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An Eagle Court of Honor

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Along with many of the Scouts and Scouters who have been leaders of Troop 451 over the past seven years, I had the honor and the pleasure of participating in Thomas Sorensen's Eagle Court of Honor this afternoon. 
During my association with Scouting, which began with attending my older brothers’ Scouting events in the early 1960s, I have seen many Eagle Courts of Honor, including those for each of my older brothers. I never earned the honor of such recognition myself, but since joining Troop 451 in 2012, I have had the honor of participating in many and attending even more.
Every Eagle Court of Honor is a moving event and this one was no exception. Although each event has certain parts in common, each one is a unique celebration of the crowning achievement of an admirable Scouting career. No hour-or-so of recognition, no matter how packed with careful pomp and circumstance, can truly be the equal to the years of hard work that are being honored, Thomas’s ceremony, however, may be th…

Palo Duro Campout 2019

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By Phillip Pratt
Ah Palo Duro.....it’s Troop 451, remember us? If you don’t just think back to last year this same weekend where you decided to bestow a thunderstorm, hail, sand storm upon us. Yeah, you made us leave early and we never forget. But hey, bygones will be bygones. We aren’t a troop to quit or to be pushed around. So we return, chests out and ready. A Friday evening departure from the church took us to a familiar trek up 3E5 to Hwy 287. A rather mundane drive if you will but hey, we gotta get there. A pit stop in Childress to fuel up the vehicles and snacks for the group. On we travel to the Boy Scout Museum in Amarillo, a familiar stop for us as we travel west. The air-conditioned sleep would be our last for the next few nights, at least with cool air. Donuts, coffee, and juice were the samplings of the morning. Once cleaned up, we were off to Palo Duro except we felt the boys needed to see and experience some art so we headed to Cadillac Ranch. Spray paint in hand we ma…

White Water Rafting - Day 2

By Philip Pratt

As we finished up dinner to the sight of growing thunderstorms we were blessed with some of the most stunning skies New Mexico has to offer. Luckily most went north and south of us but as we prepped for bed the winds came.  Strong gusts took at least 2 tents down (including yours truly) but were quickly repaired. Scattered showers around 1am made for a good nights sleep.

6:30 or so the camp started to awaken...coffee brewing, breakfast prep, and campsite tear down. Breakfast burritos with sausage or chicken, scrambled eggs, peppers/onions with cheese and salsa.  Needing to leave by 9:00 the camp quickly cleaned and packed up in anticipation for our upcoming rafting adventure.

Prompt arrival at our meeting spot to load up on a soon to be retired school bus. We were bussed to the drop spot to go over all rules and regulations. Safety protocols were explained with regards to life vests, helmets, paddles, etc.

We loaded up into 4 rafts.  Groups of 9,8,4 and 4 were loaded d…

White Water Rafting 2019

Day 1 traveling to Abiquiu for white water rafting...
By Philip Pratt


Boys are doing great, very proud

Day started early with a rise and shine and breakfast of champions...donuts and coffee with milk and juice for the boys. After cleaning up the museum of our 451 mess we were on the road.

A quick stop miles down the road at Cadillac ranch.  Doug Mahdak generously brought 7 cans of spray paint for the boys to add their own mark.  If paint shows up on clothes, I blame him.  😂

On the road again from Amarillo to New Mexico led us out of town but not before the smell...if you’ve been through here, you know it. Special thanks to Lance Brooks for rolling down the windows.  (I still smell it I think).

A rest room break turned into a roadside lunch. Turkey, ham and chicken sandwiches were quickly inhaled, young and old alike.  Lettuce, tomato, pickles, chips and cookies.  All off the tailgate of Steve Kral and David Woehler.

Arrival at camp 2 hours later to a beautiful site looking over the…

Reflections On Summer Camp 2019

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With our annual week of summer camp freshly behind us, the time seems apt for a bit of reflection.

Why do we do it? Every summer for the past 19 years our troop has made the long trek northward to attend Camp Geiger. Why? What is it about this particular Scout camp that keeps us coming back again and again?



Often, various officials from the Longhorn Council have inquired why we do not avail ourselves of the great facilities our council has to offer for summer camp. And it is true that both Worth Ranch and Sid Richardson Scout Ranch are fine camps. (I have not been to Camp Tahuaya so I cannot comment on it, though I understand it is similar to Worth Ranch and Sid). We use them throughout the year, camping at each one once or twice each year. The facilities available are not an issue.

The flippant answer I offer to these queries is that, while we love those camps, there are three reasons we do not go there for summer camp: June, July, and August!

There is much truth in this joke. Texas …

Saturday's Alright!!

