BSA Troop 328

Oak Ridge, Tennessee

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NEWS 2015-2016

Summer Camp

Our troop attended summer camp at Camp Buck Toms on Watts Bar Lake near Rockwood during Week 3 (June 19th - 25th). We had 23 scouts and 4 adult leaders participating. The troop met a Elm Grove Park on Sunday the 19th and we got to Camp Buck Toms right at our 2:30PM check-in time. Right after we got there, we had a tour of the camp and took the BSA swim test which everyone from our troop passed. The weather was plesant and everyone had a good time. The food even seemd a little better this year. At the closing campfire on Friday evening, our scouts participating in the COPE program were recognized for thier achievemt and our troop received the "Troop of the Week Award". On Saturday morning we packed up camp and headed back home. Click here for more photos.

Placing Flags on Veteran's Graves

On Saturday, May 28, the troop placed flags on veteran's graves together with the American Legion (Atomic City Post #199) in Oak Ridge. We had 20 scouts and 10 adults participate. We met at Kern UMC at 9:15AM and headed over to Anderson Memorial Gardens. When we arrived, the veterans from post #199 provided us with a tasty breakfast donated by Bojangles. After placing the flags, we visited the grave of James Johnston to pay our respects. James was an Eagle Scout from our troop who died last year. It was James' wife, Lacey Johnston, who presented our troop with a generous donatnation in honor of her late husband. Next we went over to Woodhaven Memorial Gardens (Tennessee Valley Memorial Gardens). After placing the flags, we were treated to refreshments by the cemetary staff. We were done around noon. On Tuesday, May 31, we will meet at Kern at 6:00PM to retrieve the flags. Click here for more photos.

Veterans From American Legion Post #199 Visit

On May 23, several veterans from The Atomic City Post #199 of the American Legion visited our troop during our regualr Monday meeting. We were honored to have their participation at our meeting and thr program was aimed at preparing the scouts for placing flags on veteran's grave over the Memorial Day weekeend. The veterans talked about their tours of duty and the experiences thay had while in the military. The scouts were encouraged to ask questions and discuss the meaning of duty and service with the veterans. Click here for more photos.

Training Outing

On the weekend of May 20-22 the troop went camping at Anderson County Park on Lake Norris. The purpose of the outing was to educate the scouts (we have a lot of new boys) on patrol structure, leadership, and how the troop functions. We also went over basic skills such as how to setup a tent to stay warm and dry in bad weather, and basic backpacking skills. The training sesisions only took up about half of the day so the rest of the weekend will was free time for the boys to just have fun camping. They fished in Norris Lake and several scouts went for a swim becasue the fish were not biting. Click here for more photos.

Troop Court of Honor

The troop had its spring Court of Honor on Monday, may 16th. There was a pot luck dinner at 6:00PM followed by the program at 6:45PM in the Kern UMC Fellowship Hall.

Fishing Outing

On the weekend of April 29 the troop will went on a fishing outing to Watts Bar lake. We stayed in the campground at Roane County Park (near Midtown on the Caney Creek branch of Watts Bar). We will spent most of the day on Saturday fishing and we had planned to do some night fishing on Saturday evening but the weather did not cooperate. A total of 43 fish were caught and there were be prizes for the smallest, biggest, and ugliest fish. The ugliest was a snapping turtle, the smallest was a minnow that bit an unbaited hook, and the largest was an 8.25 lb carp. Most of the scouts completed the outdoor part of the fishing merit badge -- we still have a little work to do at a Monday meeting. We met at Kern UMC at 6:00PM on Friday, April 29th, and returned to the church around 10:20AM on Sunday morning. The cost for this outing was $10 to cover the cost of food and bait. Click here for more photos.

Cooking Outing

The troop went on a cooking outing at Camp Pellissippi on the weekend of April 8-10. We stayed in the Winter Lodge which had electricty and a fireplace. The purpose of this outing was to complete as many cooking requirements as possible for the cooking merit badge as well as for rank advancement (Tenderfoot requirements 1,2,3; Second Class requirements 3c-3f, 6; First Class requirements 4a-4d, 6). The scouts also completed the Signaling merit badge while they were not cooking. In the evening we held a flag retirement ceremony. We met at Kern UMC at 6:00PM on Friday and got back to the church arounbd 9:30AM on Sunday morning. The cost for this outing was $20. Click here for more photos.

