Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Whitewater fun

The weekend of Aug. 19-21, Troop 50 Scouts and leaders took to Columbus, Ga., for wet and wild whitewater jaunt down the Chattahoochee River. During the three-day, two-night campout, the troop called Uchee Creek Army Campground at Ft. Benning home.



After spending Friday evening setting up the campsite, preparing dinner, and adjusting to the hot and humid camping environment, the troop suited up for its whitewater adventure. Scouts and leaders split themselves between large-group rafts and two-person inflatable duckies for the roughly two-and-a-half-hour trip. The river offered scenic views of historic Columbus, and for a few, underwater experiences at the hand of a few rough rapids!


Everett demonstrates his
virtual piloting skills.
The troop picnicked on the grounds of Columbus State University’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center before touring the facility’s offerings. Scouts were able to view space-themed exhibits, try their hand at maneuvering spaceflight simulators, and watch astronomy shows in the center’s domed, omnisphere theatre. Many Scouts (and leaders) also favored the cool, air-conditioned environment the center offered the heat- and humidity-stricken troop!

The troop returned to its campsite later Saturday afternoon, where patrols were able to prepare dinner at a leisurely pace and enjoy time for fellowship while awaiting the cooler evening temperatures to arrive. On Sunday, after preparing breakfast and packing up troop gear, Chaplain’s Aide Aiden led the troop in a Sunday devotional service centered around the traps we fall in with petty fighting and quarreling, and their adverse effects on our relationships.

At the troop’s Monday Patrol Leaders Council, youth leaders praised the spirit of cooperation observed at the campout. Patrols were complimented on efficient set-up efforts, menu-planning and meal cleanup, and the overall fun everyone experienced. Youth leaders also noted the benefits of sharing the lessons learned when planning didn’t always prove successful, the need to better follow the quartermaster structure of using troop gear, and pre-campout food shopping.

The troop’s next outing will be Sept. 10-11, when it goes canoeing at a location to be determined. For more photos from this month’s campout, visit the troop’s online photo album.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Court of Honor celebrates summer achievements

On Monday, Aug. 15, Troop 50 Scouts, leaders, and families gathered to celebrate the troop’s summer accomplishments at its annual end-of-summer court of honor.

Luke (right) receives congratulations from ASPL Louie for earning
the Tenderfoot rank.

Senior Patrol Leader Creighton welcomed everyone and, with the assistance of Assistant Senior Patrol Leader Louie, began with the presentation of new rank advancements to 11 Scouts:
  • a Scout rank was awarded to Jackson
  • Tenderfoot ranks were awarded to Luke and Paul
  • First Class ranks were awarded to Clay, Carl and Miles
  • Life ranks were awarded to Aiden, Creighton, Ethan, Everett and Liam

Aiden (right) received six merit badges from SPL Creighton and
congratulations from ASPL Louie.

Creighton and Louie then presented 64 merit badges to the troop’s Scouts. The majority of these were earned by Scouts attending summer camp at Camp Skymont, but a few also were completed through Scouts working with the troop’s various merit badge counselors.

New youth leaders installed at the court of honor include (left to right):
Liam, Jason, Rusty, Miles, Hunter, Ethan and Joe.
Scoutmaster Baird followed the awards presentations with the installation of new youth leaders who were appointed to positions since the last court of honor. These appointments included Liam as lead troop instructor, Jason as troop historian, Rusty as assistant troop quartermaster, Miles as quartermaster for the Mountaineers Patrol, Hunter as a troop instructor, Ethan as a troop instructor, and Joe as troop scribe.

The court of honor closed with a presentation by Chartered Organization Representative Michael Tullier about the Order of the Arrow. The video overview of the OA is available online for those who were absent or wish to view it again. The troop anticipates offering a troop election in the next month.

