Council Conducting Program Strategic Plan
Eagle Scout Caleb Branum to be Honored at Distinguished Citizen Dinner
This Year's Scouting for Food
Popcorn Sale Reaches Goal!
OA Winter Banquet
Venturing: Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews
Winterfest 2012 has Arrived!
Camp Card 2012 Info & Promotional Items!
Scout Shop News
Camp Masters for Camp Buck Toms & Camp Pellissippi
2013 Jamboree Price Change
Boy Scouts Help Prepare for College With ACT Help and Scholarships
Bookshare
Camp Buck Toms & Camp Pellissippi Development Update
This is Scouting Training Change
Philmont 2012
Sign Up for This Year's University of Scouting!
Risk Management 101
Experienced Uniforms Needed
2012 Camp to Camp Canoe Trip
Scouts in Action!
The Scouter

The Scouter
The official e-newsletter of the Great Smoky Mountain Council
January 2012

The Mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. 


The Great Smoky Mountain Council 
is a proud partner agency 

 

 If you would like more information, email us.


 Council Conducting Program Strategic Plan


  The Great Smoky Mountain Council is conducting a long range strategic plan for council and district programs.  Toqua District Commissioner Bill Tribble has agreed to lead the planning process, which is scheduled to be completed in late 2012.  The Council will be sending surveys and asking for input from leaders, parents and Scouts in developing the plan.  Please support the strategic planning process through completion of surveys and attending feedback meetings.  Look for more information on how you can help “chart the course” for council programs.


 


 Eagle Scout Caleb Branum to be Honored at Distinguished Citizen Dinner


  In addition to recognizing Senator Bob Corker as the 2012 Distinguished Citizen, the Great Smoky Mountain Council will be recognizing Eagle Scout Caleb Branum at the February 17th event.  Caleb used his abilities to earn his Eagle Scout rank, even though he has Cerebral Palsy.  His trail to Eagle is one of courage and determination and his story will be a highlight of the event.  Coach Phil Fulmer and Senator Corker will take part in the Eagle presentation.  For more information on attending, please click here.  For more information about purchasing a table, please click here.


 


 This Year's Scouting for Food

The Scouting for Food drive is just around the corner.  The Great Smoky Mountain Council has partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank for 25 years gathering food and nonperishable items for the people in our community.  This food drive will help Second Harvest and local food pantries refill their supplies.  It is important for the communities for our units to become involved.

The Scouting for Food bags will be available at the January Roundtables for units to pick up what they need.  If for some reason you are unable to pick them up, please contact your District Executive to get them or stop by the Council Office.  Bag distribution is scheduled for Feb. 4th, 2012.  Bag pickup and food collection will be on February 11th, 2012.  Collection items can be delivered to a local food pantry, Second Harvest Food Bank in Maryville, the Scout Service Center in Knoxville from 9:00am to 2:00pm, or one of the collection centers in and around the Knoxville area.

Each unit will be assigned an area around its charter organization to distribute the bags.  We ask that each scout visit homes in a selected community and distribute bags to them.  The scout will then return the next Saturday to collect the food bags.

  • The scouts should be in uniform.
  • THE SCOUTS SHOULD NOT GO INTO ANY HOME.
  • Do NOT put bags in mail boxes.
  • Scouts should use the buddy system when delivering and collecting the bags.
  • Turn in the food to a local food pantry or a food collection site in your community.
  • Be sure to fill out the tally sheet for scouts participating and items collected and return it to the Scout Service Center no later than March 2nd.

If you have any questions, please contact Joey Andrews at 865-588-6514 Ext. 121 or joseph.andrews@scouting.org.


 Popcorn Sale Reaches Goal!

190 scout units sold over $950,000 in popcorn during the Fall of 2011! Wow!  What an accomplishment!  This is a 9.5% increase over 2010.  This equates to $665,000 of support for Scouting in East Tennessee.  Units earn commissions, Scouts receive prizes and help pay for scouting events, while the council receives revenue to support Scout units and families.  Thank you to all that purchased popcorn to help our young men fund their year of Scouting.

