Troop 868 in Action
NASA: Spring Break Trip
(Wednesday~Sunday, April 3~7, 2013)

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One requirement for the Space Exploration Merit Badge involves building model rockets.  Scouts began building their rockets after we returned from Cathedral Caverns and finished dinner.  Everyone built their own rocket.  The adults provided help when asked, but most of the boys were able to read the instructions and complete the projects on their own. 

During our second full day in Huntsville we visited Burritt on the Mountain.  This was the former home of a prominent Huntsville physician back in the 1930's.  The home is on a hill that overlooks the city of Huntsville with a magnificent view.  We happened to be there during some kind of special spring festival when a lot of local school children visit and the staff conducts a number of special programs.  It was all pretty interesting.  A local dairy farm had brought over a mobile milking trailer and the boys got to see a cow get milked.  In addition to touring the buildings that stand on the property, there was a special display of antique farm tractors and other machinery.  The boys got to spin some yarn and see a tractor-powered cotton gin work.

Dinner on Thursday night consisted of Sloppy Joe sandwiches which were a bit hit with the boys. Tyler, Toby, Brixton, and Nicholas set about building their model rockets at a table in the main room.
Other scouts found space to work on the dining tables. Everyone was pretty much heads down and busy for the better part of two hours.
Toby used a craft knife to cut a piece for his rocket.  Noah sat to his left. Matthew and Zach waited to use a hot glue gun after Brixton finished.
A worker from a local dairy farm explained and then demonstrated how cows get milked. The scouts stood in the back so that elementary school students on school field trips could see.
Scouts and leaders posed on the steps of the Burritt Mansion. Committee Member Kirk Embry, ASM Martin Moore, ASM Jimmy Frye, Scoutmaster Bob Meek, ASM Jeff Hagerman, and ASM James Poyner.
Front Row:  Andrew, Zach, Kenneth, Matthew, Micah, Preston, and Henry.  Second Row:  Toby, Ronnie, Dawson, Noah, Gavin, Dylan, Brixton, Andrew, Tyler, and Henry. A tour guide talked to the group before we toured the spring house.
At this stop on the tour, the scouts got to see wool being carded then spun and a couple of the boys got to try it. This genuine antique cotton gin took the owners more than two years of work and research to restore.  It was powered by an antique tractor.