For additional photos from the court of honor, visit the troop’s online photo album.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Eagles Squared

Former 6th grade teachers Sarah Armstrong (left) and Russ Jenkins (right) congratulate
Kyle and Davis on their Scouting achievement.
On August 14, at Auburn United Methodist Church, Boy Scout Troop 50 bestowed the Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank during the troop's first joint Eagle Scout ceremony honoring two of its founding members and newest Eagle Scouts—Kyle Sullivan and Davis Tullier. The pair appeared before the Saugahatchee District’s Eagle Scout Board on May 17, 2016, making them among the three Troop 50 Scouts to earn their Eagle in 2016. Since its founding in 2012, Troop 50 has guided 11 young men to earning Boy Scouting’s highest award.

SPL Creighton
Senior Patrol Creighton led those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance, Scout Oath and Scout Law. Rev. Charles Cummings, associate minister for Auburn United Methodist Church, where Kyle and Davis worship, offered an opening prayer. Saugahatchee District Committee Chair Julie Hoff provided officially opened the court of honor and offered congratulations to Kyle and Davis before turning the program over to Scoutmaster Andrew Baird.

Kyle and Davis' affinity
for bacon-wrapped delicacies
made their first appearance
in March 2013.
Mr. Baird recounted some personal memories of his seven years working with Kyle and Davis as an assistant scoutmaster, and more recently, scoutmaster—including the pair's culinary experimentation with bacon-wrapped Little Debbie products. The first of these were bacon-wrapped Zebra Cakes at the district's spring camporee in March 2013, followed a year later by bacon-wrapped Cosmic Brownies at the troop's annual planning retreat in May.

Eagle Scout Honor Guard
members Perry (left) and
Hutto (right)
The program then included an emphasis provided by the court of honor's Eagle Scout honor guard on the Eagle Scout attributes of honor, loyalty, courage, and duty. The honor guard included Chris Perry, friends of both Davis and Kyle, brother of Troop 50 Eagle Scout Robert Perry, and a member of the Eagle Scout Class of 2009; and Matthew Hutto, a coworker of Davis' who earned the Eagle Scout rank in 2010.

Mr. Baird the reminded everyone of the importance and significance of Davis and Kyle's efforts to earn the Eagle Scout rank—a journey that included both young men joining Cub Scouts in 2004, crossing over to Boy Scouts from Pack 29 in 2009, and appearing before the district's Eagle Scout Board of Review panel on May 17, 2016. He then administered the Eagle Scout Promise to the new Eagle Scouts, who were accompanied by more than a half-dozen Eagle Scouts also in attendance. Moms then pinned the Eagle Scout medals and fathers presented Eagle Scout neckerchief slides to the new Eagles. They in turn presented mother and father pins to their parents.

Michael Tullier (left) and Art Sullivan (right) present their sons with  Eagle Scout neckerchief slides.


Troop Committee Chair Rob Stanford presents
Kyle and Davis with their National Eagle Scout Association
membership materials.
Troop Committee Chair Rob Stanford congratulated the pair on their achievement, and presented each with membership in the National Eagle Scout Association on behalf of the troop to both Scouts. In addition, Mr. Stanford noted that the pair received certificates of special congressional recognition from Congressman Mike Rogers, commending them for completing the requirements for the Eagle Scout rank, and congratulatory certificates from the National Society of the Sons of the America Revolution. Auburn City Council Mayor Pro Tem Ron Anders also presented the pair with a proclamation from the City of Auburn declaring August 14 as “Kyle Sullivan and Davis Tullier Eagle Scout Day” in Auburn.

Auburn City Council Mayor Pro Tem presents Davis and Kyle with mayoral proclamations declaring
Aug. 14 as "Kyle Sullivan and  Davis Tullier Eagle Scout Day" in Auburn.

Davis awards Eagle Scout mentor pins to  (left to right) Hutto, Baird, and Stanford.
Davis and Kyle then took a moment to thank everyone for attending and their support during their Scouting participation. Following tradition, each new Eagle Scout presented mentor pins to those special individuals who supported their advancement efforts. Davis first presented his to fellow Eagle Scout and supervisor at Chick-fil-A, Matthew Hutto; his Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project coach and scoutmaster, Andrew Baird; and former Cub Scout Pack 29 cubmaster and current troop committee chair, Rob Stanford. Kyle elected to present Eagle Scout mentor pins to Scoutmaster Andrew Baird, Troop Committee Chair (and previous cubmaster) Rob Stanford, and his Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project coach and the troop's chartered organization representative, Michael Tullier.


