoke Night. Mark and I went to the Patrol Leader event so we have nothing to report on Connecticut talent that might have performed.

The Connecticut Boomwackers and Tub Thumpers, this is what they call our drums, will perform again tomorrow night.

Evan S says he never lost his bank card. We are glad to hear that but we know our minds are not playing tricks on us. We write down these things when the Scouts tell us. Oh well.

Please remember the comments below are uncensored and probably contain whole truths, half truths and untruths. These are directly from the Scouts.

Kevin K I finally used the Am Ex card, …… on a massage. I’ve tried the Haggis. I’ve played Rugby. The Austrian guys in our Subcamp play cards with us and they are good.

Jeff K I am playing poker with short bread as the currency, eating Haggis and loving it, drinking Irn Bru …enough said.

Peter M I am having a fantastic time! I am going to be staying with a Scottish Scout name Levig. Scotland is a beautiful country. I am so glad I had a chance to go on this trip. Give love to the whole family especially grandma, love Peter.

Evan S Having a great time at camp, the weather has been great and the activities are fun. It is weird though, they do not let you take pictures in any castles here. It’s too bad, they have a great tour of Blair of Atholl and one of the rooms has guns on the walls.

Sam R The views are amazing. I am a crazy Master Chef. The Austrians are hilarious

Alex N I have made more serious friends in the past week here than I normally make in a year. There has not been one moment at Blair Atholl when I haven’t wished I could stay here for three more months.

Nils A Hello parents and other people. I have had much excitement at Blair Atholl, yeah. I look forward to seeing you all.

Alex A I have made friends with everyone in my patrol. I am having so much fun. All the activities are great. I have made some really cool friends. I have traded two patches for a Singapore shirt. I bought a kilt (price deleted). Love you Alex.

Chris S Scotland is by far one of the most memorable experiences of my life and is accurately described by the Scots as a once in a lifetime experience. I was lucky enough to have been able to do it twice.

Colin O The disco … and the girls were amazing. I am looking forward to my home stay. Is a fourth Jamborette as a Scout too much to ask?

Steve O People are nice, lots of food, good friends. Hi mom, tent is big and comfy

Andrew A-G I am eating well mostly Irn Bru. Haven’t got laundry done thanks to Steve O. I am going gorge walking tomorrow and will have a blast.

Carmine M Found a new place to live, thanks for the fifteen years.

Jason B I love how every Scout here whether they be national or international has something unique to share.

Garrett D I am doing good. I have been doing a lot of activities every day. See you when we get back.

Jon D I am trying all sorts of new food like haggis.

Brian L Hey mom, how’s it going? So far, I am having a great time. I make new friends every day. Everyday I learn new things and new skills.

Brendan W I am having a great time over here. Blair Atholl is every bit as fun as the last time. I have some great pictures to show you when I get home. For all tid, Brendan

Alissa F Hi mom, dad and Bri. I go sunburned today, yes in Scotland and Brian, we have nice weather again. I went on a day hike today and climbed 2,000 feet, love Allis.

Chris D This has been a great trip though I think I have been eating too much chocolate.

Alex V Blair Atholl has been great fun and fencing was the best.

Robbie L Hey, I am having a great time in Scotland so far. I have done the nature walk, archery, team sports, orienteering and gone to Pitlochery. I cannot wait for next week because I am going to stay in Northern Scotland with a Scottish Scout I met in my host patrol.

Neil C I am having fun at Blair, I have been in a sailboat that broke (wasn’t my fault) and other fun things like mountain boarding. I am having a lot of fun.

Mark D We are all having a great time. We have looking for games.

John J The dance was fun and I met a Norwegian Scoutmaster. Got a lot of new friends.

Francesco, dear Mom and Dad. I am having a great time at camp and I am making new friends. I hope to speak to you soon and I miss you. Your son, Francesco

Andrew Discovered that all terrain boarding is a lot like long boarding

Matt R I am having lots of fun finding my heritage

Matt S Hello Mom, Dad and Henry. For the Halloween Disco on Sunday I dressed up an EMO and had lots of fun scaring little kids

Drew A, Jack C, Jack A and Sean H (old Greg himself), all from the Old Greg Patrol, came up with a shortcut for this update. They leaned on their Scribe to do a Patrol Report. Sorry about that guys, you need your own reports. Will H. somehow broke the code but wrote something we could not print. You will hear from them tomorrow. Will K was on an overnight adventure so we will also hear from him when he gets back.

We cannot find Ed H’s note. He did write one. We will seek him out.

Scotland is about to live up to its reputation. We woke up to a real heavy rain and it is expected to get worse over the next four days. Those coming back from the high adventure overnight looked like drowned rats as they came through the camp gate this morning. Will K was as wet as any of them.