Don't forget about these upcoming events for High Achievers:

Regal Movie Day (sold $100+)                                January 21, 2012

     UT/Sports Day Clinic  (sold $650+)                        January 28, 2012                                     (CLICK HERE to view Basketball Game flyer)          

              Ice Bears Hockey Game (sold $650+)                 February 17, 2012                            (CLICK HERE to view Hockey Game flyer)

                          

                                                              

 


 OA Winter Banquet


  The OA Winter Banquet is a fun-filled time where all arrowmen from around the lodge get together for food, fellowship and yearly awards.  This year's banquet will be held Saturday, February 11, 2012, at Crown College.  Sign up today to come and enjoy a great meal with all your scouting friends.  The banquet will be followed by a vigil call out.  To register for this event and any other OA activities throughout the year, please CLICK HERE for the Pellissippi Lodge Universal Form.


 


 Venturing: Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews


  Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews (ILSC) training will take place this year on Friday, January 20, 2012, at 6:00pm-Saturday, January 21, at 1:00pm at Beaver Ridge United Methodist Church.  We will also have Venturing Leader Training on Saturday morning for the adults.  You must send an adult with your crew as a chaperone for Friday night.  Please sign your crew leaders up HERE for this great event!

   


 


 Winterfest 2012 has Arrived!


  Winterfest is a competitive-event and leadership training weekend held in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, every year.  Winterfest has occurred every year for more than 30 years!  In 2011, more than 3,100 participants converged in Gatlinburg for a great weekend of fun, events and fellowship.


 


  This event is open to all Venturers and Explorers. While the majority of participants are from the southeast, we have participants from as far away as Las Vegas and Boston. more information>>


 


  Contact Staff Advisor Marlon Allen at maallen@bsamail.org or (770)962-2105 with any questions or additional information.


 


 Camp Card 2012 Info & Promotional Items!

The Great Smoky Mountain Council would like to introduce you to the second annual CAMP CARD sale!  This is a new fundraising opportunity to sell cards which offer various local merchant discounts.  By selling these cards to friends, neighbors, coworkers and classmates, your unit's youth will earn 50% commission to help pay for camping experiences, gear and trips.  The 2012 offers have changed, and the 2012 Camp Cards will have TWICE the amount of offers and over $100 dollars in SAVINGS.  CLICK HERE to view full information on the new 2012 Camp Card promotional sales items!

The Camp Card is ONLY $5.00 to purchase which means it is even easier to sell them.  It offers more than $100 dollars worth of savings compared to last years $60 dollars worth of savings.  These are discount offers that can be used over and over until December 31, 2012.  This year, we will have 3 Break Off tabs for our One time use section.  These will be Food City  with $5 off (NEW), Walgreens 15% off and Nantahala Outdoor Center $5 off.  So, the more you use your card throughout the year the more you will continue to save!

We will host a Camp Card kickoff meeting at the GSMC office on February 29th at 7:00pm.  This will also be the night your Pack, Troop, Crew and Explorer post will receive their cards to begin selling.  The sale will continue until May 14th, and all money and UNSOLD cards are due back into the office by May 21st. 

If you and your Scout Unit would like to sell Camp Cards, please fill out the Unit Commitment Form found on our website and this will preorder your cards.  Once you have completed your short commitment form, all you will need to do is have someone from your group attend the February 29th meeting to get your Camp Card Kickoff kit and youth sales guide!

We are delighted to have this as another opportunity for your Scouting unit to raise additional funds to help provide the programs your scouts want and deserve!  You can also visit our website at http://www.bsa-gsmc.org/ for the 2012 Camp Card Guide, or call Paul Sharp at (540)-872-6800 for additional questions.

In addition to your group receiving the 50% commission, we will also have additional prizes such as Camp Scholarships, an Eagle’s Nest and a Camelbak Antidote Hydration Day Pack!

 


 Scout Shop News


  For all of your Pinewood Derby needs visit the Knoxville Scout Shop!  We have in stock precut wedge cars, precision tools, weights, graphite, wheels, books, paint and stickers.  We also have scales, practice tracks and Pinewood Derby car kits.  Visit the Knoxville Scout Shop, your one stop shop for Pinewood Derby. 


 


  Blastcar is an exciting new racing event using custom-built cars powered by CO2 fuel cannisters.  We have all your supplies at the Knoxville Scout Shop.  Blastcar is a merit badge driven activity intended for Boy Scouts.  The activity may be used toward Model Design & Building, Woodworking and Woodcarving merit badges.  Scouts even build their own track, choose from downhill, all-terrain, dragster or your own design.  Visit the Knoxville Scout Shop to start this exciting event in the Troop. 


