Origins: Winter Camp
Currently, there are three schools of thought on the origins of Winter Camp; those of the evolutionists, the creationists and the realists.
Creationists believe that God created the universe from the void and placed within it the heavens and the Earth. God formed the Earth to have land and seas and to have night distinct from day. He created Man in his image, that the Earth might be peopled with advanced cerebral life. To Man he gave a sense of purpose and values, so that Man might use his intellect to cultivate the resources to develop Winter Camp.
Evolutionists trace the origin of Winter Camp back to the Big Bang. In the first ten thousandth of a second after the bang. all of the matter and energy of the Universe itself was concentrated in a single speck (Not a speck in space, since the speck itself was the space). In tile following instant, the concentrations of matter and energy began to coalesce in the rudimentary formations that were to become galaxies.
As the Universe continued to expand and swell the Chaos of its early existence gave way to the rules that govern it today.
Gravity, atomic forces, and electromagnetism set the pattern for the eons to come. With a simple set of rules and forces in place, the stage was set for Winter Camp. In a mere 15 billion years enough organization developed in the Universe to provide the mechanism for a successful Winter Camp.
Realists know that physical reality is irrelevant. Matter, energy, and other physical manifestations are only imaginary. Winter Camp is an attempt. to bring an awareness of reality to the consciousness of what is.
The Detroit Area Council, Boy Scouts of America has for many years offered a winter camp opportunity for Scouting units. During the sixties and early seventies, this consisted of a five night encampment between New Year's and Christmas Day. Winter Camp
was available at both D-A Scout Ranch and Charles Howell Scout Reservations and usually supported a small staff for the event. While these camps were very different from Winter Camp, they did provide the concept of an enjoyable multi-night camping experience at the end of the year.
Undoubtedly. much of the impetus for Winter Camp in its current form came from the South Parks (Downriver) Chapter Ceremonial Committee. The Committee (as it was called) was extremely active and very powerful during the mid seventies. Several active members attempted to organize the first Winter Camp in 1975, but the lack of an adult leader forced a one day trip to Kensington instead.
With the Universe ready, the concept in mind, and (perhaps most importantly) the new adulthood of Doug Wilson, Winter Camp became reality on December 27, 1977. The Committee conducted a special training seminar in 1977, but it was actually the second seminar in 1977 that served as the prelude to Winter Camp. The staff for the training seminar formed the nucleus of interest in establishing Winter Camp. One of the key features of a training of trainers weekend held for the staff was, of course, a special ceremony. An important part of that ceremony was a blind hike. The ceremony, and specifically the blind hike provided ideas for activities to be a part of Winter Camp.
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