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Falling Rock – March 2014

Preparing to leave the Eagles parking lot was unlike many of our recent campouts. THe weather was pleasant and the kids wanted to be outside. After stowing our gear and announcing car assignments we were on our way.

Camp Falling Rock is a place where we have camped a number of times in the past. It has been a while since I went there, but soon the car knew the way. What the car did not know was how deep the mud would be in the “parking lot”. Because of the mud, we were not able to pull the trailer up near the cabin. It was all man power to get the gear a quarter mile or so up a muddy hill. The boys were troopers and it was not long until all the gear was in the cabin.

Each of the patrols had their snacks (cracker barrel) and many games were played – Firefly, magic, uras, and many others. It was a long fun night, and I for one was glad to get some shut eye. The troop was up at the crack of 8:30 the next morning.

This campout the boys planned to use different camping methods. 2 patrols used propane in the morning (the pancakes were AWESOME), and one made pita bread breakfast pizza. Ask someone in Grants patrol for details. This was the first time in a while that the boys have done their own patrol cooking. I saw a lot of teaching, and lot of patience, and a bit of learning.

After breakfast the boys broke into a few different activities. There was a football game that involved nearly everyone. We cleaned out the trailer, and made a list of patrol equipment that was required. A few of the boys broke out the troop fishing poles and went fishing at the camp pond. There was also a kickball game that almost started. I don’t know exactly what happened, but instead of breaking up into teams, a few boys just kicked the ball around.

Lunch was a lot of camp fire (wood fire) cooking. There were some great pie iron pizzas made. One of the patrols made tacos, and the adults had some chicken salad (yum). Listening to the group go from the loud sounds of playing and joking to the quiet sounds of eating is always fun for me to observe. I know there were a few boys who had never made pie iron pizzas before, and at least a few were happily surprised. I heard one boy say “yea, I should have stayed and watched this”. His pie iron pizza was left in the fire too long and was quite black.

After lunch there was more football, more fishing, and more board games. The sunlight went quickly and it was time to get supper started before you know it. There was food made with open fire and some made with charcoal. Cooking outside has its own challenges. Cooking outside in the mud is a challenge best left to Boy Scouts. Once again, they made me proud.

Honestly, I was so exhausted after a full day of activities, that after a couple of checks to make sure all was well with our scouts, I headed off to bed and left the rest of the supervising Crider-free. Our Scoutmaster and the rest of the assistants got along swimmingly without me. By the way, this was not universal, but I heard the hi-light of the campout was the football game.

The next day it was a quick breakfast, cleaning up and packing the trailer. This is the part of the campouts that are usually the same. A little bit of complaining, a lot of work, and the camp rangers are left knowing that Troop 279 leaves no trace.

When we got back most of the parents were there waiting for us, and everyone noticed that it was quite colder than when we left. Some tired and dirty boys deserve a good nights rest.

If you read this far, then you deserve a little treat. Upon arrival, at our muddy parking lot, I surveyed the available parking areas with the expert eye of nearly 30 years experience. I plotted my course and about 100 feet in, I got hung up in the mud. I got a little push, and made it out. I got in my spot that I eyed, and realized I was stuck again. On saturday afternoon I went out to try and free myself before the predicted rains of Saturday night. I got another push and was freed. No one was hurt, my car was only a little worse for wear, but my pride will be stinging for quite a while. If you want to know how to best traverse the mud in a Camry – ask someone else.

Thank you so much for sending your sons with us, and I hope they had a good time.
John – Assistant Scoutmaster

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