Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Scouts survive the Waverly 'wilderness' during weekend outing

During the weekend of April 15-17, the troop ventured up Highway 280 to the "wilderness" of Waverly for its monthly camping trip and to continue work toward completing Wilderness Survival Merit Badge. The troop camped on property belong to Andy and Dixie LaMar, which served for many years as the home of the annual Blast and Cast fundraising event at which the troop has volunteered by running its tomahawk and sling-shot throwing stations.

Joe and Tyson use a map to locate caches that contain secret phrases
as part of Saturday morning's wilderness skills challenges.

Saturday's activities focused on activities increasing Scouts' knowledge of wilderness survival skills. Scouts rotated among stations that allowed them to try out their fire-building skills and success lighting fires by various means; and in teams of two and three find their way using compass coordinates; use a map to locate caches; and measure distances without the use of measuring tools.

Scouts removed spent shotgun shells from at least five areas along the trail where
Blast & Cast events were held previously.

After lunch, the troop performed a brief conservation service project for the LaMars by collecting spent shotgun shells and trail flagging left over from their annual Blast and Cast event. Scouts also took advantage of being at the site of the Blast and Cast by throwing tomahawks and shooting slingshots. Following that, Scouts spent the rest of the afternoon setting up their wilderness survival shelters and cooking their dinner by patrol.

Scouts' efforts to create survival shelters ranged from basic survival to the Taj Mahals of wilderness camping.

On Sunday, after breaking down camp, Scouts and leaders observed their "duty to God" during a devotional service that focused on the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness as detailed in Matthew 4:1-11. Like Jesus' efforts to have his own quiet time in the wilderness, our campouts provide Scouts and leaders time to get away from distractions and temptations. However, just as the devil followed Jesus to the wilderness, the troop reflected on the distractions and temptations that follow us and disrupt our efforts to connect with nature, build better friendships with one another, and enjoy our own quiet time.

During its post-campout critique the following Monday, the Patrol Leaders Council, in addition to noting that all Scouts survived the wilderness survival campout, gave high marks to the patrols' menu-planning and food preparation, the quality of Scouts' wilderness survival shelters, and the opportunity for Scouts to acquire individual and troop service hours. Youth and adult leaders recognized the need to address patrols' attention to time management, use of duty rosters, flexibility and teamwork, respect for individual patrol campsites and observing buffers around each, and everyone's general disposition and positive attitudes.

Check out additional photos from our weekend campout on the troop's online photo album.