BSA Troop 328

Oak Ridge, Tennessee

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NEWS 2016-2017

Summer Camp

Our troop attended summer camp at Camp Buck Toms on Watts Bar Lake near Rockwood during Week 3 (June 18th - 24th). The troop met a Elm Grove Park on Sunday the 18th at 12:00PM to load persoanl gear. We arrived at Camp Buck Toms just before 1:30PM. After checking in, we had a tour of the camp and took the BSA swim test. All of the scouts in our trrop who took the test passed. We had an awsome week, good weather and no serious issues. Sever weather was predicted near the end of the week but did not materialize. This was out first time staying at Campsite #11 and it was fantastic. We returned to Kern UMC on Saturday, June 24th around 11:00AM and had the trailer unloaded by 11:30AM. Click here for more photos.

Owen's Eagle Scout Court of Honor

Owen's Eagle Scout Court of Honor was held on Sunday, June 11th, at 3:00PM in the sanctuary at Kern Memorial United Methodist Church. There was a reception following the court of honor in the Fellowship Hall. Click here for more photos.

Lost Creek Cave Outing

On the weekend of June 2-4 the troop went on a caving outing to Lost Creek Cave. The cave is on the premises of Fall Creek Falls State Park, but is a 25 minute drive from where we camped. We met at Kern UMC at 6:00PM on Friday, June 2nd, and drove to Fall Creek Falls State Park. 16 scouts and 4 aduts participated. We also had Bill DeVan from the East Tennessee Chapter of the National Speleological Society with us (to make sure we could find our way back out!). We setup camp on the primitive sites P1-P3 on loop C. On Saturday morning we had a big breakfast and headed out for the cave. After getting seriously lost on the way, we got to the cave around 11:00AM. We spent about 4 1/2 hours exploring the cave and everyone had a good time. There were not too many tight squeezes,and several times we wound up going in circles. I am convinced that the ma of the cave we were using was either incomplete or not entirely accurate. Once we exited the cave, the scouts played around in the waterfall outside the cave for a while. It was after 5:00PM when we got back to camp so we skipped lunch and went ahead and cooked dinner. The scouts hiked down to a waterfall near our campsite and played in the water there. Saturday evening, we had a campfire. The scouts were so exhausted, they went to bed early. Sunday morning we broke camp and made a quick get away just before the rain moved in. We got back to the church around 11:00AM. Click here for more photos.

Scout Physicals (Makeup)

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, an adult leader in our troop has graciously agreed to perform makeup exams (free of charge) at the regular Monday night meeting on June 5th. You can download the form 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.

Place Flags on Verteran's Graves on Memorial Day

On Saturday, May 27, the troop placed flags on veteran's graves at Anderson Memorial Gardens and Woodhaven Memorial Gardens. We will met at Kern UMC at 8:45AM and headed out from there. 19 scouts and 6 adults participated. Several people met us at the first stop at Anderson Memorial Gardens. We were also joined by several veterans from the American Legion (Atomic City Post #19 in Oak Ridge) who provided breakfast (steak biscuits from Bojangles). After placing flags at Anderson Memorial Gardens, we headed over to Woodhaven Memorial Gardens. We finished up around 11:00. "

Troop Court of Honor

We had our Spring Court of Honor on Monday, May 22nd, at Kern UMC in the Fellowship Hall. Scouts arrived at 5:30PM to help set everthing up. A potluck dinner began around 6:00PM. The food was excellent as always. The program began around 6:45PM and we had a ton of merit badges and rank advancements to award.

Natchez Trace Bike Outing

On the weekend of May 20-21 our troop went bicycling on the upper portion of the Natchez Trace Parkway. We met at Kern UMC at 7:00AM on Saturday morning to load personal gear and load the bicycles onto the ATV trailer before we hit the road. We drove to the access point near Pasquo (milepost 440) and after we rounded everyone up and fixed a blownout tire, we headed out from there. We had a very pleseant 25 mile ride to the picnic area off Hwy 7 where we had a nice lunch. As lunch was wrapping up, we could hear thunder but the storms appeared to be to our norht and we were heading south. Most of the group decided to take the vehicles the rest of the way to the campground and the rest set out to finish the remainder of the planned route. They were on the road for about 15 minute when they ran into another storm with lightning so they had to take cover by the road and be picked up by the vehicles. Everyone made it safely to the campground and the reast of the trip was fun and uneventful. We get back to the church around 1:30PM on Sudnay afternoon. Click here for more photos.

