Showing posts from May, 2009

West Virginia: Wild, Wonderful, and WET!

May 15th saw the scouts gearing up for one of the most anticipated campouts of the year: the Whitewater Campout! The troop rarely gets the ability to have such a campout due to the factors of cost and scheduling, so many of the scouts going were already getting adrenaline pumping in their veins even before the convoy of vehicles left the church parking lot! The location of the campout was in West Virginia, as the title no doubt explains, and so would require a lengthy drive. The plan was to drive about 6 hours overall between the church and the campsite, 2 hours for a single leg of the trip one way and including two 1-hour stops in between (the first to refill the humans, the second to refill the cars).
However, as said in a famous poem by Robert Burns, “the best laid plans of mice and men, often go wrong,” the trip down to West Virginia had its problems. The first of those problems being when at the first stop for dinner, the choice was at a “Sonic” drive-in eatery, where they’d a…

Election Night

The most recent troop meeting began a little earlier at 7:00, but only for those who were going on the whitewater rafting campout this upcoming weekend so the plans as to how to carry out the trip could be established. Half an hour later, the real meeting began as usual. To start off the meeting, Joel Neuhart hosted a short skill session on the 8 and ½ points of safe swimming, which was a good refresher for those going on the upcoming campout.

After the skill session, the scouts headed into the chapel to cast their votes for the next Senior Patrol Leader (S.P.L.). The nominee votes had been counted from last meeting, and three scouts were eligible for the position: Bret Carwile, Joel Neuhart, and Avery Reynolds. After each of the candidates had given their speeches, the other scouts were given a sheet with the names of the three possible choices and were instructed to circle the name of who they wanted to be the S.P.L. before handing the sheets back in. When all the votes for the n…

Blood, Sweat, and Gears

At the latest scout meeting, the subject was Auto Mechanics, which believe it or not, is an actual merit badge. After the usual beginning for every typical meeting, the scouts were led outside to the parking lot behind the playground for the skill session, where the flower orders were originally set out. At that place, several of the assistant scoutmasters had set up three stations to teach scouts about different aspects of car repair or to give them hands on experience: Mr. Adkerson with a station reviewing basics for tire, engine, and brake care; Mr. Van Keuren with a hands-on lesson on switching out tires (on the trailer, as the adults probably were not letting scouts swap tires on the real cars); and Mr. Ossman and a crash course in various car parts (although, since there were so many different parts - along with various car manuals Mr. Ossman had - it looked more like a flea market seller’s table). While the adults did a good job not showing it, they were probably belying some c…

Color Wars II: Attack of the Scouts

On Friday, April 24th, the scouts gathered to load the trusty Troop 281 trailer full of both personal gear and very heavy patrol boxes in final preparation for the next campout, Color Wars: Rematch! The anticipation for this particular campout was especially high, as the previous Color War campout earlier in the scout year had been ended early due to the unending deluge of cold rain the entire weekend. This time, however, the weather was relatively calm and warm, a complete 180 from the miserable conditions of the last Color War.

From the start, everybody knew this was going to be an interesting Color War. Due to the location of the scout campsites in the back of Camp Achewon, the trailer needed to be hauled as far up the drivable path as possible, but Mr. Carlson’s car was struggling to pull the heavy trailer even on paved roads, and without Mr. Ossman’s “Mighty Yukon,” the problem seemed to have no solution. Then Mr. S, the former Troop 281 scoutmaster, showed up and devised a plan…