August 7, 2022
On Sunday afternoon, August 7th the family of Russell Taylor will have a memorial service to honor his life of service. Friends and family will gather at the Pool shelter at 2:00 p.m. for a rememberance, fellowship and food. Please plan to attend.
July 14-17, 2022
We had a fantastic time at the 2022 Merit Badge-O-Ree. It was the "3 B Camp:" We had Big water, a Bear, and BEES!
Bees were the theme for the week as nests were found all over camp.
After a BIG storm on Tuesday evening the water in Wolf Creek was angry. On Wednesday morning it had reached the fire pit areas of Shelters 1 and 2. Thankfully, the sunshine and dry weather allowed the brown water to receede all week and our camp went on without a hitch.
Wednesdany night was cool, and the flag ceremony to open the Camp on Thursday morning went smoothly. Troop 1 raised the Colors, everyone got a copy of their schedules and we were off to a roaring start!
We had quite a diverse list of merit badge classes this year including several "new" ones including Programming, Backpacking and Collections. Many of the "old reliables" were there, as well, including rifle and shotgun shooting, Pioneering, Archery, Golf and Cooking. First AId returned for the first time in several years. Other classes were Automotive Maintenance, Photography, Indian Lore, Public Speaking, Chemistry, Space Exploration, Plumbing, and our most popular class WIlderness Survival. The bees even found their way into the wilderness camps! Thanks to all the merit badge counselors who did an outstanding job of teaching classes - especially our "rookie" counselors: Jeff Hajenga, Brian Blankenship, Justin Hawikns, and Kim Medley. It is a bit of a misnomer to call some of these folks rookies. Kim has taught merit badge classes before, just not at Camp Roland. Brian (Scoutmaster of Troop 1) is also a seasoned teacher - just not at Camp Roland - and Jeff has worked really diligently at our camps in the past helping Scouts on their journey. This year he became an "official" counselor.
The District meeting on Thursday evening went smoothly (and quickly!). It went so fast that we moved our Christmas in July Celebration up by 30 minutes. The gift exchange went quickly, too, thanks to David Emanuel's leadership. The ice cream social that followed was fantastic. Thanks to all who made the first day so memorable.
The days that followed were equally fun and busy. Lots of learning in our small, adult led classes. An outstanding Campfire program hosted by Troop 1 (and a mysterious version of Klondike Dan). Lots of watermellon was consumed Friday evening after the campfire and a good time was had by all.
Saturday was a busy day as everyone finished up their classes. Backpacking folks took a 2 mile hike, space explorers launched their rockets, and wilderness survivalists set up their campsites in the wilderness (on top of bees nests!). I am happy to report that everyone survived the night. Troop 1 led a Sunday morning worship service on Saturday evening and the Scouts did an incredible job - complete with handouts and responsive reading. IT was great.
The entire camp was great. Thank you to the adults who were incredible. Teaching merit badge classes, working around camp, leading by example. We have the best adult leaders in the world and I mean it. Thank you!
Thank you to the Scouts who attended - some after attending 2 other summer camps just before this one! At least one Scout was off to another camp immediately following the Badge-O-Ree. I cannot tell you how amazing our young men and women are. They work hard, they give their all, they are courteous, kind, friendly... well, you get the idea. On several occasions they turned in "lost" items (including cash) to be reunited with the rightful owners. It was so refreshing to see the honesty and compassion our youth demonstrated. It was quite refreshing. It is easy to get depressed and to feel like we are heading down the "wrong path" as we see headilines and news stories that reflect the worst in people. After spending 72 hours with the Scouts at Camp Roland, I am confident that when they rise to adult leadership positions in the world, the world will be a much better place.
May 7, 2022
The Mountain Dominion District of the Boy Scouts of America held their annual Awards Dinner at the First United Methodist Church in Princeton on May 7, 2022. Several volunteers were recognized for their service to the youth of our surrounding communities.
Mr. Phillip Ball, Mountain Dominion District Chair, received the Silver Beaver Award. The Silver Beaver Award is a council-level distinguished service award recognizing adult leaders who have made an impact on the lives of youth through service given to the council and performing community service through hard work, self-sacrifice, dedication, and many years of service.
Mr. Thomas Kozikowski, Mountain Dominion District Commissioner, received the Distinguished Commissioner Service Award. This is the highest recognition that can be given to a commissioner who has consistently engaged in distinguished and exceptional commissioner service resulting in significant, positive impact to youth, units, and a district and/or council.
Mr. Jason Anderson, Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 1 in Princeton received the District Award of Merit. This award is the highest award that can be given to a Scouter at the District level. The District Award of Merit is awarded by a District to volunteers who display outstanding service to youth in the District.
