Hike On {Part 5}

Our 10th day on the trail was a doozy!  The morning was a delightful walk across open prairie of Ring Place leaving our feet nice and soaked for the next 14 miles of our Philmont experience.  We made our way to Seally Canyon by way of bushwhacking through a most challenging terrain.  There’s nothing like starting the morning by crossing a barbwire fence and making straight for the hills, okay mountains.  Talk about a wake up at 6am!  The rock face and the boulders we walked among were stunning.  When we reached the peak we had two choices: 1) go around and add 3-5 miles to our day’s total or 2) go down the rock face straight into Seally Canyon.  We were all about covering the distance in the shortest amount of time so rock face it was.

Early Morning Look

Early Morning Look

Crossing the Barbwire Fence

Crossing the Barbwire Fence

The tricky part about traversing a rock face?  Yucca plants, cacti, loose rock and no real trail.  But the view across the open expanse of mountains and valleys was a beautiful trade off for an early morning start.  There is really nothing more breathtaking as the wide open spaces of Philmont Scout Ranch.  We survived the tumbling of rocks and the occasional pricking of a yucca plant and made it into Seally Canyon in record time.  We were greeted by an amazing swap box and potable water.

View of Seally Canyon

View of Seally Canyon

Hiking into Seally Canyon

Hiking into Seally Canyon

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The Mark of The Beatles

The very famous and infamous Beatles struck a pose on King’s Road that has lived in infamy for decades. Now, we don’t claim to leave a mark on Chicago for years to come but we sure know how to cross a busy street. Never fear, all precautions in the name of safety were taken before crossing the street. 🙂

One day it would be super sweet if we actually took a trip to England as a crew.  We could go to King’s Road and strike the famous Beatles pose.  But an even better reason for our crew to visit England would be W.D. Boyce.

William Dickson “W.D.” Boyce is the founder of the Boy Scouts of America.  Legend holds he was in London in 1909 and one very foggy night he became lost.  Boyce could not find his way when out of the fog emerged a young man who showed him the way. W.D. Boyce was very grateful to the young man.  He asked the youth why he had performed such an unexpected form of good service.  The young man replied he was just doing his good turn as a Boy Scout and would not accept a tip.  Boyce never saw the youth again.

Mr. Boyce was so intrigued by this young man, upon his return home he investigated the Boy Scouts and Sir Baden Powell.  A few months later, Boyce founded the Boy Scouts of America.  The Beatles made quite the mark on the music industry.  But the mark of the Boy Scouts of America on the young men, and now women, of the United States is far greater than any rock ‘n’ roll band.

So while going to King’s Road would be quite thrilling the real excitement would be walking the streets of London and being grateful to the Unknown Scout for assisting W.D. Boyce.  If it were not for the London Fog Venture Crew 91 might never have come into existence.

unknown scout

It’s Coming

The biggest scouting event of the year is only a few months away.  Come July 14 a whole passel of Scouts, Venturers and leaders will make their way to West Virginia to attend the 2013 National Jamboree.


summit5093224_nWe are most excited about meeting all the Venturers who will be in attendance at this year’s Jambo.  For the first time ever Venturers will be able to act as participants.  We have three youth and one adult attending the Jamboree this summer.

Crew 91 Venture Scouts will be a part of a combined contingent from the W.D. Boyce Council and the Lewis and Clark Council.  When we arrive at The Summit we will be camping alongside not only Venturers from around the country but with international scouts in Foxtrot Camp.

We are incredibly excited, to say the least, to be a part of a historical Jamboree.  We’ll keep you posted of our activities leading up to and during this year’s 2013 National Jamboree at The Summit!


A Venturing Weekend

What a weekend! Venturing was the name of the game as the weekend flew by in a blur.  Things started off Saturday night at the Heartland  District Volunteer Recognition dinner.

The whole evening was just wonderful. Heartland District had a very busy 2012.  Packs, Troops and Crews were recognized for their Journey  to Excellence achievements and for service to the community.  Adult volunteers received recognition for their efforts, commitment to youth and dedication to the district and council.

We were extremely humbled to be the recipient of a new council award this year, The Golden Shovel Award.  The award was created to recognize one unit from each Pack, Troop and Crew for their community service.  Our crew logged  682 hours of service in 2012.  All in all a very productive year for a crew of 18 members!  We were quite pleased and needless to say, slightly shocked to be informed of our accomplishments.

2012 Golden Shovel Award of Service

2012 Golden Shovel Award of Service

For the second year, Crew 91 achieved the highest ranking in the Journey to Excellence program.  We received the 2012 JTE Gold Award.  Now two gold ribbons grace the top of crew flag!

