Saturday, September 24, 2022

September campout has Scouts climbing the walls…literally

When the troop heads to North Alabama, it’s usually to conquer the rocky trails and mountainous paths of the Pinhoti Trail. The troop headed north the weekend of Sept. 10-11 to take on a different challenge.

Will goes splat!
After a quick trip to Oak Mountain State Park to set up dining flies, the troop headed to High Point Climbing and Fitness. The facility offers rock walls of varying skill levels. After strapping into safety harnesses and donning their special rock-climbing shoes (think bowling shoes but for climbing), some Scouts headed straight to the higher-difficulty options. Others (including many of the leaders) tested their skills in the kids’ area. As confidence levels increased, everyone took to medium- and high-difficulty options. Of course, friendly competitions and time trials ensued, which pitted Scout against Scout, and on occasion, Scout against adult leader. And, everyone agreed that the sensation of free falling was something that took a while to get used to.

Amazing Spidermen Jackson (left) and Jacob (right)

Parker, the troop's newest Scout, masters tent-pitching.

The troop returned to their Oak Mountain State Park campsite late in the afternoon to resume setting up camp—including setting up tents and stowing gear. Scouts and leaders convened around a Mexican fajita dinner. After eating and relaxing, Scouts and leaders took their sore muscles to bed.

On Sunday, Scouts awoke to ham, egg and cheese bagels, followed by a quick takedown of tents and other campsite gear. That provided the troop time for a 1.4-mile hike on the park’s North Trailhead. The group took a mid-hike pause for its traditional Sunday morning Scouts’ Own devotional service. As the troop’s chaplain, Assistant Scoutmaster Michael Tullier led the group in a discussion of how physical challenges like rock wall climbing and mountain trail hikes can remind us of the uphill challenges we face in our personal and spiritual journeys. The group pondered how verses like 2 Corinthians 4:17 and 12:9-10, James 1:2-3 and Romans 5:3-4 relate to the troubles and trials in our lives, as well as the important role of grace and perseverance.

In its post-campout Patrol Leaders Council meeting the following Monday, the troop’s youth leadership agreed the rock-wall climbing activity was great that the troop should do again in the future. From setting up camp Saturday morning to duty assignments throughout the weekend and packing up on Sunday, Scouts worked together and seamlessly. Scouts enjoyed eating together as a troop (and having Assistant Scoutmaster Michael Tullier manning the kitchen. They even enjoyed Sunday’s impromptu hiking excursion.

The troop’s next monthly outing with be the Saugahatchee District Camporee, which has been rescheduled to Oct. 7-9 (the troop was originally scheduled to camp the weekend of Oct. 21). The campout will take place at Auburn's Chewacla State Park.

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