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

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On Monday we visited Raccoon Mountain Caverns where they offered a program for scouts on the Geology Merit Badge.  As part of that program, we panned for gemstones.  That afternoon we took a "wild cave" tour where we put on miners' helmets and went crawling through parts of the cave that aren't on the regular walking tour.

Lookout Mountain overlooks the city of Chattanooga and the view from the top is magnificent. Kraig and Spencer take in some of the view.
Another one of Mr. Meek's "teaching moments!" Dylan, Connor, and Nick visit a memorial to troops from both armies.
Back at Wauhatchie United Methodist Church, it was time for another board game night. It's really neat to see scouts of all ages playing together and having fun.  It makes one wonder why we need video games?
Meanwhile, outside on the sidewalk, Adam and Mr. Canchola are busy grilling hamburgers for dinner. On Monday morning, we visited Raccoon Mountain Caverns to work on the Geology Merit Badge.  Like most merit badges, Geology involves a certain amount of classroom work.
Then it was time for a field exercise --- panning for gemstones.  Scouts lined up to get a "sifting kit" Then they proceeded to the slew where they washed used their screens to sift a packet of rocks to find various gemstones.
It may have been a bit like "shooting fish in a barrel" but it did teach the principles of panning and sifting. Then the boys proceeded to some tables where they had to identify the various minerals they had found.
The exercise was actually a lot of fun and only a couple of the boys needed adult encouragement to remain focused.  The folks at Raccoon Mountain Caverns provided color rock identification cards that made the process a lot easier. The boys really enjoyed the "wild cave" trip.  We had to use a rope to get up through one passage and other spots required crawling.  We got muddy, but the section we explored wasn't a particularly "wet" part of the cave.

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