Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Shooting Campout, Dec. '09

This December brought another excellent chance to earn the coveted Polar Bear patch for sleeping outside when the temperature is below freezing and as expected, Troop 451 didn't back down from the challenge. On Friday night, a large contingent from 451 made their way to Worth Ranch for a weekend of shotgun and rifle shooting, and of course, great food and fun fellowship.

Needless to say, the mornings were a little chilly, but ever prepared, the Scouts found excellent ways to keep warm.

Mr. Kay fed us way too well and really spoiled us with a fantastic gumbo on Saturday night. One more weekend like this and he may have to elect him permanent grubmaster!

After a little Saturday breakfast, it was off the shotgun range where Mr. Whitten and Mr. Arnett did an awesome job teaching the boys about gun safety, gun etiquette and the proper way to handle a shotgun.

Each of the boys got to shoot at the bright orange pidgeons flying everywhere (thanks to our very popular hand launcher)

8 of the boys were good enough shots to satisfy their shooting requirement for the Shotgun Shooting Merit Badge - hitting at least 24 out of 50 clays thrown. Congrats to Matt B., Jacob P., Noah B., Robby B., Tristan G., Muhsin Q., James K. and Michael M. for some darn good shooting!

If you haven't been to Worth Ranch, it's a beautiful piece of property with all kinds of terrain - hills, hollows, peaks, valleys - it's pretty spectacular from the top of the rocks on the path back to camp. After a fun Saturday night playing "Werewolf," we woke up to a Sunday morning so cold even the bacon was hard!

Normally, we pack up and head home pretty early on Sunday but at Worth, we had the rifle range all to ourselves and took full advantage of it. Each of the boys got to shoot for at least 20 minutes and there was some pretty impressive shooting on display.

Nice shooting guys!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Congratulations to Ameya B.
Troop 451's newest Eagle Scout

Saturday afternoon, in the sanctuary at Grace Baptist Church, the weekly meeting place for Boy Scout Troop 451, friends and familiy gathered for Ameya B's Eagle Court of Honor to celebrate his achieving Scouting's highest rank. The ceremony was both cheerful and reverent, two of the tenets of the Scout Law, and featured a wonderful video compiled by Ameya's parents of his scouting career from Cub Scout to Eagle Scout. Only 2% of those who enter Scouting ever attain the rank of Eagle, but Troop 451 is proud to count Ameya as our 7th Eagle Scout this year. Ameya, your friends, family and fellow Troop 451 members are both proud of, and happy for you. Many congratulations to you and your family on this outstanding honor.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Look Your Best, Do Your Best, Be Your Best

I listen to Dr. Charles Stanley on the way to work most days. I have heard in his sermons this phrase – look your best, do your best, be your best. His messages relate this phrase to the Christian life. I was thinking how that same message is what we are striving toward in out scouting troop.

Look Your Best – We expect each scout to be in full scout uniform, to wear their uniform proudly and to take proper care of how they present themselves. The uniform has many aspects. The word uniform is defined as distinctive clothing worn by members of a particular group; not varying; having the same form or manner. We are all part of one team. The symbolism in various parts of the uniform shows the desires of scouting – learning about truth, acquiring knowledge, being lead in the right path to name just a few. Check out the first few pages of the scout manual to see the importance of the uniform.

Do Your Best – This is one of the foundations of scouting. Each time a scout or scouter says the Scout Oath, he or she is promising to do their best in their duties to God, helping others and to themselves. To do our best is in all aspects of our lives – scouts, work, school, activities, etc. I see so many today that want to just do the bare minimum to get by, to get the box checked. I think we need to strive to do the very best we can in every activity. I saw a shirt at a summer camp one year that said “Maximum Effort, Maximum Pride.” I do not think this is the pride of being puffed up, but to know that you have given everything you’ve got in the effort and are satisfied with the results.

Be Your Best – This speaks to each person’s character. To be trustworthy, courteous, kind, reverent (and the other points of the Scout Law) is to have the character of a person others want to be around; to be a servant leader; one who is dependable and a person of their word. This is what we desire for our scouts, to be much different than the normal teenager in today’s society. To be the person whose character and actions are honorable and respected. To be the young person who will stand out in a crowd because of their character and the way they conduct themselves.

I believe scouting has impacted many of the young men who have been in our troop over the years, making them better individuals. I am thankful for being just a small part of the influence on these scouts and for the working relationships we have had among the many adults to provide a quality program.

Gary Lueking
Asst. Scoutmaster
Troop 451

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Congratulations to Trent P.
Troop 451's newest Eagle Scout

Saturday evening, in a serene Chapel setting in the woods overlooking Lake Lewisville, nearly 100 friends and familiy gathered for Trent P's Eagle Court of Honor to celebrate his achieving Scouting's highest rank. As with many of Trent's Scouting accomplishments, the ceremony was unique, impressive and in the true spirit of what it means to be an Eagle Scout. Only 2% of those who enter Scouting ever attain the rank of Eagle, but Troop 451 is proud to count Trent as our 6th Eagle Scout this year. Trent, your friends, family and fellow Troop 451 members are both proud of, and happy for you. Many congratulations to you and your family on this outstanding honor.

Family Campout, Oct. '09

Even though this weekend was cold and rainy, there was plenty of warmth and fun to be had at our annual Fall Family Campout - this year at Camp T'Sungani on Lake Lewisville. It was great to have "whole families" camping together and the facilities at the Town North Y were great for camping.

Everyone met up Friday night about 7 p.m. and started setting up camp. The Evans were some of the first to arrive and proved to be lifesavers loaning their extra tent to another family who found themselves in need of one.
The camping area at Camp T'sungani is a mixture of the kind of woods boys can get lost playing in for days.

