Troop 868 in Action

(September, 2008)

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2008 marked the 21st year that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has sponsored a lakeshore cleanup day at Barren River Lake.  It also marked the 8th year that Troop 868 scouts have participated in the annual event. 

The troop once again camped at the Bailey's Point public campground to be near a boat ramp on Saturday morning.  We arrived at the campsite after dark on Friday night and setup camp by flashlight and lantern before each patrol prepared a quick, light cleanup dinner.  Despite not getting to bed until midnight or after, scouts were at the boat ramp bright and early at 8 AM Saturday morning to board pontoon boats that would shuttle them to their assigned section of shoreline to begin plucking litter from the beaches and hillsides that surround the lake.

Over the 4 hours between 8 AM and Noon, boys and leaders from our unit filled more than 4 dozen large plastic bags with empty cans and bottles of all shapes and sizes, busted styrofoam, lost shoes and fishing lures, and an amazing array of other litter.  And, of course, a half-dozen old tires!  Scoutmaster Meek managed to find a yellow jacket nest by plopping a full bag of trash on top of it when he stopped to pick up another piece of litter as he made his way down a hillside to the shore.  The bees were not at all pleased about this and several hundred swarmed out of the nest to express their displeasure to him and Assistant Scoutmaster Guzman who was only a few feet away.  Both men got stung multiple times on the arms, legs, heads and necks as they made a hasty retreat.  They had to move nearly 300 feet away before the bees finally stopped chasing them.  They decided to let the bees calm down before attempting to retrieve the temporarily abandoned bags of trash.

Upon returning to the dock and unloading our collection, we visited the bath house to wash up then boarded the troop bus for a short drive to the state park for lunch and the traditional afternoon beach party.  The weather was sunny and warm, so the boys really enjoyed playing in the sand and swimming.  A few even managed to win some nice prizes in the door prize drawings.

Arriving back in camp late Saturday afternoon, each patrol had time to cook nice dinners and prepare for the evening's campfire program.  Pack 868 also attended the event and was camped next to the troop; so the Boy Scouts took the Cubs under their wings and helped them prepare a skit.  Boy Scouts from Troop 600 in Smith's Grove, KY were camped nearby and also participated in the campfire program.

On Sunday morning, the scouts who had gone to Philmont back in July rose early and went with Scoutmaster Meek to perform 3 additional hours of conservation work in order to complete the requirements for the Boy Scout 50-Miler Award.  They returned to the campsite around 11 AM and the whole group gathered in the campground's outdoor amphitheatre for a Christian worship service conducted by Chaplain Aide Alex.

It was then time for a quick lunch, to finish breaking camp, load the troop truck, and head home to Shepherdsville ... but not without taking time to continue the troop's tradition of climbing the huge tree near campsite B-2.

Adam (back to camera), Stephen, Dalton, Gabe, and Tim ride a pontoon boat to their assigned section of shoreline. Already on shore, Patrick, T.J., Cody, Mr. Guzman, Clinton, Jon, Nick, and Connor prepare to start searching for litter.
Cody and Gabe gave Adam a ride in an old tractor tire they found. Nick displays a treasure he hoped would win him a prize for being the most unusual piece of litter found.
They don't show in the photo, but there are hundreds of yellow jackets swarming around the bag that Mr. Meek set on top of their nest that led Mr. Guzman and him to swiftly retreat. A pontoon boat loaded with bags of collected trash heads back to the dock to unload.
(L to R) Jon, Nick, Tim, Alex, Connor, Dalton, David, Patrick, Stephen, Clinton, Gabe. T.J., Cody, and Adam. David prepares to play some T-Ball off of Tim's stomach.  Tim, of course, is buried on top of Patrick.
But all the fun was not had on the beach ... there was also the water. When big boys and little boys meet in the water, can chicken fights ever be far behind?
Senior Patrol Leader Tim supervises as Nathen and Jon lower the flag as the troop prepares to depart camp. Climbing trees is a troop tradition.  The monkeys (L to R) are Dalton, Nathen, Tim, Nick, Stephen, Connor, Cody, Clinton, Gabe, and Patrick up in the tree.  The hanging monkeys are Assistant Scoutmasters David Meek and Waldo Guzman.