Troop 868 in Action


(February 10~12, 2012)
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It had been four years since the troop last visited Camp Belzer.  The camp serves primarily as home to the Cub Scout camping programs of the Crossroads of the America Council (Indianapolis area of Indiana), but the attraction for us were the heated sleeping cabins.  February weather is unpredictable and can be brutally cold, so Troop 868 usually elects to either cabin camp or go someplace where a cabin is available in case of bitter weather.  Camp Belzer was a great call, because temperatures were in the teens or low 20s all weekend and the wind chill was in the single digits.  It was so cold, that both scouts and leaders had great difficult cooking meals because the heat dissipated in the 2 inches of space between our shepherd stoves and the bottom of the pots or skillets!  Cooking was done outdoors, because the cabins at Camp Belzer don't have stoves or plumbing ... they are strictly sleeping cabins.  But they do have electricity, forced air heat, and nice, comfortable bunk beds with mattresses.  They were constructed to serve as staff housing for the summer Cub Scout camps, but they are well-insulated and ideal for winter troop camping such as we were doing.

The cold and windy weather definitely put a damper on outdoor activity.  We cooked outdoors, but no one was very interested in doing much hiking or exploring of the camp.  Instead, boys concentrated on advancement work that could be done inside the warm cabins.  Plus, cooking meals took a lot longer than normal.  We had a Saturday night campfire inside one of the cabins and held our Sunday morning worship service indoors, as well.  Despite the cold, it was generally a productive weekend and most everyone had a good time.

This is one of the cabins where we stayed.  The other was identical to it and sat about 100 feet away off to the right. The wind and the cold was plenty of incentive for everyone to wear coats, hats/hoods, and gloves, 
Assistant Scoutmasters Martin Moore and Vince Baird struggled to cook Sunday lunch for the adults. Mr. Baird, Mr. Moore, and Mr. Say could hardly believe how long it took to heat a pot of soup and grill a few cheese sandwiches.
Scouts gathered in the "living room" of one of the cabins for Sunday morning worship.   Assistant Scoutmaster Jeff Hagerman delivered the morning message.
Assistant Scoutmaster Hagerman chatting with a group of scouts. Scouts loaded gear onto the troop's truck as they broke camp on Sunday afternoon.