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November Timbersports Campout Highlights
First, the Scout Top 10:
10. The short backpack in
8. Ventures’ Friday night Midway Pizza (and wings!)
7. Ventures Friday campout on pi
6. Some truly good Dutch oven cooking – Tommy’s lasagna, Nick’s pizza (with a little help from Harley)
5. Perfect sunny weather on Saturday
4. First Blue Nose of the year (barely, but well earned!)
3. Hanging out with troop alum and Eagle Scout Will Oliver... and his girlfriend
2. The UCONN Woodsmen and their demos
1. Actually doing the Timbersports events -- Pulp Toss, Log Rolling, Kettle Boiling, Packboard Relaying, and mighty Axe ThrowingAnd for the Adults:
10. Forgetting to bring up the coffee pot for Saturday morning
9. Sleeping warm in spite of single digit wind chill Saturday night (well, most of us...)
8. Mr. Hwang’s fire
7. Mr. Oliver hewing a timber with a broad axe
6. Throwing the double bit axe
5. Hanging out and talking in the sun on Saturday
(Three-way tie for #2...)
2. Mr. Starrett’s bacon wrapped pheasant for lunch and beef stew for dinner
2. Mr. Weiland's orange pineapple cake and apple crisp
2. Mr. Czaikowski's hot eggs, sausage, and warm bagels with strawberry cream cheese for Sunday breakfast
1. Lots of great company – 19 adults!
High Adventure on Mt Mansfield
T76 Adventure on the high seas!
Troop 76 now has a group of experienced sailors in its ranks!
We just returned from a week full of challenges, extreme sailing, fun, friendship and reflection. The troop sent 14 scouts and 4 adult leaders down to the Chesapeake Bay area for a week of living and sailing on three 38 foot sailboats: The Bay Chaser, The Bay Eagle and The Bay Explorer . We were joined by 3 additional scouts, 2 adult leaders and our 3 ship’s captains. Read More...
Highlights from Caving Campout
We had another great campout caving Clarksville Cave - here's the Top Ten list:
10. 81 people on the trip (54 boys/27 adults) all 7 Patrol leaders too! - a new record?
9. New skits at the campfire - 3 from Chris Anderson's patrol alone.
8. Jambalaya for the adult dinner - thanks Mr. Goldsmith.
7. "Not such a bad hill" - Mr. Anderson.
6. Howe Cavern was cool, especially the boat ride.
5. Mr. Lungarini squeezes into Clarksville cave. Mr. Melvin yells, "MAN PLUGS HOLE"!
4. 52 degrees in the cave - Tommy Kim and Patrick Sullivan wear T-shirts...
3. Mr. Melvin somehow slides into the crazy tight underground waterfall right after Mr. Millett (50 feet underground).
2. Mr. Starrett warned he is "too fat" by his son upon attempting the "chest compressor" turn. Not funny...
1. Seeing blue sky, the sun and the Ballard's with hot soup and hot cocoa after escaping the cave!
Highlights from Mission ImpossibleAs they do every year, Ventures went up to Camp Moses Friday night for a pizza dinner and to plan and rehearse their program. Surprisingly, they were lights out by 10:30.
With the flu going around there was some doubt, but once again it was a great turnout for Troop 76, with a total of nearly 60 Scouts, Webelos/Parents, Ventures and Adults attending. Jack Polizzi did a great job leading the event in place of John D-B, who was away for most of the weekend at a sports event.
As always, the Ventures planned and organized the entire MI program, but thank you to all the Adults who helped out by transporting Scouts and equipment and bringing food…lots and lots of food. Speaking of food, Chris Anderson planned and executed (with his team) the meals for Scouts, Ventures and Webelos. His Dutch Oven meals were delicious, making them worth the wait. Speaking of food again, Mr Lungarini cooked for the Adults. His Chili Lungarini was excellent. Did I say there was lots and lots of food?
Following last year’s 2 degree overnight temperature, this year’s 32 overnight temperatures seemed balmy.
After watching Will Oliver and Connor Barnett construct a quinzhee (a type of snow cave) a group of Scouts decided to try their hand. Mr Carr and others strength tested them both by jumping up and down on the roof. They weren’t being mean, just being sure the quinzhees were safe. The Scouts’ cave didn’t survive, but the boys said it was now a great snow fort.
At the conclusion of the Scoutcraft Skill Trail the Ventures invited everyone to watch the exciting conclusion to Nate Lungarini’s ongoing saga of “Red Dawn – The U.S. Presidents Step Up.”
Fittingly, at the end of their performance there was a major spontaneous snowball fight, with Scouts attacking the Adult Patrol with repeated volleys, flanking moves, skirmishes and other military maneuvers. After about a half hour, both sides retired to plan another engagement.
