All things change. 
For me, April 1st marked the end of a significant chapter of my life. For the previous four-and-a-half years, I was privileged to have the honor of serving our great Troop 451 as Committee Chair. In that role, I was blessed to work with many dedicated volunteers whose commitment of time and effort, doubtless, exceeded my own.
To mention just a few such great folks, of the many wonderful volunteers who served our Scouts while I was Committee Chair, Shannon Anderson continued to serve as our treasurer for the first half of my tenure and her excellent efforts ensured that the troop maintained the enviable financial foundation she worked so hard to establish earlier. Cynthia Arroyo Richards then stepped up and continued the tradition of professionalism and sound financial management. Stephanie Stapp Tyson took on the role of Advancement Chair before I became Committee Chair and continued that throughout almost all my term, carefully training her replacement before ste…

Enchanted Rock

Saturday, January 19th, I awoke at my usual hour and sometime thereafter I thought to text our Scoutmaster, Steve Kral, with wishes for a safe trip as our troop headed to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area to camp over the long weekend. I mean, if you cannot join them, you can at least wish them well. I sent my wishes for safe travels and mentioned that I was sorry not to be going since Karen would not be home and it was her expected presence that inclined me to forgo the trip.

Just a minute later, Steve called to tell me that there had been a few last-minute cancellations and that if I really wanted to join them, there would be room!

I had a couple of minor errands to accomplish before I left but by 11:00 am, I was ready to leave for Enchanted Rock. Or, so I thought until I remembered that I did not have my mess kit. As it turned out, I spent 20 minutes hunting for that because it was not in its usual place. When I finally did find it, it turned out to be very nearly where it should h…

Caring for Cast Iron Cookware

Properly tended, cast iron will not rust nor will it emit the retchsome reek of rancid oil. Why anyone would consider cooking food in a vessel coated with rancid oil, I cannot conceive. Another consequence of the old Troop 451 method is that the iron, predictably, rusts.

This time, while we had no rusty iron to remediate (a first, I think!) we did find most of the iron reeking of rancidity. Yuck!

The proper care is trivially simple. Clean the vessel in whichever way you wish. Detergent and steel wool will NOT harm a properly seasoned piece of cast iron. This because of the nature of the chemistry involved in seasoning. Like so many real-world processes, this too can be understood by the application of scientific understanding.

The root problem is that iron metal and oxygen gas (O2 in the air that we breathe) combine readily in the presence of water. This is an energetically-favorable reaction that occurs spontaneously and water acts as a catalyst in the process. The end product is iro…

Tonkawa District Youth Leadership Training, 2018

On November 16th, 2018, Troop 451 once again presented the Tonkawa District Youth Leadership Training at Hills and Hollows Scout Camp in Denton, Texas. This training supplements that now-standard Youth Leadership Training (YLT) that all Scouts should attend, typically within their first year. In the past, leadership training had three phases, YLT, Brownsea, and National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT), known, in the Longhorn Council, as "Twin Arrows". "Brownsea" was intermediate-level - more advanced than YLT and less intense than Twin Arrows, it was long the prerequisite for that more-advanced training. Named after an island in Poole Harbor, England, where Lord Baden Powell first held leadership training campouts for his original Boy Scouts, Brownsea was long a staple of the BSA leadership training mission. For reasons unfathomable to this long-time Scouter, a few years ago, Brownsea was eliminated in favor of taking Scouts directly from YLT to NYLT. Many in t…

Farewell to a Friend

It is with a very sad heart that I write in memory of a friend and mentor. We are all the poorer for the passing of a great Scout and Scouter, Tom Moore

General Thomas Joseph Moore passed away on Friday, September 28th, 2018 at the age of 80. His Scouting career spanned 70 years and two continents. 
A Scout's Scout Tom joined the BSA in September of 1947 when he was 9 years old. He started as a Cub Scout with Pack 66 out of Fort Bliss in the Yucca Council.  Tom’s Dad, like Tom himself, was a military man and Tom grew up in many different locales. In 1950, he moved to Norfolk, Virginia and became a member of Pack 59. As a Webelo, he earned Cub Scouting’s highest award, the Arrow of Light.
He then bridged to Troop 59, also with the Tidewater Council and earned his Tenderfoot and Second Class Scout ranks. In 1951, he headed overseas and continued Scouting with Troop 43 out of Salzburg, Austria, with the EUCOM Council. In Austria, he earned the ranks of First Class, Star, and Life and s…

Week One, Post-Geiger 2018

Thursday, July 19th is our next Troop Committee meeting.