Blair Atholl Day 6 – Church Parade Monday, Jul 28 2008 

Sunday from Blair Atholl

Some picture viewing instructions

When you go to look at the pictures we have posted there are ways to enlarge them. First, click in the picture and you can make it about five times larger. Then you can click once more on the on the sizing icon on the lower right of the picture and you get to another level of detail. For example, if there is a formation of Scouts, you can usually clearly see the faces of our Scouts once you get to this level of enlargement. On the close ups, you can blow them up top see how clean they Scouts are or are not. When you finish viewing the picture, use the back arrow to reverse your route.

Home Hosting

We will not be posting the Home Hosting, or “Ho Ho” as the Scots call it, information on the Blog for privacy reasons. We will send this information out to you in an e-mail. You probably will not see this list until late on Thursday. Although some Scouts know where they are going but we must wait until the administrative system confirms to us that the pairing in fact has been approved. The list will have complete contact information for the Scottish families including names, addresses and phone numbers.

By the way, one of the first things the Scottish mums usually do is the sanitizing process. That is they dump out the duffel bags at the door and wash everything.

Sunday is a very special day at Blair Atholl. Scouts get to sleep in for an extra hour as do the leaders. Then we form up the parade to the Castle, the real Blair Atholl Castle, (as opposed to the Kastle which is our main activity set of tents). The Scots bring in a pipe band and we all parade up to a hill just outside the Castle. Mark and I were in charge of organizing the International flags for the parade. At the Castle they become the backdrop for the service.

At the service, Chris D represented the US and he did so beautifully. Then at the last minute I was asked to provide an extra Scout. Jack Campbell filled this honor.

Clean laundry comes back tomorrow.

Parents, if your son has not at least sent you an e-mail or made a phone call, it is now harassment time. Please send me an e-mail to cycscotland2008@gmail.com as I do not have anyway of identifying the non-communicators. I can think of lots of toilets to clean if I do get a second note from you this week.

You are just about out of time to send packages and letters unless you do it by overnight express. This is very expensive. I would say that after Tuesday, you can even forget about that.

This afternoon the Scouts are doing International Games. I am sure, without checking, our entry will be ultimate Frisbee.

We have to pinch ourselves to be sure we are in Scotland. This place is noted for lousy weather. In 2002, we were ankle deep in mud. The camp is in a meadow that has been a sheep pasture for the last 500 years. It goes back to being one when we leave. Rest assured, when it rains here, it gives mud a whole new definition. Anyway, the weather has gone from being cold to cool to absolutely nice today. It is cold enough after dark that you do need a jacket. My fleece is my companion after dark. This is not the real Scotland, it has not rained enough. Of course, with Mr. Berry on the trip, there is bound to be a rain day. The word is, that if there is a drought somewhere, just send Mr. Berry camping there and, it will rain. Mark is telling me that the bad weather is coming tomorrow. I saw a weather map on the BBC that seems to confirm this.

I have warned the Angus boys that if they do not e-mail home, their mother might appear at the camp gates.

Carmine tried telling he did not have to e-mail home because he already sent a letter to his grandmother. I gave him the same threat I have been making to others all day. If I get an e-mail from your parents that you have not e-mailed them, you will clean the camp toilets.

Mark D tried telling me his mom did not want him to e-mail her. Hey mom, do you believe that?

In camp we have Canadian Pam Robinson and Colorado Bob Cloutier. There is a Canadian leader that is a dead ringer for Pam and we actually thought that Bob had secretly entered the camp until we saw this twin had more hair.

Connor is in love with Norway. Check the pictures.

We are having a Contingent meeting tonight at flag down to do a status check on all the Scouts at once, give them back their laundry and have them each make a note for the blog.. I have decided that they can do the creative work for tomorrow’s Blog. I am asking that each Scout write a note for posting tomorrow. We will also be reviewing our plans for the rest of the trip.

We continue to be astonished by the interest in the blog. Yesterday you did an unbelievable 1,429 views. One family likes the blog so much they went on 48 times. I am guessing they brought the neighbors in one at a time. Please understand that we do updates when we can. Saturday the Internet Router was down and as the saying goes, we have do have “day jobs” here at the camp. This impacts when we can work on getting information for the blog, taking pictures and then organizing things.

Blair Atholl Day 5 – International Day Sunday, Jul 27 2008 

Saturday is International Day. Scouts did their regular activities in the morning but in afternoon it was the Country Fair. This is where all the International Scouts, the Scottish Units within the camp and the Scouts from the Satellite Camp run booths that sell food from their countries and run games of all sorts. We also had about 2,000 visitors including Scout families and people from the local area. Each Scout is given a supply of money called “Blair Atholl’s”. This is the only currency that can be used. It is valuable today and worthless tomorrow. You are given a small supply of money to start, and then you sell things at your booth to make more money so you can go to other booths and buy more stuff. We had one of the most popular booths. We sold Corn Fritters that you put maple syrup on. We were among the most popular booths there. In fact, in a leaders meeting afterwards, the discussion from the Camp Chief started with reference as to how great the corn fritters were. There was always a line at our booth.