Lacey Johnston Presentation

On March 28th, Lacey Johnston visited our troop and presented us with a generous donatnation in honor of her late husband and former member of Troop 328, James Johnston. James' Eagle Scout project was the trail beside the art center in Oak Ridge. James was killed in an automobile accident nearly a year ago this month and in lieu of flowers, the family requested that donations be made to the Boy Scouts of America, specifically to Troop 328. They also started a GoFundMe account and raised a substantial amount through that as well. Lacey indicated that she would love to see the fund go to a scholarship to help send troop members to Boy Scout camp/Jamboree. In addition, we have received several other donations made directly to our troop in honor of James. Click here for more photos.

Charit Creek Backpacking

On the weekend of March 5-6, the troop went backpacking in the Big South Fork. We will be stayed at the Charit Creek Lodge so minimal equipment was required. The lodge has bunk beds with a mattress covered by a sheet along with a wood stove and gas lamps (no electricity, but there is a well with potable water). We met at 7:30 on Saturday morning then drove up and hiked in to the lodge (about 1.3 miles). We will left all our gear at the lodge and hiked the Twin Arches Loop Trail (4.3 miles). It was a very pleasant hike. It sprinkled on us a few times, and the only rain shower (lasted about 5 minutes) happened when we were next to a very convenient overhanging cliff for shelter. When we returned to the lodge, we will built a fire and cooked hot dogs for dinner. After dinner we were sitting around the fire when we were surprised by a hail storm. Pea size hail rained down on us for about 10 minutes. The scouts adopted "Booger" the dog belonging to the lodge staff as our troop mascot. Booger accompanied us on the hike and he even slept in the cabin with the scouts. Sunday morning we cooked breakfast and hiked back out. There was not enough time to stop and hike the Slave Falls loop on the way out. We got back to the church around 2:45PM. Click here for more info and a packing checklist.

Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Zeke

An Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Zeke was held on February 28 at 2:00PM in the sanctuary at Kern United Methodist Church. The ceremony was followed by a reception in the Family Life Center. Click here for more photos.

Scout Sunday

Scout Sunday on February 21st. Nine scouts participated in the 11:00 service at KErn Memorial United Methodist Church. This was a good opportunity for the troop to show our appreciation to the congregation for hosting our troop.

Roane State Merit Badge College

On Saturday, February 20th, out troop attendeded the Roane State Merit Badge College at the Harriman campus. We met at Kern UMC at 7:30AM and 16 scouts participated. We got back to Kern a little cafter 4:30PM. Click here for more info.

Snow Sports

The troop went on our annual snow sports outing Saturday, February 13. We will met at Kern at 1:00PM and drove up to the tram in Gatlinburg. Once we got off the interstate, we ran into heavy traffic before we even got to Sevierville. From that point, it took us over two hours to reach the tram station in Gatlinburg. Similarly, the tram station was also very crowded but got through that OK since we already had a group reservation. We finally got up to the ski area and our equipment rented a little after 7PM (6 hours after leaving the church!). Because it took about 3 hours longer that expected to begin skiing, we decided to ski until the slopes closed at 10PM. The skiing conditions were excellent with all the natural snow. Surprisingly, the slopes were not crowded at all with very short lines waiting for the lift. After skiing, we turned in our equipment and headed over to the tram to ride back down to the station where we parked. Because of the heavy crowds, the live for the tram was very long and we waited for an hour to ride back down the mountain. Since we skied for and an extra hour and had to wait and hour to get back on the tram, we did not get back to Oak ridge until around 2AM. Click here for more photos.

Scouting for Food

On Saturday, January 30th, and again on Saturday, February 6th, our troop will participated in the Scouting for Food program to help those in need in our community. On the first Saturday the scouts distributed collection bags door to door. Instructions were printed on the bags explaining what to donate and when the donations will be collected. The following Saturday, scouts again went door to door collecting the donated food and took it to the food pantry at Grace Lutheran Church where they then sorted and box the donations. Click here for more photos.

Troop Court of Honor

We had our winter Court of Honor on Monday, January 25th. We had a pot luck dinner at 6:00PM followed by the program at around 6:45PM in the Kern UMC Fellowship Hall. 28 merit badges and 11 rank advancements were presented and the scouts who attended winter camp were recognized. The highlight of the evenging was the ceremony signifying Dave Ochs' completion of the Wood Badge course.