Every Scouter, new and old alike, should plan to attend this meeting. We convene at 7:00 pm in Room 305 of the Family Life Center at FUMC (upstairs, where we meet on Monday nights).

Our troop sits at something of a crossroads at present. Last year, a very large class of our Scouts aged-out and we are going to see the same this year. Many of those of us in leadership positions either no longer have sons in the troop or soon will not have. As we prepare for our future, your input is invaluable. Troop 451 needs you!

Troop 451 has long been well-served by Scouters who do not have boys in the program and for this, we are grateful. I feel certain that we will continue to benefit from the service of such dedicated volunteers in the future. Nonetheless, it is time for the parents of current Scouts to step up and start to share in more of the work needed to keep our troop successful. Many of our most dedicated Scouters were themselves Bo…

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018 - The Week We Had!

Home Again, Home Again . . .
Our week at camp has concluded and the Scouts and Scouters of Troop 451 are now back with their families, enjoying the luxuries of a familiar shower and one's own bed. It is great to be home again with our loved ones though it is sad to leave Camp Geiger behind.

Camp Geiger is a special place and it is always good to be there. Those who have attended camp there develope a feeling for the camp that is stronger than many folks feel towards their alma maters. It has that big an impact on campers.

You may find that your Scout, especially if this is his first time at Camp Geiger, talks of little else this coming week. This is normal and, in time, the conversation should return to more mundane matters. The Scouters of Troop 451 strive to deliver a first-rate Scouting program to every boy who can benefit from it and we know there are far more who could than we actually reach. One aspect of that striving is to provide an outstanding summer camp experience for …

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018 - Homeward Bound!

As is our wont, the indomitable Scouts and Scouters of Troop 451 rose circa 6:15 this morning to strike camp and load up our gear. Scout Master Steve Kral and Assistant Scoutmaster Mark Lampe ably directed those Scouts who returned to camp after the Camp Geiger Carnival last night. They disassembled and packed the Troop 451 entryway sign (as seen on TV!) Along with similar duties performed, these folks really gave us a big start on today's labors. Those who duties kept them elsewhere last night extend a hearty "Thank you!" for their good work.

Without the capacious rental truck that we have hired in years past, packing up went more slowly this year than last but it nevertheless went well. Getting most of our gear into the larger of our two white trailers requires more careful packing than we have needed the past few trips to Geiger. Under the able direction of Steve Kral, we made highly efficient use of space. Most of the boys pitched-in to one degree or another but Jere…

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

Friday, June 22nd, 2018 The longest day of 2018 was the day of our tapping fire. Tapping fire is the most elaborate of the tribal ceremonies for the tribe of Mic-O-Say and it is a public event. Everyone in camp and their friends and family are welcome to attend the ritualized process by which candidates for membership are recognized. This great event started with all the campers who are not yet tribesmen assembling at the Handicraft Corral towards dusk, about 8:20 pm. As noted earlier this week, Camp Geiger is full this week and this meant that last night's spectacle was the largest your correspondent has yet had the privilege to attend. Once everyone is ready, four Honorary Warriors in full regalia guide the campers as they process, single file, from the corral to the site of the Story Fire. This year, once again, two members of Troop 451 were accorded the honor of escorting the campers. Village Blade (our Scoutmaster) and Spirit Paint (your correspondent) walked along with th…

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

For most of the Scouts and Scouters of Troop 451, today began at the more reasonable-seeming hour of 6:45. This enabled our table waiters and the Scouters supervising that crew to be at the dining hall in ample time to discharge their important duties. The menu featured scrambled eggs and sausage patties, with milk and cereal as alternative/supplemental fare.

At the Flag Plaza  (The place of the flags, where the flags hang out and blow in the wind, all day long, right side up) this morning, we had the honor of hoisting the Texas flag in recognition of our "cleanest campsite' achievement. The color guard was comprised of Aidan Zentner, Landon Pratt, Kaleb Rutherford, and Christian Woehler.

The morning, as for the night, has been cool - about 60 F. Today's high is predicted to reach a balmy 72. It is for this kind of change in the weather that we advise our Scouts to pack a hoodie or the like. Thankfully, it seems that all heeded the advice so we see no blue skin contrastin…