The Scottish adults in camp keep making references to the grand entrance we made coming into camp on Tuesday. Again today, at the country fair, the announcer retold the story of our entrance. On that day, we marched in playing Scotland the Brave, then we played God Save the Queen and God Bless America. The Scots were impressed.

When we leave Scotland, we are going to “will” our Boom whackers to a Scottish School. They are going to a third grade in Glenrothes where Nicola Crookston is a teacher. Although, they are on their 6 week summer break, yes they only get six weeks summer vacation here, Nicki she has seen some students and told them about Boom whackers. They are quite excited. I would not be surprised if we had to play our routine in Markinch, one more time, when we get when we are there on August 6th,

This was our day to handle American flag at “Flag Up and Flag Down”.

We did an Iwo Jima thing putting up the flag. We did it with two teams. Ed H and Steve O plus one more Scout put up the flag Jason B, Carmine M and Will H in their kilts saluting. Picture below.

John D is going to e-mail home. When he said this, his friends told me he has been saying this for days. Pam is now going to get on his case.

Jeff K in response to being asked to say something for the Blog for his parents, said, he is too busy to talk.

We have our first romance, at least the first the leaders have seen. John J was seen walking hand in hand with a Scottish lass. He was even willing to introduce her to his Scoutmaster. Mrs J, he has good taste in women.

Mark D spent most of the Country Fair being an international diplomat. We had plenty of help in our booth so he worked in the booth of his Scottish Patrol.

Mrs A. Do not get on the next plane but, your youngest did get sick yesterday and he spent the night in a real bed in the clinic. Actually he fell asleep while the doctor was having him rest. So, the doctor decided to let him spend the night. As luck would have it, he needed a buddy, so your middle son got to spend the night in a bed too for the price of a clean “T” shirt. He is absolutely fine today.

Francesco Z and Alex V represented the US at “Flag Down” today.

Francesco wants a Scout hat from Singapore, so he asked me to arrange permission from the Singapore leader. All is set for a hat exchange on the last day.

Steve O’s patrol must not get their clothes very dirty. They did not send any laundry out. We will inspect them more closely tomorrow.

Alissa has conspired with Pam to get a real shower in the caravan park tomorrow.

Alissa’s whole patrol was invited out by one of the host families for dinner in a restaurant tonight. The word was they had real food and they did not have to clean up. You know parents, you need to capitalize on the domestic skills your Scouts are learning. They really do clean up the cooking things and dishes very well.

Chris S missed the Boom whacker show today. His host family invited him out for a meal. Guess who the first person in camp was that he ran into? I think the word was that he was “busted”. He is still trying to figure out what I am going to do about it. Actually, it will be nothing. Why does a Scoutmaster have 4 of each note, he anticipated the problem.

Mark D was nowhere to be found for the show either. I am sure he will have a great story.

We did get some pictures of today’s show that we will post.

Ed H and Matt R continually demonstrate that they have English blood in them. They have some game they play at the soccer net where they kick the ball at each other, just the two of them. They even have a scoring system. Ed H cannot believe that I promoted his family sending him more mail, postal mail. I noticed he was sending out e-mails tonight.

Alex N and Andrew A-G went to Jewish services today. Had all our Jewish Scouts gone we would have outnumbered the Jewish Contingent from a Chicago Troop.

Jason B is really turned on to getting ready for his home stay. He has been lining up extra gifts for his host family.

Garret D, Neil C, John D and Alissa F all had front row seats for the campfire tonight.

Will K wanted the Boom whacker performance to be moved up on the agenda so he could leave early for a dinner with his host family. I did notice that he was one of the very few “pre-selected” people to dance with the Austrians. They did a folk dance and at then end, they go into the audience to bring people up to do the dance with them. Will had it all arranged with a very attractive Austrian girl to come running off the stage to grab him for the dance. Will actually dances pretty well. Maybe these two had some practice beforehand?

Connor K is doing the best job of staying off my “radar screen”. He always seems to be there but he never lets you know he is there. When you look at him you always get a smile back but, few words. This is a different Connor. He did however sell Mrs R six Atholls for two pounds. The kids got a kick out of selling her worthless money. Mrs. R terribly embarrassed her son in the process. Interestingly enough, Mrs. R. was in charge of printing the Atholls for the event, and even had some counterfeit 7 Atholl notes in her pocket – perhaps she was just kidding with the kids!

Andrew A-G is convincing me he is eating well. Whatever it was he ate today, he had never eaten it before. He was quite proud of himself.

Matt S had quite a laundry line outside his tent today.

Chris D represents the USA tomorrow during part of the Scout’s Own Service. They take one Scout from each country to make up the puzzle.

I met up with Colin O lounging in a hammock in one of the Subcamps. Right after I took his picture, one of the Scotts dumped a 5 gallon bucket of water on him. I have the before and after pictures.

Drew A went into a panic today. He saw trash cans around the Country Fair. He thought they were using his “drums” for their designed purpose. He was much relieved to find our instruments safe and sound.

