Troop 868 in Action

Summer Camp at Owasippe Scout Reservation (July, 2001)

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The troop rose early on Saturday morning and quickly packed.  Before leaving our site, the gang posed for a final group photo at Camp Wolverine.

BreakCamp.gif (54622 bytes) Pictured L to R are (front row) Chris, Ben, Philip (striking the pose that accompanied his part in the troop's song at the closing campfire the previous evening), Jonathan, and Jeremy; (middle row) Tyler, Dave, Sam, and Alex; (back row) Florencio and James.

All the horror movie fans out there will recognize the name Crystal Lake from "Friday 13th" fame.   In the movie, hockey masked Jason terrorized the staff of a summer youth camp.  Well, folks, Crystal Lake Road is only a couple of miles down the road from Camp Wolverine.  We were told by camp staff that Camp Crystal Lake actually existed and was at one time part of the Owasippe Scout Reservation.  Several scenes from the original Friday 13th movie were shot at Camp Wolverine and other locations around Owasippe.  But that portion of the reservation has since been sold and is now privately owned.  Crystal Lake actually exists but is on private property and the infamous camp is now a residence rather than a youth camp.  So the best we could do is a picture at the end of the road with our SPL to prove we camped for a week in Jason's backyard and survived!

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After a brief stop to purchase some groceries for lunch, it was back on the road for a drive across Michigan's lower peninsula to Dearborn.  In Taylor, MI (a suburb of Dearborn) we were graciously hosted by Jim Martino, Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 816 at St. Alfred Parish.  Mr. Martino welcomed us upon our arrival late Saturday afternoon and ushered us into St. Alfred's gym where we would stay for three nights.  At 8 AM Mass the next morning, we were graciously welcomed by Father Laesch and other members of the St. Alfred community.   One parishioner who worked at Greenfield Village approached us after the church service and gave us free passes for our entire group!  What an angel!  The parish youth group was conducting a car wash in the parking lot, so naturally we had to get a bath for the troop bus!  They did a great job scrubbing off several layers of smashed bugs and camp dust.  After they finished, our bus was yellow again!

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St. Alfred Parish in Taylor, MI hosted us for three nights.
The gym at St. Alfred School.
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Scouts couldn't wait to fire up the TV/VCR and watch -- you guessed it -- "Friday 13th" that Troop 816 Scoutmaster Jim Martino was kind enough to rent for them. The youth group at St. Alfred proved to be expert bus washers!

Scoutmaster Martino and several other members of Troop 816 accompanied us to Greenfield Village on Sunday afternoon.   Henry Ford established the village on land adjacent to the Henry Ford Museum.   Ford was concerned that America was forgetting its heritage, so he set about purchasing landmarks which he considered historically significant and having them dismantled and moved to Greenfield Village.  The park is a fascinating collage of small working farms, restored steam locomotives and antique cars, horse-drawn carriages, steam engines, and the birth homes and workshops of numerous famous Americans, all accurately restored and furnished.

The centerpiece of the collection is the entire Menlow Park complex which was moved from New Jersey along with 7 train loads of dirt so that it still stands on New Jersey soil.  It was here that Thomas Alva Edison invented the incandescent lamp in a second floor laboratory.  The Village also contains the Wright Brothers' bicycle shop moved from Dayton, OH and the home of Noah Webster moved from the campus of Yale University.  It was mostly in an upstairs study of this house that Webster labored 25 years to compose his famous dictionary.

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Alex stands near the tracks and water tank which serve the restored steam locomotives that run through the village. The second floor laboratory where Thomas Edison invented the incandescent light bulb.  Edison also invented the ticker tape machine, an automated telegraph, the phonograph, the dictating machine, motion pictures, and over 1,000 other inventions or improvements to other people's inventions for which he was granted patents.

On Monday (July 9) the troop visited the Henry Ford Museum.  The variety of the collection was amazing and included everything from cookware to household appliances, steam engines, vacuum tubes, radio, typewriters, telephones, toys, factory automation and robots, firearms, and (of course) even a few automobiles.  And this listing is far from complete.  There was too much to see everything in just one day!  The Museum also included several "hands on" exhibits.

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Jonathan, Tyler (head barely visible), and James participate in an activity at the Innovation Station inside the Henry Ford Museum.  The display simulated a factory environment in which workers produced a product --- sorting balls according to color --- by routing them through various processes..  Jonathan and Tyler operated one of the sorting machines. James was assigned the job of Energizer.  He and three other participants had to peddle a bike, walk a treadmill, and turn a hand crank to turn 3-story tall screws which lifted the colored balls from a bin below up to an overhead conveyor as the first step in the production process.

Following a good night's rest Monday night, the troop departed St. Alfred early Tuesday morning for the day-long drive back home to Shepherdsville, KY.  Cutting across northern Ohio to intersect with I-65 near Fort Wayne, IN, the troop made better than expected progress and arrived home nearly 3 hours ahead of schedule.  Thanks to modern technology, nearly all the scouts' parents were on hand to welcome us back.  After unloading the bus and stowing away troop gear, the gang posed for one final group photo before heading for hot showers, home-cooked meals, and a good night's rest!

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The weary travelers included (L to R) Scoutmaster Mark Freeman, SPL Dave, Florencio, Alex, Philip, Jeremy (behind Philip), Tyler, Chris (leaning over Tyler's shoulder), Jonathan (partially obscured), Ben, James, Sam, and Assistant Scoutmaster Bob Meek.

It was a GREAT trip and well worth the time, effort, and expense.  The weather was nearly perfect --- a couple of unseasonably cool nights at Owasippe, but sunny and comfortable every single day.   Three brief rain showers all occurred overnight.  The boys were universally well-behaved and the Scoutmasters received numerous compliments on their conduct everywhere we went.  No one got homesick or injured (beyond a few minor cuts and bruises).  No poison ivy.  The boys earned a bunch of merit badges and almost all achieved the advancement goals they had set for themselves prior to camp; several exceeded their goals.  One earned his BSA Lifeguard certification and the four who attempted it all completed the Mile Swim.  And the troop earned the Baden Powell Award, Owasippe's recognition for units which score high on daily campsite inspections and perform some other services.  It truly was a GREAT trip!

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