Pomp and Circumstance

May always seems to be a flurry of activity.  Between weddings, and graduations and the occasional Venturing activity the month quickly fades into June.   We don’t know about you but is it hard to sit through graduations ceremonies without thinking of Scouting songs?  It is for us!  One particular song automatically starts rolling through the brain…My Turtle Swims Sideways.

Inevitably as soon as Pomp and Circumstance makes its way into the audience this little ditty comes to mind:

My turtle swims sideways

Your turtle swims upside down

My turtle swims sideways

Your turtle is dead!

Tank the Turtle

 In our little crew we have had quite the graduation season.  We have one crew member graduating from every level of education.  We cannot be more proud of all everyone has accomplished and cannot wait to see what their futures have in store.

 

Graduating from Chillicothe Elementary Center is our dear Megan.  Megan has been hanging out with the crew for the past 7-8 months as an unofficial member of the crew.  In order to be a full-fledged youth in any Venture Crew you must be either 14 years old or 13 and completed 8th grade.  Well, congratulations, Megan!  You’ve successfully conquered junior high and are heading off to high school!

Crew 91 Graduates

Leaving Illinois Valley Central High School as a well-rounded senior is our enthusiastic Tanner.  Tanner has quite the scouting career starting as far back as a Cub Scout, moving into Boy Scouts, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout and joining Crew 91.    Kudos to you, Tanner and best of luck as you attend Illinois Central College this fall!

Crew 91 Graduates

Not to be excluded from the excitement, Arielle graduated from Moody Bible Institute with a Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Counseling.   Though too old to be a youth of Crew 91, Arielle made the transition to Associate Crew Advisor as soon as she was eligible.  Congratulations on a job well done for successfully navigating through the challenges of college life!  Best wishes as you hit the pavement!

Crew 91 Graduates

So the next time you’re sitting through graduation and cannot wait for Pomp and Circumstance to quit repeating itself, just sing a Crew 91 favorite: My Turtle Swims Sidesways.

My turtle

Saying Goodbye to 2013

We like to party.  Plain and simple.  Party we did right before Christmas.  We had a little snow and as a special treat one of committee members brought everyone a snowman.  The little card read as follows:

Money is scarce and times are hard. 

So I’m giving you this instead of a card.

Something to use, something to share. 

So bottoms up, just ’cause I care!

Merry Christmas!

Toilet Paper Snowmen

A few fancy games were played and most scrumptious food was enjoyed.  There can’t really be anything better than embarrassing yourself in front of your whole crew.  It’s a good thing we don’t embarrass very easily.  To get things started we played No Hands Cookie.  It is fairly simple really, you place any old cookie on your forehead and without using your hands you must get the cookie into your mouth.  Oh the many faces you’ll discover while trying to move a cookie across your face!

Eat the Cookie!

We take gift wrapping very seriously, as we should.  We wrap loads of gifts every year for the Chillicothe Community Needs Agency.  We took wrapping to a whole new level this year.  In teams of three with each team member allowed to use only one hand, teams had to wrap two packages complete with creased edges and bows.  There were points added for bows matching the paper, strict adherence to the one arm per person rule and bribing the judge.  The creative juices were flowing when figuring out how to cut tape with only one hand.

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Following instructions is important, especially when drawing what you cannot see.  Some were more capable at scribbling on the plate atop their heads while others shouldn’t quit their day jobs.  Using a paper plate and instructions read by one player we had to draw exactly what was read, a fire place with a mantel, a Christmas tree with a shining star.  Some even attempted to cheat!  Who would ever think of cheating to get ahead in a little old party game?  Let’s just say we are not hitting the road anytime soon as local artists.

Artists in the Making

We are hilarious, that’s all there is to it.  We had each other cracking up at our funny faces ‘eating’ cookies.  Laughed at each other’s strategic plans to wrap gifts with only three hands.  And enjoyed scoring each others paper plate masterpieces.  Just too much fun was had by all.  What can we come up with next?  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Man is It Beyond Frigid!

The weather has turned slightly cold here in Illinois.  Who would have thought a few days ago we were in the 40s and today we’re barely in the positive digits!  Even though the weather turns your breath to ice there are still a bazillion things to do out doors…if you’re daring enough.

Now, we’re not saying we have braved the cold the past few days…crazy has to have its limits, we just thought we’d comment on the cold. 🙂

In a couple of days the gang will be getting together to plan the upcoming year.  A lot of crews plan for the year in the fall but we have always done our planning in the spring.  On the docket is our 2013 Relay for Life team, maybe a trip out West, Philmont in 2014, crazy summer river activities, camping at Ingersoll and whatever else our little imaginations conjure.

