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Two Upcoming Outdoor Events

Two new local camping trips planned this spring:

  1. Fri – Sun, April 13-15 @ Camp Dan Beard (CPS off school on Friday) Program TBD, but should include hiking/orienteering.
  2. Fri – Sun, May 18-20 @ Camp Sol R Crown with canoeing nearby, specific launch/pickup locations TBD.  **NOTE DATE & CAMP CHANGE**

Checkout our Calendar for more details as we post them.

Mandatory Parent Meetings

Please mark your calendar for two mandatory parent info nights for those attending summer high adventure:
  • Weds, Feb 7 Northern Tier info night @ 7PM during the meeting
  • Weds, Mar 21 Summit info night @ 7PM during the meeting (DATE CHANGE!)

New Website

We are launching our new website today.  We expect to have some specific content here soon.

Troop 79 hikes the Kettle Moraine (plus a movie)

This Troop is not ready to hang up the tents come fall.  In fact, the cooler weather makes for excellent sleeping and hanging around a roaring fire!  Several older Scouts, all veterans of the summer’s Philmont adventure, started their weekend early on Friday, venturing north of the “cheese curtain” to southern Wisconsin’s beautiful Kettle Moraine state forest.

The tortured landscape was left behind by the glaciers when the last ice ended.  The result is some of the more interesting hiking in the midwest along the 1,200 mile Ice Age national scenic trail.  Not as well known as the Appalachian or Pacific Crest trails, the Ice Age nonetheless will provide long distance hikers a chance for extended overnight backpacking.

The Friday backpackers had mostly sunny late fall weather for their trek to a shelter on the trail. Many Philmont stories were exchanged over some surplus food straight from Cimmaron, NM.  While the rest of the Troop drove north on Saturday, rain was the perfect excuse for an impromptu stop at a local theater to see the newest Marvel Comics movie as the precip moved on. Thankfully it was just foggy the rest of the day, and right through the night.

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

[PHOTO] Kettle Moraine @boylesfour


Troop 79 cycles the suburbs

What a beautiful fall weekend to be out on two wheels!  Turns out the western suburbs have a wonderful network of bike paths, most notably the Illinois Prairie Path.  This route follows an abandoned rail line, making for mostly flat pedaling.

Starting at the city’s western edge in Forest Park, the trail passes through light industrial and multi-family neighborhoods until crossing into DuPage County.  There the trail gets more verdant, passing through downtown Wheaton before jogging south and west.  We set up camp at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Lisle and were pleasantly surprised by the amount of open land for the Scouts to explore.

Camp highlights included some additional local miles, the usual hearty cooking and a nighttime ride by some of the more experienced and daring cyclists up and down the 836 ft high Mt. Hoy.  Cycling merit badge, anyone?

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

[PHOTO] IL Prairie Path @boylesfour

Troop 79 cools off on a hot weekend at Kayak Morris

What’s better than spending one of the warmest weekends in September camping?  How about also taking a few hours to paddle the surprisingly beautiful Illinois River?

Better known for barges carrying bulk cargo, the waterway served up an adventurous paddle for the Scouts.  Much feathered wildlife was encountered along both the bustling main river as well as in a tranquil slough nearby.

Afterwards, the Scouts beached their watercraft at a comfortable riverside campground courtesy of Kayak Morris.  Besides the usual camp life, the Scouts participated in cheerful service, volunteering to clean up litter along the historic I&M Canal.  The evening was capped off with delicious camp food and a hysterical game of late night charades, while watching canal boat searchlights probe the river banks as they carefully made their way to their next port.

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

[PHOTO] Kayak Morris @boylesfour

Troop 79 sends three crews to Philmont (and they return too)

The original BSA national high adventure base, the rugged ranch land surrounding oilman Waite Phillips’ “Villa Philmonte” was offered to the Scouts starting in 1938.  And what a gift it was!  Over the years, the land available to the Scouts has grown to encompass 219 square miles of the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains in New Mexico.  In addition, the Scouts have access to adjoining private, state and federal lands.  In other words, no shortage of room to explore!

Our Troop sent three crews of Scouts with adult advisors into the wilderness, all wearing custom-designed blue shirts proudly displaying our pride in our home city.  That’s a total of 27 Chicagoans!  Each crew selected their own itinerary, ranging from 55 to nearly 80 miles of backpacking over 10 days in the back country.

Philmont is more than a forced march, with many camps along the way which showcase the regional flavor.  From petroglyphs left behind by the indigenous people who once inhabited the land, to mining ruins from the prospectors who came in search of riches, there was plenty of history to sample.

And yes, there was hiking too.  Covering terrain that varied from scrubby chapparal to alpine zone above 12,000 feet, the Scouts camped in the backcountry every night on trail.  A few days into the trip, they got pretty good at hanging the bear bags, finding water and cooking another scrumptious meal of dehydrated food.  Pizza seemed to be on everyone’s mind by the halfway point.

More than a vacation, Philmont is a strenuous but incredibly rewarding experience for Scouts that are prepared!

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

[PHOTO] Philmont Crew 723-C @philmont

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