The weather could not have been any more perfect for a weekend of survival training. Boy Scout Troop 633, led by David Smith, made their first visit up to the camp to do just that -- survival training in the wilderness.
The boys were split into three groups of four, each with an Eagle Scout 'counselor'. The groups were each put in three separate spots in the camp and, with minimal supplies, had to use their training to set up camp. The first night's objective was to set up shelter and make a fire.
The group at the bottom of the hill made short work of putting up a shelter and thought that the long grass up in the meadow might make a good thatched roof.
The second group down near the Hidden Path trail fared well, though they were down in the swampy low-grounds. Their evergreen thatching was smart looking!
The last group went down off the hillside past the obstacle course. They used an uprooted tree to help provide shelter (and it made a great windbreak, too). They were a little tougher to get to, so there aren't any closeups of that group!
Let's make one thing clear ... this was NOT training for the adult leaders of the group! They made their base camp around the pavilion camp fire ring and had a mighty fine little setup . . .
They had mighty fine food, too . . . the smell of which I'm sure was quite tantalizing to those in training. The first night, while the groups got their shelter and fire situations figured out, the leaders sat around a great fire and swapped stories. Darin Lightfoot (who had been up here before with his youth, from Morningside Baptist) happened to be up there for the first night, so he pulled out his guitar and strummed for a bit. It made for a most pleasant way to spend a Friday evening!
On Saturday morning the small groups had to pass some training in order to 'find' some eggs to cook and eat. At lunch time, provided they'd passed off on their fishing skills, they got some trout to prep and eat.
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime, right?!
The group at the bottom of the hill decided at some point that their thatched room wasn't quite going to cut it, so they switched it out.
Which definitely made the water-fetching a LOT easier.
The afternoon was fairly quiet. I'm not sure what skills they were working on, but I do know that all the guys earned their supper ... a skinned rabbit and a couple of cans of vegetables!
Rabbit stew was what each of the groups decided to cook and serve. All of them told me their dinner was quite tasty!
Saturday night was a little warmer than Friday night -- a fact I'm sure the boys all appreciated. Troop leader David did relay a great story about their group camp fire time from that night. Evidently at some point in the evening they had a little UFO encounter. As they sat in the dark, they watched about 15 glowing globes of light flying up over the hill. At first, because the globes of light were in a loose formation, the guys thought perhaps it was helicopters, but there was absolutely no noise. Then, as they watched them climb higher and higher, they globes simply disappeared!
David said the guys were all a little stunned and very curious about the lights ... until one of the other adults remembered seeing something on YouTube about Japanese Floating Lanterns . . .
And they decided that was what they'd seen. The guys had heard voices and music in the distance and had figured there was some type of party going on.
It just so happens that friends of ours own some of the property that backs up to the camp -- and they had hosted a wedding and reception that night ... where Japanese lanterns were let aloft. UFOs, indeed!
The guys of Troop 633 made terrific guests and we hope this was just the first of many visits for them.