Troop 125 from Granby was also at Moses for the weekend and we invited them to share our campfire and Cracker Barrel. It was a huge success, with both Troops enjoying Scout camaraderie and learning new skits. There can be no doubt the biggest crowd-pleaser was our Venture’s “Falling Rock.” In fact, Richard Boyer’s portrayal of Falling Rock was a crashing success. Later, the Ventures had their annual Christmas Tree Bonfire. There’s no doubt that this year’s effort could be seen by any satellites that happened to be flying by at the time.
Finally, a number of Scouts and Adults learned Cribbage over the weekend, so there may be new challengers for the Cribbage Tournament on the Ski Trip in March. Thanks again to the effort put in by both Scouts and Adults.
December Shoot-r-ee Campout Was a Blast!
Troop 76 braved the threat of early December rain for a fun and outstanding weekend of all kinds of shooting. We spent the weekend at Camp Mattatuck in the old Baden-Powell campsite, under the excellent leadership of Richard (scout planner) and Cole (SPL for the weekend). Scouts competed in one of biggest off-season shooting events the camp has seen, with rifles, shotguns, muzzle loaders, bows and arrows, atlatls, and tomahawks.
Some of the many highlights on the ranges:
For the weekend overall:
Troop 76 Honors Veterans
Simsbury's veterans, through the VFW and American Legion, support us strongly at our Eagle Courts of Honor, it's the least we can do to return the favor and recognize their sacrifice and service.
Search and Rescue Campout
Veteran's Day weekend, Troop 76 became one of the first troops in the country to work on the new Search and Rescue merit badge. Mark G. and Ryan C. planned a day of SAR activities in People's State Forest, including card searches, line searches, and searches for Roderick the Gnome and two "missing" scouts. The last search took on a little added urgency when we found surly hunters in the same area where the scouts were "lost".
Community Farm Appreciates Troop 76
Windsor’s Northwest Park was an excellent location for this district-wide campout. Open field, many, many trails, the reservoir and lots of woods. Eleven other troops attended. Our Troop 76 scouts proved they knew this skill; older scouts already knew the three skill building sessions and younger scouts Ben C. and Nate B. won the Orienteering award in their division.
Adults were surprised to learn from the scouts that cooking macaroni & cheese should begin with cold water and the macaroni mixed in. Then boil it, and they did. This (soupy) method will fill you up so desert is not necessary. Well, later the dutch oven chocolate cake did disappear!
Troop 76 Trip to Washington DC - October 2012
Boy Scout Science at Camp Mattatuck
2012 Connecticut River - Camp Hurd Canoe Trip
41 Scouts and parents canoed all day Saturday and Sunday morning, camping by the river at Hurd State Park. It was great to see so many new Scouts and their parents.
Here's the Top 10 List:
10. Canoed 2 rivers: The Mattabesset and the Connecticut.
9. 15 miles in two days!
8. Where's the rain, pass the sunscreen.
7. Patrick Sullivan uses very little sunscreen, enters a lobster look-a-like contest, and wins!
6. Mr. Carr's pirate costume.
5. Ryan Casalino hops in a kayak, does great, and then capsizes in sight of the take-out point.
4. Who had a better time than Ryan Casalino? Nobody!
3. Michael Rattray leads his first patrol on a campout. Nice job Michael, but hotdogs for dinner?
2. Mr. Cary's great adult dinner: Stew, Mr Oliver's wild turkey, salad and Mr. Carr's wicked good apple cobbler.
1. Watching the adults suffer on "Heartbreak Hill".
Mission Impossible 2012
No snow in Simsbury? Just head north to Camp Moses for our annual Mission Impossible campout.
We all recognize that when it comes to adhering to Scouting principles and having a good time, Troop 76 stands among the best…but when it comes to winter camping, our Scouts kick it up another notch.
Knowing that they'd be camping out in temperatures near 0° was no deterrent to our Troop. All told, 45 Scouts, Ventures, and 7T6 adults attended this year’s MI. As testimony to our “be prepared” confidence, in addition to a handful of first time Blue Nose campers (18° or lower), more than 30 were Blue Nose Repeaters! Now, that’s impressive.
“Cowboys and Aliens” was the theme the Ventures picked this year (led by Ryan and Nate). The storyline didn't even loosely follow the movie. Patrols went out on the trail locating skill stations set up and run by our Venture Scouts. At each station, they collected pieces of a map that, when put together, directed them to the location of the Final Battle to Save Earth and rescue Connor, the Troop’s kidnapped Senior Patrol Leader.
After supper and a campfire of songs, skits and jokes, the Webelos capped off the night by making neckerchief slides with the troop branding irons.
