Scouting council hosting summer camp

Freedom New Mexico

The Conquistador Council of the Boy Scouts of America will host another summer of week-long camps in June and July at Camp Wehinahpay, located in the Sacramento Mountains near Cloudcroft.

The council oversees troops in Roosevelt and Curry Counties. Scout Executive Guy Eichsteadt said scouting is an educational opportunity for area boys.

“The first message (to parents) is scouting is not a recreational program, but it’s a ‘re-creational’ program. We want their son to become a different and better person through scouting. It’s not about fun, but it’s about education through learning,” Eichsteadt said.

Eichsteadt, who scouted in his youth and has been working with the Boy Scouts professionally for 40 years, said the summer camp teaches outdoor living skills, environmental science, handicrafts, shooting sports including rifles, shotguns and archery and climbing challenges.

“It’s learning by doing as opposed to learning by sitting. Our goal is not to make them highly skilled in any of these areas, but to get them acquainted with the skills and build some confidence,” Eichsteadt said.

The council is also finishing a swimming pool that will open for the first time this summer.

Eichsteadt said the focus of the summer camp program is to help boys become responsible, intelligent young adults with life skills and values to guide them into the future. He said this means camp leaders and staffers treat campers like adults and expect campers to act as adults.

“(Scouts) can speak up and the adult is not going to tell them to be quiet, and they’re learning from camp staff boys and girls who are just a few years older than they are. They learn how to behave, how to deal with frustration. They also learn how to turn and help somebody else,” Eichsteadt said.

“One of the most rewarding moments in some ways for a leader is to suddenly see a boy become responsible, not only for himself, but then turn and help another scout get something accomplished or to encourage him to keep at it.”

For more information on the Conquistador Council or Camp Wehinahpay, or for information on local scout troops, call 575-622-3461 or contact the council by e-mail at conquistador@bsamail.org.