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Can’t Keep Troop 79 Indoors

The year’s COVID pandemic has created disruption and tragedy for so many families. Through it all, Troop 79 has done our best to get the guys together, even when it meant switching to virtual meetings.

It’s no secret that the pandemic has also taken many families outdoors, where they can stretch their legs and relieve some of the monotony of being cooped up inside. And as long as we maintain social distance, wear face coverings when appropriate and keep hands clean, science tells us the risk of contracting the virus outside is extremely low. It was with all that in mind that T-79 resumed our outdoor activities this fall.

Unfortunately a new stay at home order due to rapidly rising case numbers squashed our plans for a final fall campout of 2020. But, you just can’t keep some troop members inside… Even here in the city.

Have a ground-level concrete or brick patio? You can setup a wood fire in a fire pit! Just watch out for sparks and keep the blaze small. Probably best to have a bucket of water handy too. Here are a few photos from T-79 families warming up the weekend with some safe flames at home.

Have a cast iron dutch oven? I know, this item might not be on everyone’s kitchen shelves. But if you can get your hands on one, and some charcoal briquettes, you can bake just about anything you’d normally do in a conventional oven. Definitely want to set this up on a fireproof surface. Again, here’s what our own T-79 families have whipped up. Iron Chef, anyone?

Have a deck that’ll fit the footprint of your tent? Why not set it up for the night? Instead of country noises you’ll be lulled to sleep with the hum of traffic. And just think, you’ll still have wifi and a real bathroom nearby!

So there you have it, folks. Another fall outdoor program wrapped up, and a very unusual one at that! We hope that you all stay healthy, and see you on the trail sometime. Just not sure when….

[PHOTOS] “Camping” at home @boylesfour @PIvancsits @ACalabrese @DKeats

Troop 79 Clears Invasive Brush at Skokie Lagoons

As Troop 79’s PLC reconvened this fall, SPL Andrew B. proposed a day of service be added to the calendar. The goal was simple – in order to advance in rank, Scouts need to perform several hours of community-oriented service work.

However, not all volunteering is treated the same. Some awards, such as the Philmont 50-miler, require Scouts to “complete a minimum of 10 hours each of group work on projects to improve the trail, springs, campsite, portage, or area.” In other words, outdoor conservation work. Thus was born Troop 79’s participation in an invasive species removal day with the Shedd Aquarium on a balmy November morning at the Cook County Forest Preserve’s Skokie Lagoons.

After a brief introduction to the ecosystem, tools and safety protocols, the T-79 guys started hacking away at the thickets of buckthorn and tossing branches in the fire.

Loppers, handsaws and flames. Is there any better way to spend a Saturday morning with your friends?

Normally, standing by a raging fire in November would be a welcome respite from the cold. Not this day, where temps soared into the unseasonable 70’s! Perfect for showing off the T-79 branded T shirts.

By the time the noon whistle blew, the volunteers had made a noticeable dent in the wall of invasive buckthorn, clearing room on the forest floor for native plants to return. Thanks to the PLC and Mr. Keats for their leadership, and to the Scouts and parents for attending! Shout out to 2019 “Eagle X” alum Edward Boyle who returned to work and capture photos.

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

[PHOTOS] Skokie Lagoons @boylesfour, @artsmaniac

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