Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Food, Bugs, Trees...and Checkmate

Troop 50 Scouts and leaders took to the familiar surroundings of Auburn’s Kreher Preserve and Nature Center for its Nov. 13-15 campout, where earning merit badges and and completing rank requirements were the focus for the weekend. As an added bonus, the troop enjoyed blue skies, balmy days and cool nights throughout the weekend.

Following the usual routines that mark breakfast on a campout, Scouts divided into three groups based on their merit badge of interest. Offerings included Eagle-required Cooking Merit Badge (led by Assistant Scoutmaster Christian Dagg); and electives Forestry Merit Badge (led by a representative of the U.S. Forestry Service's Auburn-based Forest Operations Research unit) and Insect Study Merit Badge (led by graduate students studying in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology in Auburn University's College of Agriculture).

Scouts look up to the overhead tree canopy as part of Forestry Merit Badge.

Tyson checks out a Madagascar
hissing cockroach as part of Insect Study
Merit Badge.
Following lunch, many of the troop’s tenured Scouts learned the ins and outs of Chess Merit Badge, taught by Troop 50 alumnus and Eagle Scout Jacob van Horn. As they captured pawns and checkmated each other, Assistant Scoutmaster Matt Podemski assisted some of the troop’s newest Scouts in completing requirements that put them closer to earning their Tenderfoot and Second Class ranks.

No campout would be complete without a Saturday evening roaring post-dinner campfire — which included attempts at entertaining skits and songs.

Following Sunday’s breakfast, Scouts and leaders united to complete a conservation service project to benefit the preserve’s pond. This included clearing overgrowth around the pond that was encroaching on walking paths.

After Scouts packed up camp and before departing, the troop gathered for its traditional Sunday morning “Duty to God” devotional program, led by Troop Chaplain Michael Tullier.

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