View a photo slideshow of Kyle and Davis' Scouting experiences and "trail to Eagle."

About Kyle Sullivan: Kyle, the son of Art and Melissa Sullivan, previously served his troop as an assistant patrol leader, patrol leader, and patrol quartermaster. Through his Scouting participation, he earned 21 merit badges and the God and Church Protestant religious emblem, accrued more than 65 nights of camping, and was elected as a member of the Order of the Arrow, the national Boy Scout honor society.

For his Eagle Scout leadership service project, Kyle developed an outdoor music classroom at Pick Elementary School, where students now enjoy an outdoor space incorporating an appreciation of both music and nature. His project accrued 136 volunteer hours from planning to completion, including the 41 hours he spent personally planning, leading and supervising the various stages of the project. Kyle graduated from Auburn High School in May 2016 and now attends Auburn University.

About Davis Tullier: Davis, the son of the troop's Chartered Organization Representative Michael Tullier and Dianna Tullier, previously served his troop as a troop chaplain’s aide, patrol leader, troop guide, and assistant senior patrol leader. Through his Scouting participation, he earned 23 merit badges and the God and Church Protestant religious emblem, and accrued more than 75 nights of camping. He was elected as a member of the Order of the Arrow, the national Boy Scout honor society, and in 2012 he completed the BSA’s National Youth Leadership Training, a six-day course equipping Scouts with leadership skills and experience applicable to both Scouting and personal situations.

For his Eagle Scout leadership service project, Davis developed a nature trail and creekside outdoor classroom at Pick Elementary School, where students now learn about nature and biology in an outdoor laboratory. His project accrued 107 volunteer hours from planning to completion, including the 33 hours he spent personally planning, leading and supervising the various stages of the project. He is a second-generation Eagle Scout, joining his father who earned the Eagle Scout rank in 1989. Davis graduated from Auburn High School in May 2016, attends Southern Union State Community College, and works as a team leader at Chick-fil-A’s Magnolia Avenue location.

About the Eagle Scout rank: Since the first Eagle Scout was awarded in 1912, more than 2.25 million Boy Scouts have completed the Eagle Scout’s performance-based rank requirements, which currently include serving in progressive leadership positions, demonstrating outdoor and Scouting skill competencies, earning at least 21 merit badges, and planning and executing a seminal Eagle Scout leadership service project.

For more photos from Davis and Kyle's Eagle Scout Court of Honor, visit the troop's online photo album.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Long Hot Summer

      Troop 50 returned to its regular meeting schedule this past Monday evening after a mid-summer break. During June and July, the troop had a Court of Honor, a week at summer camp, and several scouts who participated in a couple of community service opportunities. All in all, it was a good summer, despite the heat.

      Our summer court of honor took place on Monday, June 6, as parents and scouts gathered at the First Presbyterian Church. After a meal of BBQ and numerous side dishes, the troop awarded thirteen rank advancements and twenty-nine merit badges. New leadership for the troop was sworn in for the summer/fall term. Creighton took over as the new Senior Patrol Leader with Louie as his Assistant SPL. Veterans Josh and Nicky assumed the mantle of leadership as the Patrol Leaders for the Mountaineer and Eagle patrols respectively. Trey and Carl were chosen to serve as assistants for Josh and Nicky. Everett is the new Lead Troop Guide with Liam working with him as Lead Instructor. Michael takes over as the new Troop Quartermaster. Ethan will work as an Instructor and Jason will reassume his previous role as the Historian. Aiden will continue in his role as Chaplain's Aide. Other scouts will take on new positions of responsibility as the fall troop meetings begin. The Court of Honor also recognized Louie and Creighton for their attendance at National Youth Leadership Training with the Greater Alabama Council and Nicky was honored for his service as the outgoing Senior Patrol Leader with the presentation of an SPL neckerchief slide.

Nicky proudly wears his new SPL neckerchief slide after the presentation from Mr. Baird.

