Fish, Food, Football, and Fun

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A Scout is cheerfully cleaning his freshly caught bass before cooking it

Most of the Troop camp outs during 2015 were full of rain events.  So far in 2016, the Troop has enjoyed much better weather.  In February, the Vulcan District Camporee has been very cold and wet.  This year we had mild temperatures and no rain.  For the March camp out, the Troop missed all the rain and cold by just a day.  The Troop got to camp next to a private lake filled with Bass.  It did not take long for the Scouts to catch a fish.  For some Scouts working on their Fishing Merit Badge, this was the first time they were able to catch a good size fish, clean it, then cook the fish. When the fish were not biting, the Scouts enjoyed playing around with a football.  As the day of enjoyment ended, patrols cooked some hearty dinners then relaxed by the fire.  It was a great camp out for fish, food, football, and plain old-fashion outdoor fun!

Cycling Maintenance

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Scouts learning basic maintenance skills for cycling

Scouts learning basic maintenance skills for cycling

President John F. Kennedy once said “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.” Back in January, Troop 95 started working on the Cycling Merit badge by visiting the workshop of Mr. DiChiara of Redemptive Cycles. On August 3, 2015, Mr. DiChiara was kind enough to teach the Troop again the basics of cycling maintenance during the weekly Troop meeting. The Troop is preparing for another 25 mile bike ride for their August outing on the Chief Ladiga Trail.  The Troop is looking forward for a pleasurable bicycle ride.

Chief Ladiga Trail

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The Scouts stopped to pose for a photo at the state line while riding 25 miles

The Scouts stopped to pose for a photo at the state line while riding 25 miles

Troop 95 had the opportunity to ride the Chief Ladiga Trail on March 21, 2015. The Troop camped at the Chief Ladiga Trail Campgrounds which was a great location. We camped near a stream where one Scout caught a fairly large bass. The older Scouts went on a 25 mile bike ride which is one of the requirements for the Cycling Merit Badge. The trip took the Troop into Georgia in which the trail becomes the Comet Trail. Even though rain came in late on the day, Saturday, all had a great time.

Summer Camp 2014

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One of the Scouts took shotgun merit badge.  He earned a nice bruise and the "most improved" award.

One of the Scouts took shotgun merit badge. He earned the “most improved” award and the bruise to prove his efforts.

What a difference a year makes. Last year, half of the Scouts attending Summer Camp were new to the experience. This year, the Scouts were old pros at having fun at camp. Scouts took merit badge classes, ranging from activities such as rifle, canoeing, and shotgun, to Eagle required classes such as first aid and cooking. Once again, Troop 95 was honored to have Scouts and leaders be tapped into the Order of the Arrow. Three Scouts and one leader accepted the nominations for entering the OA. The Troop had a new campground which had a great fishing spot nearby. The Scouts had a great time and will remember camp food for years to come.

Off to Camp

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The Troop posing before they headed off to Summer Camp

The Troop posing before they headed off to Summer Camp

The Troop headed off for Summer Camp on Father’s Day. 95 has a standing tradition of going to Camp Comer every year where the temperature tends to be cooler than the Birmingham metro area. A few fathers gave up their Father’s Day celebrations to head out with the Scouts to spend the week having fun. Some Scouts are focusing in on their Eagle merit badges while some go to just have plain ole’ fun.

Fire Building with Webelos

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Fire Building

Fire Building


In preparation for the upcoming Wilderness Survival weekend, Troop 95 invited the Webelos from local Packs to attend a special Fire Building presentation, conducted by a true Scouter, Mr. Ralph Upchurch. Mr. Upchurch had every gadget and fire building trick known to man throughout the ages. They had a great time participating and learning new tools and methods of survival fire building: jute and cotton tinder bundles, home-made char-cloth, the fire plough, fire drill, bow drill, Indian pump drill, flint & steel, magnesium & steel, and the fire piston (heat from air compression) — did I miss any???

The older Scouts helped coach the Webelos in their own chance to build a fire without matches, and to say that the boys were “Fired Up” would be too appropriate! Thank you Ralph for such a great event!!

