Southwestern Oklahoma State University
The Bark

SWOSU’S Crowder Lake Hosts Trail Life Summer Camp

Trailsmen camper

Crowder Lake University Park was the site for the recent week-long Trail Life Troop 384 Summer Camp 2016. 

Troop 384 is from Antlers (OK) and has trailsmen ranging from 11-15 years of age.  Trail Life is a spinoff of the Boy Scouts of America.  Each trailsman worked on elective badges to gain rank with the ultimate goal being to achieve the Freedom Award, the highest rank possible.

The troop set up camp, which included a Native American teepee, and familiarized themselves with Crowder Lake facilities. They visited the Stafford Air & Space Museum in Weatherford, and while there, they met another scout group on their way to a backpacking trip. 

Each day started off with the trailsmen posting colors in the morning, having breakfast, doing kitchen patrol and chapel all before 8:30 a.m.  Classes for the trailsmen lasted throughout the day as they worked toward four elective badges: Climbing, Archery, Canoeing and Kayaking.  During these classes they learned how to properly and safely do all the activities.  Each badge has requirements that each camper must successfully complete before being awarded to them.

The badge mentors were all Southwestern Oklahoma State University students and Crowder Lake Employees.  The mentors were SWOSU Parks and Recreation Management Department students Lucas Little, who was the lead instructor for Climbing, Canoeing and Kayaking; Jayden Fox who taught Archery and assisted with the other badges; and Wes Rose who assisted with Archery, Canoeing and Kayaking. 

Throughout the week the campers worked to complete a service project picked out by Crowder Lake Park Director Paul Hummel.  The students mapped out and built an access road with railroad ties and gravel to the new Fire Barn. They put in approximately 95 working man hours to complete the project.

During their free time, the trailsmen were able to rappel off a tower, climb on a rock wall, try the pamper pole, swim in the lake, and conquer the new ropes course and zip line.

“The facilities were great for having a small summer camp, everything is in a comfortable walking distance and the staff did an amazing thorough job on all the classes,” said Trail Life leader Lee Stepp.

For more information about Crowder Lake and camp opportunities, contact Paul Hummel at 580-774-6015.