Each summer, scouts from Rye Troop 2 attend sleep-away camp at Curtis S. Read Scout Reservation in Brant Lake, not far from Lake George. It provides the perfect setting for scouts to enjoy the great outdoors, perfect their skills, and earn merit badges needed for rank advancements.
By David Schindler
Each summer, scouts from Rye Troop 2 attend sleep-away camp at Curtis S. Read Scout Reservation in Brant Lake, not far from Lake George. It provides the perfect setting for scouts to enjoy the great outdoors, perfect their skills, and earn merit badges needed for rank advancements. Over 25 scouts from Rye Troop 2 spent one, and, in some cases, two, eventful weeks at Camp Read.
Week 2 at the Waubeeka campsite proved a winning one for Rye Troop 2, which took home the coveted Waubeeka Award. They were commended as “a troop exceeding the expected high standards of scouting during their time at Camp Waubeeka.” The award is granted to a troop, which, both individually and collectively, shows strength, determination, and a positive attitude. Scouts are judged in many different categories. For example, one criterion is keeping the cleanest campsite. Rye Troop 2 received perfect reports every day, because the scouts made a big effort to keep their site tidy. The troop also took part in service projects at camp, including picking up garbage and putting up a building post and railings around a stone stairway.
There were also archery and rifle competitions. Gabriel Zangiacomi won the Silver Arrow in archery. Casimir Harshbarger came in second in the rifle event, and Assistant Scout Master Paolo Zangiacomi won the adult rifle competition. Tetsufumi Numara won the Torpedo of Manliness waterfront award in recognition of his success in learning how to swim in order to take the sailing merit badge. Troops were also judged on their fire-building abilities.
The troop organizes monthly camping trips throughout the year so Rye Troop 2 scouts are well prepared for basic wilderness survival.
Another competition featured a waterfront relay, which involved canoeing across a lake with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that had to be eaten by a troop leader (Assistant Scout Master Paul Moore).
Scouts at Waubeeka also participated in a challenging triathlon of swimming, running, and archery. The Rye Troop 2 team of Senior Patrol Leader Sean Byrne and Scouts Chris Tobin, Nathanaël Langlois, and Casimir Harshbarger bested all the other teams to win first place.
All scouts and scout leaders returned home tired but content after a satisfying and memorable time at camp.
Much of Rye Troop 2’s success at Waubeeka can be attributed to two former troop members and Rye High School graduates, now college students studying engineering and science, 19-year old Eagle Scouts, Jimmy Haigney and Chris La Magna. As Assistant Scoutmasters the past two years, the pair provided invaluable assistance and inspiration to Rye Troop 2 scouts at Camp Read. Assistant Scoutmasters Sean Byrne Sr., Paul Moore, and Paulo Zangiacomi also exhibited excellent leadership skills during the troop’s two weeks in camp.
Rye Troop 2, under the overall direction of Scoutmaster Bill Haigney, has grown considerably in recent years, with 83 scouts currently registered — the largest number in the troop’s 92 years of continuous operation.
Scouts come from Rye, as well as Rye Neck, Rye Brook, Mamaroneck, Harrison, and Port Chester. The troop meets at Rye Presbyterian Church from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. every Tuesday night the Rye High School is in session. Visit the Troop’s website, www.ryetroop2.com, for more information.
The author, 13, is a freshman at Rye High School and a Star Scout in Rye Troop 2.