Troop 868 in Action
(May 13~15, 2011)

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Old Ben Scout Reservation is located in Evansville, Indiana.  The camp is owned and operated by the Buffalo Trace Council, BSA.  It's a relatively small camp built on land that was reclaimed after strip mining.  At one time the camp operated a full-fledged Boy Scout summer resident camping program, but the Buffalo Trace Council covers a wide geographic area and so many of the outlying troops go to out-of-council camps that are closer to them that operating a full summer camp program is no longer economically feasible.  Hence, the camp is lightly used for weekend unit camping and programs such as NYLT and WoodBadge.  This is a real shame, because Old Ben is a great camp with nice facilities.  If it were closer to us, we'd visit more often.

For this particular outing, our primary goal was to give all our new scouts an opportunity to do some camping with the troop prior to our summer camp trip.  The focus of the weekend was on operating by patrols and working on primary advancement for the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and/or First Class ranks.  Due to high school graduations, several of our older scouts were unable to attend, so our crew for this outing consisted mostly of our younger and less experienced scouts.  This provided some first time leadership opportunities for several boys.

Toby and Adam took a turn at dish washing duty in the Beaver Patrol. Thomas and Kraig pose for a photo in the Cobra Patrol.
Dylan followed Adam on the walk from the waterfront back to camp on Saturday afternoon.  The lake water was still a bit on the cool side, but we endured it long enough to help several boys complete their Second Class aquatics requirement. John observed Chase frying an egg in the Cobra Patrol.  He wasn't actually sitting in the smoke!
Drew, Chase, Tyler, and Adam observe as Kraig tries to stir eggs in a mess kit skillet that is obviously too small for the job. Falcon Patrol members Dylan and Drew used axes as handles to carry a log the patrol had used as a chopping block back to the edge of the woods as we broke camp on Sunday.