Bicycle Safety Class

On Sunday, April 30th, Jay Snyder from the League of American Bicyclists presented a bicycle safety class for our troop. Class began at 1:00PM and we finished up around 3:00PM. Jay went over proper adjustment for helmets and how to inspect your bicycle for mechanical problems. He setup some obsticle courses in teh church parking lot to go over looking behind you withoput swerving, hand signals, breaking, and emergency evasive manevers. Then we had a short lesson the traffic rules, hazards to be on the lookout for, and tips for riding as a group. finally, Jay took us on a ride around the church neighborhood to go over various traffic safety situations.

Charit Creek Backpacking

On the weekend of April 22-23, the troop went backpacking in the Big South Fork. We stayed at the Charit Creek Lodge so minimal equipment was required. We met at Kern at 7:30 on Saturday morning and got to the Charit Creek Trailhead around 10:00. Were drove through heavy rain the whole way but it slacked off when we got there and only had a little drizzle on the hike to the lodge. We dropped off our equipment and headed out to hike the Twin Arches Loop around 1:00. The rain had stopped and we had a very pleasant hike. When we got back to camp, the scout hauled off some brush for their conservation service project. The rain came back with a vengeance before the scouts were done with the service project and it continued to rain until the next morning. Sunday morning we got up, had breakfast and headed back up the trail to the trailhead. Once again the rain diminished while we were on the trail. We got back to the church around 12:30 on Sunday. Click here for more photos.

Angle Falls Backpacking

On the weekend of March 24-26 the troop went on a 3 day / 2 night backpacking trip to Angel Falls in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. We will started out at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center trailhead on Friday morning and hiked part of the John Litton Farm Loop Trial and then took the Fall Branch trail over to near where it joins up with the GRand Gap Loop Trail. We camped Friday night on top of the ridge overlooking a creek that flows into Fall Branch. This creek was the last water source before we headed out onto the bluff abiove the river gorge. It was a a large campsite with plenty of "level" ground for pitching our tents and we had a very pleasant evening. Saturday morning we got up, had breakfast, and packed up camp. As usual, some of the less experienced scouts had trouble cooking breakfast while getting everything back into their packs so it was almost 10:00 when we got back on the trail. We stopped at the creek and topped off our water bottles and then headed out on the Grand Gap Loop Trail. There were several places where we could look out from the bluff and see the river below. After a little over 5 miles on the Grand Gap Loop Trial we veered off onto the Angle Falls Trail which descended down into the river gorge and followed the river to the Leatherwood Ford Trailhead. We had planned to camp at a nice spot where Fall Branch flows into the South Fork of the Cumberland River, but another scout troop was already camped there. So we hiked about a mile further down the trail toward the trailhead and found a nice place to camp near the river. We had another plesant evening and ttowed all of our gear ahead of the rian expected during the night. It did rain during the night but we had a break in the weather on Sunday morning so we broke camp quickly (the scouts did much better this time) and headed to the trailhead without eating breakfast so we could get out befiore the rain started up again. We did beat the rain and the scouts ate their breakfast/lunch in the shelter at the trailhead while the adults shuttled the vehicles back from the Bandy Creek Trailhead. We got back to the church around 12:00PM. Click here for more photos.

Cooking Outing

The troop went on its annual cooking outing at Camp Pellissippi over the weekend of March 3-5. The purpose of this outing was to complete as many cooking requirements as possible for the cooking merit badge (requiremnt 5) as well as for rank advancement (Tenderfoot requirements 1,2,3; Second Class requirements 3c-3f, 6; First Class requirements 4a-4d, 6). We will met at Kern UMC at 6:00PM on Friday. We stayed in the Arthur Woods Lodge where we slpt on the floor. We had 19 scouts and 4 adults on the outing and 7 scouts were cooking. We even had one of the scouts cooking for the adults. Aa far as we known, no one has died yet from the scout's cooking. During the time they were not cooking, the scouts got a good start on the Camping merit badge we got back at the church around 9:30AM on Sunday morning. Click here for more photos.

