Troop 50's February campout the weekend of Feb. 17-19 centered around a trip up I-85 to tour the Montgomery Zoo and to camp at Fort Toulouse in Wetumpka.
|Mr. Darby compares the size of the barn owl's skull to the overall size of the bird's head.|
The troop woke to a damp morning after an evening filled with intermittent rain showers. After a quick breakfast Saturday morning, the troop headed to the Montgomery Zoo, where it was treated to an owl presentation arranged by Troop 50 parent Randi Cottier. During this time, zoo docent Brooks Darby discussed the distinguishing features and lifestyle of the barn owl. Mr. Darby explained characteristics of the owl that make it a remarkable hunter, as well as how the zoo cares for these and other birds that comprise its collection of animals. Following the presentation, Scouts gathered in small groups on their own self-guided tour of the zoo until lunchtime.
|Boone (left) and Beck (right) are photo-bombed while exploring the tiger|
enclosure as part of the troop's behind-the-scenes zoo tour.
|Any time a behind-the-scenes tour begins with a locked gate,|
you know you're in for a treat!
|Luke holds just one typical-sized elephant tooth.|
learned about the elaborate systems of gates, chutes, and other passageways that guide these animals to indoor areas for feeding, veterinary care, sleeping, and when necessary, quarantine for medical purposes. They were even able to sample some of the animals' food, and of course, where quite vocal about the variety of smells in these buildings. (Interesting they are sensitive to these smells but not their own when returning from a particularly warm campout!)
monthly living history events. Scouts were able to experience elements of life in the earliest days of the United States, including attire, weaponry, and cooking. The troop even received several loaves of homemade, colonial-era bread to enjoy during dinner.
|The Armored Armadillos feast on their hamburgers with all the fixings!|
|Joe (left) and Hunter (right) welcome everyone to Saturday evening's campfire program.|
|Beck (left), Jacob (right) and Michael (on shoulders) debuts an original|
and educational skit.
|Creighton (left), the troop's newest junior assistant scoutmaster,|
attempts to express to Scoutmaster Baird
his appreciation for the promotion.
After the fog cleared Sunday morning, the troop followed breakfast with efforts to pack up gear and ready the troop for the return trip home. Before departing, however, Scout and leaders gathered for the troop's traditional "duty to God" devotional. With a trip to the zoo following the rains of Friday evening and Saturday morning, a devotional centered on the story of Noah and the ark seemed only fitting. Scripture references and discussion centered on not being distracted by others and remaining focused on what God expects of us, trusting God to guide us and to be our strength during tough or challenging times, and that, God's forgiveness and grace and waiting for us during times when we are weak and sin.
At Monday evening’s Patrol Leaders Council, the troop’s youth leaders were pleased with the troop’s ability to study owls and participate in the behind-the-scenes tour at the zoo. They also commended efficient set-up efforts on Friday and packing up on Sunday, overall meal-planning and cooking efforts, the creative and entertaining campfire, and the overall quality of the campsite. They also noted that the campout emphasized the need for selecting a troop quartermaster; addressing campsite noisiness and an occasional lack of cooperation with a each other and respect for youth leaders; reviewing campout dish-washing techniques; and avoiding damage to equipment after one tent was ripped during the campout.
For more photos from the camping trip, visit the troop's online photo album.