Dear Mom and Dad,

After our victories over Troop 2 in basketball and frisbee yesterday, we celebrated into the evening, and when it was time for bed I am sure everyone slept well. I think the campsite was quiet the earliest it has been so far – maybe midnight!

Oh – a few older scouts got into trouble because they were late back to our campsite for evening curfew. You should have heard the dressing-down they got! Wow! I am sure I am not going to be late back to the campsite!

And guess what, one of scouts spent ALL his money already. All of it! It turns out he has been buying cans of Dr. Pepper, Honeybuns and other candy from the older scouts who stocked-up when we stopped at the gas station on the way down. We all get hungry and thirsty after our activities, so I guess it is hard to resist paying what Mr. Satterfield says are, “outrageous prices” to other scouts for treats. Mr. Montgomery told us that the correct price of things is whatever someone is willing to pay, and he is a very smart businessman. So maybe I will break open that piggybank next year and invest in some goodies to sell to those unsuspecting first years! I’m pretty sure there is an entrepreneur merit badge, so that’s just good scouting.

I made a new friend. His name is Rocky, and he is small. He likes to live in the woods and rummage in trash cans and eats garbage. He’s not a proper scout, but he’s a special guest member of Troop1 when we are in New Shirmer. You probably guessed; Rocky is a raccoon! We see him most mornings early on and in the evenings. We tend to chase away most animals that dare to venture near our camp, but we love seeing Rocky. Maybe a Troop 1 shirt will fit him!! Speaking of shirts, I hope you are seeing pictures of the awesome shirts we get each day. Today’s is red, which is my favorite color, and has a scout salute on the back colored like the American flag; very cool. I can’t wait to wear the shirt when I get home and show everyone that I am a Troop 1 scout and a survivor of a week at Ho Non Wah!

After breakfast, it was time to get ready for our big hike to the Tea Plantation.  Mr. Satterfield told us to put some powder in our socks, shoes, and underpants to keep from getting a case of the Ho-Non-Waddle.  I wasn’t sure what he was talking about, but when we were halfway through the hike I saw some boys from the other troops walking sort of funny, like little crabs, and I realized the Ho-Non-Waddle is when you get chaffed! Ouch! Mr. Satterfield knows what he is talking about. Nobody from Troop 1 got the Ho-Non-Waddle.  He is full of helpful information about this place.  The Tea Plantation was pretty neat once we got there.  It is a peaceful place with many old trees and tea plants fields.  We learned how they harvest tea leaves with big equipment, and then how they process the tea leaves into different kinds of tea.  We even tried some of the teas … but none of them tasted as good as the sweet tea at Aunt Rosemary’s house. Dr. Fisher said we are all peculiar for drinking tea cold and with lots of sugar in it. He says it should be drunk hot, with just s splash of milk. I’m not sure what he meant, but I think that must be a thing in England, where he is from. Anyway, we ate some sandwiches for lunch and then made the walk back to camp.

Once we made it back to our campsite, we had a bit of time to relax. We played some disc golf, which was fun. Mr. Satterfield spent what felt like 6 hours going through a big bag of lost property and I was pleased to get back one pair of underpants, my bathing suit, a very wet t-shirt, and my water bottle. So, don’t worry, I might come home with all my stuff. Well, most of it. I’m keeping an especially close eye on my very expensive scout socks, like you said. Mr. Gage and Mr. Satterfield also helped us practice the knots we’ve been learning so we will be ready for our Scoutmaster Conference and then Board of Review later in the week. If I do well, I’ll come home as a Tenderfoot before I come home. The first step towards Eagle!

The last thing we had today was chapel, which was a neat outdoor service by the water.  They talked about all the things that are important for scouts to do, like being trustworthy, kind, obedient, and reverent, and to be thankful for special places like Ho Non Wah to enjoy. I listened well and am even more determined to be the best scout I can be.

We had a special dinner treat. A HUGE grill arrived, and a nice guy called Rooster cooked us burgers. Troop 2 came over and ate with us. We didn’t tease them too much about losing to Troop 1 in frisbee and basketball, but some!  It was loads of fun having Spartanburg’s finest troops together for dinner.  We also had some visitors – two gentlemen called Mr. Johnson and an older Troop 1 scout, Bradley Johnson. He helped Rooster cook the burgers. We also got to eat some sausage made from an animal called a nilgai. I had never heard of it before (have you?) but saw a photo of one on a leader’s phone – they look like antelopes but have tiny little heads.  You should google it to see a picture! Amazing. Anyway, they tasted good.

I remembered today that Barry probably needs some new straw. Rabbits like to have fresh straw regularly. So please double-check.  Oh, and there is a small-to-certain chance I accidentally threw my summer reading list from school. So please grab that before trash day tomorrow.

I sure hope you have been looking at our troop photo website because I just know you would be so happy to see how much older I look now that I have been at camp 3 whole nights.  Just in case you have forgotten the address here it is:

Can’t wait for another big day tomorrow.  I love you (and miss you, just a little).


Your future Eagle Scout