Roane State Merit Badge College

On Saturday, February 18th, our troop attended the Roane State Merit Badge College at the Harriman campus. We met at Kern UMC at 7:45AM and arrived at Roane State at 8:20AM. We had 19 scouts and 4 adult leaders participating. We got back to the church around 4:45PM. Click here for more info.

Scout Sunday

On Sunday, February 12th, our troop participated in Scout Sunday program to help those in need in our community. Scout Sunday nis when we we set aside time to celebrate our relationship with Kern Memorial Methodist Church, the sponsor for out troop. We participate in the 11:00 worship service and show our appreciation for all the the church dowes for us. This year we had 14 scouts and 4 adult leaders participate. Click here for more photos.

Posting the Colors at the Anderson County Republican Party Dinner

On Friday evening, February 10th, 5 scouts from our troop had the honor of posting the colors for the Anderson County Republican Party's Reagan Day and Congratulatory Dinner for Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally. Special Guest Governor Haslam was there along with many other prominent state and local officials. The scouts did an excellent job and a couple of them were able to speak with the Governor. Click here for more photos.

Scouting For Food

On Saturday, January 28th, and again on Saturday, February 4th, 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 door to door. The following Saturday, scouts again went door to door to collect the donated food and then took it to the food pantry at Grace Lutheran Church where they sorted and boxed the donations. Our troop collected 570 food items. Click here for more info.

Troop Court of Honor

We had our Winter Court of Honor on Monday, January 30th, at Kern UMC in the Fellowship Hall. Scouts arrived at 5:30 and the potluck started around 6:00PM. At 6:45PM the program started and a ton of merit badges and a few rank adveacments were awarded. Awards earned on the trip to Northern Tier back in October were also presented. In addition, Bennett was awarded the Triple Crown for participating in the programs at all three of the premere BSA High Adventure Bases (Sea Base, Philmont Scout Ranch, and Northern Tier).

Winter Camp

Our troop attended Winter Camp at Camp Pellissippi the week of December 27th through the 31st. We met at Kern UMC on Tuesday morning at 7:00AM to load the trailer and get organized. When we arrived at camp, the campsite we were assigned was too small for our troop so we had to find somewhere else to camp. We wound up at the "Old Staff Site" which is where we camped in previous years. Even with the change in location, the scouts got off to there various merit badge classes without any problems. The weather was very pleasant -- not unusually cold and not too much rain. All the scouts and adults had a good time. We got back to the church around 12:00PM on Saturday. Click here for more photos.

Day Hike at House Mountain State Natural Area

On Saturday, December 17th, the troop went on a Day Hike to House Mountain near Knoxville. We will met at Kern UMC at 10:00AM and got on the road around 10:15. We arrived at the House Mountain trailhead just after 11:00AM and headed up the trail. The weather forecast seemed grim, but as usual the hike turned out the a lot of fun despite mother nature. In fact, about two thirds of the way up the mountain we got into the clouds which was beautiful in its own way. At the overlooks we would joke about what the scenery was supposed to be. We had lunch while hiding under a huge rock at the east overlook to get out of the wind and rain. Then we hiked along the top of the ridge to the west overlook and then back down the mountain. This hike was relatively short, only about 5 miles and about 900 feet of elevation change, but was steep in a few places. We got back to the trailhead around 1:00PM and back to the church around 2:00PM. Click here for more photos.

Shooting Sports

We had our shooting sports outing this year on the weekend of November 11-13. We will met at Kern UMC at 6:00PM on Friday evening and got to Camp Buck Toms around 7:30PM so we had to setup camp in the dark. Saturday morning we got up, had breakfast, and finished setting up camp in the daylight. It was a spectacularly beautiful day. After cleaning up from breakfast, Bill Ripley talked to the scouts about gun safety. We then broke the scouts up into 3 groups and rotated them between the rifle, archery, and shotgun ranges. Everyone had a good time and in the evening the scouts cleaned the guns and still had time to play some football. Sunday morning we had a quick breakfast, packed up, and got back to Kern UMC around 10:30AM. Click here for more info and a packing checklist.

