Hike On {Part 6}

How did we come to the day we leave the back country?  Even though it’s taken all of this summer and fall and what seems to be the start of winter to bring the conclusion of our time at Philmont the actual 11 days went by in a flurry.


Tuesday morning we broke camp for the very last time on the trail.  Jerry and Randy worked alongside the other adult leaders at Ponil to make a Chuck Wagon breakfast of pancakes and orange juice.  Breakfast was a perfect way to end our meal times on the trail.  Before leaving Ponil we rode horses throughout what was the original base camp of Philturn Rockymountain Scoutcamp. It was a lovely change of pace and a relief for the footsies. The canyon valley takes on a whole new beauty when atop a horse.  We leisurely rode with about 30 other scouts for an hour and made our way back to the stables before walking the 10 minutes to the buses waiting to take us back to base camp.


Riding in the school bus on the way back to base camp and driving past the site where we first hit the trail brought a flood of memories.  Only 11 days ago we crammed ourselves into a Red Roof Inn with 30 of our closest friends.  Just 11 days ago we looked fresh and dust free.  On July 12 we hiked the first four miles of our 97 miles.  That Saturday our history together as a crew was just taking shape.  Making our way off the bus on July 22 we were no longer the newbies.  We were veterans. You could tell by the cakes of dirt on our legs and the sheen of our hair and the scruff on Jerry and Randy’s faces we had not just survived Philmont we had lived Philmont.

Ponil Turnaround

Over the next few hours we enjoyed a meal we did not have to prepare from dehydrated foods, we walked into air conditioned buildings, we unloaded our gear and crashed onto cots…cots!  Going through the final steps of a “Home Bound” crew we managed to return all our gear, visit the trading post and most importantly SHOWER!  Some of us threatened to take a shower and then don our trail clothes from the train ride home.  The idea was quickly vetoed!  Once we were all duded up we hopped the bus headed for Cimarron, New Mexico.  Hitting up the local stores, stopping for ice cream and ordering fresh pizza was the perfect cap to a wonderful adventure.

Cimarron, New Mexico

There is a tradition at Philmont Scout Ranch when leaving Philmont property.  It is said when you look over your shoulder at the Tooth of Time fading into the distance you are bound to return to this enchanting land.  As we made our way to Raton every single head was turned to catch one last glimpse of the Tooth of Time in hopes to be able to return.

Philmont Scout Ranch

I Want to Go Back to Philmont.




The Gutting and Carving of Mr. Jack-O-Lantern

We have some extremely talented Crew members.  Last Sunday afternoon we had a crew meeting to discuss plans for the winter.  It looks like we’ll be fairly busy on the service side and we’ll throw in some fun every once in a while.  The masterminds of Crew 91 have Christmas shopping on the docket and stuffing Christmas food baskets, skiing and winter cabin camping all in the works.  Who says the winter has to be boring and only full of cold?

Pumpkin Carvin'Pumpkin Carvin'

A dozen or so pumpkins met their fate after our planning party.  Twelve little pumpkin stems were removed from their little pumpkin bodies and transformed into quite a fancy lot of Jack-O-Lanterns.

Pumpkin Carvin'

A little bit of everything was tried when it came to the creation of Mr. Pumpkin.  We had a couple video gaming pumpkins, some car memorabilia,  the St. Louis Cardinals made an appearance and the fancy trace and slice.  All in all a great Sunday meeting and a perfect way to spend a fall day!

Pumpkin Carvin'

It’s Been a While

Well, it’s been ages since we’ve posted about anything happening in the land of Venture Crew 91.  So we decided we’ll do one massive post with loads of pictures to get caught up on our happenings.

We participated in Relay for Life and had quite the blast.  There was a crazy marshmallow war that took place at the Bannister’s.  There were not any winners but the game was sure fun.  Try using the massive marshmallows, ripping them apart and then throwing them…they stick to your targets!  🙂

Relay for Life 2013

Four of our members traveled to West Virginia to participate in the National Scout Jamboree as members of Jamboree Crew F404!  What an awesome experience!  We’ll dedicate a whole post to the Jamboree.  There were just too many amazing things that took place for a synopsis.

Jamboree Crew F404

Jamboree Crew F404

Every year the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce holds the CornFest.  This year 125 dozen ears of corn were shucked, cleaned and steamed.  Members of Crew 91 served hundreds of Chillicotheans close 1500 ears of corn!  It was a great way to spend an evening giving back to our community.

Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce CornFest 2013

We’re headed to Philmont next summer and we’ve been getting ready.  Summer 2014 seems ages away but it’s never too early to start hiking.  We spent a Sunday morning right after Jamboree hiking the trails at Camp Wokanda.  It was perfect hiking weather and we’ll be hitting the trails for many months to come.

Philmont Prep Hike

We attempted to use our speed boat last Sunday and that turned into an adventure all by its self.  Attempt would be the operative word.  Our speed boat is super fabulous…when it runs!  We backed into the river and the boat was running.  The boat ran for maybe two minutes tops…while still on the trailer!  But never fear, Craig came to the rescue with his fancy fishing boat and saved the day.  The weather was perfect, the water was fine and who knew a fishing boat could haul a tube at speeds fast enough to almost barrel roll.

Rocking the Bannister Fishing Boat!

Rocking the Bannister Fishing Boat!

The summer has almost drawn to a close.  School resumes in our little town next week.  Just because the summer is about to end does not mean the adventures will cease.  We’re looking forward to an outstanding school year!

