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Troop 79 at the District First Aid Meet, St. Patrick’s Day Edition

Congrats to the two competing T-79 patrols Cobra and Cracked Bell. Everyone had fun with the other troops, learned more First Aid, and had lunch. A big thanks to Troop 973 of St. Andrews for hosting the Founders District First Aid Meet. Both T-79 patrols won the stretcher races outright – no doubt.

As for the results, T-79 took 3rd and 4th places. The 1st and 2nd places were resolved with a tie-breaker. T-79 was only 6 points out of 500 behind the two teams who tied for 1st. T-79 was prepared and our teams did their best! Thank you troop parents Sheila and Lisa for staying to help judge and Mr. Larson for moral support.

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

[PHOTO] District First Aid Meet @Dave Keats

Troop 79 Eagle projects and Council recognition

Late last year a call went out to the Scouts of the Chicago area and beyond: Bring us your best Eagle projects for consideration in a national competition. One of those efforts submitted was the work of our very own Michael Y. And he won!

His Eagle Project was selected as THE one and only PTAC Top Eagle Project 2018! Next his project goes to the Regional level and perhaps on to National. Last weekend, while the rest of the troop was roughing it at camp, Michael and Jake N., among other recent Eagle Scouts from the region, were recognized at a special dinner in their honor. Can you find them in the photo? (Hint: upper left)

In other news from a Scout hot on the trail to Eagle, Matthew N. wanted to thank all the Scouts who helped him with a project to benefit his high school. “The project is for the Lane Tech band. The band currently has no record of our music. We will be doing a few things. First, we will be clearing out a storage room and cleaning and painting the walls. There are a bunch of file cabinets that we will be getting rid of that are full of scores. We will be transferring these scores to bins and building shelving in the room. We will also be cataloging the scores in the file cabinets, as well as scores in two other locations. Unlike most scouting events, this is one where your phone will not only be allowed but required for cataloging!”

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Eagle recognition @dnitzsche

Lane Tech filing @mnelsen

Troop 79 leaps into winter camping

Great turnout for a wintry weekend in the southwest suburbs at Camp Bullfrog Lake! Thankful for three heated cabins courtesy of the Cook County Forest Preserve. The guys got to work picking up trash that had been tossed by the resident raccoons and then went right onto the ice to play.

The first hike of the day was to the site of a formerly top secret Manhattan Project facility in the woods nearby. More of the story here. Now deemed completely safe for recreation, according to the Dept. of Energy. The icy trails, however, were another matter entirely. Lots of slipping and sliding.

Back at camp, the high schoolers polished up their card playing skills and the middle schoolers relaxed. Meanwhile, ASPL Colin led the newest Scouts on a 5 mile map & compass hike to the Little Red Schoolhouse nature center.

The guys earned a hearty pizza dinner, followed by peach cobbler around a roaring fire. The cabins were a welcome respite from the cold before turning in for the night.

Temps had dropped into the low 20’s overnight, making a fire essential for preparing a hearty patrol breakfast the next morning. While spring is definitely not yet in the air, with a roof overhead there’s no reason to postpone outdoor fun! Thanks to the PLC for coming up with the idea.

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

[PHOTOS] Troop 79 winter camping @boylesfour



Troop 79 conquers the “Klondike Challenge”

For the first time since 2015, the Chicago area had enough snow for a proper Klondike Derby! The temps in the mid-30’s were a welcome reprieve from the past week’s bitter cold of -20. Welcome to Camp Reinberg in Palatine!

Thanks to the leadership of Chicago’s Troop 626, the Scouts were treated to a series of events geared for winter. But first, several events were held inside the park’s main building – the guys did really well at the knuckle crawl and high kick.

Back outside, pushing the carefully assembled sleds, fire building, doing two different kinds of rescue carries, spear throwing, “caber tossing” and getting the patrol across an imaginary electric fence tested the Scouts’ team building and cold weather skills.

In the end, the Cracked Bell patrol came in second place in a crowded field of eleven. Nice work, guys! Thanks to Mr. Keats for making the connections with Troop 626 to attend, and to our adult drivers.

