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Troop 79 at the Dunes

Hey COVID, can we camp already? Yes, but with precautions please. After a several-month long hiatus, Troop 79 finally got back to camping via Southshore Train for an overnight near the nation’s newest National Park in nearby Indiana. Had a train car to ourselves.

We pulled our packs from the luggage racks for the hike from rail to trail. Needed to keep up the pace in a race against the Doppler Radar blob on our tail. Motivated by an ever increasing misty drizzle, Scouts quickly set up their individual tents (solo for COVID) and site rain tarp.

Off for a vigorous scout-led hike up up up and over sandy forested hills…chatted with time traveling Voyageurs… summited all highest peaks completing the famous “Three Dune Challenge” thanks to the leadership of our SPL Andrew B, the committed Scouts, and over committed adults.

Another COVID precaution had us skipping close knit patrol cooking and instead enjoying a local delicacy after thorough hand sanitizing. The night was topped off by a drying campfire program lead by George H. complete with Scout skits, songs, and a traditional Owasippe roast.

Sunday morning glorious sunshine after a night of silly woodland noises, squawks, and always that mysterious rustling right outside your tent. Classic tent camping in a low marshy area of The Dunes.

After simple breakfast and campsite sweep for “itsy bitsies” it was packs on, group pose AGAIN, and back to the train, gang! Congrats to Oscar and Carter success on first campout as new T-79 Scouts!

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[PHOTOS] Fall camping @DKeats

Troop 79 is Back!

For the start of the school year, that is. Considering what an unusual spring and summer 2020 has brought, it was refreshing to get together again in person for our first “regular” meeting. Typical except for meeting outdoors and everyone wearing masks…

Newly elected SPL Andrew B. and ASPL Geoffrey B. welcomed the Scouts and led a traditional opening flag ceremony. Mr. Keats then held his Scoutmaster minute, introducing Oscar and Carter who joined from Cub Scout Pack 3822, and filling everyone in on the upcoming weekend campout to the Indiana Dunes.

Next it was time to hold the annual Scout-led elections, where positions like Patrol Leader, Quartermaster, Trainer and more were up for grabs. So many qualified and interested candidates! Congratulations to the winners – they’re all now official members of the Patrol Leader’s Council.

Finally, the meeting wrapped up with a game of Sleeping Pirate, a Troop 79 tradition. In case you’re unfamiliar, the object is to silently sneak off with a set of keys laying under the chair of a Scout who’s “sleeping”. And that’s it – until we meet again in the dunes of Indiana!

[PHOTO] Troop meeting @boylesfour

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