The dark clouds rolled in over the horizon and soon enough the skies opened up, dumping heavy rain across the 12 acres of field adjacent to the Shawnee Indian Mission buildings in Fairway.
But the group of Cub Scouts huddled under a thin shelter at the leather-working station were unfazed, and set about hammering stamps into their circles of hide.
“The theme this year is Cub Scout Superhero Academy,” said Jenna Bentrop, director for the Shawnee Trails District. “This is kind of the Thor tie in.”
Approximately 400 scouts, mostly from dens organized at Shawnee Mission School District elementaries, are on site at the annual day camp this week, with activities from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Friday. And this year’s gathering marks a couple of firsts.
It’s the first year the camp has been held on the Shawnee Indian Mission grounds. In recent years, the district had had the day camp in an empty field in western Shawnee. Bentrop said the site, which is now operated by the city of Fairway after it reached an agreement with the Kansas State Historical Society in 2016, offered a number of advantages.
“It’s closer to town, there’s more facilities, and more visibility for people to see what Cub Scouts does for families,” she said.
This year also marks the first time girl Cub Scouts have participated in the day camp, which is generally attended by scouts in their early elementary school years.
“It’s been great — we probably have eight or 10 girl Cub Scouts for the first time, getting to have fun with their brothers and families just like every other scout,” Bentrop said.
The day camp includes dozens of stations, with each den participating in a variety of activities over the five days, from obstacle courses and games to cooking and crafts.
But the most popular stations?
“Beebee guns, archery, catapults and slighshots,” Bentrop said. “All of our ranges. Those tend to be the favorites.”