Of course, Mission Impossible wouldn’t be complete if the Ventures didn’t burn a Christmas Tree or two. Thanks to our fellow scouts at Troop 174, whose Christmas trees make the blaze possible. We strongly recommend their high quality product.
Thanks to all…Scouts, Ventures and Adults…who worked to make the camping trip a success.
Orienteering at White Memorial - Dec '11 Campout
Top 10 list from the December 9-11 campout in Litchfield:
White Memorial Orienteering Campout
10. Mr. Starrett's excellent lamb stew for the adult dinner and great campfires fueled by Mr. Anderson's wood.
9. Outstanding adult help and participation.
8. Venture patrol located all 15 markers on the orienteering course in under 2 hours.
7. Cole, Dylan, and Ryan setting out the course punches by bike on Saturday morning.
6. Full moon bike ride around White Memorial for the Friday night Ventures.
5. Great cooking by the patrols (like Tom's tortilla pizza, Rigby's chicken stew; pancakes and eggs for breakfast)
4. Our first "Blue Nose" of the year (18° Saturday night). 7 Scouts and 6 adults earned the award.
3. A full moon so bright you could see your shadow at night.
2. Perfect sunny weather during the day.
1. Stargazing through White Memorial's gigantic telescope to cap off Saturday night.
After setting up camp and some orienteering instruction, outstanding sunny weather made for a great day in the woods as Scouts competed on the White Memorial Foundation orienteering course. Three patrols headed out at timed intervals followed by the Ventures and then the adults. The Scouts had a great time although some of the markers eluded them. The Ventures turned in the best time finding all 15 markers in less than two hours. The adults found all 15 markers without serious injury, although several complaints about creaking joints were overheard. Special thanks to the Ventures that set out the punches and patrolled the orienteering course on mountain bikes during the event.
As darkness fell, Scouts cleaned up from their evening meals and then pulled together an impromptu game of capture the flag. The full moon was rising as we meet representatives from the Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy Club at their observatory in Sawyer Field. The club's 17 inch reflector telescope, as well at two other high-end telescopes brought by club members, were open for gazing at the night sky. Besides viewing the craters and mountains of the full moon and several stars, Scouts were treated to an outstanding view of the planet Jupiter, with its colored bands and four of its moons clearly visible.
Careful monitoring of the temperature as dawn approached on Sunday morning revealed a low temperature of 18.3 degrees at our campsite along the Bantam River. Consultation with on-line sources confirmed a low of 18. Seven Scouts and six adults earned the Blue Nose award. Good preparation and proper equipment was clearly evident as the Scouts handled the cold weather without any significant issues. Overcoming the temptation to just hang out by the warm fire, Scouts packed their gear and cooked breakfast in near record time, allowing us to leave camp and get on the road for the return to Simsbury before 9:00 AM.
Backpacking the Appalachian Trail - Nov '11
The Troop had a great full moon camp-out this past weekend on the AT, starting in CT and ending in Mass. 17 scouts and 7 parents had a great time. Here's the top 10 list:
Troop 76 Mass AT Backpacking Nov 2011
10. Friday night 8 Ventures hiked in the moonlight to the Paradise camp-site. 9. Great weather, snow Friday, but up to 50 degrees and sunny on Saturday. 8. Guy Weiland and Ben Cary knocked off their first backpacking trip with the Troop! 7. Perfect Saturday morning hook-up with the Troop and Ventures at Sages Ravine. 6. Hiking the ridge line, checking out the 800 foot vertical drop.
5. Cole Starrett tries to make a fire. 4. Ross Harmon makes a fire... 3. Bow saws really work! 2. Waterfalls were cool. 1. Ventures take a crazy picture at the Summit! Check out the pictures to the right, they're cool.
West Point Campout 'gets buried'
Troop 76 Campers got a shot of winter when they should have been getting a shot of fall foliage colors in late October when a freak October snowstorm dumped well over a foot of heavy snow overnight. The storm created wild scale power outages in Connecticut and surrounding areas. Troop 76 campers weathered the storm in West Point, NY while on a campout there. This is one of those times when the scout motto ' Be Prepared' has special significance!
Columbus Day 2011: Adirondack Historic Adventure
This Columbus Day weekend, Troop 76 traveled to the eastern Adirondacks to retrace some of Simsbury's contributions to the American Revolution. We kicked off the weekend with a hike through Saratoga National Historic Park. On this weekend 234 years ago, men from Simsbury joined militia from around New England and New York to defeat the British in one of the pivotal American victories of the war. It was after this win that the French became convinced the Americans could win, so joined with us. Highlights included the a visit with British reenactors, a musket demonstration, and lowering the park's flag at the end of the day. Dan and Chris added another mile to the 4-mile loop to knock off their 5-mile hike requirement for Second Class. Cole and Sean provided expert leadership, and scouts cooked and camped that night on the shores of Lake George under a full moon and perfect weather.
