BSA Troop 328

Oak Ridge, Tennessee

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NEWS 2014-2015

Summer Camp

Our troop attended summer camp at Camp Buck Toms on Watts Bar Lake near Rockwood. We were there for week 3, June 21 through the 27th. 20 Scouts and 5 adult leaders participated. Scouts met at Elm Grove Park (just down the street from Kern UMC) at 12:00PM (noon) to load personal gear on the trailer. The troop arrived at Camp Buck Toms around 1:30PM and get checked-in and did the swim test. We had a great week. It was hot but there was a breeze on most days and there were opportunities to cool off in the lake. We didn't have any rain until late on Friday. None of the scouts showed any signs of being homesick, but we had "trouble" with some of the moms worrying about the boys. We packed up camp on Saturday morning (there was a break in the rain) and headed back to Kern UMC. After unloading the trailer, the scouts were dismissed around 11:30AM. Click here for more photos.

American Legion Scholarship Awarded

Zeke was chosen as this year's recipient of the annual college scholarship sponcered by the Atomic City Post 199 of the American Legion. The scholarship is for $1000 and was presented at the post's mothly Monday meeting on June 15th.

Placing Flags on Veteran's Graves for Memorial Day

On Saturday, May 23, the troop placed flags on veteran's graves together with the American Legion (Atomic City Post #199) in Oak Ridge. We had 18 scouts and 10 adults participate. We met at Kern UMC at 9:45AM and headed over to Anderson Memeorial Gardens and then over to Woodhaven Memorial Gardens (Tennessee Valley Memorial Gardens). We were done around noon. On Wednesday, May 27, we met at 6:15PM to remove the flags. Afterward, we reconvened at the marina where the American Lwgion Post treated us to cookies and drinks. Click here for more photos.

Troop Court of Honor on May 18th

We had our Spring Court of Honor on Monday, May 18, in the Fellowship Hall at Kern UMC. We had a delicious potluck dinner followed by the ceremony to give out the various awards, rank advancments, and merit badges earned since the previous court of honor back in January.

Pioneering Merit Badge

The troop went on a camp out the weekend of May 15-17 in Oak Ridge to work on the Pioneering merit badge. Scouts were dropped off on Tuskegee Drive near the disc golf course on Friday evening and picked up Sunday morning at the same location. From the road we hiked about 200 yards into the woods to a clearing and setup camp. Saturday morning we started on Requirement 10 for the Pioneering merit badge which is to build a project using only poles and spars lashed together with rope -- we used bamboo growing nearby for the spars. For the project we decided to build catapults and then to make it more interesting we had a competition to see whose catapult could launch a softball the greatest distance. The scouts were divided into 5 groups so we had 5 catapults. The basic rules were that on rope and bamboo could be used and each catapult had to be able to fire 3 shots without self destructing. The scouts had a lot of fun designing and building the catapults and each team came up with a good design. When it came time for the competition, only 3 of the catapults managed to actually launch a softball and only one fired it more than a few feet. The winning shot went about 80 feet. After the competition, the scouts played softball using a bamboo bat. After dinner, we had a campfire and then the scouts had some free time to hang out. Sunday morning packed up camp and hiked back over to Tuskegee Drive to be picked up. Click here for more photos.

Backpacking Trip to Cumberland Mountain State Park

On the weekend of May 1st and 2nd, the troop went on a backpacking trip to Cumberland Mountain State Park near Crossville. We met at Kern UMC at 9:00AM on Saturday and loaded up our gear and headed out. Many thanks to Mr. Ediemiller for the use of his fater's 15 passenger van. We got to the park around 10:30AM and registerd with the ranger staion to camp on the trail overnight. After a short lesson on using a map and compass we started down the trail around 11:00AM. Our plan was to combined three trails, Cumberland Plateau Trail, Byrd Creek Trail, and the Overnight Trail, to make an 8.2 miles loop. These trails made for an easy backpacking trip with only a 200ft elevation change over the entire route. Around noon we stopped for lunch at a very nice bridge built by another scout troop as and Eagle Scout project. The trail was very scenic and the weather was perfect. It looked like a bad storm or even a tornado had passed through in the last couple of years. There were a lot of trees down but the park had done a good job of clearing the trails. At Mr. Ochs suggestion we planned our route so that we hiked around 5 miles on Saturday so we would only have a little more than three miles to go on Sunday. When we reached the designated camping area there were already people camping there and the site was too small to accommodate many more people. So we went another 1/4 mile and scouted out another camp site that was conviente to a stream for filtering water. We setup camp and around 5PM and had dinner. Later we had a campfire and went to bed. Sunday morning we got up, had breakfast, packed up camp, and were back on the trail around 9:15AM. After another very plesant hike we arrived back at the ranger station just before 11AM and had lunch. We got back to the church around 12:15PM. Click here for more photos.

