Troop 80 – Amarillo, TX Proud to be a "60 Year" Troop

Sid Richardson 2006

Friday night we arrived at the National Guard Armory in Decatur and stayed there overnight. We shared it with some Sea Scouts from Ft. Worth. Sea Scouts are kids in Scouts but do military activities kind of like an Explorer Post. We awoke Saturday morning at 5:45 AM to them yelling chants and drills during their physical fitness training. Our boys took it well. We arrived in camp Saturday morning around 9:30AM and began to set up camp. At 1:30PM we were already hot and went to the lake for our swim checks and to set up the swim areas. The whole week with the post ranger was entertaining and everyone from Troop 80 found him to be not all there. He had a limited word vocabulary, nothing bad just didn’t know many words. His favorite word to use was “outstanding”. To his benefit he knew the Scout Law and always used the Scout handshake., Mr. Standish was always the first to shake his hand. He knew the scout law so well he quizzed our boys and the local wildlife.

For an example, we were invaded several times by raccoons. One time in particular, Mrs. Braden baked and sent some homemade cookies to the entire Troop but I still don’t know who did more damage to the box of cookies the ranger or the raccoons. The ranger told us he asked the raccoons to cease and assist from eating our mail or “provisions” and they disobeyed Scout Law #7, which is a Scout is Obedient. Therefore, he took out his trusted BB gun and shot at the raccoons. By the looks of all the holes in the box, I don’t think he hit a one of them. But thanks to Mrs. Braden for the thought and hard work anyway. I’m sure they were good cookies.

Speaking of hard work, the following men helped out and without them I couldn’t have done it myself. John Standish, Henry Sena and Steve Tillery helped on the waterfront with the swimming, canoeing, and motor boating. Without the water program this would have been a miserable camp.
    Stan Fithen (head chef), Darrell Schmidt, and Doug Walker ran the kitchen. This was a hot and never ending job. These three men didn’t get to spend much time in the water or at other activities because they were cooking us some wonderful meals. This year Stan Fithen was awarded the “Bean Pot Award”. Congratulations to Stan.

John Dryden assisted myself in the rifle range and Steve Tillery assisted myself on the Shotgun shooting. Thanks to these guys for their efforts. Also Steve Tillery and Danny Finley stayed up in the early morning hours cleaning the firearms with me and I definitely appreciated that.
    Lawerence Rowland and Greg Wynne ran the climbing and rappelling tower. Lawerence was awarded by the greenbar the “Bone Award”, which is given to the first year adult who works hard at the program and most important who the kids really like. That could be good and bad. Watch your back Lawerence!

The program ran on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 7:00AM till Midnight and we didn’t get back to camp until about 12:30AM and then everyone had to still shower. On Tuesday through Friday, the program ran from 7:00AM until 11:30PM. As you can see, there was no free time and the boys were dragging. Which was good because as soon as we got back to camp they were asleep. It was great.
    The climbing tower was really cool. The tower was at the highest point on the camp and it overlooked all the lakes around it. The tower was a 50 ft tower and was well lit so we could climb and rappel at night. We found that’s the tower we want to build for Troop 80. We just need $20K and we’ll do it. So everyone get your checkbooks out.

We took the kids out inter tubing on the lake on Friday and Steve Tillery and John Standish forgot to refuel after dinner and well, Myself and Danny Finley’s crew had to tow them back to the marina. In which by the way it made the patch. The gas canon the patch will represent that.

Another item that will be on the patch will be a thermometer. The area highs reached 115 degrees and the area highs never went below 102 degrees. The average low every night was around 80-90 degrees. It was a scorcher. It never bothered the kids and everyone continued with the program. The Troop, with the help of John Dryden, hooked up some misters under the circus tent to help keep the area cool. I thought the heat would make the kids easily irritated at each other but it never did. The boys behaved really well. They were too tired to misbehave so therefore we didn’t have any disciplinary problems.

Henry Sena was our medical officer and we treated only 2 kids with mild dehydration. Henry took them up to the rangers house in the air-condition for about 4 hrs and made them drink water every 20 minutes. I’m sure it was a tuff detail for Henry. I’m sure he hated that. The Longhorn council was really nice to us and gave us as much ice as we wanted on a daily basis free of charge.

The other awards that were presented were the Outstanding Scout for the day and for the week. This is a high honor and is picked by the greenbar and men for a scout’s hard work and enthusiasm. The Outstanding Scouts of the day were: Drew Schmidt, Garrett Hall, Josiah Rowland, Dustin Gray, Tanner Love and Preston McClendon. The Scout of the week was Matt Dryden. Congratulations to these young men for that achievement.

Also another great event happened, Steve Tillery and John Dryden tried to beat John Standish and I in the card game “Spades”. I have to give them some credit because they are improving. This time they only lost by a couple of hundred points. In fact maybe next time, Randy Nuttal and Jeff West can learn play so John and I can have some real competition. I first recommend to these men to graduate from the game “Go-Fish” before they try and take on the undefeated champions for 6 months in a row.

The campfire ring was awesome at sunset. It was also on a tall ill overlooking the lake and an island. Another highlight of my trip and some of the scouts was being on the water in a canoe or motorboat a sunset. It was truly breathtaking. I can’t wait till Mr. Walker post the pictures on the web site. It gives me Canada fever. The campfires at night was great with high enthusiasm and there were all new skits and songs. My complements to our Senior Greenbar for putting on great campfires.

Overall the week was great to despite the heat. One of our kids came up with the phrase that will be on the patch (“Beat the Heat 2006”) The Longhorn Council and the Sid Richardson staff were extremely nice to us in more ways than one. I never thought that we would say a council went out of their way to help us but they did. We all appreciate their wonderful hospitality and we are looking forward to returning back there to canoe to get ready for the 2007 Canada trip.

We have more great stories and things that happened this last week there is no way I can put them all in the summary. Please talk to someone who went and they will share with you the wonderful time we had.

Attendance: 32 Scouts, 11 Adults

Program:

  • Canoeing
  • Swimming
  • Climbing
  • Rappelling
  • Rifle Shooting
  • Motor Baoting and Tubing
  • Shotgun Shooting

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