Winter Camp

Our troop went to Winter Camp at Camp Pellissippi the week of December 28th through January 1st. We met at Kern UMC on Monday at 11:00AM to load the trailer and get organized. Due to all the rain we decided not to back the trailer down to the scout room so there was an excessive amount of equipment shuffling required to get the troop gear loaded. We got to camp around 1:00PM and got setup well before the heavy rain started. The opening campfire was moved indoors (no fire) due to the rain. It was unusually warm so we were pretty comfortable even with the rain. Tuesday was mostly sunny and warm, Wednesday was rainy and a little cooler, and Thursday was cloudy and cold. Thursday night and Friday morning were very cold, but we were prepared well enough to make it through. On Friday morning we packed up our equipment and then spent a few hours cleaning up the camp at large. We got back to the church around 12:30. Click here for more photos.

Alum Cave Trail Day Hike to Mt. LeConte

The troop went on a day hike on Saturday, December 19th. We had 11 scouts and 6 adults who participated. We hiked the Alum Cave Trail in the GSMNP up to the summit of Mount LeConte. It was a long hike (11 miles round trip) with about a 3000ft elevation gain. We left Kern UMC at around 7:20AM and got back to the church a little after 7:00PM. The trail was covered by snow and ice in many places and some were pretty treacherous. There were lots of slips and falls (including myself) but no one was seriously injured. The adults were being careful and taking it slow, but the scouts tended to prefer "ice skating" along the trail. It took us 4 1/2 hours to reach the summit where we ate lunch at the Cliff Top overlook. It was cold and windy in the exposed areas at the summit so we didn't linger there long after we finished eating. We decided not to hike on over to Myrtle Point because we were unsure how long it would take us to hike back down given the icy trail conditions. We did, however, take time to check out the lodge before heading back down the trail. It took about 3 1/2 hours to hike back down and the sun was just beginning to set when we were loading everyone back into the vehicles at the trailhead. Click here for more photos.

Shooting Sports

Our shooting sports outing this year was on the weekend of November 13-15. We met at Kern UMC at 6:00 on Friday evening and arrived at Camp Buck Toms around 7:30 so we setup camp in the dark. We had a campfire and cracker barrel then it was lights out. The scouts must have been having a good time because they could not settle down and go to sleep and they were up again on Saturday morning well before sunrise. Saturday morning we had breakfast and finished arranging camp in the daylight. Around 9:00AM Brian Ripley arrived and presented the gun safety program. Brian is a former Eagle Scout from our troop who is now with TWRA who supplied the archery equipment and firearms. The scouts broke into three groups and rotated between the rifle range, shotgun rage, and archery range. we closed the ranges around 4:00PM and head back to camp to clean the guns. After dinner we had a campfire and free time for the scouts. They was no problem getting into bed on Saturday and they were not up too early on Sunday morning. Sunday we had a quick breakfast then packed up camp and headed out. We got back to Kern UMC around 10:30AM. Click here for more photos.

Savage Gulf Backpacking

On the weekend of October 16-18 the troop went go on a 3 day / 2 night backpacking trip to Savage Gulf. The Savage Gulf State Natural Area (now part of South Cumberland State Park) encompasses the Collins River, Big Creek, and Savage Creek gorges (locally known as gulfs) as well as the surrounding plateau. Within the park, these streams descend more than 800 feet off the plateau and have carved sheer cliffs out of the layered sandstone. Our route will follow along the North rim of the Savage Creek gorge which has the best views and is pretty easy hiking. Check out the color coded trail map to see out route. The hike on Friday is outlined in orage, the Saturday hike is in blue, and the hike back to the trailhead on Sunday is outlined in yellow. We returned through the forest along the adjoining plateau and did not descend into the gorge. So there was no real elevation change over the entire three-day trip. The hikes tuend out to be a little longer than I estimated using the distance tool in Goole Maps. It was 8.5 miles form the trailhead to Hobb's Cabin, then 5.8 miles from Hobb's Cabin to the Dinky Line campsite, and finally 3.5 miles back to the trailhead. We met at Kern UMC at 7:00AM on the morning of Friday, October 16th (it was the last weekend of fall break). We had 13 scouts and 5 adults (1 scout and 1 adult joined up with us on Saturday) on this outing. We were on the road by 7:20AM and we got to the Savage Rager Station trailhead around 9:30AM (EDT). After organizing our gear, we headed out on the trail around 10AM. The trail was in good shape was well marked so our scout trailblazers had no trouble following the map. This part of the trail followed along the rim of the gorge. The views were awesome. We stopped for lunch at a nice overlook around 1:00PM and and finally got to the Hobb's Cabin campsite around 5:00PM. Becuase of the level terrain we were holding a good pace but it still took us 6 1/2 hours (not counting lunch) to hike the 8.5 miles. We setup camp, had dinner, and enjoyed a nice warm campfire. After setting the bear bags, we all turned in not long after dark. Saturday morning, we got up and had a leasurly breakfast before packing up for the hike to Dinky Line. The trail continued for another half mile or so along the rim and then turned back through the forrest across the plateau. We got to the Dinky Line campsite around 3:30PM with a 1/2 hour stop for lunch. We setup camp, scouted for water, and collected firewood before dinner. The scouts had a little too much free time on their hands and most the them had turen savage before dinner -- think "Lord of the Flies" but less organized. See the photos. After dinner we had another campfire, hung the bear bags, and went to bed. We tried to get an early start on Sunday morning, but were only marginally sucessful. The hike out was again very plesant. Our trail blazers finally missed a turn so the path followed more of the Friday route than we had planned, but the total distance was about the same so there was no harm done. We got back to the trailhead aroung 11:30AM and had lunch before loading up in the cars and heading home. We arrived back to the church around 2:30PM. Click here for more photos.