Virginia Creeper Bike Hike

On the weekend of April 17-19 our troop bicycled the Whitetop to Damascus section of the Virginia Creeper Trail. 17 scouts and 8 adults were on the trip. We met at Kern UMC at 6:00 on Friday to load our gear on the troop trailer and load the bicycles on the ATV trailer (thanks Michael Bowling for loaning us the ATV trailer!) before we hit the road. We got to the Iron Horse Campground in Damascus around 9:30PM and setup camp in the dark. We were able to camp next to the river. Although the weekend weather forecast had looked grim for most of the week, we got up Saturday morning to sunny skies. After breakfast, we loaded into the vehicles for the ride up to the Whitetop trail access. When we got there, we needed to replace the rear tube on one of the bikes. While working on the bike we had two scouts skin their knees in the parking lot before we even got on the trail! Once the bike was repaired and the knees were bandaged, we started down the trail. The ride was very pleasant and the trail was mostly down hill for the 20 miles back to the campsite (the trail runs right through the campground). There was one more skinned knee (minor) on the way down. We got back to camp around 1:30PM and had lunch. Right after lunch we discovered one of the scouts was missing, he had not stopped at the campground and had continued down the trail. We caught up with him and discovered he had joined up with another scout troop who were looking after him. Several of the scouts working on the bicycling merit badge rode another 5 miles in the afternoon to complete the 25 mile requirement. We shuttled the drivers back up to Whitetop to retrieve the vehicles and then had dinner. After dinner, we had a campfire and then a birthday party for Zeke. Sunday morning we got up to cloudy skies but still no significant rain. We had breakfast and packed up camp. 15 minutes or so after we left the campground the heavy rain started and we drove through rain most of the way back to the church. We got back around noon and the rain stopped just long enough for the scouts to gather their personal gear and get picked up. Click here for more photos.

Make Up Scout Physicals on April 27th

All scouts and adult leaders must have a BSA Medical Record on file with the troop in order to participate in troop activities. Dr. Hughes will be doing makeup exams, an adult leader in our troop has graciously agreed to perform the physical exams (free of charge) at the regular Monday night meeting on April 27th. You can download the form from here. The forms will be kept on file by the troop so we can take them with us on outings and have them on hand in the case of a medical emergency. The adult leaders will take the necessary precautions to protect this information since it is sensitive. Here is a link to Frequently Asked Questions concerning the BSA Medical Record.

Day Hike to Greenbrier Pinnacle

The troop went on a day hike on Saturday, March 28th, up to Greenbrier Pinnacle. This was the hike that was originally planned for March 7th. We met at the church at 8:00AM and got to the Ramsey Cascades trailhead around 10:00AM. The trial in inside the GSMNP near Pitman Center. We had eleven scouts and three leaders on the hike. When we got there the ground was covered in snow but the roads were clear. We hiked about a mile on the Ramsey Cascades trail before turning onto the Greenbrier Pinnacle trail. Greenbrier Pinnacle trail is no longer maintained by the park service so there were several logs to climb over and the rhododendron had overgrown the trial in several places. It was a good hike, especially in the snow. Round trip we hiked a little over 10 miles. Bushwhacking through the rhododendron caused a lot snow to fall down on us so it was hard to stay dry. The scouts played in the snow and there were some snow balls flying. There was quite a bit more snow up near the top where we stopped for lunch. The only complaining we heard from the scouts was some cold hands after stopping for lunch. It took us about 4 1/2 hours to reach the lookout point but the view was spectacular. We could see Mt. LeConte and Grapeyard Ridge which were also covered in snow. At the lookout point we could look back toward Oak Ridge and clearly see the steam from Bull Run (50 miles away) using binoculars. The hike back down only took about two hours and we got back to the church around 6:00PM. Click here for more photos.

