Troop 868 in Action

(August, 2008)

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On the second weekend of August, Troop 868 once again headed south to Barren River Lake to participate in the annual SCOUT CELEBRATION sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Since school was still out for summer vacation, we departed Shepherdsville mid-afternoon to get to Tailwater Campground in plenty of time to get our campsite established and cook dinner before dark.  Due to a host of conflicts with family vacations, youth group mission trips, and other late summer activities for many of our scouts, we had a smaller than usual crew of scouts for this particular outing.  Nevertheless, the boys who went had a good time.

On Saturday, scouts got to go canoeing, shot archery, drive a speed boat simulator, swim, and climb a mobile rock climbing wall brought in by the Army National Guard.  Between these personal enjoyment activities, Troop scouts also found time to assist in the running of numerous other events, including providing BSA lifeguards for the swimming beach and helping with the Cub Scout FUN-Olympics.  The troop planned, organized, and hosted the Saturday night campfire program from laying the fire to lining up other units to perform skits.  The boys managed to create their usual sharp looking campsite (complete with an axe yard) but didn't really put forth any special effort into specifically competing for the coveted "Jigger" Award.  Instead, Troop 868 scouts concentrated on being helpful and useful to others (as they usually are), and on enjoying the weekend.

Thus, the entire group was totally surprised when they were presented with the Jigger Award for best demonstrating Scout Spirit throughout the weekend.  In recent years, the award has typically gone to large Cub Scout or Girl Scout units that bring lots of scouts and parents, dress them in highly visible, bright-colored tee-shirts, and out yell everyone else during cheers.  Cheerful chanting is certainly one characteristic of a spirit-filled unit, but this year's judges looked deeper at some of the less obvious ways in which Scout Spirit is manifested --- helpfulness, friendliness, courtesy, dependability, cleanliness (both physically and verbally), loyalty, kindness, obedience, respectfulness, and reverence.  In those areas, the scouts of Troop 868 almost always show pretty favorably.  And the judges noticed.

The "Jigger Bell" was presented to Senior Patrol Leader Tim and the rest of the troop as one of the last events at the Saturday night campfire.  The boys marched through the campground ringing the bell before retiring for the night.  They made a final pass before the assembled campers at the flag raising and closing ceremonies on Sunday morning before exchanging the bell for a handsome wood plaque to be hung on the wall back at the Community Center.  The bell will go back into storage until next year's Scout Celebration, when they will get to once again march around with it on Friday and Saturday before it is passed to next year's Jigger Award winner at the Saturday night campfire.

Troop 868 is one of only two units (to date) to earn the "Jigger" more than once.  The troop first won the award back in 2000 when the troop was under different sponsorship and operated as Troop 848.  The other unit is Cub Scout Pack 83 from Tompkinsville, KY that won two consecutive years in 2003 and 2004.

Troop 868 is honored to have been recognized as the 2008 Jigger Award recipient and our guys are already looking forward to being back at next year's Scout Celebration.  But more important than the award itself is the fact that others see in our scouts the characteristics of good citizenship and Scout Spirit that the award represents. 

Troop 868's campsite in "Bob's Corner" of the field at the Tailwater Public Campground. SPL Tim (wearing bath rope) conducted class on the proper way to flip chocolate chip pancakes on Saturday morning.
Cody checks the surrounding area for potential obstructions before chopping wood in the troop's axe yard. Troop 868 scouts enjoyed swimming in Barren River Lake on Saturday afternoon.
Park Ranger Don Alexander, founder of the Scout Celebration, spoke at the closing ceremonies on Sunday morning. SPL Tim led the troop and rang the Jigger Bell.
Scouts and Mr. Canchola followed as Tim led them around the circle of assembled Boy Scout, Cub Scout, and Girl Scout units. Tim prepares to turn the bell over to Park Ranger Jon Fillingham and receive a nice wooden plaque in return.
Back in our campsite, the Jigger winners pose with the award plaque in front of a tent and the event sign.  L to R, back row are Tim, Connor, Nick, Cody, and Scoutmaster Bob Meek.  L to R, front row are Adam, Dalton, Gabe, and Dylan.  Troop parent Mike Canchola was also in attendance and took the photo.