Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Return of Moosehead One

At the most recent Troop meeting, it was time for the Personal Management skill session. Personal Management is an Eagle required merit badge that does take at least 3 months to complete (and it can't be rushed like other, simpler merit badges), so it's best for scouts to earn it early on to get it out of the way. To earn a merit badge, one requires a merit badge counselor, and former Assistant Scoutmaster Bill Ossman is a counselor for that badge, the original member of the "Mooseheads" (the nickname given to the Assistant Scoutmasters) and an all-around awesome guy to know. Mr. Ossman returned to visit to the troop and presented the skill session for the scouts. Keeping the atmosphere constantly filled with an air of humor with his duck jokes, Mr. Ossman nevertheless stressed the importance of the badge and covered all the basics that a scout needs to attain it, such as how small expenditures on small snacks and "girlfriend-things" can turn out to be a very large expenditure over time. He also gave out a little test beforehand for scouts to check and see how much they knew about personal management in general (Turpin Scouts could get extra time, according to him).

When Mr. Ossman finished his wonderful skill session, there was an unusually long period of time left in the meeting and only the game still remaining on the "to do" list. As such, dodgeball was quickly set up and an extra-long match was played. Everybody who participated all got in one good shot, but the undisputed juggernaut of Dodgeball certainly is SPL Alex R., who might as well have been pulling Matrix-like dodges as he hurled dodgeballs at his opponents. Even so, the game had been enjoyable enough that everybody left the meeting with a smile, or at least a few bruises.

Ben Hallenbeck, Historian

Friday, October 15, 2010

Survivor 2010 pictures by Tom Carlson

Getting lost

On the trail

Break time

Signalling for help?

Setting up camp

Home sweet home

Returning to civilization

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Finding Scouts in a Cornmaze

It was time for another one of the new "fun nights" that have been added to the monthly schedule for Troop 281, so in the sprit of the harvest seasons the scouts went off to go check out a nearby corn maze at Farm Haven in Kentucky. Getting there took a little while, and there was some initial confusion as to how the heck we were supposed to get from a church parking lot to the farm (due to all the signs pointing to the farm not being lit), but eventually the group made it up to the farm.

After the adults paid the admission price for everybody, the Scouts raced across the open field to the entrance of the maze, eager to loose themselves within the tall corn stalks. A watchtower of sorts was located quickly, but as several scouts climbed up the ladder it was discovered the hatch was locked. Some scouts kept trying to get up the watchtower to see what little they could of the maze while others left on their own to actually try to get out of the rows of corn. It took a while, but everybody did get out okay. (At least, we're pretty sure all the scouts got out alive.)

After the corn maze was over, the Scouts moved on to the barn where there was a small petting zoo with goats, bunnies, chicks, and kittens. Most of the remaining time on the farm was spent playing with the animals, especially the kittens

Unaware that the scout is onto him, the kitten tries to go for the kill.

After having lots of fun at the corn maze and with the animals, it was time to go. Some of the scouts stayed for a meeting about Philmont, while the rest headed back to the cars to take the somewhat long ride home.

Troop 281 would like to thank the owners and operators of Farm Haven in allowing the scouts to come and enjoy their corn maze and petting zoo.
-Ben Hallenbeck, Troop Historian

More Corn Maze Pictures from Tom Carlson

The other submission for Oct. 12, 2010 was photoed, written and laid out entirely by our troop Historian, Ben Hallenbeck. I couldn't resist posting the following pictures, submitted by an Assistant Scoutmaster as well. Thanks Tom Carlson. (Editor)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Survival Tactics

This past meeting (10/5/10) happened to be the first one held in the month of October, which is usually the time when all sorts of scary things start to happen, such as pumpkins suddenly appearing outside of houses and Kings Island advertising the heck out of its “Halloween Haunt” once again. In the spirit of being scared, it seems natural that the camp out for this month is the (in)famous “Survivor” camp out, which most of this meeting was focused on planning out.

Before the planning could begin, Greg B. held a skill session on making survival shelters that would be necessary if stuck in the middle of nowhere for a multitude of reasons, one of the biggest being to keep oneself warm at night without a tent or sleeping bag. This was very important for the new scouts, who probably haven’t had to make survival shelters before, as well as the older scouts in the idea that this skill session was a “refresher” course on how to keep their butts dry over two cold October nights.

After shelter building 101, the scouts separated into three different groups according to how they were going on the Survivor camp out to plan. For those reading who do not know what the Survivor camp out is, the term “camp out” doesn’t apply so much as does “where several scouts (and maybe a hapless Scoutmaster or two) are almost literally dumped out of a car in the middle of nowhere and left to survive on their own for two days in the wild with nothing but the ten scout essentials, some plastic lining for drum barrels, and the clothes on their back.” Parents of the newer scouts need not worry, as the actual “Survivor” portion of the camp out is restricted to those scouts who are at least First Class. Anybody who is not First Class will not be left to fend for themselves; rather they will get tents and be able to bring enough food for the weekend. Oh, and plenty of willing adults will always be around along with at least one older scout for protection and for working on requirements. In a change from the usual way Survivor is held, the two scouts in each tent will share individual grubmaster duties (i.e. one handles the food for lunch, the other will take care of dinner, etc.) with everybody having to cook over an open fire as opposed to using propane stoves, all in observation of making things a little more “survival”-like for the young scouts but not to the point where they’re using each other to fight off rabid bunnies (see inset picture). The third group was of scouts who weren’t going on the camp out for various reasons of varying legitimacy.

As the planning came to a close the infamous “thing” came out of the quartermaster’s office for a few rounds of “Swing the Thing”. Things started off well, but towards the end some of the newer scouts kept on jumping back into the game despite being rendered out more than enough times. As a round of Swing the Thing cannot be finished until only one person is left standing, this prolonged the game and rendered getting “out” a moot point, so much so that SPL Alex eventually called the game for that reason. With the troop settling down, final announcements were given and everybody circled up. During the Scoutmaster’s “minute”, the scouts demonstrated somewhat remedial counting skills to go with the lack of geometry skills when some people got confused in a reciting of the ten scout essentials. When everybody finally got back on track, the meeting closed with the all-at-once-clap and it was off to home.

-Ben Hallenbeck, Troop Historian