Troop 868 in Action

DAVIS FARM CAMPOUT (May, 2007)

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May is always a busy month for Troop 868.  We have our annual Plant Sale the first weekend, Memorial Day usually falls on the last weekend, and another weekend is claimed by Mothers' Day; so the troop's monthly outing must fall on the sole remaining weekend and competes with high school graduations and other end of the school year events.  Participation is often lower than usual, but we feel it's important to continue our outdoor program.

With that spirit in mind, the troop ventured north into Indiana to camp on the Davis Farm near the small town of Otisco.  The property borders a nice sized private lake and our intent was to spend a large part of the weekend fishing in hopes that several scouts would be able to earn the Fishing Merit Badge.  Assistant Scoutmaster Davis secured 2 bass boats and 2 canoes for the troop to use.

We arrived at dusk on Friday night and quickly established camp before dark.  But we still had to cook and eat our evening meal by lantern light.  After the sun went down, the temperature dropped from the mid-60's into the mid-40's and several attendees wished they had brought heavier jackets.  After dinner, everyone was ready to crawl into their warm sleeping bags.

Saturday morning dawned bright and beautiful --- a perfect day for both scouting and fishing.  After breakfast, everyone headed down to the lake and the scouts were soon all afloat.  Some just wanted to paddle around and explore the lake, but most had hooks in the water looking to catch a trophy-sized bass.  Unfortunately, the fishing turned out to be rather poor ... other than several dozen small bluegill, scouts and leaders alike were all disappointed to not pull in even a single keeper before lunch.  Mid-morning, several of the scouts abandoned fishing in favor of swamping a canoe and swimming.

After lunch, scouts worked on other advancement and explored the farm.  Assistant Scoutmaster Davis and Scoutmaster Meek returned to the lake in search of fish for dinner.  ASM Davis was successful in catching 3 nice-sized bass.  Back in camp, he conducted a clinic for any scouts interested in learning how to filet them.  The fish were then cooked and shared with anyone who wanted a taste (and just about everyone did).  On Saturday night we had a bonfire.  Tim had brought his guitar and led the group in some singing.

Not having any strict agenda to follow, everyone slept in a bit on Sunday morning.  After breakfast, we stowed personal gear and took down the tents, then headed to the lake to secure the boats onto the trailers.  After that we held a worship service led by Scoutmaster Meek.  This was followed by lunch and the remaining tasks associated with striking camp and loading up for the trip home.  It was a fun, relaxing weekend for everyone who attended.

Dylan, Stephen, Tim, and Adam eating dinner in their patrol site after setup on Friday night. The scouts' campsite looked quite sharp on Saturday morning.
Trey and Stephen frying pancakes on a cast iron griddle. Troop 868 Eagle Scouts turned adult leaders Paul and Chris took a turn at KP duty.
Adam and Tim found a small ball and invented a new version of ping-pong across the patrol's dining table. Scouts prepared to launch some boats early Saturday morning.  Dylan models the latest fashion in PFD vests.
Stephen and Tim head out to explore the lake. With our group, it would be too much to expect them to stay inside the boats for very long!
Assistant Scoutmaster Davis held a clinic for Dylan and Adam on the fine art of fileting a fish (in this case, a bass). And this boys, is the part you get to cook and eat.
Adam takes his turn with dishwashing duty. And across the field in the adult campsite, Mr. Davis takes a turn at dish duty for the adult patrol.
Wherever there are boys and trees, it's a given that at least one of them is going to end up climbing it. With our group, it seems that "spiderman" Adam always ends up somewhere near the top.