The Campfire Chronicles

reported by Miss Camp

November 9, 2001

For a quick link to a specific area of the newsletter, click on an item.
Scout of the Week Merit Badges Citizen of the Month
Operation Christmas Child Lessons of Liberty The Hobbit


Melanie is our Scout of the Week because she has consistently demonstrated wise choices. She asks herself, "What should I be doing right now?" She knows when it is time to visit with friends, when it is time to listen, and when it is time to focus on her work.

Melanie is also the first student to earn two stickers on her Transition Merit Badge. How does a student earn a sticker for their Transition Merit Badge? Well, a transition is when there is change from one activity to another. Different activities may require different materials. When we are making a transition, the student's responsibility is:

  1. Think: "What will I need for this next activity?
  2. Get organized: As quietly and quickly as possible, put away materials that aren't needed, and get out materials that will be needed (pencils, eraser, notebook, folder, homework, book, etc.)
  3. Wait quietly for directions.

In addition to making good transitions, Melanie is respectful and kind to other students in our class. She has a beautiful smile and smiles often.

Congratulations Melanie!

Citizenship Merit Badge:
  • Brennan
  • Alexis

D.E.A.R. Time Merit Badge:
  • Tabatha


We have two Citizens of the Month from Camp Linus for November.

Lenny (selected by Miss Camp and Ms. Spak)
Ryan Sch. (selected by the music teacher)

Two shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child are on their way from Camp Linus to a boy and girl (age 5-8) who live somewhere in the world where they don't have as much as we do. The Camp Linus scouts brainstormed a list of items that they thought kids might need and like, and that could fit in a shoebox. Each scout chose one item to bring in. Here is a list of what each shoebox contains:

Bar of Soap
Flashlight & batteries
Winter gloves
Small pack of tissues
Pad of drawing paper
Pencils and Pencil Sharpener
Matchbox Car
Bouncing Ball
Beanie Baby
Bar of Soap
Flashlight & batteries
Winter gloves
Small pack of tissues
Pad of drawing paper
Pencils and Pencil Sharpener
Hair Barrettes
Small Writing Notebook
Beanie Babies (several)

Mrs. Camp (Miss Camp's mom) wrapped and packed the shoeboxes for us, and Mrs. Feather (our school nurse) facilitated their being sent. It was a lot of fun, and a special feeling, to participate in this small effort to make a difference in the world.

THE HOBBIT by J.R.R. Tolkien

When we left off last week, the dwarves were singing and Bilbo couldn't decide what he wanted to do. Half of his mind wanted to hide, and the other half felt inspired to have an adventure.

After the singing, the dwarves got down to their "dark business." Thorin (the leader of the dwarves) announced that they would leave on their adventure that very adventure from which some of them "may never return."

At the words "may never return," Bilbo began to start shaking. While he was panicking over those words, a blue light began to shine from the end of Gandalf the Wizard's magic staff.

Bilbo slid to the floor like trembling jelly and began to shriek "struck by lightning" over and over again! The dwarves carried him to the couch in the drawing room.

When Bilbo recovered from his panic, he snuck back to the room where the dwarves were discussing their "dark business," and listened at the door. Hearing Gloin say that Bilbo's shriek was more likely caused by fear than by fierceness, something changed in Bilbo. "The Took side had won."

Bilbo entered the room & confirmed Gandalf's words that he is "as fierce as a dragon" and definitely the man for the job (even though he didn't know what job they were talking about)!

It turns out that the dwarves need a "burglar" to help them with their adventure. Gandalf had put a mark on Bilbo's door (without telling Bilbo), and the mark was usually read as "Burglar (or Expert Treasure Hunter) wants a good job, plenty of Excitement and reasonable Reward."

The dwarves had seen this mark and come to Bilbo's house because they thought he was a burglar who wants a job. Bilbo didn't know the mark was there, didn't consider himself a burglar, and hadn't had any idea why the dwarves were there.