 


  Knoxville Scout Shop, 1333 Old Weisgarber Rd, Knoxville, TN 37909. 865 588-1940.  We will be happy to ship your order too!


 


 Camp Masters for Camp Buck Toms & Camp Pellissippi


  The Camp Master program is up and running at Camp Pellissippi.  For the previous five weeks, Camp Pellissippi has had a volunteer in the Camp Master Cabin (The Anna Bruce Cabin) to give guidance and instruction to the units visiting the camp.  The Camp Master Program for Camp Buck Toms will start as soon as camp reopens after the construction.  If you are interested in being a Camp Master, please contact Jeff Bays or Jennifer Williams at the Council Office (865-588-6514) for more information.


 


  The CampMaster Corps is a group of selected, trained, registered Scouters who serve at all council short-term camps whenever Troops, O.A., Webelos dens or packs are using any part of the camp property.  CampMasters select their own time and frequency of service, but usually serve 3 to 6 times a year.  The group is organized under the leadership of the Council Camping Committee.  The entire project and its personnel are responsible to the Director of Support Services.  The Corps generally meet twice a year to evaluate their program, schedule and to arrange for the training of any new members.


 


  Camp Masters are selected on the basis of their ability in several areas; for example, outdoor skills, specialized knowledge of nature, conservation, field sports and leadership skills.  All Camp Masters must have a working knowledge of Scouting, troop operation, Scout advancement and Webelos Camping.  Any registered Scouters are eligible for consideration as Camp Master (it is generally conceded that a unit leader’s major concern must be the unit he serves).


 


  The training prerequisite is New Leader Essentials or its equivalent.  In addition, Wood Badge training would help the Camp Master meet the needs of the unit but is not required.


 


 2013 Jamboree Price Change


  Experience the new permanent home of the National Jamboree, The Summit Bechtel Reserve.  Located in New River Gorge, West Virginia, you can experience world-class activities and amazing adventure facilities from sun up to sun down.  The 2013 National Jamboree will be held July 15-July 24, 2013.  The Summit will house 20 sub camps in 5 villages, each within 1.5 miles of the Summit Center.  The Great Smoky Mountain Council will take a contingent of 5 Scout Troops (180 Youth and 20 Adult Leaders) and 2 Venturing Groups (16 youth and 4 Advisors). 


 


   


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


  Due to the recent changes to National Jamboree 2013, the fee has been decreased.  The change of pricing in travel expenses, items the Jamboree is providing and supplies has now been dropped to $1,150.  If you are interested in your Scout attending the National Jamboree 2013, feel free to contact Jennifer Williams at (865-588-6514) ext. 145.


 


  Qualifications for Scouts:


 

     

  1.   Be at least First Class Scout at the time of attendance at Jamboree.

  2.  

  3.   Have completed the sixth grade or be at least 12 years of age by July 1, 2013.

  4.  

  5.   Participate in pre-jamboree training.

  6.  

  7.   Submit a complete BSA Medical Form.

  8.  

  9.   Be approved by his Scoutmaster and the Local Council Jamboree Committee.

  10.  

 

 


  Spots are filling fast, so hurry to reserve a spot.  A payment schedule is currently posted in the “News” on http://www.bsa-gsmc.org/.


 


  CLICK HERE to reserve your place and submit to the Council Office with your $100 deposit.


 


   


 


 Boy Scouts Help Prepare for College With ACT Help and Scholarships

Below are three articles on how young men who further their Boy Scout careers can also further their college careers and future.

SAT/ACT Software Available to Scouts

NFL and MLB players support eKnowledge donation of free SAT/ACT software to Boy Scouts of America families.

In alliance with the Boy Scouts of America, eKnowledge is offering SAT and ACT test prep programs valued at $200 free to Boy Scout families.  The eKnowledge Sponsorship Alliance is made up of educationally focused foundations, as well as a group of professional athletes from the National Football League and Major League Baseball that includes Warrick Dunn and Chipper Jones.  The eKnowledge Sponsorship Alliance has provided more than 120,000 SAT/ACT prep programs to families all over the United States.

“I believe in using my gifts and public image to help the community,” said Chipper Jones, six-time All-Star and future Hall of Fame baseball player.

Now in its fourth year, the eKnowledge Sponsorship Alliance has donated more than $26 million of SAT/ACT test preparation programs.  In response to the donation, eKnowledge has received more than 40,000 thank-you letters from those who have benefited from the test preparation programs.  The PowerPrep™ program helps prepare students to take the exams and increases student confidence, which can result in higher test scores and thousands of dollars in scholarships.

