On Thursday and Friday, we symbolically closed out the year as we started, with a ranch trip.
The first activities were three real world math experiments, designed by Eagles to introduce trigonometry, algebra and geometry.
For trigonometry, teams competed to solve a surveying problem that required calculating the hypotenuse of a right triangle, in order to earn the right to solve a trigonometry puzzle, which revealed the first clues of an algebra puzzle, that involved creating a human Cartesian grid to unearth buried treasure.
Next came a geometry challenge that led new meaning to the term Pi – as contestants had to find the real life area of an apple pie with one slice removed.
Did the math challenges go smoothly? No.
One of the challenges fell apart when a mistake was discovered and the instructions turned out to be confusing. A shouting match broke out between frustrated Eagles, leading to tears.
A disaster? Not at all. Everyone quickly made up and all was forgiven. But what wasn’t forgotten was the importance of prototyping field experiments before introducing them into the wild.
Next came competing on an obstacle course designed with input from the Navy Seals.
Two rules: “no person left behind” and “no one can re-enter the course after finishing.”
These rules put Eagles under stress, because after most had crossed the finish line, one Eagle sat down, “paralyzed” (following secret instructions from the Gamemakers.)
Would the Eagles listen to an adult and refuse to re-eneter the course or go to help their fallen comrade? Of course, most disobeyed the authority figure and rushed to help their fallen Eagle, the same Eagle who had bungled leading the math challenge, carrying him to victory.
Next it was time for swimming and watermelon eating by the river.
After swimming, time to gather five special objects, eat hamburgers and hot dogs and tour the ranch on a hayride looking for wildebeests, buffalo, elk, deer and other wildlife.
In the next post, our final ceremonies.