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Friday, July 2, 2010

Troop 170 Boy Scouts Hold First Camping Trip of Year

Camp set up on property of Jamey Westbrook

Troop 170 Boy Scouts of Marianna held their first official camp-out on Friday, June 25, at Westfork Ranch in Marianna. The Scouts and their leaders braved the rain and heat, and ultimately had the most enjoyable and educational time together. This was the beginning of at least ten camping trips that Troop 170 will plan and participate in together this coming year.

Boy Scouts gathered Friday evening at the campsite to put up their tents and begin learning a variety of skills and safety practices throughout the two-day event. After waiting out a rainstorm, the first new challenge the Scouts undertook was assembling their new wagon for transporting food, water, and other necessary items. The Scouts worked together as a team and had a fully-functional metal wagon ready for use during the next day’s activities.

Boy Scouts and leaders were up bright and early on Saturday, dressed in full uniform and ready for a day of scheduled training and fun. The boys prepared and cooked their own pancakes, bacon, and sausage to start the day with a good, hearty breakfast. After washing dishes and cleaning the Scout outdoor kitchen were completed, Scout Master Steve Hutton began a lesson on knife and hatchet safety. Hutton explained and demonstrated the proper ways to use a knife, as well as the unacceptable ways to use and carry a knife. A tool was used to demonstrate how to sharpen a knife and hatchet, and Scouts practiced the proper way to pass these tools to one another. Patrol leader Hunter Hutton read important information from the Scout handbook for discussion and also gave instruction on how to use a collapsible camp shovel. Following the training session, Scouts received hands-on instruction in using these tools, including chopping tree branches with a hatchet, whittling sticks with a pocket knife, and sawing tree limbs with a bow saw. Scouts then took an oath to obey the safety practices in order to earn their Totin’ Chip, which allows them to officially carry and use a knife during Scouting activities.

Scouts worked together to prepare their next meal of beef stew, macaroni and cheese, and a dessert, while Jamey Westbrook, owner of Westfork Ranch, stopped by for a visit. After cooking over an open fire, the meal was enjoyed prior to the special ceremony that was held for Scout Nick Walker. Nick officially “crossed over” from the rank of Cub Scout to become an official Boy Scout. He had previously completed all the requirements for advancement, though he was awaiting his tenth birthday in order to meet that last qualification. Nick was also awarded the Arrow of Light award, which is the highest achievement possible by a Cub Scout. He and his parents were honored during the ceremony led by Boy Scout leaders Mary Ann Hutton and David McArthur, with participation from the other Boy Scouts.

Scouts packed up their tents and supplies and were able to break camp before the threat of another rainstorm. The first camping adventure for Troop 170 was a big success and a great first step on the path to many more experiences together working as a team and learning new life skills.

For more information about the program, please call 209-2818, or e-mail

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