Monday, October 26, 2020

‘Surviving’ in the wild

On Saturday, Oct. 24, Troop 50 headed a few miles up U.S. Highway 280 to Waverly and the LaMar family property to complete the outdoor and overnight requirements for Wilderness Survival Merit Badge. As Scouts arrived, so did the drizzle — a perpetual weekend presence that ebbed and flowed from torrential downpours on Saturday to the residual drips from the overhead tree canopy Sunday morning. The rain, however, did little to dampen the spirits of the wilderness survivors.

Harrison sets up his shelter before the rain deluge hits.

Connor clears away overgrowth
from the sides of the walking trails.
Scouts got their shelters and gear squared away as the hardest showers of the day arrived, which placed some of Saturday’s activities on hold as everyone took shelter under their dining flies. Once the rain subsided, the troop resumed its afternoon activities. This included Scouts and leaders completing a conservation service project on the LaMar property, which included clearing overhanging limbs and trail debris along walking trails.

Following the service project, the troop broke up into small groups for a GPS-based orienteering course. The groups’ outcomes ranged from a few feet to more than 350 feet from the course’s final pin.

On Sunday, with just tarps and ropes to collect instead of tents to pack, Scouts made quick work of clearing their campsite. Before departing, the troop gathered for its Sunday devotional service, which centered around Romans 5:3-4 — equating the character-building challenges of the campout to those trials we suffer in our daily lives.

During its post-campout assessment the following Monday at the troop’s Patrol Leaders Council, youth leaders gave the campout high marks for getting the major overnight component of the merit badge out of the way — providing them with a “sense of accomplishment.” They also credited everyone — especially those newer to the troop — for embracing the environmental challenges, which in this case was the rain, and persevering even without the protection of a tent during the night.

For more pictures from the campout, visit the troop’s online photo album.