2012 JTE Gold Award

2012 JTE Gold Award

Sunday brought an early morning – Scout Sunday.  We joined Pack 91 and Troop 91 at the Chillicothe First United Methodist Church to celebrate the role the  Men’s Club has played in scouting.  For 70 years the Methodist Men’s Cub has sponsored Troop 91.  We were able to thank the Men’s Club for their years of service.  It is amazing to see all the former scouts and scouters stand during the church service.  There are so many who have been impacted by the scouting program.

Scout Sunday

Scout Sunday

Directly after Scout Sunday a handful of us made our way to the Peoria Civic Center.  We spent the morning and early afternoon prepping nachos, serving BBQ sandwiches and robustly singing age old rock songs.  The Civic Center hosted a fund raiser for a former employee.  Twelve bands played for 12 hours to raise money to help pay for medical bills and support his family.  It was a fantastic way to spend the morning.

Christ Fields Memorial Concert

Christ Fields Memorial Concert

If three Venturing activities was not enough Ashley had to squeeze in one last meeting.  There was a National Jamboree Meeting held at the council office Sunday night.  The day is quickly approaching when two charter buses loaded with Scouts, Venturers and Scouters will make their way to The Summit for the 2013 National Scouting Jamboree.

There is really no better way to spend a weekend than immersed in Venturing regalia, rocking out to fantastic music and doing so all in the company of amazing friends.

Toe Tag, Night Hikes and Bannister Waffles

If  there is one thing Crew 91 knows how to do well it would have to be partying!  We’re like one huge, happy-go-lucky family.  When we get together there are always bound to be laughs that cause your abs to hurt, crazy games no one else plays and adventures into the night.


This Christmas was no different and why would it be?  There were 30 Venturers and two honorary Venturers all packed into the OA Lodge at Camp Wokanda for a couple days following Christmas!  Apples to Apples was a riot.  The traditional Euchre game was full of hot air and big egos.  Our Finnish game of Toe Tag turned into a combo game of Toe Tag and Ninja.  Only a few hips and toes were left bruised.  🙂  But what kind of crew party would it be if there were no bruises?

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We played a wild game of Christmas Song Trivia.  Some of us know our Christmas songs and some of us should listen to the All-Christmas-All-Season-Long stations a little more faithfully.  We promise to not make your ears bleed with our singing of the classic, all time Christmas favorites.  Let’s just say we did not sound all that wonderful!  But we sure did have a good time and that’s all the matters.



The night was complete after our annual Bannister Night Hike in the frigid fresh air.  This year was a bonus year…we didn’t get lost, no one was left behind, no one fell and we all made it back in one piece.  Those who were not brave enough to conquer the Bannister Night Hike will have to step up to the plate next year or else!  We sang to our hearts’ content while watching O’Brother Where Art Thou?  We giggled, some of us snorted and there was at least one RedGreen Laugh!

While the boys crashed on the main floor the girls froze upstairs in the newly completed loft and we started the morning off right with the highly popular and ever in-demand Bannister Waffle breakfast.  All in all a really fabulous couple of days spent with the ever crazy and wild guys and gals of Venture Crew 91!

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A Delicious Gathering of Wood Badgers

You can always tell when Wood Badgers gather…there is non-stop singing. So on Sunday night the Beavers kicked off the Gilwell Song and I’d like to say we sounded wonderful but that would be a lie. 🙂 We sang our little hearts out and by the end of the first round we were pretty amazing, just saying.

The annual Wood Badge dinner is a wonderful way for old Wood Badgers and new Wood Badgers to reminisce and to share new stories. It is an even more amazing opportunity for leaders to recognize the importance of training and the impact it has on their home units. So many wonderful resources are gained from Wood Badge. Those resources come in the forms of material and human.

When you leave Gilwell Field you do not leave your learning experience behind. So many tools are provided to participants it can be overwhelming. The friendships bring so many ideas and knowledge. You have so many thoughts and ideas after Wood Badge and you know you can lean on your fellow Wood Badgers for guidance and support. The Gilwell Song is not the only thing that will stay with you for the duration of your scouting career. The friendships fostered, the knowledge gained, the thirst for additional training, the desire to improve your leadership and your unit stays with you forever. If ever an opportunity arises where you can participate in a Wood Badge course do so, it will be a decision you will not regret.
I used to be a Beaver, and a good old Beaver too. But now I’ve finished Beavering, I don’t know what to do. I’m growing old and feeble, and I can Beaver no more. So I’m going to work my ticket if I can. Back to Gillwell, happy land, I’m going to work my ticket, if I can.


Lee receiving his Beads!!