EKnowledge recently announced the arrival of the new v6x SAT/ACT PowerPrep™ software; v6x was in development for more than two years at a cost of $1.5 million.  It includes more than 20 hours of video instruction, 3,000 files of supplemental test prep material, thousands of interactive diagnostic tools, sample questions, practice tests and graphic teaching illustrations.  The new PowerPrep™ v6x software is Mac- and PC-compatible.

Families interested in obtaining the FREE $200 v6x SAT/ACT PowerPrep™ Programs may order online at www.eknowledge.com/bsa or by calling 951-256-4076.

There is a fee of $13.84 (per standard program) which enables eKnowledge to provide technical and customer support, registration, licensure, processing, handling and worldwide shipping.  This nominal fee allows the sponsorship alliance to continue helping thousands of students each year.

For more information, please contact Lori Caputo, ESA Programs, at LoriCaputo@eknowledge.com  or 951-256-4076. (This article can be found at http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Media/eKnowledge.aspx).

New $10,000 Scout Award to recognize top scouts

Lipscomb University officials recently announced the launch of a new Scout Award beginning in 2012 to honor scouts attending the university who have achieved the top rank in their scouting organizations.

The Scout Award is a $10,000 award for any incoming freshman who is accepted to Lipscomb University and has received the Boy Scouts of America’s Eagle Scout Award, Venturing Silver Award or Sea Scouting Quartermaster Award; the Girls Scouts of America’s Gold Award, or the American Heritage Girls’ Stars and Stripes Award.  The funds are distributed in $2,500 increments each year for up to four years and are applied to room-and-board charges.

“Lipscomb University is proud of what these students have accomplished as scouts, and we are proud to be able to recognize them for it.  We believe students who have succeeded as scouts have demonstrated a strong ability to lead, a genuine commitment to their communities and a level of personal integrity that sets the standard for their peers.  These qualities are those that we look for in our students,” said Lipscomb President L. Randolph Lowry.

The Scout Award is one of the largest of its kind in the nation available to scouts.

“Scouting provides today’s youth with the leadership skills and moral values they need to be successful in college and beyond. We’re honored that Lipscomb University recognizes the discipline and character it takes to become an Eagle Scout and the difference scouting can make in a young man’s life,” said Hugh Travis, Scout Executive for the Boy Scouts Middle Tennessee Council.  “This new scholarship program is a truly remarkable opportunity to receive a world-class education, and we couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it.  The size of the scholarship makes it one of the most generous in the nation available to youth receiving the Eagle Scout Award, Venturing Silver Award and Sea Scouting Quartermaster Award.”

This award is designed to encourage more students to participate in scouting and to work to earn the top award in their organizations.

“This scholarship is of great significance because it will encourage more girls to earn the Gold Award, Girl Scouts’ highest honor, and continue in college to build on that commitment of service.  We are proud to partner with Lipscomb University in preparing Girl Scouts for future success,” said Agenia Clark, CEO of Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee.

To apply for the Scout Award, applicants should contact the Lipscomb University Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 615.966.1776.

Eagle Scout Scholarships

The Council Advancement Committee is pleased to take this opportunity to inform you of the many scholarships available to Eagle Scouts.  There are three types of scholarships:  Local, Regional, and National.  Please review and become familiar with their deadlines and application process.

  • Local Scholarships:
    • George W. & Helen F. Fry Eagle Scholarship and the Larry A. Fleming Eagle Scout Scholarship are both awarded at the Annual Eagle Scout Recognition Banquet. Separate invitations to this event will be mailed to you and your family.
    • In 2012, the Lawrence Strader Boy Scouts of America Scholarship will be making one award, of $3,000 per year, renewable for up to four years, to a graduating senior member of Boy Scouts of America, Great Smoky Mountain Council. The ETF Scholarship Guide and Application are now available at East Tennessee Foundation's website, www.easttennesseefoundation.org.
  • Regional Scholarships:
  • National Scholarships: http://www.nesa.org/scholarships.html
    • NESA (National Eagle Scout Association)
    • Academic/Merit/Religious/Service Project
    • Civic/Military (6 separate)

 

    

 


 Bookshare


  The BSA signed a Memorandum of Understanding that cements a partnership aimed at improving the Scouting experience for boys and girls with print disabilities.