Will's Eagle Scout Court of Honor

Will's Eagle Scout Court of Honor was held on Sunday, October 16th, at 3:00PM in the sanctuary at Kern Memorial United Methodist Church. There was be a reception following the court of honor in the Fellowship Hall. Click here for more photos.

Fiery Gizzard Backpacking Trip

On the weekend of October 14-16 the troop went go on a 3 day / 2 night backpacking trip on the Fiery Gizzard Trail. The Fiery Gizzard Trail follows along and through Gizzard Cove which is a gorge carved into the edge of the Cumberland Plateau by Big Fiery Gizzard Creek. The trail connects the Foster Falls Small Wild Area with the Grundy Forrest State Natural Area and is managed as part of the South Cumberland State Park). This trail is ranked by Backpacker Magazine as one of the top 25 trails in the country and the views are awesome. The first day we hiked the 14+ miles from the Foster Falls trailhead to the CCC campsite near the Grundy Forrest trailhead. The hike was pleasant and scenic, but all the waterfalls we dry. In fact, most all of the stream beds were bone dry due to the extreme drought. This meant that it was hard to find places to filter water along the trail and we had trouble keeping well hydrated. Saturday morning we evaluated the water situation and decided not the continue the backpacking trip because we had hiked by where we planned to camp the second night and already knew there was no water source within a reasonable distance. Fortunately, there was a shuttle service for hikers between the two trailheads so we hiked to the nearby Grundy Forrest trailhead and shuttled enough adults over to the Foster Falls trailhead where we started to retrieve our vehicles. Once we had everyone loaded up drove about halfway back to Oak Ridge and stopped a Cumberland Mountain State Park near Crossville so see if they had any available campsites. We were lucky to get two very nice sites next to each other and spent a very pleasant afternoon in the park. Sunday morning we had breakfast and headed home. We got back to Kern UMC in plenty of time to go home and shower before Will's Eagle Scout Court of Honor on Sunday afternoon. Click here for more photos.

Northern Tier Canoe Base

Over Fall Break, 5 scouts and 3 leaders went on a 7 day canoe trip through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota. We met at Kern UMC at 6:30AM on Saturday, October 1st and we were on the road in our rented Ford Transit 12 passenger van just before 7:00AM. We stopped for the night in Eau Claire, WI. Sunday morning we got and drove the rest of the way to the Charles Sommers Canoe Base (base camp) just outside Ely, MN (about 7 miles south of the Canadian border). Our guide, Virginia, met us when we pulled in and helped us find our way around. While in base camp we got to stay in the SLU's (Staff Living Unit) because we were the only crew there. After we stowed our personal gear, we went around to the various stations to check out our crew gear. We also got a lesson on how to flip a canoe onto your back and carry it and made the final decisions on our route through the BWCAW. We planned to earn the "Duty to God", "Historic Trails", and "50 Miler" awards and chose our route accordingly. Saturday evening we had dinner and went to the trading post. On Monday morning we packed all our gear into the portage packs and headed off to breakfast at 7:30AM. Afterward, we finished packing up our crew gear and trail food, checked out our paddles and life vests. We were on the water around 10:00AM after a short delay because one of the canoes was leaking. We paddled north to Prairie Portage on the Canadian Border where we got out of our canoes on the Canadian side walked around a little. Next we headed east along the border, which is also the route the fur traders used and is considered a historic trail) and stopped on the Canadian side to have lunch. After lunch we continued east and camped at a forest service camp site near Isle of Pines on Knife Lake. Isle of Pines is where Dorothy Milter (the Root Beer Lady) lived. That night the sky was unbelievably clear and we were able to see Mars, Saturn, the Milky Way, and the northern lights which were totally awesome!. Tuesday morning we continued along the border to Thunder Point where we hiked up to the top to take in the view. Two miles further east we stopped at a forest service campsite for lunch and cleared several downed trees from the storms that passed through back in the summer. Clearing the campsite served as our trail improvement project for the Historic Trials Award. Afterward we continued through the South Arm of Knife Lake to Eddy Falls and camped for the night on Eddy Lake. Wednesday morning we got a much earlier start and headed southwest along Kekekabic Lake and eventually to Thomas Lake where we camped for the night. There was some wind and rain in the morning but the afternoon was pleasant and just before lunch we saw a black bear on a hillside above the lake. Thursday was a layover day for resting up and fishing. We slept late and had bacon and pancakes for breakfast (very tasty). We fished most of the day but did not catch anything to speak of, but it was another awesome day outdoors. Friday morning we woke up to snow, sleet, and high winds. After a chilly breakfast, we set off into the mist (thick fog was rising off the lakes because the water was warmer than the frigid air that had rolled in overnight. We could not see well enough to navigate by landmarks on the map so we (Virginia) used a compass instead. The water was white capping, waves were breaking over the side of the canoes, and there was a strong headwind so progress was slow. Conditions improved in the afternoon and we made it to Boot Lake where we camped for the night. On Saturday morning, it was cloudy and windy again, but only a little light frozen precipitation. Crossing the open water on Snowbank Lake was again difficult due to the wind but we all made it. After one final very long portage (almost 2 miles) we walked back into base camp around 3:00PM. After checking our crew gear back in, the all took showers and hit the sauna. At dinner, the camp staff broke out a gas grill and made hamburgers and bratwurst which were unbelievably good after eating trail food all week. After dinner, we looked at some exhibits on the hist of Northern Tier, the Ojibwa Indians, the fur traders, and the BWCAW. Sunday morning left on the long drive home right after breakfast and got back to Oak Ridge around 4:30AM. Click here for more photos.

