Troop 868 in Action

SUMMER CAMP TRIP 2009

WASHINGTON, DC  (June 20~28)

CAMP HORSESHOE (June 28~July 5)

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As is traditional, Troop 868 once again took a 17-day "road trip" to summer resident camp.  Our Boy Scout camp destination this year was Horseshoe Scout Reservation in Maryland.  Camp Horseshoe is an old camp that is steeped in tradition.  Troops fall in on the parade field each afternoon for retreat and march in formation on their way to the dining hall after the colors are lowered.  The camp has a bugler who plays and a cannon that's fired off as part of the flag ceremony.

The staff at Camp Horseshoe was top notch.  Though not as mature in some program areas as we would have liked, we were generally very pleased with the counseling our scouts received and the camp's standards.  The staff was universally courteous, polite, respectful, and helpful to both scouts and leaders.  We would definitely recommend HSR to others and consider going back ourselves a few years into the future.  (Troop 868 tradition is to seek out different camps and never go back to the same camp in consecutive years.)

Camp Horseshoe had the best pool we've ever encountered at a Boy Scout camp.  It was an olympic size lap pool --- 50 yards long, relatively narrow, and varied in depth from 3 feet to 10 feet.  As a teaching pool, it was second to none.  It was clean and well-maintained.  The aquatics staff was outstanding.  We'll share more about Camp Horseshoe and our week there on subsequent pages.

Our summer camp trip began with a week of touring and sightseeing in Washington, DC.  We departed Shepherdsville early on Saturday morning and had planned to arrive in DC by early evening.  Crossing the Appalachian Mountains in Eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, and Maryland proved to be slower than expected going for our dear old troop bus!  We didn't have any breakdowns or problems --- just slower than expected progress will the hilly terrain.  We rolled into DC around midnight.

Peace Lutheran Church graciously allowed us to stay in their "Ministry Center."  This was a residence across the street from the church they recently purchased and had not yet had a chance to fully remodel.  Far from elegant, it was nevertheless adequate for a group of Boy Scouts and a true blessing to us to be able to find lodging within the DC city limits located so close to a subway station.  We were able to park our bus in the driveway.  Grocery shopping and a host of restaurants were within a radius of a few miles.  The church was extremely welcoming.  Several members of the congregation called or stopped by to check on us and recommended good local restaurants.  Everyone in the neighborhood was friendly as we made the 6 block walk to and from the subway station each morning and afternoon.

After celebrating Sunday morning worship at Peace Lutheran, our first tourist stop was to visit Mount Vernon, home of George Washington.  We ate lunch at the Mount Vernon Inn then toured the grounds, the home, the gristmill, and the distillery.  We also conducted a wreath laying ceremony at Washington's tomb.

The traditional pre-departure troop photo in front of the troop bus (L to R):  Scoutmaster Bob Meek, Dylan, Troop Committee Member Mike Canchola, Preston, Jon, Adam, Junior Assistant Scoutmaster Tim, Dalton, Cody, Drew, Gabe, Nick, Cody, Senior Patrol Leader Alex, Matt, Assistant Scoutmaster Stephen Guelda, Spencer, Assistant Scoutmaster Jeff Hagerman, and Scott.
Scouts gathered around a picnic table at an interstate rest area along I-64 to pray before lunch. (Clockwise from front) Preston, Cody, Spencer, Mr. Canchola, Dalton, Scott, and Drew.
It's a troop tradition that scouts climb a tree at a rest area at least once during every road trip.   It was a long bus ride and some horseplay was to be expected.  Cody graces Gabe with a set of rabbit ears.
Nick acts innocent as Tim abuses Adam during a rest stop in West Virginia. The river in the background flows north to south and empties into the Ohio River.  We told the boys that anyone who wanted to depart at this point could simply float in the river and arrive back home in Louisville in a few days.  We didn't get any takers.
Peace Lutheran Church in Washington, DC.  The stained glass window is at the front of the sanctuary and this photograph doesn't do it justice.  It was magnificent. The church Ministry Center across the street where we stayed was a residence that the church had purchased.  The church's van is in one driveway; we parked our troop bus in the other..
Scouts seated around a table for Sunday lunch at the Mount Vernon Inn. Dalton, Gabe, Alex, and ASM Jeff Hagerman sat at another table. 
Scouts received instructions for conducting the wreath laying ceremony from a host at Mount Vernon. The troop stood in formation before it was time for the wreath laying ceremony to begin.
The group had to drive a short distance to reach Washington's grist mill and changed into Class B uniforms on the way.  Before departing, the group posed for a photo with Mount Vernon in the background.
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