Some of the activities of the year

Winter Camporee 03:  The District camping committee picked a spot where no one had been before.  The Winter Camporees in the Elk River District has traditionally been backpacking, and this one was no exception.  We started at the top of Keith Springs Mt. and hiked down into Round Cove.  Down in this case was about 800' in a couple of miles. This also meant that the next morning we would have to go back up those 800'.  In the cove there were many things to do and see.  There were two caves to explore.  The local rescue team helped with a repelling station. This proved to be the best attended event of the day.  There is a lot of logging in the bottom, so there was a tour of the operations there, and there was a talk given on the history of the cove and the surrounding area.  The weather was fine, but cold. I took some video of the campfire, download if you want to watch.  It is a large file, (2.7M).   The overnight temp got down to about 17 degrees.  But, it is advertised as the WINTER Camporee.  Everyone had fun and can now talk about the cold trip where we had the hard hike up the mountain.

Franklin St. Forest:  3-03   This trip was more plesent than the previous time we were there.  We hiked out on the western  trail.  There is a very good view of the valley below from there.  The young Scouts had fum playing in an old fallen tree that they were also cutting up for firewood.

Foster Falls, 19-April-03:  This was a plan "B" location, but it turned out to be a very good location.  We hiked the 2.5 miles to the Small Wilds  campsites.  Once there we set up camp ate lunch and then hiked another 2.5 miles futher into the Fiery Gizzard Wilderness area.  The day had been overcast and a very threatening cloud appeared, so we cut the hike short and returned to camp.  The valley that we crossed on the hike has some very interesting rock formations and some very large Hemlock trees.  We returned to camp and started gathering wood for the fire.  Ate supper and sat around the fire till late.  Most of the Scouts went to bed around 9:00.  Some of the adults stayed up till 10:00.  That is very late for a camping trip.
Those attending were:Jeremy G., Simon, Jeremy M., Jonathan M., Corbin, Stephen, Gunner, Joe, Sean, Thomas, C.J., Daniel B., Daniel M., Joe H., Paul, Mark, Mike, Chris, Tom

Spring Camporee 17-April-03:  The theme of this year's Camporee was Emergency Preparedness.  As it turned out we didn't just learn about stuff from the book.  Friday night started out clear, but early Saturday morning the rain started.  It was a slow gentle rain, the kind that makes for good sleeping.  It ended before sunrise and Satruday seemed like it was going to shape up as a very fine day.  The Scouts got breakfast cooked and dishes cleaned before we headed up to HQ for the events.  Everything was going smoothly until the CAP (Civil Air Patrol) started getting storm warning alarts on their radios.  The forcaster was following a storm that was moving across Southern TN, very fast.  We continued with the events till lunch.  At this time the storm was getting close.  We went back to camp to tie everything down and get ready for the predicted 40 mph winds.  Once all was secure, we kept the Scouts close with the intent of moving into the cars when the winds got to us.  This didn't take long.  You could hear the wind coming across the lake and the woods.  We got into the cars and just waited.  About 15-20 min. later the wind was gone leaving only a light rain in it's place.  We got out and started cooking lunch.  We did advancements after lunch as the weather was threatening rest of the day.  Evening came without anymore rain.   Supper was started and finished.  At 8:00 there was an abriviated meeting to "call-out" the new OA candidates.  At 8:20 we were back in camp, and it was a good thing, too.  Another storm was approaching fast.  By the time the first lightning was seen there was only about 10 minutes to prepare for it.  This time it rained HARD for 45 minutes.  At the end, or almost end of this rain, most of the tents had some water in them.  We shuffled kids around to get them into a dry spot and retired for the night.  The rain stopped by about 10:00.
Everyone survived the night and now they have something that they can remember for quite a while.  "Do you remember the Camporee where we had the strong winds and the wet tents?"
What fun Scouting is...

Philmont Scout Ranch 7-03:  Here are some of the nearly 500 photos taken on our adventure in New Mexico in July.

Fall Camporee:  (10/3-5): The theme of this camporee was 'Wilderness Survival'.  The Scouts went to different stations in the morning learning about the different ways to build a shelter, how to start a fire by friction, and how to use a compass.  After lunch the Scouts were put to the test.  They had to construct a shelter suitable for two Scouts to sleep in.  After this they were challenged with starting a fire by friction.  Three of the Troops got a fire started.  This was very impressive, as earlier in the day they seemed to be having troubles.  This Camporee was held at the District camp 'Arrowhead'.

Virgin Falls Pocket Wilderness (11-15)  Although the day and forcast didn't look good, the Troop headed to Virgin Falls Pocket Wilderness, east of Sparta, TN.  There were 13 Scouts and 7 adults on this adventure.  The clouds dropped a little rain during the day, but just enough to keep us worried.  We ate lunch at Big Laurel Falls.  There was quite a bit of water flowing over the edge here.  After a long hike, 4.5 miles, on rocks and roots we arrived at the falls. After the lack of rain we have had this fall, I was suprised at the amount of water flowing here.  Virgin Falls is formed by an underground stream that emerges from a cave, drops over a 110-foot cliff and goes back into a cave at the bottom.  The Scouts had a good time exploring the rock formations and the small cave that is in the area.  What is unique about the falls in this area is that after they leave the lip of rock at the top and hit the bottom, they disappear into the ground.  We suspect that the water flows underground down about 250 feet into the Caney Fork River.  Sunday morning at about 1:30 the rain started for real.  There would be short periods of no rain and then it would start up again.  At 6:00 we started getting up.  The rain kept coming down for the next 3 hours.  We were pretty much drowned rats by this time.  The Scouts and adults did very well on the return trip.  Actually we set a faster pace going out that we had going in.  The prospect of a dry warm car kept the hopes up.  This was a tough trip, but a very rewarding trip.  The Scouts learned a lot about themselves and about the group.  We took the trail that pased by Sheep cave on the way out.  This seemed to be a little longer trail, but you didn't lose and have to gain as much elevation as with the trail that we came in on.
They will remember this trip for a long time to come.