Troop 868 in Action

CAMP RANSBURG

(Friday~Sunday, August 10~12, 2012)
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The troop's August outing was a weekend tent camping trip to Camp Ransburg near Bloomington, Indiana.  The troop last visited this camp back in March, 2010.  Upon arrival, we found that we pretty much had the camp to ourselves.  Some college fraternity was holding some kind of training conference at the camp, but they were mostly indoors in meetings and we saw very little of them.  The camp ranger told us that one other troop would be in camp to spend one night while traveling from Tennessee back home to Michigan, but we never saw them.

Due to a water line problem, the camp ranger put us into the Hickory Ridge Campsite rather than the one we had reserved.  This was actually a very welcome switch because the Hickory Ridge site was larger, more level, and had new wooden tent platforms with metal frames.  We were able to pitch our canvas wall tents over the frames in a matter of minutes and didn't have to food with poles or tent stakes!  Since it was nearly 10 PM and dark when we arrived in camp, this was a welcome surprise.

We had hoped to go swimming, but the camp had already secured their waterfront and taken out all the ramps and marker buoys, so we really didn't have a well-defined swimming area and a couple of scouts in our group aren't yet good swimmers, so we nixed that plan.  Instead, scouts spent the weekend concentrating on their cooking skills, doing some plant identification, and working on other miscellaneous advancement tasks around the campsite.  Several boys completed rank advancements or merit badges.  The boys really didn't get out and do a lot of exploring around the camp ... which was kind of surprising.  There was a meteor storm both nights and several of the boys did walk to the main parade field to lay on the grass and watch for shooting stars.

We had a smaller than normal group --- only 12 scouts.  We're not sure if it was school had just started or if boys were fearful of the weather being hot and miserable?  But the weather was fantastic!  After a long summer of hot days and nights, the nights were cool enough that several people put on sweatshirts after dark and the daytime highs were in the 70's or low 80's --- we just couldn't have asked for better weather.  The guys who skipped this outing, really missed out on a great campout.

Cooking breakfast in the Beaver Patrol.  Standing:  Noah, Brixton, and Nicholas.  Seated:  Alex and Toby. Getting ready to eat in the combined Cobra/Falcon Patrols:  Dylan, Zach, Gavin, Tyler, Spencer (standing), and Preston.
Pancake production in the Beaver Patrol.  Nicholas, Toby, Alex, Noah, and Brixton. Mr. Jacobs (who has a well-deserved reputation for burning food) showing two picture-perfect grilled cheese sandwiches.
Seated around the table in the combined Cobra/Falcon Patrols:  Tyler, Spener, Preston, Dylan, Shawn, Zach, and Gavin. Tyler laughs as Gavin tries to display a folding chair that collapsed when he tried to sit in it just moments before.  Things wear out and break.
Nicholas reads the scripture lesson from the Bible during our Sunday morning worship service. The troop gathered for worship on Sunday morning in the camp's outdoor chapel which was only a short walk from the Hickory Ridge campsite.
As we packed up and prepared to leave camp, Nicholas secured the Beaver's Patrol Box. On the way out of camp, we stopped to take a photo near the Camp Ransburg sign at the camp entrance.  Standing, L to R are Spencer, ASM Tom Jacobs, Preston, Tyler, Nicholas, and Dylan.  Seated, L to R are Gavin, Noah, Shawn, Brixton, Zach, Alex, and Toby.