Cub Master Jeff Harford of Pack 153 in Temple, his Scouts and 175 other boys entering first through fifth grades fought the wind Wednesday to set up tents on the campus of Central Texas College during the Knights of the Roundtable Cub Scout Day Camp.
“Pull the pin and lift it halfway up. OK boys, good job,” Harford said. “Let’s fasten down the top before we lift it any higher.”
Harford, who is retired from the military and will soon retire from his second career in the military, took a week’s vacation to teach the young Scouts lifelong lessons offered in Scouting.
“I see it as a great opportunity to transform young boys into great young men,” he said. “Camp has been awesome. Last year, we came with six Scouts. We have 24 Scouts attending this year. Last year, I had three adults attend and this year, we have eight. That speaks to the quality of the camp.”
Harford was a Scout for two years but his Scouting days ended when his leader quit. Now the father of an Eagle Scout, Hartford has dedicated his time to the Longhorn Council for the last eight years.
At the weeklong camp that ends Friday, the Scouts are separated into groups of 30 and stay busy shooting BB guns, aiming arrows, swimming, whittling wood and learning first aid. Sixty to 80 volunteers help the camp run smoothly.
Nancy Tovar of Killeen signed both her son and nephew up for the camp.
“They are loving it. They do activities all year earning badges, but it is much more structured,” Tovar said. “Here they get to bond and play hard. They get to do basket weaving and swimming. I will invest in it every year.”
Her son, Cesar, a second-year Weebelo, said his favorite activity was the BB gun.
“I am really good at it,” he said. “This is the best camp I have ever been to.”