Scouting All Summer

When asked, ‘What are you plans for the summer?’ being a Venture Scout has its advantages.  Summers are awesome and hold the keys to the great unknown, if you know where to look.  One member of our crazy crew will have plenty of stories to tell from the summer of 2014.

Trevor is a Life Scout of Crew 91 and the Senior Patrol Leader of Troop 50.  He has packed his summer to the brim.  Starting off the summer with a bang by participating in National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT), moving into three weeks working at Camp Ingersoll and then catching the train to Philmont Scout Ranch for two weeks makes for one massive summer of scouting!

Mr. Trevor

For the fourth summer in the W.D. Boyce Council, NYLT has been opened to Venture Scouts.  Trevor is the second member of Crew 91 to participate in NYLT and we’re so excited to see what leadership ideas he brings back to the crew.  National Youth Leadership Training is youth-led by previous graduates of NYLT and seeks to integrate modern leadership theory with the strengths scouting has to offer.  Every participant will discover what a leader must BE, what a leader must KNOW, and what a leader must DO.

National Youth Leadership Training

The next three weeks will be exhausting and amazing all at the same time.  Trevor will be working as a ‘floater’ at Ingersoll Scout Reservation in London Mills, Illinois.  Camp Ingersoll is our council summer camp offering Boy Scout troops an incredible summer full of activities, rank advancements and the opportunities to complete Merit Badges.  Mr. Trevor will be floating around camp serving wherever duty calls.  He’ll be busy at the waterfront, in Scoutcraft and a handful of other outposts leading by example and learning what it means to serve others before self.

Ingersoll Scout Reservation

After trekking all over Ingersoll Trevor will be throwing together everything he needs for a two week adventure at the epic Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico.  While at Philmont Trevor will serve as the trek Crew Leader while the group backpacks for 12 days through the mountains of New Mexico.  While there he will be able to put to practice the skills he learned at NYLT and the servant leadership he observed while on staff at Camp Ingersoll.

Philmont Scout Ranch

These are the best summers.  The summers that start off by learning new skills that move into serving others and then progress to leading a group of venturers through the backcountry make the most memorable of summers.  If anything, Trevor will be ready to take a real shower, crash into his own bed and share with others why scouting is really the best option for a jam packed, unforgettable summer.

 

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All Aboard!

Amazing, “The year has quickly gone by and we’re finally at Philmont Scout Ranch!”  That is what we’ll be saying in exactly three months.  On July 11, 2014 we will have arrived in Raton, New Mexico, jumped on buses full of Scouts and Venturers from all over the country and made our way to Philmont Scout Ranch.

Just 4 months!

Just 3 months!

It does not really seem possible all our hard work and preparations will be coming to life in only three months.  We will have left on Wednesday, July 10 from the Galesburg Amtrak station, said goodbye to all our family and started on a once in a lifetime adventure.  The train will take us all the way to New Mexico and after hours of card games, sleeping and riding a train for 18 hours we will have made new scouting friends.

Backpacks are too big for these!

Backpacks are too big for these!

 

The niftiest part of taking a train to Philmont is how full the train is with Scouts and Venturers following an 18 hour train trip.  When we catch the train in Galesburg we’ll probably be the only Venturers on the train.  By the time we’ve been on the rails for 10 hours the train will be filling up with boots, packs and water bottles.  Scouts and Veturers will swap stories, forge friendships and share past Philmont stories.  Then after 18 hours of a swaying train rolling through the mountains and prairies the train will be bursting with anxious scouters.

Sayonara, Mom and Dad!

Sayonara, Mom and Dad!

 

We have a lot of prepping yet to do but we are excited.  There are miles to hike and hills to conquer before we’re ready for the mountainous terrain of New Mexico.  But hiking on a weekly basis and setting up practice weekend trips will help us be prepared for anything.

 

The countdown has begun and the adventure awaits!

Just Three Months

Just Three Months

One Badge at a Time

Music Merit BadgeIt takes 21 Merit Badges to attain the rank of Eagle Scout.  There are 10 required badges and the other 11 badges can be selected based on personal interests.  One by one the required badges are sewn onto the Merit Badge Sash and soon the non-requireds join their brothers  to make a complete set.  The time, the dedication and the knowledge gained on the path might be a long one but full of excitement along the way.  Congratulations to Trevor for completing one more merit badge as he works towards the full set of 21!

Welcome to the Craziness

Three summers ago we spent a fabulous week at the wonderful Tomahawk Scout Reservation in Birchwood, Wisconsin.  The week was a Troop and Crew 91 shared adventure.  The troop participated in the fantastic Boy Scout programming while there and the five first-year scouts trekked their way alongside the crew.  While the Boy Scouts were working on merit badges and swimming we were enjoying ourselves in Tomahawk’s high adventure program.

Every day there was a different activity.  We went on a kayaking day trip, rock climbing, mountain biking, swimming and so many other amazing activities.  The really neat part about our trip included the side hikes and evenings spent with the Scouts.  Two of the young Scouts who went with us to Tomahawk are now members of our Venture Crew!

