Saturday, December 29, 2018

A Troop 50-style Christmas

Troop 50 Scouts with many of the toys donated through the troop's Toys for Tots drive.

Luke opens the court of honor as
master of ceremonies
On Sunday, Dec. 16, Troop 50 Scouts, leaders and families gathered for the troop's final event of 2018 — its annual December court of honor and Christmas party. It also included the swearing-in of new youth leaders elected and appointed at the troop’s meeting on Monday, Dec. 10.

To complete one of the requirements for Communications Merit Badge, Luke opened the court of honor and served as its master of ceremonies. Following the opening flag presentation, Scoutmaster Andrew Baird offered parents a brief overview of various high-adventure opportunities the troop was considering for future summer outings. These options include Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, Northern Tier High-Adventure Base in Northern Minnesota/Southern Canada, Florida Sea Base in the Florida Keys, and The Summit Bechtel Scout Reserve in West Virginia.

Whit receives Architecture Merit Badge from Senior Patrol Leader Joe (left)
and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader Jason (center)

Following a brief break so Scouts and families could enjoy a buffet of sweet and salty treats, the ceremony resumed with the presentation of ranks, ranging from Tenderfoot to First Class, to four Scouts. Additionally, the court of honor included the presentation of 15 merit badges — including Architecture Merit Badge, which three Scouts earned as part of the troop’s Merit Badge Day held the previous weekend.

Scoutmaster Baird administers the troop's oath of office for elected and appointed youth leaders.

During the court of honor, youth leaders elected and appointed at the troop’s Dec. 10 meeting were installed. They include:
  • Senior Patrol Leader: Camp
  • Assistant Senior Patrol Leader: Hunter
  • Lead Troop Guide: Joe
  • Lead Instructor and Bugler: Jason
  • Troop Scribe: Trey
  • Troop Chaplain’s Aide: Rhett
  • Instructors: Michael V. and Luke
  • Junior Assistant Scoutmasters: Louie Harris, Aiden Lytle, Liam Schallock, Nicholas Zuk and Creighton Williams
  • Pop Tart Turtles Patrol: Boone (patrol leader), Luke (assistant patrol leader) and James (quartermaster)
  • Radioactive Snowmen Patrol: Miles (patrol leader), Tyson (assistant patrol leader) and Will (quartermaster)

Joe and Scoutmaster Baird
The ceremony was the final troop event under the leadership of outgoing Senior Patrol Leader Joe. To mark his six-month tenure, Scoutmaster Baird presented Joe with the traditional handmade neckerchief slide that has come to distinguish Scouts serving in the troop’s top youth leadership position.

At the conclusion of the official court of honor program, Scouts and a few leaders set aside formalities (and, some might say at times, civility) for the troop’s annual “Dirty Santa” gift exchange. As with past year’s gift-exchanges, highly coveted and exchanged presents included camping gadgets like flashlights and multi-function tools, as well as a few technology items like Bluetooth speakers.

Connor celebrates opening one of the frequently "stolen" pocket knives as part of the troop's "Dirty Santa" game.

The court of honor also included the troop’s annual holiday service project — a Toys for Tots drive to support the efforts of the City of Auburn's Public Safety Department. Gifts donated by Troop 50 families included bicycles, sports gear, board games, books and toddler toys. Typically, after all the court of honor activities are over, Scouts and leaders would walk the donations to the main City of Auburn fire station; however, because the station is under construction, the toys were later delivered to the city’s Department of Public Safety office.

The troop’s Patrol Leaders Council will meet on Monday, Jan. 7, and the troop will resume its regular Monday evening meetings on Monday, Jan. 14.

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