Several adult leaders received the BSA Veteran Award that recognizes individual members for tenure in Scouting. Mr. Don Bury of Troop 14 in Bluefield was recognized for 30 years in Scouting. Mrs. Pat Hartley of Troop 14 in Bluefield was recognized for 45 years in Scouting. Mr. David Emanual of Princeton was recognized for 55 years in Scouting. Mr. Charlie Troup of Troop 14 in Bluefield was recognized for an incredible 70 years in Scouting!
April 24, 2022
Camping is coming back!
The Scouting Spirit was alive and well at Camp Roland this weekend. The only thing better than the weather was the fellowship with a terrific group of Scouts. This was a "working weekend" as we opened the camp for the 2022 season. Thanks to EVERYONE who worked so hard to spruce up our camp and get it ready for the summer days ahead.
We had a fantastic weekend of fun. I hate to name names (because I always leave some hard-working folks out) but I've got to recognize Brian Blankenship from Troop 1 who brought a Terr-mite (a mini-dozer/backhoe) and did an outstanding job of clearing ditches beside the road to the rifle range, around the Nature Lodge and stacking logs for our next campfire in the lower camp. Thanks also to Frank Cahoon from Troop 68 for the many hours of hard work fixing plumbing issues, repairing fixtures, tracking down water leaks (and fixing them!), and sacrificing the running board on his truck in the process. Several Troops extend their thanks to William Fenne (Troop 68) and his magic chain saw for opening access to the creek at several of the shelters. His work paid off immediately, as a group of Scouts discovered the beauty of Wolf Creek "up close and personal" immediately after the brush was cleared. Thank you Thomas Kozikowski and Troop 460 for making and bringing signs to help navigate our beautiful camp. Thomas and his Scouts "planted" the signs at many locations around Camp all weekend. Thomas also hauled several loads of... "excess" from the Dining Hall. Thanks Jeff Hajenga and crew from Troop 1 for countless "odd jobs" all day (and part of the night!). Wheel barrow wheels were inflated (and put to use!), small engines were brought to life (or will be soon when the parts arrive), and a runaway door at the McGann Building was captured and rehung after the Campfire Program.
Speaking of the Campfire Program, Scouts from Troop 1 did an outstanding job of developing and presenting a wonderful "show." The girls from Troop 460 led off the program by getting the audience to sing about the tales of Fred the Moose. It was a lot of fun. The program ended on a somber note (as it should) as the playing of Taps echoed through the dark forest to end the day.
Okay, that may not have been the end of the day. Around 11:30 Saturday night there was some kind of "ruckus" north of the field. One Scoutmaster described it as a "death squall" as he imagined some critter meeting its end at the hands of another. Another Scouter thought the sound was more like an animal "hacking up" its supper. Either way, it was an interesting sound in the moonlight.
Interesting sounds woke the camp early Saturday morning. We don't have a rooster, but we did have a noisy turkey making its presence know about daylight. Campers who were able to hit the "snooze" button after that may have heard some geese honking their morning greeting. This was just before Klondike Dan honked his morning greeting at the flagpole (Goooooood Morning Camp Roland!). Troop 1 posted the colors and Scouts were provided with a brief description of the days events. Several activities were available to everyone including service to Camp Roland - helping the adults to open camp. Everyone did a great job at this chore! Some Scouts built a fire using tinder, kindling and wood gathered in the woods to build a fire hot enough to burn through a string suspended above. After they got their fire built up, the cooked a pancake and egg sandwich (an egg sandwiched between two pancakes). The found that it wasn't easy to cook over an open flame with a cast iron skillet. At least one Scoutmaster discovered that it wasn't easy to EAT a pancake and egg sandwiched cooked in an iron skillet - "tastes like oil!" The explanation was that the first batch stuck to the skillet so more vegetable oil was needed. Fun and learning - and Pepto Bismal!
Jeffrey Stewart, Scoutmaster of Troop 316 taught his entire Troop how to use a compass to orient a map, measure distances and more! He also led his Scouts in knot tying and helped with orienting the Troop to the outdoors.
The weather was fantastic. Warm DRY days and cool nights under the clear sky with thousands of stars on display. The half moon above Moon Gap illuminated the field all night giving way to a light fog mixed with smoke from the campfires in the morning. There is nothing like the smell of bacon, eggs, and sausage cooked in the outdoors. Well, there is the TASTE of those things, too. Several Troops were more creative with breakfast. One Troop who packed up early on Sunday morning enjoyed doughnuts for breakfast.