 

  Bookshare’s cool online library (
bookshare.org) allows Scouts in your pack, troop, team, or crew to “listen to books, see words and hear them read as they are highlighted on a screen, read in Braille, and much more.”

 

  The best part?  It’s free for U.S. students with a qualified print disability (visual impairment, a physical disability, or a learning or reading disability).


 


  For more info, visit:

  http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/bks-scout.pdf

 

  http://blog.bookshare.org/2011/12/02/boy-scout-manuals-on-bookshare/


 


 Camp Buck Toms & Camp Pellissippi Development Update


  “Amazing” is the word one recent visitor used to describe the changes taking place at Camp Buck Toms and Camp Pellissippi.  Most of the 85 adirondacks are in place in the campsites, and the 10 shower houses are 75% completed.  The Ranger’s residence is being completely renovated and should be completed by the end of January.  The Central Shower facility is being completely refurbished and will be equipped with toilets and showers with stalls.  The electric lines running through the camp are being buried and new water lines installed.  Power will be run to the COPE and climbing area.  The old staff trailers have been removed and the new staff village with a shower house and 15 cabins will be constructed this spring.


 


  At Camp Pellissippi, the ranger’s residence has been renovated and adirondacks are currently being constructed.  A new shower house and gateway are planned for this spring.  With additional donations to the capital campaign, a maintenance facility, a parking lot and a floating dock will be completed.


 


  Currently, the Capital Campaign has raised $2,813,000 of the $4 million dollar goal. To learn more on the campaign or to make a contribution, please call or email Scout Executive Larry Brown.


 


  To see what is going on at camp, visit http://www.bsa-gsmc.org/ and view the videos of the work in progress and improvements.  Check the website often for updated videos and progress reports. 


 


  Camp reservations for the 2012 camping season are open and filling up quick.  If your troop has not visited the website to reserve your week for 2012, please visit http://www.campbucktoms.org/ as soon as possible to complete you reservation.  Remember, you are not reserved until you visit the website and follow the reservation instructions.  If you have any questions or need help with the online process, please contact Jennifer Williams at 865-588-6514 or jwilliams@bsamail.org.


 


 This is Scouting Training Change

This is Scouting will be removed from the list of necessary trainings for an Adult Leader to be considered “trained” in 2012.  For the remainder of 2011 however, This is Scouting will still be a training requirement for leaders along with Youth Protection and Leader Specific.


 Philmont 2012

Great Smoky Mountain Council (GSMC) is accepting applications for Philmont 2012.  Projected dates for the event are June 14-27, 2012.  Please note the total amount due has been changed to $1,800 so the last payment is reduced to $150.  All other payments remain the same.  Price includes air fare, Philmont tuition and council uniform items.  Some scholarships are available.  Troops are limited to no more than one fourth of the contingent and no more than one third of a given crew. 

Contact Jennifer Williams at the GSMC Service Center at 588-6514 to make an initial deposit of $400 and for the complete payment schedule as well as other application requirements.  Deposits must be made on a by name basis for each applicant and do not constitute acceptance into the contingent but serve as a notice of commitment by the applicant.  Payments must be made on schedule even before selections are made.  Participants will be selected in early 2012.  Those not accepted will receive full refunds.  Do not submit deposits without applications, and please ensure that you are aware of the GSMC High Adventure Refund Policy.  Contact BSA volunteer, Dave Johnson, at JohnsonDH2@aol.com or 482-3577 between 6am and 8pm for additional information before  submitting your deposit/application.

 

 


 Sign Up for This Year's University of Scouting!


  The largest training course offered by the Great Smoky Mountain Council is right around the corner!  The University of Scouting will be in session on Saturday, March 3rd, 2012.  Don't forget to sign up for the Early-Bird Registration and be sure to spread the word in your unit!  Courses will be offered for Cub Scout leaders, Boy Scout leaders, Venturing leaders and District Committees.  There is literally something for everyone who is interested in gaining some serious knowledge about Scouting leadership and volunteering in general.  The courses are all very specific and plentiful.  Online registration will be up and running by Friday, November 4.  For questions, contact Christian Nelms at cnelms@bsamail.org, or Lynn Bates at echotascouter@comcast.net.


 


 Risk Management 101


  The old joke goes, "What is the only difference between the Army and the Boy Scouts?"  The answer:  "the scouts have adult leadership".


