Friday, June 14, 2019

Scouts, families gather for annual planning retreat

Fresh on the heels of new Scouts and families joining Troop 50 as part of the pack-to-troop Webelos crossover season, Scouts, parents and leaders gathered at Auburn’s Kreher Preserve and Nature Center April 26-28 for the troop’s Annual Planning Campout and Retreat.

The campout represented the first time most of the Webelos who recently crossed over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts camped with the troop. Friday evening’s traditional activities of setting up patrol areas and tents, and preparing dinner in their respective patrols, gave the troop’s newest Scouts the opportunity to see how patrols operate on a typical campout.

Scoutmaster Andrew Baird briefs Scouts on the morning's GPS exercise.

Oliver, one of the troop's newest Scouts, addresses a first aid
need encountered along the GPS course.
Following Saturday morning’s breakfast preparation, Scouts divided into a number of group activities designed to satisfy rank requirements for most of those working on ranks ranging from Scout to First Class. These activities centered on reading maps, using GPS units and applying first aid techniques.

Typically, the troop looks for ways to volunteer and improve the facilities where it camps. For this campout, that included three projects: rebuilding the campsite’s campfire seating area and cleaning up weeds and other debris from the area around campfire, cutting small trees and brush on the dam for the pond, and cleaning out and organizing the lumber in the nearby storage pavilion.

Scouts, with the guidance of Assistant Scoutmaster Matt Jordan, cleared out and sorted lumber as
one of the troop's three service projects on Saturday.

Parents, Scouts and leaders discussed a variety of topics
during Saturday afternoon's planning retreat.
Scouts and leaders prepared lunch for the troop’s parents, who began arriving around noon. Following a lunch of burgers, fries and cookies, the troop began the annual planning retreat portion of the weekend. The afternoon’s agenda, led by Troop Committee Chair Rob Stanford, included identifying dates for troop outings and activities for the upcoming year, as well as soliciting feedback from Scouts about possible campout locations and programs, highlights of the current troop year, and ways in which the troop might improve during the course of the upcoming year. After Scouts returned to the campsite to ready for dinner, parents and leaders continued to discuss administrative matters like the troop’s operating budget, fees and policies. Following dinner, Scouts led a troop campfire program, complete with songs, skits and the like.

On Sunday, following breakfast, packing up gear and campsite cleanup, the troop gathered for its regular Sunday devotional service. The program included an opening prayer by Troop Chaplain’s Aide Rhett and a devotional by Troop Chaplain Michael Tullier about Jesus’ “Parable of the Weeds” found in Matthew 13:24-43. He and Scouts discussed how the weeds of sin can creep into our lives, and how each of us must be diligent in keeping them from taking over.

Since the Annual Planning Retreat served the purpose of the troop’s monthly Patrol Leaders’ Council, the troop’s next activity will be its regular troop meeting on Monday, May 6. Visit the troop’s online photo album for more photos from the Annual Planning Retreat and Campout.