Each one of us has that special council camp we call home. It could be where we had our first campout, where we earned our first merit badge or maybe even where we went through our Ordeal and became part of something greater. Regardless the meaning or the reason, each of us has wished to leave our mark on the camp that has given us so much. That is exactly what T’Kope Kwiskwis Lodge did at three of their council camps.
T’Kope Kwiskwis Lodge, chartered to the Chief Seattle Council, decided that it would plan and execute two legacy projects at their council camps. What exactly is a legacy project? A legacy project is a planned venture that leaves a tangible mark of service, and in T’Kope Kwiskwis’ case, it meant leaving a legacy of service that Scouts and Scouters would be able to see and benefit from for years to come. Dylan Rogers, who was the lodge vice chief of activities at the time and currently serves as Section W1-N vice chief, said that it was the observation of an Arrowman that drew the lodge’s attention to the need of a Scoutcraft Barn at Camp Shepard, the council’s winter camp. The camp previously didn’t have a Scoutcraft structure, and with its establishment, came the ability for camp staff to utilize the building to improve camp program. Planning for the construction of the Scoutcraft barn began all the way back in January of 2018 and with the continued leadership of the lodge, was completed in May of 2018. This was only Phase 1 of the legacy project and the lodge hopes to continue to add to the structure as needed and seen fit. Its most recent improvement to the structure was the addition of power to the barn.
T’Kope Kwiskwis was sure to emphasize the cheerful nature of these legacy projects with the construction of two Gaga Ball pits. One was built at Camp Edward, the council’s Cub Resident Camp and another built at Camp Pigott. The Gaga Ball pits were projects that remaining Arrowmen staff at Ordeals were responsible for constructing. Rogers added that, “these projects reminded the Arrowmen that even though they had already completed their ordeal, they were expected to give that same value of service in the years following that ordeal.” Since their construction, the Gaga Ball pits have become centerpieces and social hubs within the camp facilities for Scouts enjoying time at camp. Dylan himself has added he has enjoyed playing him just as much as the next Scout.
Rogers’ favorite part of the entire experience was the excited and pleased attitude that Scouts and Scouters gave as well as the overall communal enjoyment. When asked what advice he would give to lodge’s that want or are maybe thinking about doing a legacy project he reminds them that, “communication is the key and if this is your first project to start small. Take the momentum of a smaller project and funnel towards the completion of another. Always looking for what could benefit the camp in its endeavor to bring the Scouting program to youth across the council. And share the excitement. Allow as many Arrowmen as possible to take ownership of a piece of the project harnessing that cheerful spirit of all who want to give back and take part in leaving a legacy. It was the determination and dedication shown by all, that made these projects such a success.” Congratulations to the T’Kope Kwiskwis Lodge on their successful legacy projects that gave back to their council camps and left a mark a service for all to see for years to come.