Sunday started with a walk along the edge of the hundred foot sandstone cliffs at AuSable Chasm and a raft ride over a 16 foot whitewater drop in the narrow canyon. The troop toured Fort Ticonderoga later that afternoon. Simsbury's own Noah Phelps spied on the British at the fort and collected key information that let the Americans win again and send the fort's 78 cannons to Boston, where George Washington used them to also capture that city. Ghost stories, skits, and songs around the campfire followed another excellent dinner.
Before heading home Monday, the troop drove to the top of Mt. Defiance to get an aerial view of Fort Ticonderoga and Lake Champlain. We took the ferry across the lake for lunch at one last historic monument -- an old fashioned A&W with curbside service in Middlebury, Vermont. It capped off a great trip that got scouts home in time for dinner. Thanks to Mr. Hsu, Mrs. Regenauer, Mr. Mundt, and Mr. Oliver for great company and solid adult support.
Family Campout at Newport Rhode Island
Last Regular Troop Meeting for 2010/11: Water Polo!
The troop held its last regular troop meeting outdoors in the water at Stratton Brook State Park, one day after out official 90th anniversary (the troop was chartered June 1, 1921). Cake and ice cream capped off the night. OA Ordeal this weekend, Advenure Race, Relay for Life, and Family Campout at the end of the month. What a great way to tie up the year!
May Biking & Felix DelGreco Fundraiser Campout
The May campout included a 50 mile bike ride from New Haven to Simsbury, combined with a 10 mile biking scavenger hunt around Simsbury for younger scouts. Non-bikers and Cub Scouts enjoyed a day of activities at the Simsbury Community Farm, including tomahawk throwing and a 90 foot monkey bridge spanning the farm's streams.
The bike tour kicked off a fundraiser for the Sgt. Felix DelGreco Memorial Scholarship Fund. Felix was an Eagle Scout from the troop who was killed in Iraq in 2004. You can find more information about Felix and the scholarship in the links on the left column of this site. Additional information and a display of prizes from the raffle portion of the scholarship fundraiser are available at Fitzgerald's Food in downtown Simsbury through the end of May.
Thanks to the National Guard and the Masons for their support of the long bike ride, Mr. Holowesko for planning the events, and Harley Heath for his field leadership of the scavenger hunt.
April Campout: Mattatuck Skills Competition
The troop spent the perfect spring weekend of April 8-10 at Camp Mattatuck. Scouts competed in six scout skills stations, including tomahawk throwing, climbing, first aid, Paul Bunyan (knots & lashings, regular and "extreme" versions), signaling, and shelter building. It was great to have some many new scouts and their parents -- an excellent introduction to our home for summer camp.
The adults, after competing in their own Olympiad (courtesy of the always entertaining Dr. Depasquale), feasted on venison stew, pulled beef sandwiches, sauteed vegetables, and fresh baked bread and chocolate cake, all hot from the open fires and Dutch ovens.
Thanks to James Depasquale for some incredible planning, the Ventures for running the stations, and Mr. Greiten and Mr. Starrett for the behind the scenes logistics.
Camp Mattatuck Climbing Campout
26 scouts braved the cold wet weather over the December 12th weekend with just the basics - No tents, no patrol boxes, no lighters, no stoves. Wow!
Camp Strang – Goshen Connecticut
Appalachian Trail Backpacking Recap
Appalachian Trail Hike
Our scouts backpacked two days on the Appalachian Trial in Kent, CT at the end of October. The trip included a full moon hike in on Friday night for Ventures (picture at right) and a descent through St. John's Ledges on Saturday. Weather was perfect and the scenery was great. Scouts carried all their gear, including tents, sleeping bags, food and water, stoves, and clothes, for the entire hike. We set up camp along the Housatonic river at one of our best campsites ever. After an afternoon of relaxing and games, the scouts cooked their own dinners and had a roaring campfire.
A challenging hike for our newer scouts, and excellent leadership experience for the Patrol Leaders and senior scouts. Thanks to Mr. Sullivan, Mrs. Berkner, Mr. Melvin, Mr. Michaelson, and Mr. Starrett for helping out. On to Mt. Monadnock!
Columbus Day Weekend Bus Trip
Scouts recently spent two nights aboard the USS New Jersey over Columbus Day weekend. Scouts also toured Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross' House, Franklin Court, Elfreth's Alley, and Ground Zero along with many other historical sites.
Scouts hosted the webelos for a canoe trip down the Farmington River for our September camp out. Water was very low but beautiful weather and a cache of squirt guns made for a memorable event.
Recent Activities - Farmington River Canoe Trip