Zeke's Eagle Scout Project Workday

On Sunday afternoon, March 22, the troop met at the Oak Ridge Animal Shelter to work on Zeke's Eagle Scout project. The goal of the project was to improve the garden area where people looking to adopt can take perspective animals outside and play with them to see if they are compatable. Zeke divided the scouts into two groups. The first group cleard brush to enlarge the lay area and the second group constructed a covered bench. Click here for more photos.

Mammal Study Merit Badge at the Knoxville Zoo

On Saturday, March 21, the troop went to the Knoxville Zoo to work on the Mammal Study merit badge. Scouts met at Kern UMC at 9:00AM and got back to the church around 1:30PM. Click here for more photos.

Cooking Outing

The troop went on a cooking outing at Camp Pellissippi the weekend of March 6-8. The purpose of this outing was to get as many cooking requirements as possible completed for the cooking merit badge and for rank advancement (Tenderfoot requirements 1,2,3; Second Class requirements 3c-3f, 6; First Class requirements 4a-4d, 6). Thanks to Mr. Haines, the scouts were also able to do the Game Design merit badge while they were not cooking. In addition, several of our new scouts earned their Totin' Chip (needed to carry or use wood cutting tools, including pocket knives) thanks to Dr. Hughes. We met at Kern UMC at 6:00PM on Friday and we got back at the church around 10:300 on Sunday morning. We stayed in the Authur Woods Lodge which had electricty and a wood burning stove. Click here for more photos.

Scout Sunday

On Sunday, February 8th, our troop participated in Scout Sunday and attended to 11:00AM service at Kern UMC. we had 13 scouts and 7 leaders in attendance. Several scout families were also present. This event is by far the best opportunity we have each year to show our appreciation to the church for sponsoring our troop and allowing us to use their facilities. Click here for more photos.

Scouting for Food

On Saturday, January 31st, and again on Saturday, February 7th, our troop participated in the Scouting for Food program to help those in need in our community. On the first Saturday the scouts distributed collection bags to homes in the neighborhoods around Kern UMC. Instructions are printed on the bags explaining what to donate and when the donations will be collected. The following Saturday, the scouts collected the donated food and took it to the food pantry at Grace Lutheran Church where they sorted and boxed up the donations. This year we had 21 scouts participate and we colleted 520 donated food items. Click here for more photos.

Snow Sports

Our annual snow sports outing was on January 24th at Ober Gatlinburg. We met at Kern UMC at 1:00PM and drove up for the 3:00PM to 10:00PM ski session. We checked in at the bottom tram stop around 2:30PM and rode the tram up to the ski area. When we got up there, we rented our equipment and hit the slopes. The weather was perfect, blue skies and not too cold. Several of the scouts who had not skiied before took advantage of the ski school. The scouts were having such a good thime most of them skiied up until the very last minute without taking much of a break. WE got back to the church a little after midnight. Click here for more photos.

Raccoon Mountain Cave

The troop went caving at Raccoon Mountain Caverns (near Chattanooga) on the weekend of December 20-21. 19 scouts and 6 adults participated. We met at Kern UMC by 11:00AM and after shuffling vehicles to come up with enough seats we got on the road around 11:30AM. We arrived at Raccoon Mountain around 1:30PM and the Geology merit badge class got started around 2:00PM. Andrew, a geology student from UT Chattanooga, taught the merit badge class and did a very good job. After the merit badge, we had dinner and got ready for the cave tour. Everything we needed was provided by the outfitter (helmet, light, gloves, knee pads). Our guides for the cave tour were Dylan (a former Eagle Scout from our troop) and Kevin. Everyone put their gear for sleeping into a plastic bag and we headed into the cave around 7:00PM. We left our gear in the "Crystal Palace" chamber of the developed part of the cave and headed into the "wild" part of the cave. The tour lasted a little over 4 hours and we climbed, crawled, slid and scooted a total distance of about 1 1/2 miles. It was wet and muddy but everyone made it through in one piece. Click here for a map of the cave, our route is highlighted in yellow. We spent the night back in the Crystal Palace room which was good because they turned the lights on so we could see to layout of sleeping bags. It was lights out about 12:30AM. Dylan woke us up at 7:00AM and packed up and had breakfast. We left Raccoon Mountain around 8:30AM and got back to Kern about 10:30AM. Click here for more info.