[PHOTOS] Klondike Derby @Smile Earthlings

Updates from the Troop 79 Eagle’s Nest

Eagle Project to benefit St. Vincent DePaul Senior Residence

Another fine Eagle project to benefit our community, one nominated for a national award, and a spring Court of Honor being planned! Read on—

John P. reports: “Scouts worked hard from 9-3 building four auto-watering elevated planter boxes and a picnic bench for the residents of the St. Vincent DePaul Senior Residence. Scouts made their way through heavy snow to be there, so I am very thankful for their amazing work.”

Michael Y. has submitted his application for the NESA National Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award. Projects are considered at the Council level, then regional, before proceeding to the national stage. Bragging rights and more at stake. Stay tuned and wish him luck! Learn more about Michael’s project here.

Lastly, the Troop is planning the biggest Eagle Court of Honor in recent memory, maybe ever! Mark your calendars for the afternoon of Saturday, April 6. Active members, their families and other honored guests are sure to pack the hall for a graduating class like T-79 has never seen before.

[PHOTO] St. Vincent DePaul @C Patti

Winter/Spring 2019 Outdoor Event Schedule

Once again, the PLC has made their wishes known. Thanks to our SPL for gathering ideas and presenting to the adults at the fall Committee mtg. While the Troop Committee recommended against a 3+ hour drive each way to Indiana for canoeing, we still found plenty of fun closer to home. 

Fire – an essential element of spring camping in Chicago!

Here’s the plan for winter/spring 2019:

Sat, Jan 5 – Family Ski Trip to Lake Geneva T-79 Families and Scouts can sign-up for this event and coordinate their own logistics with fellow T-79 Scouts and families. This event is organized by the Indian Trails District.

Sat, Feb 2 – Klondike Derby  This is the official winter sled racing day we’re targeting and it’s all about having lots of snow!  Location changed to
Camp Reinberg in nearby Palatine with the Indian Trails District.

Sat, Mar 2 thru Sun, Mar 3 – Cabin Camping at Camp Bullfrog Lake We’ve reserved two large heated cabins in the heart of the vast, hilly Palos Preserves.

Sat, Mar 30 thru Sun, Mar 31 – Tent Camping at the Indiana Dunes  Weather permitting, we’ll be heading back to the dunes, possibly by train and hiking into camp!

Fri, May 3 thru Sun, May 5 – Tent Camping, Challenge Course & Zip Line at Camp Shaw.  With 110 acres of land, open fields & wooded areas for tenting, Camp Shaw-waw-nas-see offers a variety of activities. We’re setup for tenting with a pavilion nearby for the usual camping, cooking and having a great time in the outdoors. We’ll also test our skills on a challenge course, and experience the thrill of Camp Shaw’s zip line. Of course we’ll find a way to include a Cinco de Mayo theme!

Check your schedule and save the dates!  Also posted on the Troop calendar.

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

[PHOTO] Camp Dan Beard @boylesfour

Good leaders are made, not born

What happens when you combine pizza with the classroom talents of a seasoned college lecturer applied to the BSA’s formal leadership training?  You get Troop 79’s latest edition of Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops, or “ILST” for short.  Here’s the official course description on the BSA website:

“The purpose of the ILST course is to teach Scouts with leadership positions about their new roles and how to most effectively reach success in that role. It is intended to help Boy Scouts in leadership positions within their troop understand their responsibilities and to equip them with organizational and leadership skills to fulfill those responsibilities. ILST is the first course in the series of leadership training offered to Boy Scouts.”

Mr. Barich teaching teamwork

A classroom of eager students joined Assistant Scoutmaster Mr. Barich on a Saturday in December for the course.  While the temperature outside was sub-freezing, the energy inside was high.  More than just sitting and listening, ILST allows the Scouts to put the concepts into practice.  How better to learn than with your friends?  And plenty of pizza….

[PHOTO] ILST Teamwork @Dave Keats

Summer 2020 is just around the corner

Perhaps this is a slight exaggeration…  But still, one can dream.

Found yourself up a creek in the Boundary Waters at Northern Tier without a paddle in 2018?  Or maybe you’ll miss the boat to Sea Base St. Thomas in 2019?  Well, then perhaps it’s time to consider the wifi-free high adventure of Philmont in 2020.

