LET “THE OVER THE HILL GANG” DO IT!
Every Monday morning about a dozen retired Scouters get up for up to an hour of driving to Camp Chief Little Turtle in Northeastern Indiana in the Anthony Wayne Area Council to work at the Scout Camp and enjoy the fellowship that accompanies the activities of the day. What to do? Both Camp Rangers, Jack Zeiger, now retired, and Jon Geraghty, current Ranger, plan the activities of the day. If there is a project to do, they plan it and The Over The Hill Gang” do it. Chuck Walker, the Camp Director, says that there isn’t a building on the 1,100 acre camp grounds that they haven’t touched and improved.
Yes, thirteen retired Scouters (not from Scouting, of course) make it up there for coffee, brownies, and fellowship early in the morning. When I was invited to join them 3 years ago, I was told that they get a bunch of cheap labor. I looked around at the group and my reply was, “You don’t get cheap labor; you get good labor at cheap prices.” Most of these men are retired journeymen in their own occupation, involving electricity, plumbing, structural and mechanical engineering, telephone repairmen, heating and air conditioning. One is also an auto body repairman. A number of them are also excellent carpenters. I’ve known some of these men for over 30 years in Scouting. Counting the years of all of them, we have over 600 years of Scouting experience, some from 1950 and earlier. Many of us were here when they started Camp Chief Little Turtle when it was started in 1967. Jack Zeiger was the first and only Ranger until he retired about 2 years ago and Jon Geraghty took over. (Jon was camp ranger at Camp Loden just outside of Oregon, Illinois for 10 years. By the way, that is where I grew up in the 1950’s when I served on Camp Staff in 1954.)
Marge Zeiger fixes dinner for them, or if she isn’t there for the day, one of the group brings dinner up. Needless to say, we have some excellent cooks, although fellowship is part of the game. One of the first things the Gang did was when everything was going to be put on the computer. Jack Zeiger has asked Bob Lancaster, Ray Hill, and Jimmie Allman to do an inventory of all the equipment, vehicles, and supplies to be put on the computer. They were then invited to be Commissioners at Camp that summer. That is what started “The Over The Hill Gang” in 1998. Now most of them also serve as volunteer Commissioners during the summer camping season. Over the course of the last few years, The Over The Hill Gang has worked on a number of projects at Camp Chief Little Turtle. They have: Converted the old staff shower house into a bike storage/repair house. Commissioners area and fireplaces. Flag Ceremony ring. Wired all new construction. Built a new mouse-proof tent room in the storage area. Made picnic tables. Purchased many tools for the camp and donated them to the camp for the maintenance area. Installed shower curtains, wooden floors, and benches in the new shower house. Completely redone the outhouses and wash stands. (Doing this now). Erected 10 foot high fence around the Cope Course. Renovated the old maintenance area and warehouse. Put in a new water heater and shower. Painted or stained many of the buildings in the camp. Remodeled the Camp Advisory Building. Made Philmont platforms for the staff tents. Made many electrical improvements in the Staff area and lounge. Remodeled and completed the Ecology building and put in a new main circuit meter boxes. Remodeled the new garage and storage area at the new Scout Office. Completed work still needed to be done with Ranger Jack’s house at the old Family Campground.
When many of these projects were completed, the local REMC, County, and State Inspectors reviewed and approved the work done. A new statue (Mr. Scouter) was recently erected at the Council Office in Fort Wayne (Anthony Wayne Area Council). The statue was donated, but the work on the base and erecting it was the work of The Over The Hill Gang. They have even taken on the job of providing the meals for the Council Board and Trustees when they have meetings at the Scout Office. While a lot of work is done at camp, there is a lot of fun and fellowship with a group of Scouters who love Scouting and Camp Chief Little Turtle.
ANITA Weyer Now A Member of BSA’s ORDER OF THE ARROW
Anita Weyer, or Nana as she likes to be called, Committee Chairman for Boy Scout Troop 38 and Assistant Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 44 recently underwent her Order of the Arrow ‘Ordeal’ at Camp Chief Little Turtle near Pleasant Lake, Indiana. Nana said that it is something that she has always wanted to do. To become a candidate for the OA, a Scout or Scouter has to have 15 days and nights of camping under their belt (6 of them has to have been continual like at summer camp), and be voted to the position by his/her peers. The adults of Troop 38 voted for Nana as a candidate in their last OA election. Nana accepted and underwent her ‘Ordeal’ the weekend of May 18 & 19, 2002. Although a ‘secret’ ceremony, Nana commented on it by saying, “I’d probably do it again even though I did get a bit hungry. And I had to squelch the urge to talk to someone. I’m glad it’s over.” Next year Nana said she would probably go for the next step, that of ‘Brotherhood’. She says she really has her eyes on the last and final step of ‘Vigil’. We at the Waynedale News congratulate you Nana for “. . . going for it.”
SCOUTS DEDICATE STATUE
The Anthony Wayne Area Council Boy Scouts of America dedicated a life-size statue of a Boy Scout in ceremonies held on Thursday, May 23, 2002. The dedication took place at 5:30pm in front of the Scout’s new Volunteer Resource Center at 8315 W. Jefferson Blvd. in Fort Wayne.
The bronze statue depicts a Scout in full uniform, gazing across the landscape, as if waiting for his leader to arrive. The statue was dedicated to the memory of Ray Dunphy, who was a leader of Explorer Post/Venture Crew #150 for nearly 30 years. Dunphy is representative of the thousands of volunteer leaders who have served the youth of the Anthony Wayne Area Council during the past 85 years, and all current Scouting volunteers! The dedication ceremony was followed by the Council’s Annual Business Meeting at 6:30pm.
To visit the new statue, go west on Jefferson Blvd. to the light at the Lutheran Hospital and Verizon entrances. Turn South (left) into the Verizon complex. On the way to the Scout Office (where the statue is), you will pass PHP Group, Wesleyan College, and two hotels. The Scout building is at the end of the road. Bring your camera.