Troop 868 in Action

WILDCAT HOLLOW

(Friday~Sunday, May 17~19, 2013)
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The troop's May outing was a weekend tent camping trip to the Badgett Scout Reservation near Russellville, Kentucky.  The reservation is home to Camp Wildcat Hollow.  Wildcat Hollow is a hidden gem of a camp.  The camp was originally developed back in the 1960s by the former Audubon Council.  That council merged into the former Shawnee Trails Council that operated the camp for over 30 years during which is was only minimally maintained and permitted to decline in both popularity and use.  For the past decade, it has been used primarily by units local to the Russellville area for weekend camping, a week of Cub Scout day camp in the summertime, a week of NYLT, and an annual camporee or two.  In it's prime in the late 1960s and early 70s, Camp Wildcat Hollow was one of the premier patrol cooking Boy Scout camps in the country.

Today, the camp's swimming pool is closed down due to plumbing leaks and a deteriorating bath house.  Two lodges have burned down due to lightning strikes or camper carelessness and have not been rebuilt.  The main fields and several of the campsites have been kept mowed and are still in good condition, but others have become overgrown and some of the facilities are in need of repair.  It's sad to see the camp in its current condition.  Nevertheless, Wildcat Hollow is still a great place for weekend tent camping and the camp's lake is as clean and beautiful as ever, probably because is also serves as a reservoir for the water supply for the city of Russellville.  

On this visit, we camped in the Pine Ridge campsite which, as the name implies, is surrounded by large pine trees.  The site provided plenty of space for out patrols to spread out and operate independently.  Being 3 hours away, the sun was setting as we arrived and we set up our tents in the dark using flashlights (as we often do).  Having quite a few newer, less experienced scouts as a result of Webelos recently crossing over from Cub Scouting, it took most of our patrols longer than usual to get setup, but it was a good learning experience for the boys and nobody complained about the time.  Several patrols were eating dinner at midnight.

Overcast skies indicated a threat of rain throughout the weekend, but we really experienced only two relatively light and short showers.  We lucked out in that department.  But we still ending up with a bunch of canvas tents that weren't completely dry and which had to be spread out to dry then re-folded upon our return.  Oh, well ... this is going to happen every so often.

We didn't accomplish as much advancement as the scoutmasters had hoped, but all the boys working together in patrols prior to summer camp in June was a benefit unto itself, so the weekend was a success and everyone had a good time.  One patrol even managed to do some dutch oven cooking.  The experience didn't turn out too well, but the boys learned some good lessons and will be more knowledgeable for their next attempt.

 

Assistant Scoutmaster Jimmy Frye observes as Assistant Scoutmasters Waldo Guzman and Dylan Kallin adult a tent in the adult campsite. Thomas and Martin observe as Eric and Kenneth cook bacon for breakfast on Saturday morning.
Noah and Brixton work on cooking lunch. Assistant Scoutmasters James Poyner and Dylan Kallin team up to wash dishes following a meal in the Adult Patrol.
Overcast skies made things appear darker than they were as the flag was lowered on Saturday afternoon. Alex and Kenneth performed color guard with acting Senior Patrol Leader Brixton serving as Officer of the Day.
Scouts worked as a team to load gear onto the troop's truck as the unit broke camp on Sunday afternoon. The last thing done before leaving camp was to lower the flag.  Scouts stood in formation for the flag ceremony.