Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Scoutmaster's Tale :: Section One

The night air was cool, not cold exactly but cool for late-June in Missouri. The moon wasn't full, but it cast enough light that the Scoutmaster could see without a flashlight. According to the youthful Scouts in the troop, the grey-bearded Scoutmaster was "old", he had even taken to wearing a leather name tag with the "Old Man" troop nickname, but he was just in his mid-forties; younger than some Scoutmasters and still older than others. He stood there, in the dark, surveying their camp. The long aluminum frames white-topped dining fly stood abandoned; patrol boxes filled with cooking and eating utensils, pots and pans, were closed and the cooking stoves had grown cold. The lanterns glowed orange, the flame-tipped wicks saturated with citronella fuel, giving off a small circle of light at staggered intervals through the camp site.

The Scouts' tents stood in two lines, one down each side of the camp site, separated from the tents that the Scoutmaster and his fellow adult leaders, his Assistant Scoutmasters, called "home" the past couple days and would call "home" for several more. Most of the dozen tents were dark and that darkness only broken by a glimpse of light peeking out from two of their number; some of their number keeping their battery-powered flashlights or lanterns going through the night, not so much fear of the darkness but more for protection from the critters, the generations of raccoons that had grown so used to humans camping in the area for over fifty years that they had no fear and would invade a camp site or tent if they smelled food. Most campers would invariably bring snacks from home, keeping them in their gear, keeping them in their tents as an invitation for raccoons or skunks to come for a visit.

Friday, June 17, 2016

#T417SignPost Challenge

Our Troop is visiting Camp Gamble at S-Bar-F Scout Ranch in Knob Lick, Missouri the week of June 26-July 2nd, come by and find us and take your picture by our famous Camp Sign Post and post it to Social Media with the hashtag T417SignPost (#T417SignPost)...and we will share it.  The Scout group furtherest away that manages to visit us will get a special shout out and more...

Stop by and post using Twitter, Instagram or Facebook #T417SignPost

Friday, July 17, 2015

Crew 2417 Rolls Into Summer

After taking part in the rainy Swift Base Service Weekend at S-Bar-F Scout Ranch located in Knob Lick, Missouri the final week of May, Crew 2417 has went it's own different directions in June; some attended Boy Scout Summer Camp with Troop 417 and others explored summer school classes or jobs, but most gave service at the Ozark Trailblazers District Cub Scout Twilight Camp (#OZTwilightCamp) held on the beautiful campus of Mineral Area College.

In the next week, Crew 2417 will attend a Pool Party with Cub Scouts from Pack 432 and then attend an All-Scout Unit Camp Out with their fellow Chartered units; Cub Scout Pack 3417, Boy Scout Troop 0417, & Venturer Scout Crew 2417.

August will bring a canoe trip before assisting with School Night to Join Scouting in the Central R-III School District in the final weeks of the month.

Camp Swampy is Born

Mark your calendars, Camp Swampy was officially born as the base camp of Boy Scout Troop 417, chartered to the First United Methodist Church in Park Hills, Missouri. We've had base camps before; summer camps, camporees, klondikes and other camping adventures, but Camp Swampy has been in the works for a number of years. One of our number, Assistant Scoutmaster Barrington, created our now iconic camp direction sign pole, which has been in our camps for 2 years now. But this was the first year that the troop finally attained Camp Swampy status; two highly functioning patrols with a mixture of older, younger and brand new Boy Scouts who, generally, smelled of high heaven by Wednesday after being told daily to take a shower and clean their tents before Family Night on Thursday.

Over 35 merit badges, 6 Mile Swimmers, 6 nights, 14 Boy Scouts, 50th Anniversary of S-Bar-F Scout Ranch in the Greater St. Louis Area Council. What an Adventure.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Done Working My Tickets!

My last update on my Wood Badge progress was back in February.  At that point I had completed two ticket items, they were starting a Venturing Crew, which for those that do not know, Venturing is a co-ed Scouting program offered to those 14-21.  This was my diversity item.  I was prompted to make this one for selfish reasons, although they have benefited my community.  My daughter had turned 14 in January and after years with the Girl Scouts and watching her older brother go through the Boy Scout program she was itching for some of the adventure offered in Boy Scouts.  That item was a bit challenging, gathering up the required members.  The Venturing program, in my opinion, has the ability to see substantial growth but that has yet to materialize in the small communities where we live and work.  

My second ticket item was organizing a Merit Badge University.  A Merit Badge University is an opportunity for Boy Scouts to come and work on a variety of merit badges not traditionally covered in a summer camp setting, where many youth in our area earn their badges.  I wanted it to be different, however, with no Eagle Scout required merit badges.  Instead, I wanted to bring back the concept of working on merit badges for fun, and to possibly develop a hobby or career for their rest of their lives.  Steven Spielberg earned his Cinematography merit badge in the Boy Scouts and that fueled his passion and, some would say, successful career in movies.

Both of those items came and went, they happened, I wrote up my progress notes, supplied verification and photographs to my ticket counselor, also my Troop Guide, as per instructions from the course.

The third item, the STEM Camporee I discussed in February, went off with only a few hitches a couple weeks ago.  Last week I finished up working on and getting approved a Cub Scout Pack Operations Manual.  And today, finally, after 9 months of serving as a Unit Commissioner in my District, I was able to procure an e-mail verifying my work from our District Commissioner.  I waited to submit my Operations Manual ticket item until a few hours ago and now I will submit my last ticket item.

This however does not mean my journey is over, but rather just beginning.  My goal is to leave a legacy behind. And I haven't quite finished doing that yet.

Baden's Rowdy Beavers