Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Swim Test.

The Swim Test.

This week's meeting was at the YMCA. When we first got there, we waited a while for everyone to show up and for the thunderstorm to pass. Then Troop 281 raided the pool. In a fury of noise and confusion, everyone went into the room of the indoor pool. Then, in even more noise and confusion, we waited near the pool to take the annual BSA Swim Test. (The swim test is what we have to do to qualify for any Scouting related things involving being in water in the year ahead.) Group by group we took the swim test. Once we were done, the adults went. Then lane dividers were taken out of the pool except for two. One left a lane for the new Scouts to work on water rescue requirements. The other separated us from other pool guests. In the lanes left, everyone swam freely around. We splashed, raced, and had fun until we were informed that it was 9:00. Then everybody went to the locker rooms and changed. After that, this week's wet troop meeting was over.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Shooting Campout

Shooting Campout

The Shooting Campout was this weekend. It was at Camp Achewon, and was the first campout at which the new patrols camped with everyone else. This campout had been highly anticipated. Much planning had been involved. Many wavers had been signed. Many instruction sessions had been attended. Now, it would all come together and form a campout.

When we got to Achewon on Friday, we had a nice little instruction on going to the bathroom. That is, we learned (or were refreshed on) how to use the Green Monster. For those who do not know, the Green Monster is a green 5-gallon bucket with a snap-on toilet seat. (There are trash bags to put in it before sitting down.) After that we charged down the hill to unpack the trailer. Once gear and equipment was unloaded, It was time to set up camp. The staff, Panthers, Scorpions, and Dragons put up patrol boxes and tents at the staff campsite. The other patrols put their gear in carts and hauled it to the back campsites.

On Saturday morning, everyone got up, made breakfast, and got ready for the day ahead. We had our flag ceremony and received instructions for the morning. We had a fairly relaxed day. Starting at 1:00, we were shuttled to the range, Miami Rifle and Pistol Club. We went two patrols at a time every hour. Everyone had a blast shooting. When not shooting, people worked to clear fallen trees, branches, etc. from the trails and spruce things up. The Eagles, who were staying at the Dragons' usual campsite (they didn't have enough people to use it), looked at a location to turn into a campsite of their own. Once we were done with shooting and camp improvement, everyone ate dinner and relaxed... until 9:30. At that time, we all met at the parade field and started the troop wide game of hide and seek (it's kind of an Achewon tradition). Anyone who wanted to could be seekers if they asked, and the rest hid. At about 11:00 or 11:30, the game was over. Many people had been found. It was a fun evening.

In the morning on Sunday, it wasn't as easy-going as Saturday. We had to get up, eat, and start packing up. Sleeping bags were stuffed. Backpacks were filled. Tents were taken down. After that, cleaning took place. Patrol boxes were packed. Gear was taken to the trailer. Inspections of troop equipment were performed. All through the morning there was chaos. Eventually, though, we were able to get things in the trailer, close it up, and go back home to face cleaning and putting away our stuff.

Many thanks to all the people who made this campout a success!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Slimy Things, Scaly Things, and Campout Things

Slimy Things, Scaly Things, and Campout Things

      At this week's meeting, we had a lot going on. First, there was a skill session about reptiles, amphibians, and the Reptile and Amphibian Study merit badge. The skill session was put on by three of the Serpents (interesting...): John M., Nate S., and Hayden B. Nate brought his snake and Hayden brought a bucket of water containing some very small reptiles and amphibians. The three boys also brought some turtle shells, a reptile skull, and some other interesting specimens. They taught us about the merit badge and its requirements, and gave us some general information about their slimy, scaly friends. Then we got to pet Nate's snake. After that fun session, we planned for the upcoming campout and elected new patrol leaders. (The new patrol leaders will start at the June Court of Honor.) After that, we circled up and ended the meeting.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Self Defense and SPL Election

Self Defense and SPL Election

This week, Mr. Mays came in wearing his Kung Fu uniform. The reason? He was going to teach the self defense skill session. So he talked about what it means to defend yourself and then demonstrated some self defense techniques. After that we got to practice them in slow-motion with partners. Then it was time to vote on the new Senior Patrol Leader. This was a hard election (and a very close one), because we had nominated two great candidates: Max B. and Seamus G. After voting on the SPL, we went back to the usual room to sign up for the shooting campout and nominate patrol leaders. Then we circled up. Finally, the winner of the big election was announced before we were dismissed. It was... Seamus!

Congratulations to Seamus, our new SPL! He will start at the June Court of Honor.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Shooting Safety Meeting

Shooting Safety Meeting



At this week's meeting, we learned about shooting safety. Some instructors came in and taught us about gun safety, how to properly shoot rifles, and other things that we needed to know to go on the shooting campout. After the skill session, we went to the formal sanctuary of the church to nominate a Senior Patrol Leader. Once we were finished, it was time to circle up. Several Scouts had new rank patches pinned on, announcements were made, and we prayed and dismissed. This week's meeting was interesting and important.