Troop 501 Eagle Scouts

Andrew Jackson - 2011

Project: Recycle Bins at the World Bird Sanctuary

William "Billy" John Fisher, III - 2012

Project: Fire Truck Reading Center at Arnold Branch Library

Christopher "Blake" Hufford - 2013

Project: Flag Pole Installation and Beautification Project at New Hope United Methodist Church

Paul Morton Claeys - 2013

Project: Playground Renovation and Update; Construction and Installation of Benches at New Hope United Methodist Church's Preschool

Drew Vitello - 2014

Project: Development and Installation of interactive, 3-D, educational playground mural at New Hope United Methodist Church's Preschool

Backpacking Adventure Through Time

This weekend’s backpacking trip at Washington State Park was absolutely incredible, and awesome on so many levels, at once! A small crew of two Scouts and two leaders set out for a weekend of hiking and camping in the wilderness of the Ozark foothills. At Washington State Park, our crew was treated to the natural wonders of Missouri Hardwood forest, as well as glades, and spectacular vistas above the Big River Valley…

In 1933, during the Great Depression, nearly 16 million people were unemployed in the United States. President Franklin D. Roosevelt formed the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to put people back to work. Unmarried men between the ages of 18 and 25 could join the CCC. They were paid $30 per month, but sent $25 home to their families. The workers ate and lived at the camps where they worked. These young men built roads, trails, bridges, entrance gates, shelters, bathhouses, cabins, and many other buildings and features in state parks. These structures used native stone and rough hewn timbers to create a distinctive, rustic style that is still recognized, today. Their buildings now serve as signature pieces in Missouri state parks. The Civilian Conservation Corps Company #1743 came to Washington State Park in May 1934. This was the only African American CCC company to work in Missouri state parks. From 7 am to 4:30 pm each day, the men worked on projects like road and building construction. Each CCC camp was named to reflect something significant about their park. Washington State Park was created to preserve the ancient Indian petroglyphs found there. One image that appears repeatedly in the rock carvings is the thunderbird. CCC Co 1734 named their camp “Camp Thunderbird” in recognition of the petroglyphs. In 1939, CCC Co 1734 transferred to Mark Twain State Park, near Florida, Missouri. During the five years the company was at Washington State Park, they produced 14 buildings, the 1,000 Steps Trail, 22 road culverts, and many walls, paths, and curbs along the park road. The high quality craftsmanship earned the park recognition in the National Register of Historic Places.

2013-11-10 11.26.06CCC Co. 1734’s Camp Thunderbird barracks, shown above in an historic photograph, now in ruins, became the off-trail campsite for our crew of backpackers, following a fairly grueling day on the trail – climbing steep hills, straight-up, over loose scree; over leaf-littered trails covering loose, ankle-turning rocks; sparsely blazed paths; a hill with “1,000” hand-carved and lain steps; and a water-boil order for any park-provided water sources (only in improved areas, not on the trails), with packs fully laden with provisions, tentage, supplies, equipment, clothing for a Missouri November weekend, and approximately 2 gallons of water, each.

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While it felt great to get those packs off, eat a hearty supper, and enjoy fellowship around the hearth that joined others before us, the views and vistas that we experienced, as well as the camaraderie that we shared made it worth the pains we all endured, diminishing and dismissing them as minor discomforts…

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Backpacking for over 10 miles on the two-day adventure (eight of which were covered in one day), this novice crew, never having backpacked overnight, with the exception of one, and he not as long, grew closer together. They formed stronger ties of brotherhood, and grew in companionship. They packed together. They struggled together. They rested together. They laughed together. They conquered. Together.

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OA Fall Reunion

sashesAll Arrowmen are expected to attend the Order of the Arrow Fall Reunion, next weekend, and support our Ordeal Candidates, Sam, Steven, and Mr Vitello. This is a huge event in the life of any Scout and Arrowman. Let’s show our newest members our support! We will also be joined by three Scouts from another unit. Let’s show them a great time, and how we support our members, and encourage them to join Troop 501! Be sure to order your tickets, NOW, if you haven’t, already! If you are a Candidate, you need to order a Candidate ticket. If you are already an Arrowman, you need to purchase an Arrowman ticket, WITH DINNER. The troop is only providing Breakfast, on Sunday.

In addition to supporting our newest members, this is an opportunity for all current Ordeal members to continue their journey toward Brotherhood, an expectation of all Arrowmen, by working on service projects. If you’ve misplaced your Brotherhood card, you may download another one, here: Brotherhood Card.

We will be leaving from New Hope at 5:30 pm. Please note that this is an earlier departure time, than usual. This will allow Ordeal members to sign up to be Elangomats for Saturday’s Ordeal, immediately upon arrival. Be sure to eat dinner! All Arrowmen who have not yet completed all of their requirements for Brotherhood will be expected to participate in the Ordeal.