Knowing Bilbo's Took ancestors, particularly Bilbo's great, great, great, grand-uncle Bullroarer Took (who had once sent a king's head rolling into a rabbit hole and creating the game of golf), Gandalf knew that Bilbo had it in him to be a great adventurer.

Gandalf also knew that the dwarves needed a burglar (or expert treasure hunter) to help them on their mission.

What is their mission? They want to get back all the gold, silver, jewels, and riches that their ancestors (the dwarves of yore) had created a long time ago. What happened to all those riches? Well, the dragon Old Smaug has them. He lives within a mountain that has a secret entrance. Will recovering the dwarves' riches be "Mission Impossible"? Stay tuned…

New Vocabulary:


We read two books this week about Veterans Day:
Veterans Day
by Mir Tamim Ansary
The Wall
by Eve Bunting

We learned that a veteran is anyone who has been or is in the armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard).

We learned about the meaning of...
  • Peace
  • Liberty
  • Honor
  • Dictator
  • Democracy
  • President
  • Vote
  • Elected

We learned that Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day, and that it was started by President Woodrow Wilson on the day that World War 1 ended (November 11, 1918). Armistice means "to stop fighting."

Every year, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (November 11th at 11 a.m.), there are 2 minutes of silence to honor all of the veterans who have given or risked their lives so that we may have peace and freedom in our lives.

We talked about how there are some people in the world who don't want anyone to ever have peace and freedom. They are like bullies. They just want to keep fighting and ordering people around. They won't stop unless good people find them and make them stop. In war, we are finding and stopping those bullies so that they won't be able to keep hurting people.

Our Guest Speaker
We were fortunate to have Jim Davis, a veteran in Endicott, now with the American Legion (George F.Johnson Post 1700), visit our class on Friday.

Mr. Davis was stationed in France until 1960. His job was to repair the planes and trucks. After being in the military, he was a school bus driver.

Mr. Davis told us that Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 after the Korean War. He told us that the word "armistice" came from the word "armor" worn in battle long ago. He also told us about...

  • the Tomb of the Unknown Solider in Arlington Cemetery
  • the "Eisenhower Jacket" (because everyone liked his uniform so much)
  • the black POW-MIA flag
  • the meaning of the stars & stripes on our American flag:
    Red - Bravery (bloodshed)
    White - Purity of Life
    Blue - Loyalty

We learned a lot of information about our Flag from Mr. Davis:

  • The 13 stripes represent the first 13 states (colonies) of our country.
  • The original 13 stars were in a circle to show that all states are equal and none stand above another.
  • Besty Ross made the first flag.
  • On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes for our Flag.
  • Our flag had 48 stars until Hawaii and Alaska joined our country in 1959 and 1960.
  • The US Flag is raised higher than any other flag in our country.

Click on FLAG for more information about its history.

The scouts of Camp Linus had a lot of great questions for Mr. Davis. Here are some of them:

Ryan Sch. Are names on both sides of The Wall? Names are only on one side.
? How big is The Wall? The Wall is about 500 feet long and 10 feet high. There are almost 60,000 names on it.
Jessica Why is The Wall warm? (This question is a result of our reading the book, The Wall, by Eve Bunting, that describes the wall as feeling warm.) The Wall is black which is a sad and warm color.
Nikki How long did it take to make your uniform? The jacket is called the "Eisenhower Jacket." Before Dwight Eisenhower was President, he was a famous general in the army and wore a jacket like this.
? I saw people in Afghanistan on TV burning our flag. Why are they doing that? Some people don't like us because they don't like our freedom.
Dustin What are campaigns? They are different actions in war.
Mike How hard is it to survive being in a war? It depends what you are doing in the war. People in our military are very well trained and that makes it easier. But war is hard.

For more information on our Lessons of Liberty in Camp Linus, click on Veterans Day.

Click on Snoopy Typing to go back to the Directory of Campfire Chronicles! Click on the Beagle Scout to go back to Camp Linus!