Camp Tomahawk 3 7.24.10 105

Just this past Sunday at our crew meeting we welcomed Cody as that second Scout from three years ago and we could not be more excited.  Three years ago Cody was just beginning to explore scouting.  Today, he has stepped into the craziness of Venture Crew life.  I guess our craziness didn’t scare him off!

Welcome to the Craziness!

On My Honor

Today a young man in our Venture Crew recommitted himself to those three simple words, On My Honor. In the scouting world those three words mean so much.  They encompass trustworthiness, loyalty, helpfulness, friendliness and the other eight points of the Scout Law. Today, Trevor completed his board of review to attain the rank of Star Scout.  We cannot be more proud.

Camp Tomahawk 2010

Trevor is the first Venturer of Crew 91 to work on Boy Scout requirements through the Crew with every intention of attaining the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout. He has become the first Star Scout of Venture Crew 91 and we wish him all the luck in the world. Before Trevor was even old enough to join the Crew he was an honorary member. He’s been around for what seems like forever. It’s hard to remember the crew without him.

A little 198 Buds

As your ambitions to achieve Eagle come closer and closer, Trevor, know you have the full support of the Crew. We will walk beside you as you work on those difficult Required Merit Badges. We will work alongside you as you plan, put into action and execute your Eagle Scout Project. We will stand beside you the day the Eagle Scout Medal is pinned to your uniform.

Camp Tomahawk 2010

We cannot wait to see where scouting takes you. Even more importantly, we are excited to watch you mature into a young man who lives by his honor.  Congratulations, Trevor.

That’s Handy!

As we all know the Boy Scouts of America is all about the preparedness!  One way units have become better prepared is through a partnership with the American Red Cross.  The Red Cross partnered with the BSA to develop Wilderness and Remote First Aid training.  Unit leaders are encouraged to be trained in WFA and it is required in order to attend any of the high adventure programs.  If you have not had the opportunity to receive this training contact your local council to see if they have anyone who can provide the training.  You can always contact your local Red Cross chapter for class availability as well.

But there is a really nifty new piece of preparedness information available to scouters these days!  The Red Cross just published a First Aid application for smartphones that is incredibly handy.  You can peruse anything from hypothermia to heart attack to shock and bleeding.  You select the type of injury or symptom and it walks you through how to respond.  And a really neat aspect of the app: it will give you links to other possible related first aid that could be required. And the best part about the Red Cross First Aid application?  It is completely and totally FREE!

Though we do not always allow electronics at scouting activities  it is very handy and easily downloadable!  We’re excited about the app but we sure are hoping we never have to use it!

Cache Lake Kodiak Challenge

A couple of us were a part of a council Venturing contingency that spent a week in Ontario, Canada at Cache Lake Camp.  Cache Lake is a W.D. Boyce Council camp in Canada and what a wonderful place to spend a week!  The trip up to Canada was quite the adventure!  For the first couple of  hours we had five people in our little Toyota Avalon.  We were barely in the car 30 minutes when the CD player broke, we stopped at a bazillion rest stops and Amariah and I took our sack lunches into Culver’s!!!  We stopped at a super neat place in Wisconsin full of animals,  an indoor waterfall and crazy fun hats.

oh the many faces

We spent the evening at L.E. Philips Scout Reservation in their very nice winter cabins.  The day was incredibly hot but we were able to go swimming and then enjoy a relaxing evening making survival bracelets, eating pizza and playing ultimate frisbee.  Very early in the morning we hit the last leg of trip and made our way to Handberg’s.  The two hour trip via boat from Minnesota to Cache Lake was gorgeous.  The lake was beautiful and we didn’t really get wet at all.  The Canadian customs people were super nice and then we rolled, okay, boated right into Bach Bay.

Oh Gregory!

We spent a wonderful week, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, cliff jumping, hiking, catamaraning, snarking, tubing and king of the docking.  Between all the fun we had a leadership lesson a day and a special activity.  We climbed French Mountain and let’s just say that was an adventure!  All 26 of us went hiking in an unknown direction, Amariah and I entertaining people or rather annoying everyone with our endless singing.  We ate wild blueberries, we found a nice set of antlers and only a couple of us slid down the rocks!  The view from the top was breathtaking.  We could have spent the entire afternoon up there and still we would not have been able to capture the beauty of the scenery.

The most exciting adventures were most definitely the cliff jumping, dock wars and tubing.  A little group of us started the initial jumping from Whale Rock right outside the Bach’s Bay.  We had a most amazing time and were all smiles as we left the rock and headed back for dinner.  So many of us had a a great time we decided to find a larger drop up the narrows a few days later.  The whole group went the next time around and it was absolutely glorious!  Amariah, Holden and Greg were quite the trio.  It didn’t take very long for the boys to decide to toss Amariah off the dock on the count of three.  It took a split second after that for all three of them to end up in the lake, fully clothed and back at it over and over again.  They were the first three to take the tube out on our little 25-horse motorboat, the first to flip the tube and the first to say let’s do that again!