 


  BSA has a sweet sixteen of BSA Safety.  Number nine is qualified supervision.  Every BSA activity should be supervised by a conscientious adult who understands and knowingly accepts responsibility for the well-being and safety of the children and youth in his or her care.  The supervisor should be sufficiently trained, experienced and skilled in the activity to be confident of their ability to lead, to teach necessary skills, and respond effectively in the event of an emergency.  Field knowledge of all applicable BSA standards and a commitment to implement and follow BSA policy and procedures are essential parts of the supervisor's qualifications.


 


  Have a copy of the "Guide to Safe Scouting for Unit Activities" and take it to every event.  For more information, consider taking the Health and Safety Training Course at the University of Scouting on March 3, 2012, at Crown College.


 


 Experienced Uniforms Needed

Calling all Units and Scout Families – Are you looking to do a good deed? The GSMC needs your help to restock our supply of gently used Scouting uniforms.  These are made available (by individual request) to youth that may not otherwise be able to enjoy the benefits of having a uniform.  We specifically need shirts/pants/etc for Tiger Cubs (grade 1) and Cub Scouts (grades 2-3), but no donation will be turned away.  Also, if your Unit happens to be upgrading your camping supplies (tents/backpacks/cooking items) and is willing to donate the previously used items, that would be helpful as well. Contact District Executive, Anthony Ingram, at 865-566-0644 or via email at Anthony.ingram@scouting.org. Thank you.

 


 2012 Camp to Camp Canoe Trip


  The Great Smoky Mountain Council is sponsoring a 100 mile high adventure Scout/Venturer canoe trip from Camp Pellissippi to Camp Buck Toms in 2012.  Participants will report to Camp Pellissippi on Saturday June 2nd, 2012.  They will travel over 100 miles by canoeing Norris Lake, the Clinch River, Melton Hill Lake and finish at Camp Buck Toms on Watts Bar Lake on Friday June 8th.

   

  This contingent will be very similar to a trip to Northern Tier National High Adventure Base.  The contingent will consist of 4 crews of 11 and a guide.  The contingent will have at least one preparatory meeting and a practice canoe outing before the trip.  The crews will be independent and will consist of at least 2 adults and will camp and cook as a crew.  Equipment will be transported by truck and trailer as the canoes are not big enough to carry 3 people and their gear.

   

  The scouts will have the opportunity to work on, in part or whole, at least the following: Canoeing MB, Camping MB, Cooking MB, Fishing MB, Fly Fishing MB, Orienteering MB, the 50 Mile Afoot/Afloat Award and associated Venturing requirements.  Other merit badges may be offered depending on the adult make-up of the trip.

   

  Requirements:  Scouts will have to be First Class, at least 13, pass a swimmers test and have the approval of their Scoutmaster.  Coed Venturers will have to be 14, pass a swimmers test and have the approval of their Crew Advisor.  The cost of the trip is $100 of which a $50 deposit is required at sign-up.  Adults will have to pass a swim test, and canoeing experience would be very helpful.  Adults must be approved by the Council.  For more information, please contact Thomas Pendleton at 865-789-4997 or thomastr911@yahoo.com or Jeff Bays at 865-588-6514.


 


  Please CLICK HERE to register for this event.

   


 


 Scouts in Action!


  Practice and Prepare


 


  Troop 73 is planning a 50 mile backpacking outing for Spring Break 2012.  That outing will be a significant undertaking for the boys and adults of the troop.   It will require lots of practice and preparation.  The first part of that process is to try some backpacking.  Many of our younger youth had never put on a backpack, let alone tried to carry it loaded with camping equipment for any distance.  Trying to insure successful practice, Assistant Scoutmaster Robert Spurling planned a two pronged outing for the weekend of December 10-11, 2011.  With the variety of ages of boys in the troop (11-17) and experience levels, we took two separate groups on two separate routes...(To view whole article, CLICK HERE. To view additional photos of this outing, CLICK HERE)


 


   


 


  Surviving with Troop 73


 


  It’s been two months since Troop 73 has been camping (In October we went on a day outing to the John Sevier Range in Halls for a day of shooting).  When the boys decided they wanted to do a Wilderness Survival Outing in November, I was a little skeptical.  However, we like to have the boys make decisions about what they want and when they want to go.  So, on Saturday November 19, we assembled in the parking lot of the Norris Religious Fellowship for our 2011 Wilderness Survival outing...(to view full article, CLICK HERE).