Troop 79 has scored two crew spots for July 17 – 31, 2020.  Plenty of time to get fit, ’cause it’s no joke.  Ready to haul around a backpack on foot for 50-75 miles?  How about loading it with 30 lbs+ of food, water & gear?  Then tilt the landscape up to over 12,000 feet?  Now we’re talking! 

In addition to ten full days camping and cooking in some of the most beautiful backcountry imaginable, other possible highlights are:

  • Climbing 12,441 foot Mt. Baldy
  • Horseback riding
  • Rock climbing / rapelling
  • Learning about indigenous cultures
  • Assisting in conservation projects
  • Experiencing an old west chuck wagon dinner
    and much more!!

Interested?  Well, you’ve gotta be registered with the BSA, meet Philmont height & weight guidelines and be at least 14 years old by July 17, 2020.  Several adult advisors will also be needed, with special training requirements that must be met.  Cost is still to be determined, but expect to spend about $1,750 per attendee.  Signup will open in late spring 2019 for active members of the Troop.

[PHOTO] Troop 79 Crew 723-C1 @Philmont

Troop 79 orients their way to an early Thanksgiving

I know, the sugar buzz from the Halloween candy is just starting to wear off, while the stores have already moved on to the season of gift giving.  So where does that leave the most American of holidays, Thanksgiving?  I can tell you – at Camp Dan Beard just up the road in the northern suburbs.

Members of Troop 79’s PLC began the weekend on Friday afternoon with a five mile hike up the DesPlaines River Trail.  Mr. Carter and Mr. Keats patiently stoked the home fires awaiting their arrival.  By twilight the Scouts appeared from the treeline and into a celebratory “Bill and Ted” pose.  Friday dinner was hunted and gathered locally from Joe’s Pizzeria.  Temps dipped below freezing to create a frosty Saturday morning wake-up with batches of “Waffle Balls” fabricated in cast iron and chopsticks to rotate them.

Saturday morning the rest of T-79 campers arrived, tents went up and marinated steak taco meat went onto the fire-pit grill.  Meat and lunch plan provided by Mr. Carter – thank you!  Scouts sliced and diced ingredients for the South of the Border (of Lake County) lunch with some Scouts creating “burritos as big as your head” as seen on Halsted Street.

Falllll innnn! After lunch the Scout-led troop marched into the forest for three hours of compass orienteering course and daylight Capture the Flag. By nightfall a traditional Thanksgiving dinner prepared by the Scouts for the Scouts was enjoyed after the Philmont Grace.  Much to be thankful for on a beautiful Fall weekend spent outdoors.

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

[PHOTO and TEXT] @David Keats

Troop 79 returns to bike the ‘burbs

Another October, another beautiful weekend for a bike trip through the Chicago suburbs.  Apparently the members of the Patrol Leader’s Council thought last year’s cycling event was worth redoing.  So we did!  Like in 2017, a hardy group of older Scouts started at the east end of the IL Prairie Path in Forest Park and pointed their handlebars west for a 25 mile ride.

Meanwhile, back at HQ, the 10 mile riders were literally bouncing off the wall they were so excited to go!  Both groups met up in Wheaton to start the next segment of the ride to camp as the SAG wagon baton was passed. Finally rolling into Camp Blackwell, the combined 10 & 25 mile riders paused for a group photo at their nice site on a little knoll with views of the surrounding fields beyond.

After going about the usual business of setting up camp, most everyone took advantage of some “feet up” time to rest their legs.  Until it was time to make dinner.  The patrol menus were just right for a chilly fall evening: foil meals with burger & potato or tomato soup with grilled cheese.  This year’s dessert was a new one – cherry/apple cobbler using a corn bread mix.  Perfect job for a couple Scouts to assist while the sunset lit the sky on fire. As the heavens faded to black, the Scouts headed to a nearby field to play “Commando”.  Hot cobbler and stories around the toasty fire were waiting for their return.  Nothing like a good day of fun to wear everyone out just enough to call it quits around 10PM.

Even a beautiful fall weekend of camping has to end some time.  With the bikes and gear packed after a hearty breakfast, the Scouts were ready to head home.  Many thanks to the adult leaders who accompanied the Scouts on the trip, as well as the parents who drove out to Blackwell to help transport the Scouts back to the city.

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

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Troop 79 cyclists @boylesfour

Troop 79 campers @ Dave Keats

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