Troop 868 in Action
(Friday~Sunday, March 15~17, 2013)

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With the threat of severe winter weather passed, the troop returned to tent camping for our March outing.  The venue chosen by our Patrol Leaders' Council was Boxwell Scout Reservation near Nashville, Tennessee.  It had been nearly 3 since our last visit to Camp Boxwell and that trip had been a lot of fun.  Unfortunately, this time around wasn't nearly as enjoyable.  The campsite to which we were assigned was way off the beaten path and really more of an open field than a real campsite.  There was no water spigot in the campsite nor a latrine.  The nearest latrine was quite a long walk away to the camp's Cub Scout World program area and the most direct route was through an adjoining field where another troop was camped.  Everyone was friendly and things worked out OK, but it was certainly less than ideal.  The ground where we camped was very rocky and uncomfortable for anyone who hadn't brought a cot or a thick sleeping pad.

The wind picked up overnight on Friday night and a couple of our patrols had some canvas blow down, but there was no serious damage.  If any rain fell, it was light and Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny.  Saturday was actually a very nice day and we had a chance to hike around and explore several parts of the camp.  One of the reasons for us visiting Camp Boxwell was to evaluate it as a possible future summer camp destination.

Having driven over 3 hours to get to Camp Boxwell, we had planned to spend the majority of the day on Sunday enjoying the camp and depart mid-afternoon.  We had clearly indicated our planned departure time on the reservation form we submitted months in advance.  So we were somewhat surprised when the weekend ranger/campmaster showed up in our campsite at 11 AM Sunday morning and informed us we had to be out of camp by noon.  Our scouts were busy working on advancement and some patrols were preparing to cook lunch; we had not even thought about breaking camp yet.  When we had visited the camp previously, the ranger could not have been nicer or more accommodating.  Obviously the policies have changed since that time --- and not for the better.  If this is the way the Middle Tennessee Council defines "courteous" and "friendly" then we will not be going back to Boxwell Scout Reservation.

Noah, Gavin, and Thomas in the parking lot at the Community Center prior to our Friday departure. The drive to camp took a little over 3 hours, so it was dark when we arrived and began to setup camp.  Scouts lined up behind the troop equipment truck to start off-loading gear.
We were camped in a rocky field next to the camp's lake.  We had some pretty strong wind overnight on Friday night.  On Saturday morning, the Cobra Patrol's campsite had held up well. The Beaver Patrol lost a couple of couple of poles from their dining fly, but otherwise, their campsite also held up well.
The Falcon Patrol wasn't so fortunate.  They had a tent blow down in the middle of the night.  Instead of setting it back up, the scouts migrated into their other two tents and chose to deal with the problem the next morning. Scoutmaster Meek cooked Saturday morning breakfast for the adults in their campsite.
A number of the scouts enjoyed wading in the lake at the edge of our campsite looking for shells. On Saturday morning, we took a hike around the camp to check it out as a possible future summer camp destination.
Kenneth found himself trapped in the castle as the scout's explored Camp Boxwell's Cub Scout World. Alex and Nicholas prepare to wash the Beaver Patrol's dishes after Saturday dinner.
These scouts from the Beaver Patrol chatted as Alex and Thomas sat in the tent they shared for the weekend. Scoutmaster Meek gathered the newest Scouts, most of whom had just crossed over from Webelos, for a talk about woods tools safety.
The members of the Falcon Patrol didn't accomplish much in the way of advancement during the weekend, preferring instead to spend most of their time climbing around in a tree near their campsite. On Sunday morning, the troop stood in formation for flag raising as Scoutmaster Meek gave some instruction to our new members about the duties of the color guard.
Scouts scrambled to break camp and get everything loaded onto our equipment truck after we were informed on short notice that we have to leave camp by noon. Despite our rather abrupt ejection, we still did what Scouts are supposed to do and formed a police line to check and make sure that we didn't leave behind any trash.