|A few of the scouts, geared up and ready to take on the course.
On Saturday morning we arose early in order to cook, clean up, and be at Callaway Gardens by 8:30. We checked in at the Discovery Center for the Treetop Adventure Course. The course involved a number of challenges that crossed between platforms in the trees next to the Discovery Center. As we moved across the platforms, about fifteen to twenty feet in the air, we were confronted with swinging bridges, cable traverses, zip lines, and other nefarious obstacles. The course tested the scouts' confidence, strength, agility, and concentration. Several of the scouts were unsure about their ability to successfully complete the entire course. However, everyone gave it a good shot and most finished the route with a strong effort.
|Nicky negotiates the two cable traverse while Hunter makes his way across the swings.
Following our time in the trees, our Lead Troop Guide unfortunately left us to fulfill his obligations as the first chair trombone in the AJHS band. He was transported out to the front gate where his father picked him up on the other side of the entrance. The whole thing had a very Bridge of Spies vibe to it.
|Louie is exchanged across Checkpoint Charlie.
|A red-tailed hawk comes in for a landing.
The show involved four birds; a horned owl, two hawks, and a vulture. The birds flew back and forth over the heads of the audience at the command of the trainers. Several scouts felt the rush of air as the birds swooped low over our seats. The show was a good opportunity to see and learn about these interesting birds. Afterward, we were back out on the trail looking for more geocaches. One of the caches took us inside the Day Butterfly Center in search of a set of numbers. The numbers were then used to open the lock on a cache in the gift shop. The most interesting cache of the day was found next to the golf course. The container was shaped like a large golf ball.
|Creighton holds the golf ball cache.
|The scouts work on dinner as the afternoon fades into evening.
|Ethan cooks breakfast on Sunday morning without incident.
On Sunday morning, following a filling breakfast, we broke camp and packed up the trailer. Aiden, our Chaplain's Aide, and Mr. Lytle gave us a lesson on loyalty. It was noted that loyalty is characterized by faithfulness to ones' country, family, and friends but also by loyalty to God.
Prior to heading back to Auburn, we checked out a couple of more geocaches that were hidden in the state park near our campground. One was easily found (especially since it was bright orange) but the second one really tested our geo-sense and our endurance. The cache was a two step find that involved solving a puzzle in the first container in order to find the coordinates of the second container. The puzzle was an imaginative arrangement that involved the use of red solo cups. Although we solved the puzzle, we unfortunately misread one of the numbers as a six instead of a nine. This sent us off in the wrong direction searching for the second container. We made a steep climb up a hill and off the other side without finding anything. We didn't have time to correct for our mistake and had to head home without a successful find. Maybe next time!
At the PLC meeting on Monday evening, the youth leadership engaged in a campout critique. Everyone agreed that the adventure course rated the highest. The course challenged the boys in different ways and it showed everyone that they could go beyond their perceived limits. The PLC also praised the Birds of Prey show, the food, and the geocaching. A serious discussion was held about safety on future campouts and the ways we can avoid problems in the future.
More photos are available in the online photo gallery. Some of them were taken by the scouts, which explains the unusual perspective of those photos.