Like many, Ashburn Troop 997’s summer camp plans were put on hold due to COVID closures. But that didn’t stop the Troop from providing a high-quality summer experience for their Scouts while following all BSA, CBC and state rules and guidance. The Troop set up a campsite at the Hidden Meadow group campsite maintained by the Willowsford Conservancy.
Led by Scoutmaster Terry Kolb and his adult team of volunteers, ASMs and Merit Badge Counselors, the Troop put together a mini-camp (five days of ‘day camp’ plus one night camping out) allowing the Scouts to earn a number of outdoor-oriented merit badges, including Pioneering, Soil & Water Conservation, Golf, Fishing, Astronomy and Search & Rescue. The Troop’s new Scouts also had the opportunity to work on early rank requirements. Highlights of the week included bridge-building, a search dog rescue demonstration, model-rocket launching, hiking at Manassas and biking around the Willowsford Farm community. Mid-week, the Troop gathered for an evening event, including the infamous Scoutmaster Campfire Extravaganza, an outdoor movie and an astronomy star party.
As the camp closed, the Scouts headed offsite to do trail maintenance for the Conservancy. In their newsletter, the Willowsford Conservancy complemented the Troop and the Leave No Trace principles of Scouting:
Last week, a troop of young scouts chose the Hidden Meadow Event Field as the site for their week-long scout mini-camp. We were excited to offer residents the ability to host camp at Willowsford, and delighted by the feedback from other residents about the care the scouts displayed toward nature and toward our community’s resources; true to the Scouts’ principles of “Leave no Trace.” They can be applied anywhere, at any time.