Robbie seems to be in the “kitchen” every time I enter his Subcamp.

Believe it or not, all the adults do have real jobs here. Mark and I run events such as all the international shows, the flag ceremonies, the parade for Scouts Own and we do the sound for everything that needs sound including the campfires. Getting talent from 15 countries and from all over Scotland ready to perform is like “herding cats”. We had 37 acts sign up for our first show. Needless to say we had to come up with a “triage” system that left everyone feeling good. But the talent we have to work with this year is astonishing. I am partial to the Scotts who do the piping, fiddling and dancing. Mark is turned on to the crowd pleasing songs. It seems like no matter what we do one country or another is upset with us. So far we have managed international incidents. We also have some never ending acts. That is we have performers that keep doing things until you almost have to pull them off the stage. I am going to make Pam, Scott and Frank tell you about their jobs.

Pam thinks she is paid staff. She is expecting 8,000 Atholls for her work. She is also accepting bribes of 10 Atholls from the Scout for choice place on home stays. She is big into worthless currency. The Blair Atholls only had value during the fair.

Blair Atholl Day 4 – Irn Bru Heads Sunday, Jul 27 2008 

Friday has been a very busy day for all of us. Scouts have really been into their activities. Mark, Pam and I have been buried in work associated with our assignments here. Pam is working in administration and is part of an energized team – they work in a really small office, We are not sure it is big enough for her personality!!

PS. If she has been asked to leave, she is not telling.

Many of you have been asking if your sons are really in Scotland or are here in the imagination of their Scoutmasters. I assure you we are asking the boys, and one girl, to get on the Internet to send messages home. The telephones here are a real challenge as there are only two of them for the entire camp.

The Scouts performed twice today on the Boom wackers. The first performance was at the International Night. They were popular but not perfect. Because of the stage entrance they ended up in reverse order and I think that threw them off a bit. However, they were the lead and, the only group from the main camp to perform at the Satellite Camp campfire. They were just about perfect there.

The Satellite Camp campfire was an all American Show. I asked Scott and Frank to help out a little bit. By the time today rolled around, they were the whole show. If you know anything about these two characters, you know that they are in their element with running a campfire. The Scouts in this camp are primarily Cubs and our guys gave them a campfire they will be talking about for a long time. The Mums at this camp all wanted to take our guys home to be leaders in their Troops and Packs.

When Mark D jumped into the canyon he was wearing a helmet and a wet suit.

Jason B has solved his dirty laundry problem. Can you believe his host family asked him to have his dirty laundry ready for Saturday and they would take it out and have it washed. Is he smart or is he smart.

Steve O’s patrol did the “Flag Down” for the camp today. The flags ceremonies here are a very big deal. This was our contingent’s day to raise and lower the American Flag.

No inspection pennant yet but Francesco Z’s patrol came in second for a second time.

In my “walkabout today” I gave out laundry bags to collect clothes for a laundry run we will make into Pitlochery tomorrow. Wow, this stuff is really bad but three our of eight of our patrols must have plenty of clean clothes because have not tuned any laundry in. I think I will track them down. We do not want the Scottish Health Authority to declare anyone “unsanitary”.

I did find Colin catching up on his beauty rest. He was fast asleep while the rest of his patrol was preparing diner. By the way when we came into Camp on Tuesday, Colin acted as the Scout Contingent Leader and he formally presented the group to John Kennedy, the Camp Chief. Part of the presentation was giving the camp chief a neckerchief, or a neckie as the Scotts call them. John proceeded to wear our neckie much to the consternation of many of the other contingents.

If there is one Scout I seem to see multiple times a day it is Mark D. He is always smiling and lets me know what activity he is going to do next.

I saw Will H walking around in circles out in the field. When I inquired as to why, he said he was taking a time out from Sean.

There is a Jewish leader from Chicago here and he was commenting on language differences. There is a tent where both Catholic and Jewish services will be held on Saturday. This tent serves a multitude of purposes and in prior years was call the “Quiet Tent”. However, this year they call it the “Time Out” tent. Needless to say they Scotts never thought the name of the tent would relate to “punishment” in another part of the English speaking world.

Mark and I produce the International Night Show. We were overwhelmed by the number of entrants. Usually I beg, plead and do whatever to get contingents to participate. It must be Mark’s good looks because we had 37 entries. We could have produce a show that ran all night. In the process of sliming down the show we only created one international incident, we inadvertently did not include the Canadians and, we almost had another with the Austrians. The Austrians do a folk dance but they also need their Contingent to be working on Apple Strudel for Saturday’s Country Fair. Fortunately, someone got to us with the issue and we were able to move them up in the show.

