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Survival Campout

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survival-2016

A Scout making his survival shelter

When you talk to Scouts or adults who were former Boy Scouts and you mention the words “Survival Campout”, one word consistently is mentioned: Memorable.  On January 16, 2016, Troop 95 held a survival camp out and it was memorable.  The scenario was that the Scouts were on a two hour hike and get lost.  They had to use what was on them and had the opportunity prior to the outing to create a survival kit using an Altoids tin with what they thought they needed.

Once at the camp site, Scouts practice signaling, snares, and water filtration methods.  After eating their lunch from the hike scenario, Scouts were told they were now lost in the woods and should build a shelter to survive the night.  All afternoon, Scouts made their shelters in the hopes of staying dry and warm throughout the night.  With little chance of rain predicted, the Scouts thought they needed to focus on staying warm only.  After dropping to freezing weather, mother nature decided that the 30 percent chance of rain was really 3 hours of rain.  Scouts and leaders who participated learned quickly if their shelters were warm and dry.  For most, it was not the case.  Wind and rain showed most the error of their ways.

For dinner, Scouts were given some skirt steak and a chicken leg to simulate catching their dinner.  Scouts had to make their fires and devise a way to cook their catch.  From spearing their food to making a spit, Scouts were proud on their achievement on making their own dinner.  After the camp out, Scouts were asked how the outing went and what they learned.  All were enthusiastic and wanted to do it again.  Most of all, Scouts said this outing was memorable!

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Scouts posed at the Fellowship House after delivering the donations

Smiles were bountiful at the Fellowshop House last night as the Troop delivered hygiene products to the residences as part of an Eagle Project. The Scouts that helped got to witness first hand the outcome of a good deed of helping out those in need. What a great project from our latest Eagle candidate!

Eagle Project Service

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Scouts organized hygiene supplies for a local non-profit organization

Scouts organized hygiene supplies for a local non-profit organization

Troop 95 gathered at their Scout Hut on Saturday, December 5, 2015, to help the latest Eagle Scout candidate do his Eagle Project to help the community.  Scouts sorted and prepared hygiene supplies for the Fellowship House, a non-profit organization design to help people recover from substance addiction.  Scouts organized items such as toothbrushes, shampoo, and deodorants.  There were so many donations that it took two vehicles to transport the boxes from the hut.  Troop 95 continues to do a good turn for the community.

Honorable Visit

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Scouts listening to their honored guest

Scouts listening to their honored guest

Every week a Scout says the Scout Oath at the Troop meeting.  It starts with “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country…”.  In preparation of Veteran’s Day, Troop 95 received a visit from a marine sergeant at the Monday night Troop meeting.  The sergeant talked about military life, some of his duties, and what it means to do your duty to your country.  During the discussion, it also became clear to the Scouts what it means to be Loyal, one of the 12 parts of the Scout Law.  The Scouts were so enamored by the honored guest  that the hour session of the meeting had to come to an abrupt halt.  The Scouts could have continued the discussion all night.  Troop 95 wants to thank all those who are serving and who have served in our military!

Good Turn

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The Troop removed overgrown vegetation at the playground area

The Troop removed overgrown vegetation at the playground area

One of the core values of Scouting is doing a good turn.  On October 17th and 25th of 2015, the Troop did just that.  First the Troop help paint the classrooms of Raleigh Avenue Baptist Church.  One week later, the Troop cleaned up the playground and wooded areas of Shades Valley Lutheran Church, the Chartered Organization for the Troop.  Over the two weekends, the Troop had 33 volunteers do a total of 94 service hours in two consecutive weekends.  Many thanks to all that helped!

Webelos Visit

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Boy Scouts teaching lashings to the WebelosEach year Troop 95 invites Webelos to visit a Monday night meeting to aid the Scouts in earning their Arrow of Light.  On October 19, 2015, Webelos got to see some skills Boy Scouts learn as part of their rank requirements.  Scouts learned knots, lashings, and team building exercises.  During the night, the Scouts had the opportunity to have a Scoutmaster Conference as part of their Arrow of Light Requirement.  A cup of hot chocolate and a fire closed out the night.