Whitewater Rafting

On the weekend of September 12-13 the troop went whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River near Topton, NC. We had 14 scouts and 4 adults participate. We booked our trip with Carolina Outfitters and they did an excellent job. Our guides knew what they were doing and the whole trip went very smoothly. We met at Kern UMC at 11:00AM and were on the road by 11:20. It was cloudy when we left the church but the skies were clear when we arrived at the outfitter around 1:45PM for our trip scheduled for 2:30PM. The scouts played football while we waited. After being issued our PFD's and sitting through the safety talk, we loaded onto a shuttle bus and headed over to the put-in. We had three rafts and 2 guides (so one of the rafts did not have a guide). The guided rafts sailed down the river smoothly, but the unguided raft seemed to be on a mission to hit every rock and head down the rapids backwards, sideways, or spinning. At one point the unguided raft nailed a large rock head on at full speed and got stuck so badly that two of the adults had to get out a push it off. About 1/3 of the way through our 8 1/2 mile trip, the guides had us pull over to the bank and get out of the rafts. We flipped the rafts over and the guides stacked them up and lashed them together into a diving platform. It was a lot of fun climbing up a jumping into the river, although the water temperature was about 48F so that first plunge took your breath away. Near the end of the trip we stopped again to climb up and checkout a cave in the side of the river gorge. After about 2 hours on the river, all three rafts safely made it to take-out just below the Nantahala Outdoor Center. We were shuttled back to the outfitters where we changed into dry clothes and head for Rattler Ford campground. After getting lost on the way to the campground, we finally got there around 6:30PM. Rattler Ford is run by the US Forest Service and is for group camping only. We had reserved sites 1 and 2 and we had plenty of room. After setting up camp we built a fire and cooked hot dogs for dinner. As a special treat we also had a large pot of homemade chili (it was totally awesome!). We woke up Sunday morning to discover that it had rained during the night, but the skies were again clear. We packed up camp and headed for home. Two scouts got car sick on the way back down the Dragon's Tail (Hwy 129) so we didn't get back to the church until 11:30AM. Click here for more photos.

Mountain Biking

The troop went mountain biking on the Noth Boundary Trail in Oak Ridge on Saturday, August 29th. We met at the westend guard shack on the OR Turnpike at 1:00PM. 13 scouts and 4 adults aprticipated. The trail was 12.5 miles of gravel road and eventhough it is listed on Outdoor Knoxville as a mountain biking trail, it is not very technical. The ride took a little more than 3 hours. We took a long rest break at the quarry and stopped at the Gallaher cemetary. Near the end of the trail, about half of the scouts took the Big Oak spur trail back to the guard shack to get in a little more serious mountain biking. Click here for more photos.

Water Sports

The troop went on our annual water sports outing the weekend of August 14-16. We met at Kern UMC at 6:00 on Friday and got to the group campsite at Anderson County Park on Lake Norris a little after 7PM. We setup camp and did what we could to get ready for tubing on Saturday. On Saturday morning we got up and had breakfast. WE had planned to head out on the lake around 10AM but there was some bad weather in the area that delayed us by ~45 minutes. The rest of the day was perfect weather. The scouts tubed all day and the last group got back to camp around 6:30PM. We had dinner and most of the scouts were too tired to even stay up for have some cobbler. It was already very quiet at beadtime. Sunday morning we had a quick breakfast and then broke camp and loaded up.. We arrived back at Kern UMC around 10:15AM. Click here for more photos.

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