We’ll have a good time on Sunday and hopefully we’ll actually get things accomplished but what I love about our group are our not-planned hangout days.  A group of 12 of us decided to catch a movie this past Sunday, Lincoln.  The movie was excellent but being together for a few hours was even better.  We passed popcorn up and down the isles, crawled over each other to get refills and only attempted to trip each other once or twice.  If one movie wasn’t enough four of us went to another movie right after.  That’s what makes our crew special, we’re not just crew members, we’re friends.  No I take that back, we’re a family.

Life Crew 91

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Alco, Monicals and the Bauer’s House

There is no better way to spend an evening than shopping at ALCO, eating pizza at Monical’s and destroying the Bauer Family’s living room all in the name of Christmas!  That is exactly what we did tonight.  Every year the Chillicothe Community Needs puts together Christmas baskets with food and presents for local families who need assistance at Christmas time.  And Venture Crew 91 participates every year and it is possibly our most favorite service project of the year.  This year we also decided to support the St. Edwards Giving Tree.

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To pay for our Christmas gifts we work at a local second hand store, Helping Hands.  We volunteer one week out of the year and then the groups who work during that week receive a portion of the proceeds.  And each year we decide to give back to the community with the funds we raise at Helping Hands.

This year we bought Christmas gifts for 18 local children and this Christmas there should be a handful of very excited children.  What 10-year old boy does not like a Nerf gun for Christmas? Our thinking, if we still like to play with Nerf guns at our campouts what little munchkins wouldn’t like an arsenal of Nerf toys of their very own?  And of course we picked out our classic favorite toys by Fisher-Price and Melissa & Doug.  And we want to make sure our skateboarders are safe so we made sure to pick out spiffy helmets.

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No Christmas gift wrapping party is complete without pizza so we invaded our local Monical’s and stuffed ourselves before heading back to the Bauer’s living room.  There was no portion of the living room untouched by wrapping paper, stuffing, tape, scissors and loads and loads of gifts!  It was fabulous.  And we lucked out this year – there were no injuries experienced on this Christmas expedition.  You try wrapping skateboards and helmets…very tricky if you ask us!

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Good times were had by one and all!

It’s Our Birthday

This week marked the 14th Birthday of the Venturing program of the Boy Scouts of America!  And what an amazing 14 years it has been.  There are so many fantastic feats in our history so we thought we would just highlight a few.

~  There are nearly 17,900 Venture Crew Units

~  There are 231,127 Venturers

~  There are 58, 566 Adult Volunteers

And what is even more exciting about the last 14 years are the numbers of adventures, service projects and leadership opportunities given to all the youth in the Venturing program.  Before Venture Crews were formed the boys of America attended Philmont Scout Ranch, Florida Sea Base and Northern Tier and now those same High Adventure Bases are available to girls.  And speaking on behalf of all girl Venturers we are so excited to be a part of the Boys Scouts of America!

The guys and gals of Crew 91 have participated in all three High Adventure programs offered through the BSA and we are truly looking forward to The Summit.  We have made our own adventures, too.  Through Venturing we have been scuba diving in the Dominican Republic and oh my goodness the waters were so blue!  The rapids of the Ocoee in Tennessee have been fully explored and we’re now ready for some monster rapids.  Skiing in Illinois was not a large enough challenge so we took on Colorado.  We’ve raised thousands of dollars for the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation and Relay for Life.  On a monthly basis we are able to give back to our community through service projects ranging from leaf raking to putting on a haunted house to sprucing up or local Optimist Club run theatre.

 We could not have experienced the world without this fantastic program. Thank you Boy Scouts of America for creating Venturing!  

 

Just Keep Shucking, Just Keep Shucking

What do we do? We shuck, shuck, shuck!  What you ask is all this shucking about?  Let us tell you.  Every year the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce holds the Corn Fest.  And as you might guess the main dish is corn!  Not just any corn mind you, the most delicious and mouthwatering corn you’ll ever taste.

There are a few steps to making this corn the most amazing you’ll ever experience…shucking.  This year there were 220 dozen ears of corn that needed shucked before the festivities could begin.  At a very crazy hour on a Saturday morning, 6:30 to be exact, we made our way to Fire Station 1 to begin the de-husking and de-silking of 2,640 ears of corn.  Thank goodness our Crew was not alone in the shucking department!  Here’s a shout out to fellas from Troop 50!  You guys rocked!!

Because the weather hasn’t been so fabulous with this whole no rain deal there were itsy tiny ears of corn.  It became a competition to see who could find the smallest ear.  It’s really too bad we couldn’t serve these little darlings.  It became more of a shuck and release kind of deal.

Now if you have ever shucked corn you know you are bound to find at least one or two little critters in an ear or two.  This year was no exception.  It was all too funny to hear the gasps of horror, the looks of disgust and shrieks of terror when our little corny friends made an appearance.

Though we had well over 2,000 ears to shuck we made good time and were finished before 10am.  Thanks to everyone from the community and to Boy Scout Troop 50 from Mossville who came out to help shuck corn for the Corn Fest.  It was another exciting year!