by Csaba Orban, Scoutleader
When I think of scouting, I always remember an idyllic summer camp full of memorable stories. For example, once many years ago we met in the scout camp-leader’s tent when a young scout around the age of six or seven rushed into the tent and said: „Someone sent me to tell someone in here something. I don’t quite remember what the exact message is, but I know it is urgent. Now I need to go! The fresh cookies just arrived at the kitchen! May I go?” The adults just looked at each other and smiled.
Another time we decided to surprise the scouts. We planned to make a delicious rarity for the kids for the first time, and baked chimney cakes for the troop. When we served them after lunch a ten-year-old kid from Palóc (a Hungarian ethnic sub-group) land made a funny remark: “What??!! Chimney cake again? I literally live on it every day!!!”
And now, let me try a joke. (Note: jokes and funnies are the most difficult things to translate.) In one of the scout camps, a little scout raced after a doggy when the camp leader came along. „Are you chasing that dog?” he asked. The boy replied “No sir, I just wanted to catch him!”
These are lovely little stories. The last story is just one of my favorite jokes, but people who have camped with scouts will attest that similar heart-warming, soul-smiling stories happen all the time while camping. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, our troop’s summer camp didn’t materialize this year. Perhaps that’s why our memories are even more precious to us now.
During the five-year history of our troop, this is the second summer we were not able to camp in groups, and as conscientious citizens, we did not meet or camp. This unfortunate break from regular scout activities is taking a heavy toll on our troop, and goes against our philosophy. We do not consider ourselves season-scouts, much like students who are still students while on vacation. We are scouts every day of the year, and always behave like good scouts: polite, honest, helpful, etc., but we miss each other’s company dearly.
In contrast to the above, I have good reason not to be a complainer. There were also many positive events this summer. Despite the pandemic, many families spent pleasant times in various parts of the world. It was good to see and hear about the bits and pieces of your family vacations here and there. Thank you for your notes and pictures.
After much studying, three of our scouts successfully completed their exams and became young-leader nominees. We also had two older scouts who became eagle scout-nominees following their exams. All five candidates are part of the camping leadership in Fillmore, New York.
The Sandor Sik Hungarian Scout Camp is famous for its ten-day education, through which participants may earn college credit for language skills. However, the most significant outcome of the program is the friendship developed among the young leaders. These scouts and leaders from various parts of the world develop strong bonds, and may be able to visit each other some day.
Things have happened locally during the summer as well. We worked at the Cle Elum Hungarian Homestead, the property of our own HAAW. We now have a ZIP-Line track. The team has not tried it out yet, but we are looking forward to the opportunity. The Scout Hut, a 200 square-foot storage building is under construction, and will be the first real building of our scout troop and the Association.
We plan to resume in-person scout sessions in September. Children between the ages of five and eighteen, and adults with a scout history are welcome to join our scout meetings.
If you have any questions, please email Seattleicserkesz@gmail.com