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Friday night marked another suite of signal successes for Troop 451.  Despite threatening weather, the Tribe of Mic-O-Say conducted the traditional ceremonies to welcome new members into the tribe. All of our candidates successfully completed their "ordeals". We were proud to see the Tribe welcome them as its newest braves and honorary warriors.

Our four new Mic-O-Say braves are
Austin Reid -  Brave Climbing Fox
Jake Mahdak - Brave Little Guards Copperhead
JamesMorales - Brave Looks Through Nation
Robby Paul - Brave Fights Like Falcon


And Five new honorary warriors
Gregory Hayden - Honorary Warrior Ate (ah-DAY) Man
Lance Brooks - Honorary Warrior Paints Fire
Phillip Pratt - Honorary Warrior Cherokee Horse
Shelly Koonce - Honorary Warrior Tawicu (dah-wee-chue) Guards Falcon
Tara Koonce - Honorary Warrior Cuwitku (chew-weed-ku) Guards Falcon



"Tawicu" (dah-wee-chue) means "wife of" in the Lakota Siouxan language and "Cuwitku" (Chew-weed-ku) means "daug…

The Morning After the Night Before

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Thursday night brought Tapping Fire and with it all the panoply of a Mic-O-Say ceremony.  Several visitors from Troop 451 came for the ceremony, including Medicine Men Big Spirit Mist (Gary Lueking) and Big Iron Wheel (Richard Covington), Sachem Three Lakes (Mark DiCiaccio), Honorary Warriors Big Coyote Mandan (Kevin Bryant) and Guards Copperhead (Doug Mahdak). Other family members attended the ceremony as well, including Pam Bryant, John Morales, and Pam Mahdak, Nikhilesh Subbakrishna and Poornima Nikhil, as well as Amey Kashyup's grandmother.

Tapping Fire is every bit the extravaganza you might imagine. You can read about another, similar event from 2017 that was especially significant to our troop. The centerpiece is the eponymous conflagration. Many times in the past, Troop 451 Scouters have had the honor of constructing this spectacular pile of fuel. This year, others were tasked with that chore and produced a combustible construction nearly 12 feet in height. Irrespective of…

Family Night, 2019

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I almost forgot to publish the update from last night!
I tell you, as the week goes along, the pace of life in camp picks up and goes from hectic to very nearly chaotic!

Wednesdays bring Family night and this year, Troop 451 was joined by Amey Kashyup's parents, Nikhilesh Subbakrishna and Poornima Nikhil, as well as his grandmother. They all made the long journey up from Texas to see Camp Geiger, the Wednesday night Campfire, and tonight's Tapping Fire. We are delighted they can join us for these festivities.

After dining in the dining hall on pizza from the infamous Pizza Ranch, we returned campward to adorn ourselves in our faithful class A uniforms for the Campfire. We then gathered in "Scoutcraft Valley", just by the Structure that Chad Kral and another Troop 451 Scouter helped to re-roof this Spring. There, we formed lines so we could process into the Running Horse Council Ring in a stately fashion, arms crossed and in silence.



Kevin Koonce was announced as our …

The Best Is Yet To Come!

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Thursday, June 20th, 2019

Resuming a more typical camp schedule, your correspondent was up with the sun to enjoy the cool of early morning and the lightening Eastern sky. The morning was somewhat misty by the enshrouding fog of the past few mornings was not in evidence today. As always, the various local avifauna provided a lively concert as the soundtrack to the dawn.

Thursdays at Camp Geiger bring a palpable tension as this day will be concluded by the Tapping Fire! Tapping Fire is a tableau that must be experienced to truly be appreciated in all its pomp and circumstance. The actual event far exceeds my meagre ability to describe it but you may get some sense of what our Scouts and Scouters will enjoy tonight by referring to past descriptions of this grand occasion. The links below may help to assuage your hunger for news from Camp Geiger.

Doubtless, tonight's ceremonies will consist of the very details described so many times previously. The tapping ceremony is a ritual and, l…

Hump Day?

Hump Day

For those whose week is defined by work or school, Wednesday is often referred to as "hump day". This seems a sad commentary on our quotidian lives but there it is. At camp, Wednesday means the best is yet to come as we are still warming up for the full Geiger experience!

We enjoyed rain, off and on, from Tuesday evening, just before dinner, throughout the night, and up to dawn. Though the rain had stopped, the sky was leaden and the dawn gave scant early light. A heavy fog shrouded the camp, further softening the contours already made soft by their covering of trees and such.

Often, on arises early enough to be the only soul to witness such pretty sights but this session, for reasons unclear, I have not yet managed to rise quite that early. Even rising well before reveille, I found most of our troop up and about already, actively preparing for the day ahead.

Amey Kashyup, Daniel Woehler, Dylan Beaver, and Max Brooks attentively prepared for their role raising our t…