Bugs, Baskets Big Hits in Army’s Marshall Islands Youth Camps

AHHH–Two campers relax after their basketmaking class, taught by Envoy Setsuko Taulon.

By Captain Jonnette Mulch – 

The second year of camping in the Marshall Islands has been completed with great success. This year, in addition to the Guard and Sunbeam camps, there was one for the boys in the Adventure Corps. A choice of earning two emblems was offered to each of the 63 Sunbeams and 30 Girl Guards from the Rita and Laura Corps: basket making, adventurer, or insect life. Translating the material themselves, the leaders did a wonderful job.

The girls were amazed at how smart Mary Rose Silk was. Bugs were collected for observation, and she knew all of the insects by their scientific names.

Herine Hampton creatively added material to the adventurer emblem requirements. They made a shelter from local materials, discussed and built different fires, made knots, planted flowers and prepared a drama for the talent night at camp. Hobo (foil) dinners prepared for their last night were such a hit that the Home League made them for their cooking night.

The basket emblem allowed many girls to learn how to make the baskets they had seen adults make. They will be able to use this skill many times over in everyday island life.

The Girl Guards had a choice of two emblems, dramatics or “Kneedleknack” (crocheting). Metty Jacob led her group performing two dramas for talent night, and I led the crochet class. Many Home League ladies have asked if they could sit in and learn with the girls.

The final chapel allowed the girls to look at their own lives and turn their problems over to the best friend that we could ever have–Jesus. We had three leaders who were prepared to pray with the girls who needed help in making decisions. There were about 40 seekers.

Because it was the first time for the boys’ camp, we held it for three days. The boys worked on the Adventure Corps motto, pledge, and prayer as they are all new to the program. Divided by ages, they worked on the Ecology Badge, taught by Capt. Randy Mulch, and basket making. Envoy Setsuko Taulon from Laura taught the boys to make baskets from palm fronds and had a male guest come to teach about a big basket made by the men to carry many coconuts.

Thirteen youth leaders came to assist with this program, so the boys were divided up into cabins. One night the older boys slept under tarps, but the next night had to move into the church because of strong winds and rain. We were just getting ready to light the fire in a pit to cook hobo dinners and the wind began to blow–then the rains came. Randy took about two hours to dry out. The boys very much enjoyed their dinners, too. They do not get hamburger much because it is too expensive.

The service corps team girls and I cooked for the boys, 67 in all, with 22 helpers. We found they do eat a lot more than the girls. Combining Laura and Rita boys, there were 40 seekers.

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