Renaissance Festival Camp Out, Followed by the First Annual, Totally Epic Scouts vs. Parents Cook Off
This is our second time going to camp up at the Lower Hillsborough Washburn Equestrian area of SWFMD property, and this time, IT DIDN'T FLOOD. The weather was bright, sunny and just warm enough to wear shorts. No floating tents (!!!). We all had a great time ambling around the Ren Fair over at MOSI during Saturday, watching jousting and eating turkey legs til we burst. Twice now the Scouts have voted to make this one of their monthly campouts, and I expect it will be a yearly pick based on how much fun they all have.
After the great day out, our families met us at the campsite for a Scout vs. Parents cook off. Since we'd been studying medieval cooking practices, the criteria was you can only cook over coals or fire. Our Scouts gave the parent teams a run for their money. One thing for sure: Troop 610 Scouts CAN COOK. These boys know what's what. Grilled sides of salmon with grilled fresh pineapple, from-scratch fettucine alfredo with bacon, donut holes with chocolate fondue...seriously, you missed it. And the parents, not to be outdone: a big shout out to the trashcan turkey. 22 lbs cooked in 2.5 hours and it was delish. And of course to the Parent team winner, Mercedes' fantastic Puerto Rican stew!
Thanks to some of our great parent volunteers, we had a dodgeball court set up in the woods, and a giant slingshot game, and even water pong to keep the fun going while everything cooked.
Congratulations to all the Scouts recognized at the recent Diocesan Scout Recognition Sunday at Christ the King Catholic Church in Tampa.
Bryce Doyle, a Cub Scout with Pack 610, earned his Light of Christ Award.
Joshua Dibble, Louis Herberger, Niky Nagy and Alex Paine earned their Parvuli Dei Award.
Colin Doyle, Cyrus Mendez, Nyrei Mendez, Colin Rogers and Jacob Tagle, Boy Scouts from Troop 610, earned their Ad Altare Dei Award.
These Scouts spent several months working towards a deeper understanding of their faith with their fellow Scouts and Counselors. The religious emblem awards (apart from the Arrow of Light and the Eagle award) are the only awards which can be earned as a youth and worn on an adult uniform.
We are very proud of the hard work and dedication these Scouts have shown.
What a great weekend to be fishing and canoeing at Hardee Lakes State Park. We actually CAUGHT FISH. Fish so big they nearly drug some of the Scouts out of their canoes. It doesn't get much better than that.
The weather cooperated beautifully, too. We seem to be in a good weather pattern, and we're not complaining. It was nice and cool at night, perfect for tents and hammocks, and nice and sunny during the day. This camp out we were up and fishing way before the sun, then spent the afternoon relaxing, playing cards, Kan Jam, and even figuring out the left-handed boomerang. (Left-handed boomerang...why is this even a thing??)
Best of all was Jack making homemade donuts. Seriously, donuts AND we caught fish. Best. Camp out. Ever.
Did you know the Ocala National Forest is the southernmost forest in the continental US, and protects the world's largest contiguous sand pine scrub forest? There are 600 lakes, rivers and springs, including three first-magnitude springs perfect for swimming.
Every Martin Luther King Jr weekend, we head north to the Ocala National Forest for three days of backpacking. The younger Scouts started at Juniper Springs and headed north, camping at Hidden Pond and then at the sinkhole, logging in about 11 miles. The older Scouts started down at Farles Lake, camped a couple miles south of Juniper, then followed the younger Scout north, eventually meeting up with them at the sinkhole. In all, the older Scouts covered about 20 miles. This trip kicks off the training season for our older Scouts who are going backpacking for 2 weeks at Philmont this summer.
For once it was not rainy or freezing! The weather could not have been more beautiful. Everyone had a great time. No bears sighted, although something big crunched through camp at the sinkhole and left a mess on the trail the next morning. Can't wait to go back!
November 4-6 saw us out at BSA Camp Flaming Arrow in Lake Wales, FL for one of our most popular camp outs: rifle shooting and archery. The Scouts divided into two groups, half shooting bolt action rifles, half at archery, so they had a half day at each. The rifle merit badge is involved, lengthy, and takes a great deal of practice; this trip was a good beginning for those Scouts working on it. The Scouts got some great trick shots off the targets during archery, and spent a little more time than what was quite necessary out in the woods searching for lost arrows. Saturday night they made a spectacular bonfire—the biggest yet—and we had a campfire program that had us falling out of our chairs laughing, especially when they started doing skits impersonating the Scoutmaster. The winning group got an entire package of bacon cooked for them for breakfast Sunday morning. Perfect weather, nice and cool. The campground had showers (not that any Scout bothered with that!), and really nice tents on concrete pads with wooden cots.
Congratulations to Donovan Kerby for earning his Eagle Scout rank on Tuesday, October 18, 2016!
Donovan crossed over to Troop 610 six and a half years ago and has been an active camper and leader throughout his Scouting career. Along the way he also completed the triple crown of Northern Tier, Philmont, and Sea Base.
He is a Senior at Jesuit High School, and will be attending the University of Kansas in the fall as a pre-med major, with the ultimate goal of working in the emergency medical field. He loves basketball, and spends a great deal of time volunteering at Metropolitan Ministries, and the Florida Hospital. Donovan has always been helpful and had a positive attitude, and is well deserving of this honor.