Shooting Sports

Our shooting sports outing this year was on the weekend of October 7-9. We met at Kern UMC on Friday evening and drove over to Camp Buck Toms and setup came. Saturday morning we had breakfast and finished arranging our camp in the daylight. Mr. Brian Ripely from TWRA gave a safety briefing and talked about the various firearms we would be using. The troop deeply appreciates the support from Mr. Ripley and Mr. Bill Mills for this outing (Mr. Ripely supplied the rifles and shotguns). We divided up into three groups and the scouts rotated between archery, the rifle range, and shooting clays on the shotgun range. We got back to camp around 4:00PM and the scouts cleaned the guns. After dinner we had a campfire and made blueberry, apple, and cherry cobbler. Sunday morning we have a quick breakfast, packed up camp and were back at the church a little after 10:00AM. Click here for more photos.

Welome New Scouts

We would like to welcome 7 new scouts, Ben, Eli, Dawson, Evan, Parker, Alex, and Brendan to Troop 328. Welcome scouts!.

Backpacking Trip to Frozen Head State Park

On the weekend of October 25th, the troop went on a backpacking trip to Frozen Head State Park. We met at Kern UMC at 9:00AM on Saturday and were on the road by 9:30AM. We dropped off our backcountry permit at the ranger station and dropped our gear off at the trailhead. After a short delay due to a misscommunitcation about which trailhead we were starting from, we were on our way. Right off the bat, we missed the trun onto Bird Mountain trail and wound up stayting on the Frie Tower Trail all the way to the Square Knob campsite. The weather was perfect. We setup camp and eventually found a water source where we could filter water to refill our water bottles. Everyone cooked dinner and then we built a nice campfire. Sunday morning we got up and bulit another fire since it was rather cool but not uncomfrotable. Once there was enough daylight we cooked breakfast and packed up for the trip back to the trailhead. We decided to return on the Fire Tower trail rather than taking the Cumberland Trail so we did not rack up any miles toward the 50-Miler Award on this trip. It was a beautiful day and we made it back without any trouble. We had lunch at the picnic shelter near the trailhead and then loaded up the vehicles and headed home. We got back to the church around 12:30PM. Click here for more photos.

Florida Sea Base

The week of October 11-18 (Fall Break for Oak Ridge Schools) we sent 3 crews to Florida Sea Base. Two of the crews were made up of 6 scouts and two leaders and they both did the Florida Keys Adventure Program. There were 6 venturers and two leaders in the third crew and they did the Coral Reef Sailing Program. Here is the link to the 2014 Participant Guide. The three crews drove there and back together in a rented 15 passenger van pulling the troop trailer to haul the gear plus Keith's SUV. On Saturday, Oct 11, we drove from Oak Ridge to Ft. Pierce, FL where we spent the night at a Hampton Inn. On Sunday morning we drove on to the Sea Base compound on Lower Matecumbe Key in Islamorada, FL. We got there just after 1:00PM and dropped off the venturers and leaders going on the Coral Reef Sailing Adventure. The other two crews continued on for 50 more miles out along the keys to the Brinton Environmental Center on Summerland Key (almost to Key West) for the Keys Adventure Program. After a week of fun and adventure, all three crews joined up again late Friday night at the Sea Base compound in Islamorada. Saturday morning we got up and drove all the way back to Oak Ridge getting in around 2:00AM. The only excitement on the trip home was a loose battery cable that prevented Keith's SUV from starting, leaving a scout behind at a rest stop, and a blown tire on the trailer. Click here for more info and more photos.

Troop Court of Honor

We had our Fall Court of Honor on Monday, September 29. As usual we had a potluck dinner (I can personally say that there was some good food!) Dinner was at 6:00PM and was followed by the program to recognize our scouts accomplishments sine the last Court of Honor back in May. We are very excited because we have at least 8 rank advancements to award!!