Sunday morning provided another heart lifting example of the hope we have in the future and the confidence and trust we have in our Scouts who will be our leaders soon. The entire camp gathered at Shelter 1 for an interfaith service led by two of our Scouts. They had a printed program for everyone. There was Scripture reading, an invocation, responsive reading, and the Wood Badge Prayer. We even sang America the Beautiful before the benediction. It was a wonderful service and provided an uplifting end to our time together.
So many examples of "doing for others," service and helping out - too many to mention. All the while being cheerful! This was a very happy group and a great weekend. It was quite refreshing to see people working together so well and enjoying one another's company. Like I said, the Scouting Spirit was on full display at Camp Roland this weekend!
August 20-22, 2021
The Camp was... well - AWESOME!
Check out the Awesome August Council Camp page for the latest info.
May 22, 2021
We had a GREAT Spring Camporee!
Scouts from across Virginia and West Virginia converged on beautiful Camp Roland for our first Scouts BSA camp in a year and a half. Two different Councils were represented and there was a strong contingent of Cub Scouts in attendance. Statistically speaking, there were twice as many Troops from the Virginia side than West Virginia - but West Virginia registered twice as many Scouts and Cub Scouts. One registered Troop had one adult for every Scout in attendance (a one to one ratio!). Two thirds of the Troops camped on Friday and Saturday nights. The weather was great it was so good to be out in the fresh air and sunshine once again. Thanks to everyone who made this another great camp!
For lunch, the entire camp turned out for a surprise birthday gathering for long time Scouter Charle Troup. Instead of a cake, we presented Charlie with a birthday dessert pizza from Pizza Plus. Charlie has been involved in Scouting for an astonishing 72 years! He began as a Cub Scout, advanced to the rank of Eagle, served as a professional Scouter, and has spend many years as a volunteer at the waterfront and, most recently, as a member of the Trail to First Class staff at our Merit Badge-O-Ree. Happy birthday Charlie!
We had an unwanted visitor to Camp after the Camporee. A BEAR has been using the dumpster as a personal buffet. The bear has managed to overcome the "bearproof" dumpster features to leave a big mess. Marty and Connie have devised a possible solution to the issue. When you use the dumpster at Camp you will notice carabiners "locking" the doors locking the doors closed. Please be sure to securely close and lock the doors to the dumpster when you make your deposit so the bear will be unable to make and unauthorized withdrawal. Thanks to Marty and Connie for going above and beyond in cleaning up the bear mess.
Plans are well under way for the 2021 Merit Badge-O-Ree in July. Please let me know if you plan to teach a merit badge class ASAP!
June 19, 2021
Join us for a day of HIKING on June 18th!
We will depart from Camp Roland hiking to the WOLF CREEK TRAIL in the Jefferson National Forest. We will leave the Wolf Creek Trail and proceed along the CORKSCREW TRAIL as it climbs Round Mountain.
Two options are available: One will be a 5-mile hike (good for checking off requirements in your Scouts BSA Handbood!). For heartier souls we will go all the way to the top of the mountain for a 10-mile hike. It should take about 3 hours to compete the 5 mile hike (including a lunch break) and 5-6 hours for the 10-mile adventure.
Register at Bucksin.org. Watch the 2-minute video for a list of items to bring with you (and thngs NOT to bring!)
This will be a great day of fun. Call or email with any questions (276) 322-3911 or DanTrent@comcast.net
May 8, 2021
We had a very successful workday at Camp Roland!
Thanks to everyone who pitched in to get things spurced up and ready.
Thanks to Hooger Fisher for bringing the most important tool of the day - an electric auger that we put to good use in the Dining Hall. The drains are running smootly now (first time in at least 3 years). Hooger also spent some quality time in the bath house mopping floors and really going the extra mile. Frank Cahoon was instrumental in raiding the greace interceptor and other plumbing issues (Frank turned on the water two weeks ago with the help of Bill Hanks and David Emanuel). Bill and Dave were there again on Saturday working away, Jerry Buchanan and Rufus VanHoosier were also at Camp cleaning up. They worked in the storage building and raking leaves around some of the lodges and campfire area. They have also invested several hours in maintaining the tracrtor this spring. Marty and Connie Allen got busy in the afternoon with a Scout and his father from Galax. They went around the perimeter of the field picing up several loads of downed tree branches. Thomas Kozikowi and a contingent of Scouts and adults from Troop 460 came to work on the nature trail and prepare for the Cub Scout Fun Day. Our old friend Walter Shroyer came with his weed trimmer and ax and cleared brush from trees at the Camp entrance (my new campsite!).Moss was removed from the roof of the Dining Hall, gutters were cleaned, and a leak was patched. Overall, it was a huge day!
It takes commitment from many people to keep our Camp running and looking good. Thanks to all who help!