The Troop 26 (“26 KICKS!”) Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) – the youth leadership of a BSA Troop – worked with their adult Scouters to plan and execute a series of active Scouting events during this August and September.
Despite the on-going COVID-19 challenges, these Scouts were determined to live by Lord Baden-Powell’s advice that: “A difficulty ceases to be a difficulty as soon as you smile at it and tackle it.” And tackle it these Scouts did! All events were conducted safely and were designed to be “COVID-friendly” – outdoors, single tents, single meals, masks when necessary for travel or indoors, etc. You can’t keep a good Scout down!
On Aug 16th the Troop completed an Eagle Scout Project at Chancellorsville Battlefield where Scouts, Scouting families and adult Scouters restored weathered trench markers depicting key locations on the battlefield.
On Aug 22nd the Troop went on a trip to Luray Caverns where they toured the caverns, partook in the exciting adventure of a ropes course, as well as the fun of finding their way through a garden maze.
On Sept 1st, the Troop conducted an Eagle Court of Honor honoring one of our strongest Scout leaders, Kent. The Troop even tried a COVID-friendly outdoor ceremony but, in keeping with Troop 26 (“26 KICKS!”) “tradition”, it down-poured! The rain couldn’t dampen the Scout Spirit as these hardy Scouts and Scouters made the best of it and it will certainly be an Eagle Court of Honor no one will soon forget.
Then, from Sept 4th – 5th older Scouts took on the challenge of backpacking into Nicholson Hollow in Shenandoah National Park. On Friday afternoon Scouts and Scouters, Scoutmaster Mike, Assistant Scout Masters Mark, Noah and Kevin, Committee Member Angelina, Senior Patrol Leader Mike F, Troop Guides Gavin and Mike T, Instructor AJ, Life Scout Jadon and Second Class Scout Kaden, backpacked several miles into the backcountry and set-up a primitive campsite. Hammocks and tarps were the shelters of choice for the Scouts and naturally, as soon as the Scouts were set-up, in true Troop 26 (“26 KICKS!”) fashion, it down-poured again! But, since these Scouts and Scouters live the Scout Motto to “Be Prepared,” all was well (and dry) as the Scouts continued to thrive in the outdoors and enjoyed backpacking meals, relaxing time by the river and even had a bear sighting – thank goodness Scouts had ensured all food was in well-placed and properly hung bear bags!
The following morning the Troop broke camp after breakfast, backpacked out and tackled climbing and descending Old Rag. Ten miles of traditional switchbacks and the typical downhill descent, but all Scouts agreed that the best and most fun part was the roughly two-mile rock scramble where it was hand-over-hand climbing and, in some places, squeezing up, down, through and over various rock formations. Challenging as it was, the rigorous hike was a great capstone to an awesome weekend.
With these successes under their Scout belts, Troop 26 (“26 KICKS!”) Scouts and Scouters are looking forward to more outdoor adventures throughout the fall!