September 20-22 Campout Change

In double-checking our reservations for Saint Francois State Park for our September 20-22 campout, I was disappointed to learn that due to an error, we did not, in fact, have the Scout campsite reserved. As disappointing as this was, especially as everyone was looking forward to the autumn colours and perhaps a refreshing dip in the Big River, we had to locate a new site. With only three weeks left until the campout, most of the state parks were booked (though I didn’t try Washington, as we’ll be backpacking, there, in November); and I was starting to look at the Saint Louis County Parks. On a whim, I decided to call back the number for Taum Sauk Mountain and Johnson’s Shut-Ins, one more time, even though the line had been busy for the previous two hours. Sure enough, the Scout campsite that they felt could accommodate our group was already booked at Johnson’s Shut-Ins, and the representative felt that the Scout site at Taum Sauk Mountain would be too rough for the Webelos that would be joining us. However, in a serendipitous twist of fate, she offered us the two smaller Scout campsites at Johnson’s Shut-Ins, which are separated only by a few red cedars, and for the same price – only $2 per person, per night. She also suggested that we visit Elephant Rocks State Park, while we are there, and reminded me to bring our swim trunks… Looks like this is going to be an even better campout than we had hoped for! Be sure to tell all your friends, this will be a great opportunity for new boys to join us for the event, and see how Troop 501 rocks it out (literally)! Please note that in order to accommodate for the longer drive, and the fact that most of us have never been there (and would rather get lost with daylight, rather than without), we will be leaving at 5:30 pm.

Johnson's Shut-Ins

Bass Pro Shops to Partner with Boy Scouts

Troop 501 is  proud to announce that Bass Pro Shops has selected the Boy Scouts of America as a promotional partner for its upcoming 2012 Summer Family Camp promotion.

Bass Pro Shops is inviting every family, friend, and supporter of Scouting to visit the local Bass Pro Shops store at some point this summer from June 9 through July 15, 2012.

In its fourth year, this multi-faceted event gives families the knowledge and ideas they need to maximize their enjoyment of the outdoors. The following events are offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and weekends for the duration of the promotion (remember, everything is free!):

  • Workshops for youth (suitable for ages 8 to 12) on subjects like fishing, camping, and archery. Opportunities are available to test youth bows, practice casting, shoot air rifles, and do other activities.
  • Free crafts will be available for children of all ages, including stamping animal tracks, leather stamping, and building and painting a birdhouse. Each Saturday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., families may enjoy making s’mores together over an open fire in front of the store.
  • Families may take home a copy of the Summer Fun Guide, a 52-page magazine produced in conjunction with Field & Stream magazine. It’s chock-full of great information for families.
  • On weekends, families may have their photos taken and retrieve the finished photo from a special website.

The promotion takes place…
It runs in all Bass Pro Shops stores from June 9 through July 15, 2012, and is open to anyone interested in visiting a Bass Pro Shops store during the dates mentioned above. BSA employees, friends, family, volunteers, alumni, and supporters are all welcome!

Scout presence in stores…
At any time during Family Summer Camp (but particularly on weekends, when traffic is highest), Scouts are encouraged to be in the store, in uniform, to talk to customers, solicit membership (youth and adults), and remind visitors of the donation program (explained below). Bass Pro Shops have offered covered, skirted tables and chairs for councils interested in providing coverage and will have in-store signage promoting Scouting.

Merit Badge classes and workshops being conducted…

Bass Pro Shops is uniquely qualified to offer several workshops with merit badge requirements included. Bass Pro Shops offer the Fishing and Rifle Shooting merit badges for Scouts (The fishing workshop does not include the final step of actually going fishing; for the Rifle Shooting merit badge workshop, Bass Pro Shops is using the air rifle option). Each store will select two or more associates to become certified as merit badge counselors, and a supply of blue cards will be available for counselors to sign off on the classes they teach.

Classes will be taught on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. according to the following schedule:

Tuesday, June 12 Fishing
Thursday, June 14 Rifle Shooting
Tuesday, June 19 Rifle Shooting
Thursday, June 21 Fishing
Tuesday, June 26 Fishing
Thursday, June 28 Rifle Shooting
Tuesday, July 3 Rifle Shooting
Thursday, July 5 Fishing
Tuesday, July 10 Fishing
Tuesday, July 12 Rifle Shooting

Class sizes limited for the Summer Family Camp merit badge classes and workshops
Class size will be limited to 10 Scouts, so pre-registration will be necessary. Scouts may register in-store at the customer service desk or over the phone by calling the store at (636) 688-2500.

Washington State Park Trail Guide

Attached, you will find a Trail Guide for Washington State Park. This promises to be a great adventure!

Washington State Park Trail Guide – Edited

Here, you will find color and black and white copies of an older, official Washington State Park topographical map, as well as a Trail Guide prepared by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources:

Washington State Park Topo Map – B&W

Washington State Park Topo Map – Color

Washington State Park Topo Map Info