White Water Rafting on the Upper Pigeon River

The troop went whitewater rafting on upper section of the Pigeon River on the weekend of September 6-7. We met at Kern UMC at 1:00PM on Saturday and headed out for headquarters of our outfitter, Wildwater. There were 14 scouts and 7 sdults in our group. They will provided all the equipment including PFD's and helmets. We had an amusing but efective safety briefing and then loaded onto a "rustic" bus for the trip up to the put-in at the powerhouse (the one you can see from I-40 near the TN/NC state line). For reasons that were not obvious to us, the dam was realeasing over twice the normal flow so some of the rapids that are normally class II were running class IV that afternoon. The trip down the river was awesome, the only down side was that there was so much water the ride was ~15 minutes shorter than normal. We were on the water for 5.5 miles and we had an excellent guide in each raft (Dawn, Tyler, and Gale). After rafting we headed over to the Cosby Campground in the national park. On our way to the campground, the bottom fell out of the clounds and it rained so hard it was difficult to see the road signs. 15 minutes later when got there the rain had stopped. We setup camp on two adjacient group campsites then built a fire (had some trouble becasue the wodd was wet) and cooked hotdogs. Just minutes after we finished eating, the rain startedup again -- and it was not a sprinkle. We crowded under the canopy and finished off the cookies and potato chips. Finally the rain lacked off and we went to our tents. The next morning, we had fuit and cereal for breakfast and did a head count to make sure no one was washed away during the night. Then we packed up camp and hit the road. We got back to the church around 11:00AM. Click here for more pictures.

Fishing Merit Badge

Several scouts working on the fishing merit badge went our to Roane County Park on Watts Bar Lake to complete requirement 9 for the Fishing Merit Badge. Requirement 9 is to "Catch at least one fish and identify it. If regulations and health concerns permit, clean and cook a fish you have caught. Otherwise, acquire a fish and cook it." We met at Kern UMC at 1:00PM on Sunday, August 24th, and got to the lake a little after 1:30PM. We fished for a couple of hours then setup to clean, cook, and eat our catch. The scouts did a good job and by the end of the day everyone had fulfilled the requirement. And everyone at least tasted their fish. We packed up and headed out around 5:45PM and got back to the church around 6:15PM. Click here for more photos.

Water Sports Outing

The troop went on our annual water sports outing the weekend of August 8-9. We met at Kern UMC at 6:00 on Friday under cloudy skies and had 18 scouts, 1 visitor, and 4 adults. We arrived at the group campsite at Anderson County Park on Lake Norris around 7:00PM. There was a rain shower just after we arrived but it did not last long so we were able to keep our equipment dry for the most part. We finished setting up camp well before dark. On Saturday morning we had breakfast and got ready to head out on the lake. Four additional adults joined us at the campsite and we were fortunate enough to have 4 boats on the water. When you see them, please thank Ron Cacheiro, Jeff Reynolds, David Laffoon, and Keith Jeter for bringing their boats. It was a little windy but otherwise the weather was perfect. We were out on the lake for 2 1/2 hours before lunch and then went back out for another 3 1/2 hours in the afternoon. Back at camp we had dinner and several scouts went fishing to work on the Fishing Merit Badge. One of the adults caught at nice bass (using a piece of hotdog for bait) but none of the scouts had any luck. Sunday morning we had breakfast, packed up, and got back to Kern UMC around 10:00AM on Sunday morning. Click here for more photos.

Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Tanner

An Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Tanner was held on August 3rd at 2:00PM in the sanctuary at Kern United Methodist Church. The ceremony was followed by a reception in the Family Life Center.

Summer Camp

Our troop attended summer camp at Camp Stahlman on the Boxwell Scout Reservation next to Old Hickory Lake (near Nashville) from Sunday, June 22nd through Saturday, June 28th. Fourteen scouts and three adult leaders participated. We met at 11:30AM in Elm Grove Park (just down the street from Kern UMC), loaded up the trailer, and we were on the road by noon. We got caught in terrible traffic on I-40 about 8 miles before our exit onto Hwy 109 and wound up taking a detour through downtown Lebanon. We arrived at camp Boxwell around 2:30 and got checked in with no problems. We were assigned to campsite 16 (same as last year) which we shared with Troop 361 out of Huntsville, AL who had over 50 scouts there. We setup camp and went over for our swim test but by then it was too late to take the test. So we wound up taking the swim test on Monday morning (all of the scouts passed). The food was good and everything ran smoothly all week. There was a rain shower on Tuesday afternoon and (of course) just enough rain Friday night that some of our gear was wet when we packed up Saturday morning. We arrived back at Kern UMC around 12:45AM, unloaded the trailer, and the scouts were dismissed around 1:30PM. Click here for more photos.

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