There are also a bunch of open spaces overlooking Lake Lewisville including this stunning point, as well as an inviting dock for swimming and canoeing in the warmer months.

One of the neatest features of the campsite is the little chapel built into the side of the hill up in the woods. It's quite a reverent, serene place during the day, but on Saturday night, it was transformed with fire and color into a spectacular setting for Trent P's Eagle Court of Honor.

Even though it was chilly, we had all kinds of fun.

The McClellans did a little offroading with their gas powered remote controlled cars on a long bumpy stretch of road that proved the perfect drag strip.

Meanwhile, Team Williams played a little football in the adjacent meadow.

Just inside the camp gates, Mrs. Pederson set up the Archery range, much to delight of parents and kids alike, and helped guide bows and arrows for most of the afternoon.

In addition to the Archery range, Mr. Perry and Mr. McClellan set up two stations to throw Tomahawks. It quickly became the hot spot to visit and throughout the afternoon we learned three very important things: 1) throwing Hawks isn't as easy as it looks, 2) it takes a lot of finesse and technique to consistently stick the hawks in the targets, and 3) Mr. DiCiaccio needs to be really nice to Mrs. DiCiaccio because she's really, really good at throwing Tomahawks.

Even the "future Scouts" found plenty of fun - this time in the wonder of a big stick!

While most spent Saturday afternoon playing, many of the Scouts took some time out to help prepare for Trent's Eagle Court of Honor ceremony in the Chapel.

Others helped line the path from the pavilion to the Chapel with luminarios that were stunning when lit.

After so much time and work, Trent found a moment to catch his breath and think about his last few hours as a Life Scout.
Back at the pavilion, the rest of the troop was also thinking of Trent's journey to Eagle, but they were all starting at the beginning.

Always so cool to see a sash filled with Merit Badges and so fun to look and see which ones have been earned.

Brad L., a fellow Eagle, provided a dramatic soundtrack for the Ceremony.

Ethan B., the Troop's most recent Eagle Scout, also played a huge role in Trent's ceremony in full Mic-O-Say costume and paint.

Mr. Quraishi was proud to preside over the impressive Eagle Court of Honor as Master of Ceremonies.

Mr. Goodnight and Mr. Lueking, two of Trent's longest tenured leaders, served as Chieftains over the ceremony.

Finally, the moment arrived when Scoutmaster, and more importantly, proud Papa, Scott Perry awarded Trent with his Eagle along with a certificate signed by Chief Scout Executive Robert Mazzuca and the President of the United States.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Congratulations to Ethan B.
Troop 451's newest Eagle Scout

This afternoon, in front of a packed sanctuary at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Flower Mound, Ethan B. was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank of achievement that can be attained in Scouting. Only 2% of those who enter Scouting ever attain the rank of Eagle. The church was a fitting location for the ceremony as Ethan's Eagle project involved repainting the historic Bethel Chapel behind the church. Ethan, your friends, family and fellow Troop 451 members are both proud of, and happy for you. Many congratulations to you and your family on this outstanding honor.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Slippery Falls Scout Ranch Campout, Aug. '09

This weekend we went up to Oklahoma to the Slippery Falls Scout Ranch and enjoyed a hot, sunny August day swimming in a river, a creek, a watering hole, a pool, and a lake - not the mention the time we spent climbing on giant rocks, jumping off boulders and enjoying God's wonder in the sunset over Turtle Rock. As always, the weekend was filled with great fun, great friends, great food, a couple of midnight raccoons and one leech. We can't wait to go back!

SFSR is a huge sprawling piece of property with hundreds of giant rocks, thickets of trees and dusty trails.

Saturday morning breakfast consisted of homemade donuts - or uh, that's what they were supposed to be. What time is lunch?

A 100-ft. footbridge connects the shoreline to Turtle Rock - a huge rock formation that provides the perfect place to look out over the entire lake. As we'd find out later, it also makes a spectacular spot to watch the sunset.

Good thing we saw this sign. DiCiaccio and Tuggle were about to throw down some wicked Triple Lindys off the high dive!

On the way to the lake, we ran across this family of deer. We had seen some tracks earlier, but they were nothing compared to the real thing.

Heading to Slippery Falls for a little splash time in the river.

Andrew L. cooling his heels upstream in the cool river water.

O.K. Who's up for a water massage?

After the river, we headed over to "Little Niagara" at the Chickasau National Recreation Area where we shared the afternoon with a fascinating cross section of America. By the way, that water is about 68 degrees and yes, it will take your breath away.

Bombs away!

Ellis C. found a beautiful spot down river but yes, the water was still cold.

After "Little Niagara," it was off to another pooled section of the river where the boys spend more than an hour jumping off of 12 foot boulders into the water below. You forgot how much fun rocks and water can be.

Is that Tristan G. or Spider-Man?

Will M. takes the plunge!

Troop 451 finishes off an awesome day of swimming with a little after dinner swim in the lake.

At sunset on Turtle Rock, the "Scoutmaster Minute" takes on a whole new meaning.

As the sun sets over the lake, there is no question that God in all His wonder is most assuredly in this place.

Morning brings one more chance to climb the rocks next to our campsite.

And for breakfast? Some fantastic pancakes made with fresh blueberries and bananas. Now for the record, the cooks took a lot of grief over the "fruity pancakes." However, if one is to peruse the Official Boy Scout Handbook, Eleventh Edition, published in 2005, you will eventually come to Chapter 10, page 268, paragraphs one and two under the heading of "Pancakes," which state - "Flapjacks are a favorite treat on mornings when you aren't in a hurry to break camp. They are best cooked in a heavy frying pan or on a griddle. Follow the instructions on a box of pancake mix. For variety, add fresh berries, chopped fruit, or nuts to the batter."
Next campout, we're making a Quiche!