Check out the Photo Gallery on our Photos Page.

If you missed this event, this video from YouTube shows one of the interesting innovations used by American Indians:

YouTube: Fire Pump Drill in Action

YouTube: Fire Pump Drill in Action

Survial 101 – Was this a great weekend or what???

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Survival 101

From the great snares and straps session, to the terrible tilapia cooked (or not cooked) on the log, to the bread on a stick, to the meaningful worship service… I thought this weekend was very special and very fun.  What did you think?  I would love to hear your comments!

Here are few of mine:

  • It takes a lot of dedicated leaders to make a weekend like this come off without a Hitch.  My special thanks to EVERY adult who was with us and took part in the process.  It could not have happened without you. 

  • The survival kits were like packing 10 lbs of stuff into a 7 lbs bag.  Maybe next time we can lose a few items.

  • The shelters were less creative than I had expected, but they were very well constructed.  Lessons were learned on the best materials to use.

  • You can’t hear a whistle in the woods as well as yelling!  However, you can blow a whistle for days on end, but you can only yell for a few minutes before you may lose your voice!  – This was a great practical exercise and a lesson to learn.

  • Boiled lake water is drinkable and it could save your life… but it still tastes yucky!!

  • It takes a ton of firewood and  lot of time to properly prepare an open fire for cooking.

  • Having the adults do a skit was fun!  I am glad we participated in the Council fire.

  • Wrapping foil around the bread on a stick cooks it just as well as not having it.  But it looks a lot cooler when it is just wrapped on the stick, sitting over the fire.

  • Jordan conducted a very memorable worship service – very good job!

I have some great photo’s and I am looking forward to sharing them with you (see the photo gallery link below). I hope that you had a good time and that you are ready to continue on in our quest to play this game of Scouting.

I am proud to be your Scoutmaster.


   Dean Snow

Wilderness Survival Campout 2011-11-12

Scoutmaster Snow’s update from Camp Comer

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Greetings from Camp Comer!

After a blistering hot, muggy day Sunday we are enjoying some very pleasant weather right now.  Lots of sun and low humidity. All in all it is sort of pleasant here.

We have the makings of a fine troop and I am very pleased.  They are coming together rapidly as a group, and now are seeing themselves as Troop 95!

There are some wonderful things that we are carrying over from Troop 13 that set us apart from the other troops.  For instance we all stand at our seats in the dinning halll until everyone is by his seat ready to sit down.  Doesn’t sound like much, but it makes an impression on the other troops.

Everyone is well underway with their merit badge studies.  We have the late afternoon free to do what we want.  Yesterday was troop shoot on the .22 caliber rifles, and today is free swim.  Both David and Matthew will be our lifeguards and have promised me that they will see that every member of the troop gets kicked out before the session is finished.  Oh well, older scouts will always be older scouts I guess.

Yesterday was a first for Andrew and Kenny.  Both shot the .22 for the first time, and did well.  Also Mr. Boyd shot for the first time in 15 years.  Shooting a match grade rifle like those at the range is not as easy as it sounds.  We all did well, and Chad and I are going back today to improve scores in order to qualify for the merit badge he did not finish last year.

Matthew and David are working very hard on the BSA Lifeguard rating, which will benefit the troop in coming years.  Evan and Cade are fishing every chance they get in their free time.  Chad and Kenny are taking in all they with the merit badges they signed up for.

Mr. Boyd and I are taking many different adult training classes so that we will be certified to lead the troop in as many activities as possible.

The nights are the best time. We all sit around and have fun together laughing and joking.  As I said things are coming together nicely.  Last night the troop goaded me into playing in the SM vs. staff volley ball tournament. Let me just say that I now know for sure that I am 56 year old, and that it doesn’t make good sense to play an aggressive sport in a tournament setting when the last time you tried volley ball was 30+ years ago in college.  The skill set doesn’t stay with you for that long.  We lost.

I am very proud of our boys, and I know you would be too if you could be here.  More to come later in the week.

Dean Snow