Troop 868 in Action
(Summer Camp -- June 11~25, 2011)

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Summer camp is always one of the highlights of the year.  Each year Troop 868 attends a different, out-of-council Boy Scout camp.  And it is a troop tradition that wherever we go, we take at least a week to get to camp!  We spend that pre-camp week touring and sightseeing.

For 2011, our Patrol Leaders' Council chose Camp Buck Toms operated by the Great Smoky Mountain Council, BSA.  The camp is located west of Knoxville, Tennessee about 5 hours by bus from Shepherdsville.  Our week of pre-camp touring began early on Saturday morning, June 11.  Our first stop was at Centennial Park in Nashville, TN for lunch as we headed south toward Chattanooga.  At Centennial Park, we visited the Parthenon, the old steam locomotive, and an F-86 Sabre jet airplane.  The extended stop gave everyone a chance to stretch their legs near the half-way point of our travel objective for the day.

By late afternoon we arrived at Wauhatchie United Methodist Church, our first destination in Chattanooga.  On our summer trips, we generally make arrangements to stay at local churches for one or more nights.  This saves us the time of setting up camp, spares us from having to bring along tents and other gear, and gives us the maximum amount of time to visit museums and points of local interest.

Standing, L to R:  ASM Jeff Hagerman, ASM Tom Jacobs, Kraig, Connor, Nicholas, Spencer, John, SPL Dylan, Preston, Drew, Tyler, Toby, Nick, Chase, and ASM Mike Canchola.  Kneeling, L to R:  Scoutmaster Bob Meek, Thomas, Brixton, Conor, Noah, Adam, and Tristan.
Chaplain Aide Noah led the group (scouts and parents) in prayer for a safe journey and a good trip before we departed. We stopped at a Wendy's in Nashville then headed across the street to Centennial Park for a picnic lunch.
Scouts were served first, then leaders.  To keep things simple, everyone got the same thing --- hamburger, fries, and a cola. After getting their food, these scouts decided a set of steps would be a good place to sit and eat.
Standing across the street from the Parthenon, the scouts were challenged to identify the gods whose images were carved across the front of the building.  The boys' knowledge of history and mythology was impressive.  They got nearly all of them.
Don't ask.  Don't tell.   Upon our arrival at Wauhatchie UMC in Chattanooga, the boys liked the cooking utensils hanging from the ceiling in the social hall.  The pastor explained the decorations were still up from Vacation Bible School the week before.
After nearly 7 hours of bus travel, the boys were ready to relax and socialize.  We always travel with a supply of board games on our summer camp trips and scouts wasted no time in starting games of Risk and Monopoly.
Dinner that evening consisted of carry-out pizza from a pizza parlor across the street from the church.  The pizza was quite good and the meal was a big hit with everyone.  It's amazing how much pizza a troop of hungry Boy Scouts can eat!
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