We are so proud of our 2017 Philmont Crew! 97 miles in 12 days. Can't wait to hear all the stories. Congrats, guys!
We wish all our Scouts the very best of luck on their trip to Philmont Scout Ranch! They left Saturday, June 17 and will return Friday, June 30. Troop 610 rotates between each of the High Adventure camps every summer to ensure Scouts are able to attend all before turning 18. Scouts must be age 14 to attend. Philmont seems to be almost all Scouts favorite High Adventure trip thanks to the climate and terrain that is completely unlike anything they experience in Florida. Also because the programming while at camp is amazing. You're not just hiking in the desert, but you're also getting to rock climb, do black powder shooting, etc. They'll also be putting in around 70 miles of serious wilderness backpacking. It takes stamina and a definite sense of humor to do those kind of miles, especially at elevation. We can't wait to hear how it goes, Scouts!
On Monday, May 8, 2017 PJ O'Brien achieved Scouting's highest rank by earning his Eagle Scout rank. As part of an Air Force family, PJ has admirably excelled in Scouting over 12 years despite being in various troops in 9 different states. This takes great dedication and effort. Through these many moves, PJ cites Scouting as being a constant in his life, and has helped him make new friends easier.
A Junior with a nearly a 4.0 GPA and a member of the National Honor Society, he is planning to attend a Florida university with a major in Marine Biology/Biology and a minor in Business. His ultimate goal is to work in the field of science, to own his own business, and to have a family where he can pass down his father's and his own name. PJ is the first Scout in his family to earn his Eagle rank, and will be a great example for his two younger brothers who are also in Troop 610.
PJ is extremely ambitious and hard working, and embodies friendliness and helpfulness. He has given countless hours of community service, including volunteering at his local shelter and sponsoring a special needs student at the Special Olympics. Through his leadership in the Troop he has mentored many Scouts and helped them earn merit badges and advance in rank. As an Eagle Scout, he will continue to be an example of Scout's highest ideals, and plans to participate as an Assistant Scoutmaster post-college. We wish him all the best. PJ, you will be missed!
Last weekend the Troop went over to the east coast to do some paddle boarding and ocean kayaking. We were surfing at Ron Jon in April, but this was different. We stayed at Tanah Keeta Scout Reservation in Tequesta (first time here, but it came highly recommended and didn't disappoint), and spent Saturday enjoying the big waves and bigger ocean at Coral Cove beach near Jupiter. We climbed all over the coral rocks on the beach and explored the sea life, then when high tide was coming in, we went out into the inlet at the Jupiter Outdoor Center on kayaks and paddle boards. We paddled around the lighthouse, and saw turtles, dolphins and lots of sea life. It was a great adventure, and a fantastic way to wrap up another great year of camping. Can't wait to do it again!
Sadly, this is the last camp out for Jakob Strawn and Jacob Bailey before their 18th birthdays. These guys are true examples of Scout Spirit, and will be tremendously missed by all of us.
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.