In my years at Blair Atholl, this was the best shows we have done. Mark is really hip on the music of the day and he made some great choices that kept the crowd clapping, often on their feet and really singing. There was some amazing talent. We had songs and dances by many groups but some of the individual talent blew us away. There were singers from South Africa, an amazing 13 year old boy from Gibraltar and another very popular boy from Scotland. They could have been professionals. The girls from the Netherlands, …. who cared what they were singing, they could have been on the cover of a magazine. The Gibraltar Contingent’s performance of La Boomba brought the house down. This is a line dance with lots of hip movement and gyrations. The Scouts were even into the Highland Dancers, Fiddlers and Bagpipers. Our Scouts will have to catch most of these “acts” at the Country Fair on Saturday as they were off performing at the Satellite Camp when they finished performing at the main show. They saw about the first quarter of the show.

Mark did have one incident during the show. When a group of Highland Dancers came off the stage, one of the girls went into an asthma attack. It was on Mark’s side of the stage so he got to handle this. The girl is fine now.

In talking to other US Contingent Leaders we are finding that they all paid much more money than us for this trip. The highest I heard of was $3,400 per Scout. Central New Jersey Council did get a slightly lower air fare than. I took this as an affront as I could not believe that anyone could get a better air fare than we negotiated.

Hey Sally, I do not get this kind of service at home. Mark R makes me a cup of tea every morning and puts it right next to my bed. Remember, careful what you say about this, we do censor the blog comments before we post them.

Here are some pictures I took around the camp today. Most of them are ones I took in the campsites.

I spotted Jack C on the computers and he claimed he was sending a note home. He was in there a long time so who knows if was really Mom and Dad getting the e-mail.

Tomorrow is the Country Fair. We are expecting about 2,000 visitors. We will be making our famous corn fritters. More about this after it happens. Since Mark and I will be running the show at the fair, we put Pam in charge of this. I am sure it will be food and entertainment.

Weather Report from Scotland. So far no complaints. The days have been mild and a bit crisp. When it gets dark about 10:30 PM it gets downright cold. The sun is up before 5 AM. The “liquid sunshine” has been limited so far but, we still have a week to go.

There should be a picture below of a truck making a delivery of Irn Bru to Brendan W’s tent. Irn-Bru outsells Coke in Scotland.

Blair Atholl Day 3 – Pretty in Pink, but who is the prettiest? Friday, Jul 25 2008 

Today is Thursday, all day it is Thursday. Scott R and Frank B have been recruited to lead songs at the Satellite Camp event on Friday night. The Satellite is a large campsite across the road from our camp where Scottish Scout Troops that are not part of the International Camp come for a long weekend. This will include many Cub Scouts Packs. They participate with us in the Saturday and Sunday activities.

Frank’s Subcamp color is pink. I am trying to convince Frank that with his coloring, pink is very becoming in him. Look at the picture of him and Scott and see what you think.

Here is a “Ripley’s Believe it or not”. Scott is by far the loudest, LOUDEST leader in camp. Can you believe someone gave him a megaphone to use as if he was not loud enough? This is an example of Scottish sardonic humor.

Will K and Chris D ended up on the front page of Kastle Currents, the Camp newspaper. Of course, you have to be good to pick them out but, they are there.

Please do not expect that we can catch every Scout every day for these Blog comments. We depend on randomly catching them as we move about camp. We have eight patrols in six Subcamps. Alissa has been the most elusive lately. This is a lot of territory to cover and still get our assigned jobs done. This blog is a huge effort but, judging from the accesses to it, people must like it. We are astonished that the blog is getting around 600 hits a day, yesterday we had 700 hits, unbelievable. We do screen your comments before they get posted to make to be sure we are not violating youth protection guidelines. We delete last names and street addresses. We also make sure the content is appropriate.

Starting today, we will make an effort to get the Scouts to e-mail home if they have not done so already. This place is not a communications mecca. There are two telephones and seven computer workstations with limited hours that they can be used. Mark and I will press out laptops into service where to help get some messages to you.

Friday, we will perform with our Boomwackers and Drums at International Night. We have located an individual with a video camera. We are going to make an effort to load the performance on this blog. No promises, but we are going to try.

Here are some comments I picked up from the Scouts as well as some well placed Scoutmaster comments.

Brendan W …..promises, promises, his patrol is still a no show on the Subcamp Pennant (for winning inspection). Brendan is far less tired today. He did go to living history where he made and drank straight hops tea. Maybe this is why he is no longer tired?

Sam R and Jeff K We came across them making a sausage casserole for dinner. It actually looked pretty good.

Bryan L went stepping back in history or, should I say that he is taking History and Medieval Times

Andrew A-G is eating well. He proclaimed a whole list of what he ate today including three sausages, with something else I cannot remember, Fish and Chips and a Cliff bar.

He says he is brushing his teeth and using MI paste. Mark keeps calling him Harry Potter. Seriously, he is doing very well.

Think of this. on Monday night we had 36 Scouts all eating fish and, they ate it all.

