Troop 868 in Action

(August, 2010)

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As has been a Troop 868 tradition for many years, we once again journeyed south down Interstate-65 to the Tailwater Campground at Barren River Lake for the 16th annual SCOUT CELEBRATION sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

This entire summer had been exceptionally hot and our weekend at the Scout Celebration was no different.  Daytime highs were in the 90's and we were careful to make sure everyone drank plenty of water.  The heat was just draining and no one really felt very ambitious about constructing a gateway or putting up any sort of pioneering display as we had done numerous times in past years.  Turnout among Boy Scout troops was pretty light with only about half a dozen other troops attending.  Most of them weren't any more energetic than our group and only one or two managed to erect any kind of gateway.  Most scouts spent the day in their campsites under the shade of whatever awnings they had brought.

Due to construction at the Port Oliver boat ramp, the fishing and canoeing activities typically offered at the Scout Celebration had to be cancelled for this year.  Assistant Scoutmaster Tom Guelda had his boat at Barren River Lake and generously donated most of the day on Saturday to taking our younger scouts out onto the lake to ski or go tubing.  All of our older scouts spent the better part of Saturday morning helping a local Girl Scout (and daughter of the Scoutmaster of a Boy Scout troop in Smith's Grove) to finish up her Gold Award Service Project.  This demonstration of scout spirit on the part of our scouts was truly awesome to witness.  After a morning of physical labor, we made sure the boys all got to go swimming during the afternoon.

Late on Saturday afternoon a small storm front moved through with strong winds and about 2 inches of rain.  The storm only lasted about an hour, but that was long enough to leave many campers, including several of our scouts and leaders, with wet gear.  It was amazing to us to see how many other units packed up and left for home.  With the weather being so hot, we didn't figure anyone was in danger of freezing or getting sick from sleeping in or on top of a wet sleeping bag, so we stayed put!

The folks in charge of the program cancelled the Saturday night campfire program because so many units had left and they felt the wet ground presented a shock hazard using the PA system at the amphitheatre.  Our guys were so disappointed, that we decided to stage our own impromptu campfire program under one of the open-air shelters.  Instead of building an actual campfire, we set out and lit a bunch of tiki torches that set a nice ambiance and accomplished the same purpose as a big fire without all the mess.  Many of the other troops that chose to remain in camp came and joined us.  It actually turned out to be a pretty nice program and those units that left early missed out on a good time.

A view of the Beaver-Cobra Patrol campsite.  Attendance was low, so the Beavers and Cobras joined forces for the weekend. SPL Adam and ASPL Jon work on getting a cooking fire started in the Falcon Patrol campsite.
Toby works to get a fire going in the Beaver-Cobra Patrol.  SPL Adam blows gently into the fire he's starting for the Falons to cook breakfast.
Our guys in (somewhat loose) formation for the opening ceremonies on Saturday morning. Assisting with the Girl Scout service project, Nick works to pry up an old steel retaining bolt from the bridge that washed away.
A group of scouts from Troops 600 and 868 worked together to finally pull all the old retaining spikes out of the ground. Nick and a fellow scout from Troop 600 (in Smith's Grove, KY) teamed up to carry a stack of old lumber out of the woods.
Mr. Jacobs, Toby, and Gabe. Spencer, Jon, and Kraig.
It would appear that Jon is about to get dunked by Nick. Jon and Nick are ready to begin loading the troop truck. ASM Hagerman is going to hang his uniform on the hook in the cab.