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Troop 79 at the Dunes, Part 2

The Stormchasers of Troop 79 were at it again leaving Friday night on the Chicago side of a squall only to drive around the lake to catch it on the Michigan side at Warren Dunes. Just in time for a 20 minute downpour while setting up our solo tents. Our second campout during Covid again called for individual tents (over 20!), masks, hand sanitizing, working in separate patrols, and using our common sense. Despite the excitement of setting up a campsite in the dark and rain – we did it no problem.

Saturday morning kicked off with patrol cooking and the adults doing their thing. Turkeys and Scouts headed out for the trails and dunes.

The afternoon was spent back at campsite for work on advancement, fire-building, tarp installation, and ensuring camp chairs worked properly.

Evening dinner pitted patrols against each other to create the best dinner in categories mostly just known to the SPL judge. In the end, the burrito dinner patrol won and were awarded the coveted Oreo prize. Adults were treated to gramma’s famous Hungarian Goulash recipe, salad, and pan-baked brownies for desert.

Saturday night campfire illuminated the darkness and entertainment programmed and MC’d by two Communications Merit Badge hopefuls.

Sunday morning forecasted rain provided enough motivation to rise early, eat breakfast, and head-out in time for rain in Chicago. Great to be out of our city cocoons and into the woods again!

Thanks to our PLC for organizing the events and the adults who made the trip. Hoping for one more overnight in Nov before we put the wraps on an abbreviated 2020 outdoor program.

Member of our Google group? Click here for more photos.

[PHOTOS] Warren Dunes @DKeats, @ABui

Troop 79’s Fall 2020 Socially Distant Court of Honor

It’s a long standing tradition at Troop 79 to hold a Court of Honor shortly after the start of the school year. The meeting fills several important missions, including recognizing individual Scouts’ advancement and new leadership positions in front of parents and siblings. It’s also been a terrific opportunity to share photos and stories from the past summer’s camp and high adventure.

It goes without saying by now that pretty much everything about 2020 has had to be adapted to COVID restrictions, including celebrating as a group. How can we safely host several dozen Scouts, adult advisors and their families? And with indoor gathering not recommended, where do we hold such an event?

The answer, it turned out, was a forest preserve shelter, thanks to Cook County. Unfortunately our usual multi-media show was a no-show, but with the help of a battery powered mic and amp, mask-muffled voices could be heard. Emcees and Communications Merit Badge candidates Davu S. and James B. kicked off the meeting, with awards and advancement presented by Mr. Barich and Mr. Keats, assisted by SPL Andrew B. and ASPL Geoffrey B. Elbow bumps replaced the traditional Scout handshake, but otherwise the pomp and circumstance proceeded as usual.

Despite no summer camp at Owasippe, the troop held two high adventure trips for older Scouts. Stories of both the Summit and Alaska adventures were shared, hopefully whetting the outdoor appetites for next year’s trek to the Boundary Waters in Minnesota.

In closing, the adult leadership of Troop 79 is grateful for the families that support our activities. The annual Court of Honor is way to share that gratitude in person, and demonstrate just how much our Scouts accomplish in the few short months in between. And considering how disruptive the COVID pandemic has been to so many facets of daily life, it’s impressive how adaptable and resilient our Scouts have been. Hike on!

Member of our Google group? Click here for more photos.

[PHOTOS] Fall CoH @KBui

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