The performance referenced in the picture for Monday Dinner was the “Teapot” Song and the Hully Gully. You see, when you are late for formation for our contingent you have to sing to the whole group. If you loose something and the leaders find it, you have to sing to get it back. The songs are the most ridiculous ones we can identify. The Scouts in the picture were all “guilty”.

Ed H. He is the mail champion of the contingent. He says he wants more mail, lots of it. Today he did a mixture of sports including Rugby and Soccer.

John J. says to say he is brushing his teeth. He is always asking the Norwegian Scouts what “long ships” they have. He has spent some time with the Norwegian Contingent.

Jon D He did the Blair Atholl Experience and got real dirty. He wanted to know if he could preserve some of the dirt to take home.

Neil C was there too and you have to appreciate his penchant for staying clean, he got real dirty too.

Garret D says he has nothing to say but, look at the picture, the pink hat says it all. Now he is willing to speak …. thought that a tour of a Scottish Castle led by an American was long and not too exciting and not very Scottish.

Matt R managed to take a dip in a very cold river to clean up after the Blair Atholl Experience. It did not help at all. With his Mum nearby for inspection, he was sent off to the showers. You have to contrast him to Garret D who went through the event with him and, when we saw him, he was “squeaky” clean sitting right next to him.

Alex V and Nils A went fencing today and loved it.

Peter M. What is it with him, he is still chopping wood every time we go into his campsite. Last night at the Disco he was tied to a chair and carried in with a sign that he wanted a dance. A rather large Scot was ready to oblige.

Evan S got the wi-fi password from us tonight. He says he say he can sneak on to the wi-fi system with his Ipod.

Mark D took the castle tour today but said the trip to Pitlochery was much better with Ice Cream and Fish & Chips available there.

Jason B was being tight lipped about any dirt I could put on the blog about him. But I can tell you there is singing in his future. He lost his hat. He did do the Blair Atholl Experience today. Donna A, his tent is the closest tent to the computers. I will bug him when I bring him his new hat in the morning. Rest assured, I do see him every day. He went to Pitlochery and bought a kilt. He is looking for some soccer shirts.

Alex A. Don’t worry Mom, we will check up on his spending habits. He went for a real cold swim today, REAL COLD.

Will K Can you believe he was teaching the Scots the finer points of cooking tonight? Will, who usually build bonfires to cook, was telling the Scots the benefits of getting a bed of hot coals. As a Scoutmaster, I felt vindicated. Please tell Katlin he is not getting into too much trouble, the girls going to the showers in bikinis do not distract him at all. He also says Hi Emma. He is among the very first to find a partner for homestay.

Kevin C Jumped off canyon cliffs today, ….. ouch and brrrrrrr. He seems no worse for the wear.

Matt S The disco dance at the Kastle on Wednesday was a blast or A.K.A the Epic Rave. In the next breath said to tell Amanda that he misses her.

Drew A The disco was hot, sweaty and loud. He describes a Scottish Disco as a whole lot of jumping around.

Will H Bought a kilt today. When I asked him what one he bought, he said it was the only one that fit. After looking at it, we told him that he has the Black Watch tartan.

He also bought a really cool sporran and a six pack of Irn Bru.

Mark D Having a great time but was not into the disco dancing. He is now hanging out with three Scottish Scouts.

Steve O’s patrol received a gift of Norwegian chocolate from a Norwegian leader at the dinner where the Staff was hosted by the patrols. Mrs R was trying to steal the chocolate but was denied access.

Sean H says to send his trading patches. He left them at home. He is now says that he is going to join he circus. He did not specify whether this would before or after he finishes school.

Blair Atholl Day 2 – As Scout’s natural state – Covered in Mud Thursday, Jul 24 2008 

Tonight, Wednesday, all Scouts in all Subcamps were cooking for and hosting the camp staff. Each patrol cooked for, served and hosted several Staff Members. It was a sight to behold where they were really doing a terrific job of food preparation and service. Mark Robinson and I took the opportunity to walk through all the Subcamps tonight to gather individual comments for this blog. I told the boys that if they could not come up with something worth saying, I would make something up. The latter never happened. I missed a few boys today whom I will try to catch tomorrow.

Robbie – Scotland is great but the “Blair Atholl Experience” was wild (this is the event where they crawl through the mud and if that is not bad enough, they throw extra mud at you).

Connor – said he learned how to fence today. He also wants his mom to know that he is conserving money.

Chris D – was reported to have sparked a conversation with Staff at dinner and, he topped it off by dropping biscuits on the floor. Chris drinks more milk than anyone else in camp. We are trying hard to expand his food groups. We refuse to accept his father’s “get out of eating hagus card”. Hopefully he will end up eating a few more things that are good for him.

Sam R. Took up fencing today where the instructor is a good friend of mine for many years. Sam also thinks the vistas he has seen in Scotland are breathtaking. I think he is talking about the scenery.

Jeff K Did the gorge walk today. He thought that was pretty exciting compared to anything he had done in the US.