In the Eyes of a Leader

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Posing before hiking down the mountain

Posing before hiking down the mountain

As Scoutmaster of the Troop, I have been the prime contributor to the web site to help show our Troop to the public. I have always written in third person and generically described our outings. Not this time. It is hard to relay the fun of a strenuous backpacking trip to a unique place without talking about it through my eyes. I am not the well-seasoned Scoutmaster as my predecessors, but am quite the opposite. I get to visit new places for the first time with the younger Scouts and experience the same wonder and awe the Scouts have.

On September 26, 2015 I ventured out with the Troop to the Walls of Jericho in Northern Alabama. Prior to the trip, I tried to research the outing to “be prepared” as much as I could. Nothing I read prepared me for the 1,040 feet decent down the mountain on wet and slippery rocks. The decent was slow and was a challenge for some of the younger Scouts. At the bottom, we had to cross two pedestrian bridges made out of fallen trees (another first for me). It was a test of balance with a shaky handrail and being off-center carrying a large backpack. After we set up camp, the Troop headed out to the Walls of Jericho water fall area. Even though there was little water flowing, the rocky area was slick and difficult to climb. At first I only made it half way up the falls and decided to sit it out to prevent me from injury from slipping (I claim to be old, but it is all relative). I sat at the perimeter and watched the Troop slowly climb around and get ever so excited when they made it all the way to the top of the falls area. One mom flew past me as she climbed noting that she had bet her son she could make it all the way (which she one that bet). My son came back down and told me how cool the view was from up top. I decided I came too far to just stop half way. With help from the Troop, I climbed the rest of the way only to be amazed by how striking the area was.  Finishing what I started was a lesson I am happy to have been reminded of. If not, I would have missed so much.

The next morning we had to pack it all up and climb back up the mountain. As in our last backpacking trip, I was surprised that the Scouts start singing happily as they hiked. Call it as you will, but you could hear our Troop before you saw us. No worries about animals being around with all of the singing. Some of us were completely out of breath as we made it to the top but everyone made it to the end with huge smiles. The younger Scouts that struggled carrying their backpacks ended up running around the parking lot with hands in the air yelling that they made it. It was an experience that not many young and old people can say they have accomplished. I, for one, am grateful to have experienced the beauty of the Walls of Jericho and will remember fondly for a long time.

Scoutmaster J.S.

New Order of Arrow Members

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Scouts enjoying dinner after their induction into the Order of the Arrow

Scouts enjoying dinner after their induction into the Order of the Arrow

Congratulations to our latest three Scouts to be inducted into the Order of the Arrow.  They have joined a brotherhood with a rich history of providing cheerful service to others.  The Scouts completed their Ordeal during the weekend of September 12, 2015.

Special Guest

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During one of our usual Monday night Troop Meetings, we had a special guest, Mr. Ralph Upchurch. He taught us how to identify different woodland animals. One of the ways he taught us to identify an animal is by their tracks. He said he usually takes dry plaster with him on a trip, and if he sees a track he mixes the plaster with water then pours it in the track.  After around twenty minutes, it will be ready and you have your own cast of the track to keep.

As you may notice in some of our photos, some scouts are wearing their Class B uniform. The Class B is not the full formal uniform, but is the Troop T-shirt. In the Summer, we wear only the Class B because it’s hot, and who want to wear an entire uniform to a scout meeting every Monday? That’s just one of the many fun things our troop does.

Court of Honor

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On December 16, 2014 Troop 95 had our Court of Honor. 1 person earned their Star rank and several others earned Merit Badges. Not only was it the Court of Honor, but it was also our Christmas party. We played Dirty Santa and this year was the first year no one “stole” as part of the game.

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