Saturday, March 23, 2013

A good work ethic

James Robert, Will, and Ethan lop away at the juniper bushes.
       In furtherance of the third part of our troop mission statement - to GO into the community in service and fellowship - the scouts of Troop 50 took part in a work day for the First Presbyterian Church. Despite the threat of rain, scouts spent the morning at the church trimming shrubbery, picking up trash, raking leaves, trimming a tree, and hauling away the limbs and other debris. Since the church provides the troop with meeting space, including a dedicated office and storage space, it is important for us to show our appreciation as well as to connect with the membership of the church. The "yard-working" scouts who participated in the workday included Senior Patrol Leader Jake and Assistant SPL Ethan, along with Jeffery, Robert, Will, James Robert and Mark. Adults who participated included Jim Perry, Jason Smith, and Andrew Baird. Also putting in a good morning's work was Robert's little sister Samantha, who picked up trash and hauled limbs alongside the scouts. Other photos are available in the online photo album.

Samantha scouts for trash in the shrubs.
Ethan hauls limbs from the courtyard.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Leaders make first 'state-of-the-troop' report to Auburn Rotary

Troop 50 leaders had the first opportunity to make a state-of-the-troop report to members of the Auburn Rotary Club, which serves as the troop's chartered organization. The contingent included (staring second from left) Scoutmaster Andrew Baird, Troop Committee Chair Rob Stanford, and Chartered Organization Representative and Auburn Rotarian Michael Tullier. They are pictured with Martee Moseley, the club's president. Troop Committee member and Auburn Rotarian Jim Perry was also present.

The three Troop 50 leaders outlined the basics of the Boy Scouting program, shared an account of troop organization and of recent meetings and outings, and offered opportunities for Auburn Rotarians to serve as troop leaders, mentors and merit badge counselors. Most importantly, the update allowed the troop to inform Rotarians of how the annual financial investment Auburn Rotary makes in Troop 50 benefits Scouts and provides the necessary financial support to underwrite event, equipment and registration expenses.

Troop makes strong inaugural showing at district camporee

The 2013 Saugahatchee District Frank Horky Spring Camporee was Troop 50's first showing at a district event, and the troop didn't disappoint! The camporee, held March 15-17 at Chewacala State Park, featured Scout-skill night games Friday evening, a Saturday camporee-wide service project, and a Saturday-evening awards campfire.

Friday's activities kicked off around 9 p.m. and put Scouts' ability to master various Scout skills in the dark of night to the ultimate test. The events were based on the Siege of Mafeking of the Second Boer War of 1899-1900, which was a pivitol experience for Lord Robert Baden-Powell (then Col. Baden-Powell) and inspiration for shaping what later became the Boy Scouting movement he founded. Camporee events tested patrols' ability to work as a team and troubleshoot during a variety of events that included dexterity, knot-tying, map sketching, memory, first aid, by-sight measuring, stealthiness and covertness, fire building, and star-based navigation. Events ended around 1 a.m. Saturday, and no one complained about it being bedtime!

Vincent working on a
portion of the park's
mountain bike trail.
After a leisurely start (which included the now-infamous bacon-wrapped Zebra cakes of the Average Joes Patrol) and opening flag ceremony Saturday morning, Scouts from all troops attending joined together for a few hours of service to the state park. Scouts and leaders worked with park volunteers to shore up, fortify and rebuild sections of the state park's mountain bike trail. In total, the camporee resulted in nearly 150 service hours by district Scouts.

Saturday's campfire brought a number of surprises for the troop, the most pleasant of those being the number of awards from Friday night's competitions garnered by the Anonymous Patrol. Their accolades included two first-place finishes in the compass course ("Navigator's Nightmare") competition and locating the North Star without a compass ("Star Light, Star Bright") as well as a third-place finish for drawing a map from memory ("Map Sketch"). Later, we found out the Average Joes Patrol had several fourth, fifth and sixth place finishes in many of the events and among the 11 individual patrols competing in the events.

Anonymous Patrol members proudly displaying the
various competition awards they earned.
The troop took a moment to observe the day of worship Sunday morning with a Scouts' Own service before departing.

At its Patrol Leaders' Council meeting the following Monday, youth leaders praised the troop for its strong competitive showing, its overall ability to work as a team, and its success in how the patrols really formed and worked together as individual units during the weekend.

View more photos of the troop's camporee experience online in the online photo gallery.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bacon-wrapped WHAT?!?!?!

The Average Joes have created an anything-but-average camp out delicacy. Move over bacon-wrapped filets, the Average Joes Patrol has developed the Bacon-wrapped Zebra Cake: A Little Debbie Zebra Cake wrapped in thick-sliced bacon. The patrol has dubbed their creation the "new chicken and waffles"! So, when you see it on the next episode of The Rachel Ray Show or deep-fried by Paula Dean, know that this porcine treat started first with Troop 50! Check out pics of their creation below, other photos from the weekend in our online photo album.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

All tied up!

Troop 50 Scouts, at our March 4 meeting, focused on knot tying -- older Scouts concentrated on practicing lashings, while our younger Scouts worked with Scout-mentors on basic knots. Scouts were reminded that, together, basic knots and advanced lashings have a multitude of uses, from everyday remedies when gear or equipment needs to be secured, to life-saving and first-aid applications, to creating functional campsite gadgets and tools.

At the end of the meeting, Troop 50 celebrated another milestone: presenting its first rank advancement. Scoutmaster Andrew Baird presented Josh with his Scout rank -- the first advancement step on the Trail to Eagle!

Friday, March 8, 2013

A leader with merit

    While it was obvious to those of us in the troop, it was confirmed to the everyone that Rob Stanford is a leader with merit. Last evening at the annual Saugahatchee District Banquet, Rob received the District Award of Merit. This is the top honor that a district can bestow upon an adult leader. In the photo, Rob is pictured with the other recipient, Jonathan Middleton (L) and District Chairman Joel Moore (R).
    In addition to his outstanding work as our Troop Committee Chairman, he also serves as the Cubmaster of Pack 29. At the District level, Rob chairs the Activities Committee, where he coordinates programs from the Pinewood Derby, to the District Banquet, and the highly successful District presence at Auburn CityFest. He has previously been the Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner as well.
    As was mentioned at the presentation, Rob is an Eagle Scout who believes in the values of Scouting. He lives those values in his daily life and that is what makes him such a valuable member of the Scouting program.
    Please congratulate Rob when you see him for the recognition of a job well done!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Check out what we did to our trailer!

There will be no mistaking Troop 50 when we hit the road for our next campout! New troop shirts in February, and now our trailer bears the Troop 50 logo. Thanks to Sign World of Auburn for applying our signage, and Master Graphics in Auburn for giving us our new look, there will be no mistaking where Troop 50 is heading!

We're also proud to make our chartered organization, the Rotary Club of Auburn, part of our trailer as a way of saying "thanks" for all they've done to get our troop started up and going in such a short amount of time. If you know a Rotarian, or someone who works at Sign World or Master Graphics, please thank them for their support of Troop 50!