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Fall In! Troop 79’s Annual Court of Honor

Chris and Jack hosted this fall’s Court of Honor to a packed house of Scouts, parents and siblings.

The evening kicked off with a flag ceremony and included Committee recognition from Mr. Larson, presentation of about 100 merit badges, many rank advancements and installation of the troop’s newest leaders.¬† Thanks to Mr. Barich as our “journey to excellence” continues to bear patches, including a special 30 year commemorative “79” in honor of our longstanding relationship with the Old Town Triangle Association as our sponsor.

As always, a “changing of the guard” was conducted to hand over the Senior Patrol Leader and Assistant SPL roles from John and Colin to Colin and Oscar.  In addition, the Troop heard from past SPL Elijah who’d spent the summer as a guide at the Northern Tier canoe base. His message about savoring the time together in the outdoors was well received!

This year we had a special award presented to our Scoutmaster, Mr. Keats, in appreciation of his over six years leading Troop 79. What made this recognition all the more meaningful were the recommendation letters that came from Scouts, not adults. Thank you very much for your selfless service!

Following all the pomp & circumstance, our summer camp SPL Geoffrey showed off the second Owasippe Camp Cup won by the Troop. Sea Base crew leader Oscar then shared some highlights of the summer’s high adventure trip to the US Virgin Islands. Tough duty! Thanks to Mr. Carter for the multi-media presentation to add color to the commentary.  Mr. Boyle wrapped up the evening with a few words on the important reasons we camp as a Troop.

Many thanks to all the Scouts, Committee members and parents who support Troop 79 and help make it the fun Scout-led organization that it is.

[PHOTO] Court of Honor @boylesfour, @SMcArthur

Troop 79 Hikes at Starved Rock

It was a dark and stormy night. Wait, that was Saturday…. Friday was a beautiful night Рto be stuck in rush hour traffic leaving Chicago for Starved Rock State Park about two hours away. Three years ago the troop camped in the same field. Hard to tell when we arrived that night, but by daybreak on Saturday the place looked very familiar.

Our acting camp SPL, Oscar, gave the Scouts a demo on how to properly pack a backpack. This training will come in handy for several of our guys heading to Philmont next summer. Then it was time to hit the trail to St. Louis canyon.

The canyon and its caves made a great lunch stop. Most of the troop headed back to camp after a stop in the visitor center, but not the hardy Philmonters. They put another couple miles under their boots, including a lot of stairs. They seem to be off to a good start, but wait until they add four days worth of food to their packs in the high mountains of New Mexico next July!

As the sun settled into the trees, out came the matches and fire for dinner, as demonstrated by our new SPL, Colin. Fruit cobbler and a game of commando on the moonlit field capped off the evening. At least things were mostly dry when we finally called it a night.

Here’s where the stormy night comes in. Sometime around 3AM, distant flashes of lightning became more frequent and insistent, followed by rain. Lots of rain. And wind too. Thankfully by morning the heaviest stuff had let up, leaving a brief break in the precip to make breakfast, pack up and head home to Chicago.

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[PHOTOS] Starved Rock camping @boylesfour

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