Brendan W. Took the all day hike today and it tired him out so that I thought he was going to fall asleep at dinner. He did promise that his patrol would win the Camp Chief’s Pennant for inspection tomorrow.

Bryan L. Hiked up a mountain today. He is waiting fo the drumming to restart which will be on Friday. We perform our full routine, Friday, Saturday and Tuesday. We will also perform Scout Vespers on Sunday right outside the castle at the Scouts Own religious service..

Kevin C. Said he froze in the river kayaking. We did not tell the Scouts that the water here never gets warm.

Will K did baseball and action first aid today. He wants to do climbing and gorge walking tomorrow. He is a little concerned about the reports on how cold the water is. Who can tell if Will is conserving money? We will know when he runs out.

Alex A – tells me he is still working on his letter opener for Woodcarving Merit Badge. Someday, I am actually going to see a finished product. He did the Blair Atholl experience and he reports that it was a lot of fun. He wants everyone in T 39 to go through this event.

Matt S did not have a lot to say. He has pulled really tough duty. The other international patrol sharing their site has some really good looking Austrian girls in it. When I said I was going to include this in my note, he said to tell Amanda not to worry.

Colin O seems to be everywhere, he has started off with all the action stuff. He also taught Chris D to eat bananas, albeit between layer of Kit Kat bars.

Alex N was not going to give me anything for this blog so, I told him I was going to report on exactly what I saw. When Mark and I entered his campsite, he was seated across the table from two absolutely beautiful Scottish girls from a town north of Inverness. I read them this statement and the girls said this was absolutely the truth. By the way, they were quite complimentary about how “nice” our patrol of Scouts had been to them. After listening to this, Alex did say he really enjoyed the Blair Atholl Experience. He said that he did not believe you could get so dirty.

Jack C said that the patrol switch really was working out good. He went mountain biking today and has no idea how far he went. He said it was unfair that they were always going uphill. He wanted more downhill parts

Drew A, I guess Scott found the duffel bags in his patrol a disaster today. I believe the words were that they looked like a bomb had gone off in some of the bags. Drew is shaping his patrol up to at least win the Subcamp Pennant. I saw lots of ultimate Frisbee going on with his patrol.

Will H, the Dutch girls came over to him to tell him that he looked like a TV start on Dutch television. Will is an icon around camp. With his size, the new golf hat and the ever present oversize headphones, he does look like the man from outer space looking to figure out how to adapt to earth. We promise a picture of this in a future update.

Sean H. I cannot read my own writing but it looks like some crazy new skills today.

Jason B did team sports today and went to crafts. Tomorrow he is going to Pitlochery to look around and shop. Then in the afternoon he is going to do the Blair Atholl Experience. He has also done orienteering and some craft with tiles.

Carmine M greeted us tonight wear a fantastic kilt with a very fancy sporran. He looked more Scottish than the Scotts do. We did not have a camera with us to get a picture, but this is one picture we will go back and get. Even the Scotts were complimentary in how good he looked in the kilt.

Evan S did some special activity that I have yet to figure out, Doo gin and See, and he made Woggles (Scottish for a neckerchief slide). He even learned how to use a sword at a Gladiator event. I am sure this skill will enhance his acting career. He asked me to bring him some rubber bands today for what I do not know.

Peter M was busily chopping wood when we arrived and when we left his campsite. The only problem was we did not see many chips flying around. Peter seems to be fitting into everything quite nicely.

Nils “busted” a patch. That is he had duct tape his Blair Atholl patch which they must wear and it fell of right in front of me. His friends say that he is quite the ladies man. Apparently his interest lay with Norway and Japan. There was a lot of squirming from him but no denials.

Alex V – He said to say he was not showering until after the Blair Atholl Experience. Actually, he looked pretty good under the circumstances. He said he lost his ATM card but that may be just a function of housekeeping in the tent.

Chris S. “ a lot of cooking, a lot of hard work and a whole lot of fun”

Steve O. Food is good and his patrol is great. He wants to be the first to bring Mr. Berry a pennant.

Ed H, for a proper Englishman, he thought the Atholl Experience was an awesome even though he felt it was more suited to the Scotts.

Alissa, hey this girl knows how to do it. She is making money sewing on patches, $15 today alone. She has met some folks who were on the Switzerland trip and seems to be settling in with a great group of people. I think we were getting to her with four days in the Scout Hall.

Matt R has requested a transfer of his father out of his Subcamp. His father agrees. Mr. Berry is facilitating.

Neil C went mountain biking today and got hit with flying sheep dung. He was amazed at how good a shot the sheep were,

Garrett D has quite a new fetching Scout hat. He is generally recognized as the fashion icon of the Morrison Subcamp. We do have a picture of this one. He also is making friends with the Canadian and Dutch girls. It seems he played American Football with these girls today. PS. Mountain biking is hard.

Jon D is playing the role of an illegal immigrant whatever that means. He like the girls but his contact is limited to water fights with them.

