Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Gauntlet

This scout meeting the skill session was supposed to be about flag etiquette. The SPL, Alex R. who was going to lead the skill session had a car crash, was in the hospital.*

The patrol leaders decided to have game night instead. We played gauntlet and soccer. Gauntlet is this totally awesome game where there are two people, one on each side of the gym, throwing dodge balls at you as you run in between them. If you are one of the last two people to get hit, you are the next thrower.

Joe S. Historian

[*While serious, Alex was released that evening and will make a full recovery. Ed.]

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011: A new year of Adventure!

With winter break having ended and everybody going back to work, school, or whatever it is that they do during most of the week, life was starting to settle back down from the holiday hubub. That also meant that Troop 281 would start meeting up again and begin the usual Tuesday schedule of first doing troop business and scout-related activities, then secondly playing dodgeball.

The meeting started out like normally but with some special guests: Cub Scouts who were attending a troop meeting to see if they wanted to come to this troop once they get their Arrow of Light. After the usual repeated sayings of the Pledge, Scout Law, and Scout Oath, there was a lot of business to cover because of the missed Tuesdays during the holiday break.

After the mountain of announcements, news, and what-have-you was dealt with, SPL Alex had the scouts form a semi-circle of benches so that he could lead the night's skill session. The visiting Cub Scouts were called out of the session early while the rest of the scouts paid attention to Alex and his skill session on cold weather camping. Some of the important bits of info that were brought up were things like how to keep warm if your sleeping bag isn't warm enough, and what to do in order to keep the tent bottom dry and not soaked with melted snow.

Following the skill session was patrol corners. Due to a change in campout itiniary, the weekend set for the campout was moved up a week to the weekend right after exams for most of the scouts. This meant that there were only two weeks to plan for a campout as opposed to the typical three, so plans had to be set right away by the scout patrols who were going. As it is January, the winter weather will be rather cold so those tips given by Alex in the skill session should prove very important on the trip.

When patrol corners was over, it was time to play the game of the night. Instead of dodgeball, Joel announced he had made up a new game. Two teams stand on either side of the hall and toss colored balls at each other, if you get hit by a ball and the ball is not caught in time you are out. You can also get out if a ball you throw is caught by another person on the opposite team. Additionally, every time a ball is thrown, the thrower must pretend that the ball is in fact magical and yell out some silly spell name like "Snot ball!" if the ball is green or "Listerine Ball!" if it's blue, etc. In the case somebody catches a ball, not only does the thrower on the other team go out, but anybody who was out on the catcher's team comes back in. Play continues until one team is eliminated.

Eventually, the shouting of really weird named balls in a church was seen to be something rather unpreferable, and it was revealed the game was really just Dodgeball all along with an attempt at putting a new "twist" on it (as the readers of this article probably figured out from the above paragraph being the same rules for Dodgeball with the silly name bit added in). The game was continued as normal Dodgeball (and was noticeably quieter) until it was time to circle up. Dr. Reynolds gave his "Scoutmaster's Minute" and two scouts were promoted: one getting his scout rank patch upside down (to be flipped upright when he does a good turn) and the other getting the rank of Second Class. Then with everybody attending the meeting holding crossed arms in what appeared to be a dented circle, the meeting was closed with a really, really long and drawn out simultaneous clap (why else can the scouts keep claiming the single great clap has never been broken?)