Relaying all the Time

This past weekend, despite the heat, we made our way to the track at Illinois Valley Central High School for this year’s Relay for Life of Chillicothe.  We had quite the showing of Crew 91ers and played a supporting role in many different capacities.

Relay for Life 2013

We kicked off the morning helping to clean out the concession stand.  There was a ridiculous amount of dust and the nacho cheese machine hadn’t been cleaned before the stand was closed for the season! Once the stand was cleaned we made our way to the football field to set up games for the kids.

Though there were not as many kids in the past that did not stop us from having a good time.  We blew bubbles, jumped in the bouncy house, played with the water, attempted Hilly Billy Golf and had ourselves a grand old time.

Relay for Life 2013

Yes, yes, we were there to walk the track and we did that too we just enjoyed ourselves in all the different activities.  Derick even participated in the 5K Glow Run and came in first place!  After Relay we made our way to the Bannister’s lawn and camped out.  Two individuals, who will remain nameless, stayed up through the night.  The crazies!

Relay for Life 2013

We had another successful year raising $2,170.37 for Chillicothe’s Relay for Life!  All in all, a wonderful way to spend a weekend!

What you can live without

Our little rendezvous at Ingersoll Scout Reservation this past weekend was full of fishing, hiking and freezing.  However, we had a fabulous time and despite our years of camping there were some lessons learned.

IMG_5231 Camp Ingersoll

Now, we did not forget anything pertinent to our survival but there were some things that would have been helpful.  🙂

Lesson #1:  Fire before fishing!  Yes, fishing is important especially if you want to eat dinner.  Nevertheless, locating firewood (dry firewood to be exact) is vital to warmth on a cold May evening.

Fishing at Camp Ingersoll

Lesson #2:  The age of a match!  Busting out an age-old patrol box and replacing ancient matches with new ones is very beneficial!  Thank goodness there were two boxes and two persistent ladies present.

Camp Ingersoll

Lesson #3: Know your friends!  When the ladies who actually get the wet firewood burning are in need of warmer sleeping bags the gentleman should be willing to relinquish their own.  Just when you thought you could count on your fellow man.

Lesson #4: Frying fish requires batter!  The fish have been gutted and cleaned.  Dinner is about to be fixed…no batter to fry the fish.  No worries Venturers can make batter out of anything: Corn Chex and Graham Crackers to the rescue.

Our Batter and Seasonings

Lesson #5: Check for seasonings!  Homemade sweet potato chips are the best!  Seasonings for said chips make them even better!  Never fear, the dregs from the pretzel bag will work in a pinch.


All in all a superb weekend!  The hiking was amazing, the fish delicious, the potato chips seasoned perfectly, the nights still freezing and a patrol box soon to be updated!

IMG_5228 IMG_5123

Goodbye in Her Eyes

No, we didn’t say goodbye to anyone. We worked the Zac Brown Band concert last night at the Peoria Civic Center! Man what a night.  The crew manned two concession stands and worked our fannies off. The afternoon started at 3:30 and we walked out the door at 11:30!

Between the two stands we made quite a haul.  We work hard but in the end the work pays off.  All those nachos and wrapping of hotdogs, the burnt fingers from cheese that’s too hot, comes in handy when you want to go on a high adventure. Sure you might dream of pretzels and cheese and a marching line of nacho trays for the next two nights but the tradeoff is beyond rewarding.


For a few of us slopping nachos and carting cases of water means we get to attend the 2013 National Scouting Jamboree! A handful of others will be able spend a week in Canada fishing to their hearts’ desires because of all those hotdogs.   Or hauling all those ice buckets and getting covered in relish and sauerkraut means a venturing family whitewater rafting trip in Tennessee.

No matter the event or how long the hours, we know we’ll always have a fantastic time running the registers at the Peoria Civic Center! The rewards are twofold: an incredible time together for a few hours a month and the opportunities to experience the great outdoors later.


The day the entire city thought would never come graced us with its presence today.  It RAINED!!!!  We’ve been waiting all summer for a day full of rain and rain it did!  First thing this morning the clouds rolled in thick and heavy and even activated street lamps.  No one was too upset driving to work in the semi-dark.  The rain was worth it!

Today’s awesome weather reminded us of a few storms we’ve survived.  Towards the end of one of our Philmont treks we were caught in rain and lightning.  We had to ‘assume the lightning’ position until the storm fizzled out.  Let’s just say we hope to NEVER crouch in the lightning position again!  Another wonderful adventure at Philmont left six of us playing endless hours of cards on top of Visto Grande.  The real kicker…we were crammed into a Philmont issued tent!!!  We were slightly smelly to say the least!

The most wonderful thing about a storm?  The glorious displays that follow.  Brilliant skies, double rainbows, magnificent colors, the contrast of dark skies and light.  There are wonderful storm skies to be had in your own backyard but there is just something about living through a storm and seeing the results first hand.  So standing on the top of Mt. Philips, looking over the ocean in the Florida Keys or watching the raging whitewater after rafting makes waiting out a storm so worthwhile.  The opportunity to experience the power of a thunderstorm and see the radiance following have all been through Venturing.  Without Venturing the smells of the Ponderosa Pines at 10,000 feet would never have been possible.  The smell of salt off the ocean and the rolls of sea foam would be non-existent.

Venturing is an opportunity.  An opportunity to go places you never would, to experience challenges on a whole new level, to build friendships that will last a lifetime and to be a part of something so much bigger than yourself.  Venturing is an opportunity of a lifetime.  What will you do with it?