Updated December 10, 2006
Woodcarving Weekend, Camp Conawago, December 8 - 10, 2006


It was 17 degrees outside, and about 80 inside. Two wood burning stoves heat the cabin. They were also used for cooking marshmallows, moon pies, and beef stew.
Scouts worked together to design the 4 parts of the totem pole. They sketched many different animals before deciding on a bear, snake, Scout emblem, and an eagle.
Mr. Mickey supplied the log. The first job was to remove the bark from the log, using a small sharpened hatched, chisels, and wood file.
After the log was ready, Scouts had to copy the selected drawings onto the log. They did this by cleaning the log, then going over the drawings with waterproof black markers which soaked through the paper onto the log. The thin lines were then blacked with the markers to make it easier to carve.
The Troop Instructor turned his attention to making a sign for the troop. He found a piece of wood and wrote troop 205, then chiseled around it to make the letters and numbers stand out.
When everything was ready, the Scouts were instructed in how to use the different types and sizes of chisels, and then began work on the totem pole. Everyone alternated so no more than two Scouts were working at any one time. Designs were modified as mistakes were made.
The troop sign was completed first. The instructor them spent even more time to smooth out the relief areas. When completed, the raised letters and numbers were darkened slightly by placing the sign face down on top of the wood stoves.
Part of the weekend was spent working on skills with newer Scouts, including flag ceremonies. Conawago has a nice flag pole area for practice.
Many of the Scouts had requirements for physical fitness to complete. Jumping, running, and exercises are easy, finding a good pull-up bar is a bit harder.
At the end of the day Scouts worked on individual goals, talked, told stories, played games in the field, and chess in the cabin.