Blair Atholl Day 1 – Bussed or Bust! to camp Thursday, Jul 24 2008 

Ah, it is Tuesday and we departed for Blair Atholl. Our bus was outside bright and early, and we actually had a bus that our luggage could fit on!! The buses we have used to date have plenty of room for passengers but almost none for luggage. We have done some creative bus loading to date.

Before we left Markinch, we scrubbed and cleaned the Scout Hall to a condition that every one of our Scouts swears is far better than it was when we arrived.

We continue to get wonderful comments about our Scouts from members of the Markinch Community. It seems as though that if they were not in church on Sunday, the people who came up to us they heard about what our Scouts did there and, as one lady told me in the bakery “their striking good manners”. The woman who runs the local mini mart said “ please take this is a good way, one can tell that your boys are not from Markinch” Mothers please take note, that Scottish mothers have a high opinion of your sons. Seriously, this has been one group of Scouts of which anyone would be extremely proud.

On the bus trip up to Blair Atholl, Murphy’ Law kicked in. Our bus overheated and broke down. I heard the driver tell his dispatcher that it was because his bus was loaded (interpret this to mean too much luggage). The Scouts said it was because Mr. Berry was on the bus. A bus mechanic was dispatched from Perth. One could determine immediately, that the man was totally incompetent and would be unable to fix the bus. How prophetic. After 45 minutes, he gave up and a new bus was called for. The bus cooled down and with water we added, we convinced the drive to move to the next exit where, as luck would have it, we were greeted by the golden arches of McDonalds. After a while, the manager and his two Scottish Scout sons showed up. Some of you may have benefited from the wi-fi connection we were able to establish.

Actually Colin spent half the available time checking his e-mail and the rest of those who were able to get on did so for only a few minutes.

After a 3 ½ hour delay we finally arrived at Blair Atholl. We made a grand entrance. We lined up at the front gate and marched in playing Scotland the Brave. We marched to the main flagpoles where the Camp Chief was waiting for us. We saluted the camp with God Save the Queen and God Bless America. For those near the side of the entrance of the camp, we created quite an impact.

We were asked to re-organize our patrols twice more while we were enroute. We are enclosing the latest patrol list and Subcamp assignments which should remain frozen unless Malawi shows up, which is still a remote possibility.

The camp is in full swing as I write this note. I have seen a few of our Scouts this morning. Will H bought a tan golf hat in St Andrews and I think he is now sleeping in it. Anyway, I saw him playing goalie for a soccer game this morning wearing the hat. This is the first hot day and Colin celebrated by wearing a black shirt for this game. Conner was wearing his hat backwards in the game. He was celebrating being away from Mr Berry’s “uniform appearance” ( By the way Mrs K, they must want money). Francesco and Peter M were on their way to gorge walking and, Evan, Nis and Alex V were making “turk’s head” neckerchief slides. I have not had anyone running to tell me they have won the day’s inspection for their Subcamp. They will learn that Mr. Berry rewards handsomely for this achievement. I only expose that there is a reward for this after it happens.

We are the envy of most of the foreign delegations here Mrs. A. They want to know how we got tickets to Tattoo and they were not able to get them. I told them we have a lady to whom the ticket office gave the tickets just to make her go away. THANK YOU MRS A.

Last night each Subcamp had an opening campfire then they all came together for a grand opening ceremony. You have to appreciate that the Scottish “Cousins” , the second level of leaders in each camp, can cause our Scouts to generate a whole different level of enthusiasm and noise, and this they did. It was awesome. Then they went back to their Subcamps for more songs and skits. This was followed by fireworks which were wonderful by Scottish standards but not quite what we see in the US.

Chris D has been selected to represent the US in the Scout’s own ceremony where he will carry a puzzle piece that will symbolize all the countries coming together.

Do not forget to visit the Jamborette web site as well as our blog.

New Patrol Order Thursday, Jul 24 2008 

Patrol Roster as of July 23, 2008 Revised to reflect 8 Patrols

N.W.A Patrol Subcamp Maclean

Colin O’-PL

Alex N – APL

Robbie L

Connor K

Chris D

Wu Tang Patrol Subcamp McClean

Matt S PL

Will K-APL

Alex A

Eagle Patrol Subcamp MacDonald

Brendan W -PL

Bryan L -APL
Sam R

Kevin C

Jeffrey K

The Connecticut Yanks Patrol Subcamp Morrisson

Alissa F -PL
Matt R-APL

Garret D

Neil Carey

Jonathan Diamond

I’m-Old-Greg Patrol Subcamp Murray

Drew A-PL

Sean H-APL

Will H

John A

John C

Badger Patrol Subcamp Murray

Carmine M PL

Jason Bennett

Mark Dorenbosch

Team America Patrol Subcamp Robertson

Francesco Z-PL

Alexander V-APL

Nils A

Peter M

Evan S

Lag America Patrol Subcamp Stewart

Stephen O-PL

John J-APL
Edward H

Chris S

Andrew G

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