Saturday, June 15, 2019

Zip-lining the world's longest zip-wire course

For its May outing, Troop 50 headed to Georgia for an overnight campout and day of zip-lining and other outdoor activities at Historic Banning Mills, near Carrollton. The zip line course features nine zip segments, along with a sky bridge and tower. Although the troop only completed a portion of the facility's zip-line course, the entire course, which extends more than 39,127 feet in combined length, has remained since 2012 the world's longest zip-wire course, according to the Guinness World Records. Consisting of 135 ziplines, the entire course would take more than 12 hours to complete.

The rain the area experienced shortly before the troop’s arrival Friday evening resulted in a damp evening of overnight camping. After a leisurely morning of cooking breakfast and packing up gear, the troop enjoyed several activities at the facility, which included a round of miniature golf and a nature hike. The hike took Scouts and leaders past the enclosure where Liberty, a bald eagle billed as the newest member of the Banning Mills staff, now lives. Liberty coincidentally once resided at Auburn University's Southeastern Raptor Center (we'll forgive Banning Mills for the War "Eagles" reference!). Unfortunately, Liberty was shy during our visit and didn't come out for pictures.

Michael readies for the first leg of the zip-line course.
The troop reassembled for lunch, which was followed by a rousing round of “Happy Birthday” sung in honor of Jake’s 12th birthday — complete with celebratory Krispy Kreme donuts! The troop then headed over for the 90-minute zip-lining experience, which included a very detailed safety briefing and demonstration before Scouts and leaders took to the trees for some zip-lining fun — and even a little screaming here and there!

Thanks to the Banning Mills staff, there are numerous photos of the troop’s zip-lining experience available in the troop’s online photo album for download. And, thanks to Gideon, one of our Scouts, we have a Gideon's-eye view of the course from his helmet-mounted GoPro camera!

Our Gideon's-eye view of one of the initial zip-line segments
(as an aside, the staff member who receives him at the end of the segment is an Eagle Scout!)

Gideon makes his final descent at the end of the zip-line course.

The troop took Monday, May 20 off from its regular troop meeting, as well as Monday, May 27 for Memorial Day. At its next meeting on Monday, June 3, the troop will conduct leadership elections to fill troop positions for the second half of 2019, as well as elections for Order of the Arrow membership. It will conclude its 2018-19 troop year with a court of honor on Monday, June 10, and its summer camp trip the week of June 23 at Camp Rainey Mountain in Clayton, Georgia.