Horsemanship Merit Badge

Lacey Johnston graciously offered to teach the horsemanship merit badge for our troop. Ms. Johnston is the widow of the late James Johnston, a former member and Eagle Scout from our troop. We met at 8:00AM at Kern UMC and traveled over to FOB Johnston Farm in Louisville, TN. Lunch was provided and the scouts were able to complete the requirements for the merit badge. Click here for more photos.

Troop Court of Honor

We had our Fall Court of Honor on Monday, September 19th, at Kern UMC in the Fellowship Hall. Scouts arrived at 5:30 and the potluck started around 6:00PM. At 6:45PM the program started and a ton of rank advancements and merit badges were given out.

Overnight Canoe Trip

On the weekend of September 10-11 the troop went on an overnight canoe trip on the French Broad River. We used Headwaters Outfitters to supply the canoes, paddles, life vests. We met at Kern UMC at 9:00AM on Saturday morning and got to the outfitter's base around noon. We had lunch while the camping gear was being dropped off at the campsite 8 miles down river. After lunch we watched the safety video, checked out our gear, and took a 5 minute shuttle over to where we put-in. The river was low due to the lack of rain, but there was a decent current and it was not difficult to stay in the deeper channels. We made several stops to swim and play in the water along the way. We arrived at out campsite around 5:00PM and setup camp. It was a very pleasant evening. We built a fire and cooked hot dogs and there was a large field to play football and frisbee. There was another scout troop from Greenville, SC camping there as well but there was more than enough room for everyone. Sunday morning we broke camp and got back on the river around 9:00AM. It only took 30 minutes to paddle the remaining 2.5 miles to the take-out, so the scouts had another half hour to play in the river before the outfitter's shuttle picked us up. Once back at the outfitter's base, we had lunch while the trailer with the camping gear was retrieved. The drive home took longer than expected due to heavy traffic coming back from the football game in Bristol so we did not get back to the church until 2:00PM. Click here for more photos.

Water Sports

The troop went on our annual water sports outing the weekend of August 12-14. We met at Kern UMC at 6:00 on Friday, loaded up our gear and headed over to the group campsite at Anderson County Park on Lake Norris. We setup camp and got the boats and tubes ready to go out on Saturday morning. We had 3 boats and a jetski to pull tubes and a pontoon boat to serve as a swim platform. After 3 hours of tubing in the morning and 4 hours in the afternoon, the scouts were worn out. After dinner, we had a campfire and most everyone went to bed right after that. Sunday morning we packed up camp and got back to Kern just after 10:00AM. Click here for more photos.

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