      The Court of Honor also saw the presentation of the annual James J. Baird, Jr. Honor Scout Award, which was first presented in 2015. The award honors the memory of Jim Baird, a longtime leader in the First Presbyterian Church and the Auburn Rotary Club (which charters the troop). He earned his Eagle rank in 1945 and was a life long supporter of Scouting. The church honored him by naming the gymnasium after him and the troop perpetuates his memory with this award. The recipient of the award is chosen based on advancement, participation, service hours, leadership, and a vote of his peers. The award comes with an Eagle statuette and a one hundred dollar donation to the scout's account. The 2016 award was presented to Life Scout Louie, who has previously served as the Senior Patrol Leader, Lead Troop Guide, and currently as the Assistant SPL. The award was presented by the scoutmaster, who is also Jim Baird's nephew.

Mr. Baird with Louie and his parents, Bob and Dianne. 

      The week at Skymont Scout Reservation ended well with the twenty-one scouts who attended camp having earned a total of sixty-two merit badges. In addition to the numerous other activities, Aiden earned his Chaplain's Aide award by completing the camp's duty to God program. Luke, Tyson, and Paul participated in the Polaris Program, which saw them complete a number of requirements towards Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks. They also earned First Aid and other merit badges along the way. Louie received the Orion Scout Award for his participation in a number of activities such as the mile swim, climbing, geocaching, and the troop service project. Overall, the troop was honored with the Montosky Moccasin Award, which recognizes troops for their advancement, campsite inspections, service, and scout spirit. We earned a total of 1000 points out of a possible 1250 to earn the award.

The scouts pose with the Montosky Moccasin Award (not the flamingo) before heading for home.
Luke, Paul, and Tyson with their Polaris patches. 
Aiden shows off his Chaplain's Aide Award. 

      Not long after we returned from camp, eleven of our scouts participated in staffing the Auburn Police and Fire Departments' DARE Camp at Auburn Junior High School from June 27 to July 1. The camp is designed around the DARE objective to help kids resist drug, alcohol, and tobacco use. Nearly 200 campers, aged 10-11 years old participated in a camp that celebrated heroes as its theme. Participants spent the week hearing presentations from various speakers, viewing demonstrations by the police and fire departments, and enjoying swimming and other fun water activities. Under the direction of Officer Bill Schallock, our eleven scouts collectively contributed 276 hours of service to the camp. Later in the summer, three scouts also worked to man an activity booth for the National Night Out program at the Auburn Housing Authority. This added another ten hours worth of service to the community.

Aiden, Liam, Ethan, and Joe show their enthusiasm for DARE Camp.

      On August 3, troop leaders met with the Auburn Rotary Club as part of their regular Wednesday lunch meetings. It has become an annual visit to inform the members about the state of the troop that they sponsor. In addition to a presentation by the scoutmaster about all of the great activities involving the troop over the past year, Rotary members also heard from two of the troop's latest Eagle Scouts, Davis Tullier and Kyle Sullivan. Both scouts spoke about their Eagle projects, describing how they were planned and accomplished. The presentations were accompanied by a slideshow that showed off their hard work. Earlier blog posts "The Gift of Music at Pick Elementary" and "Trailblazing Toward Eagle" chronicle Kyle and Davis' projects. In describing the troop's commitment as part of its mission statement, the scoutmaster noted that between Eagle projects and other efforts at community service, the troop has collectively worked 845 hours so far in 2016. This contrasts with the 766 hours of service the troop gave in all of 2015.

Troop members at the Auburn Rotary Club presentation: L to R, Davis Tullier, Andrew Baird, Rob Stanford, Michael Tullier, and Kyle Sullivan. In addition to serving as our Chartered Organization Representative, Michael Tullier is also the current president of the Auburn Rotary Club. 
     
      As we start our fall meetings, the troop has much to look forward to. In addition to some great program and camping opportunities, we will be assisting with several more Eagle projects in the coming months. This weekend we will celebrate Davis and Kyle with a double Eagle Court of Honor and on Monday, our August Court of Honor will award all of the summer camp merit badges and the rank advancements that resulted from all that hard work. Onward we go.