The Historian’s Journal

2017 Year in Review         

2016   2015   2014   2013

Dec Movie Making MB - Lovettsville,VA

Fun, exciting and a MB too

Nov Mafeking Scout Challenge - Middleburg, VA

Fun, exciting and a bit of Rain

Oct Ropes Course - Clarksburg, MD & Sandy Springs, MD

Fun, exciting and other stuff

Sept Kayaking MB - Antietam, MD

Fun, exciting and a MB too

Aug HOST Hike, Washington DC

It would have been a great hike if more people were interested, and we hope that we will get to go on this hike again when there is more interest.

Aug Philmont SR, Cimmarron NM High Adventure

Hiking 41 miles in 5 days

July Heritage Scout Reservation Camp Freedom

Camp Freedom Summer Camp 2017. First day we came they gave us a tour of camp and gave us the swim test. We had also learned during that experience that they had a cannon that they fired every once in a while during flags. Monday we all went through classes as usual and dealt with some rain for a bit of the trip. As we went through all of our classes we would sometimes see the trading post and get ready for whatever was happening in the open program after the classes. During the outing some people taking the merit badges took a field trip to get some requirements done. Some people also built their own survival shelters and slept in them overnight. It was a very successful camp out because we got all of our merit badges we worked on and all the while we still had fun. One of the interesting achievements we made was winning the anything that floats challenge by quite a bit. We had realized that it was called specifically anything that floats which meant anything, so we built a nice float by using two pool floats and a trash bag. We had also won the dutch oven competition with our desert. We were mostly prepared other than we forgot to bring the troop flag. In the end we had a really good time overall there while getting some progress on some ranks. It was a really fun camp out for us and we would probably do it again net year.

July BSA National Jamboree, Summit SR, WV

"We started bright and early at Camp Snyder at 5:30 a.m. To gather our troop and depart for the Summit. Along the way, many Scouts slept and have lunch or some sort of snack. We arrived at the summit at around 2 PM. Despite the powerful heat waves, the scouts work non-stop to set up the new tents, tables, dining files, and the looking area.

The Square Patrol cooked it delicious taco dinner. Prior to the cooking, they set up the stoves, tables, and filled water jugs. After that, they went to do get the ingredients for the meals such as: cheese, meat, salsa, lettuce, and tomato. They did a great job looking and serving the food to the troop.  After the dinner, the Square patrol gathered all the dirty, greasy mess kits and wash them thoroughly clean. Following that, the scouts took a break by playing a competitive gaga ball game with the surrounding troops. Stay tune for tomorrow to see new and exciting stuff our troop will experience!"


After arrival at the Summit, we dropped of 3 boxes of canned goods for the West Virginia Food Bank.  We arrived at the campsite at 245pm.  By 7pm, we had set up 22 tents, two dining flies, 5 dinner tables, 4 stoves and cooked dinner!  Not bad at all.  It was warm/hot, but we had water and gatorade for the guys to drink.  Most scouts were in bed by 1030pm.  Tomorrow, we have a trip to the STEM fair area and several will go whitewater rafting. The remaining scouts will go to the other program areas.


"Today is July 20th and a few scouts woke up at 4:00 am, because they were an ATV signup. The rest of the troop woke up around 6:00 am, and the weather was cool and very foggy. The  Pancake Patrol made bagels with nutritious fig bars and orange juice and the prepared assortment of food supplies that the Scouts will pack for lunch.

After breakfast, the Scouts traveled from the campsite to the STEM Quest area, where the can learn science-related topics and technology. There they ate lunch and the SPL Chris, said that we were free to go to any activity we wanted to go to. While many Scouts went to the White Water rafting activity, some Scout skateboarded, shoot bow and arrows and some stayed in the STEM area.

Finally, the Scouts returned to the campsite around 5:00 pm to have dinner. The menu today was burger dogs because the burger buns were out of stock. Then, everyone cleaned up and the white water rafting Scouts returned afterwards. During the night the SPL discussed future plans as a troop and hygiene regulations. The Scouts finally rested for the next day ahead."


Another warm day.  We woke up early so that our ATVers could get a slot.  (There were 600 slots for the entire Jamboree; our qualified scouts all got one!)  The STEM section has exhibits from major science organizations including NASA, Air Force, Corps of Engineers, and universities such as UVA.  They have some great experiments with nitrogen and non-Newtonian liquids also.


Today, we woke up at 6am and the Square Patrol prepared a quick breakfast of pop tarts and set out lunch for all the scouts to pack for the day. The lunch was peanut butter, or  ham, and cheese sandwiches. After eating breakfast, we left camp around 6:30am and headed for the Scott Summit Center to raise the colors. We arrived there a little after 7am and the scouts elected other scouts from the color guard to raise the US flag, the West Virginia flag, and the jamboree flag. The color guards did very well as the camera staff were recording this ceremony. Afterwards, we raised our troop flags and gathered for a photo. After that, we took down our troop flags and raised the rest of the colors on to the remaining poles. They were state flags of the other troops that are participating in the Jamboree. Finally, the scouts left for what they were planning to do today.

After interviewing with many Scouts, some them spent the day zip lining, laser shooting, and some even earned the Aviation merit badge. While the scouts were enjoying participating in activities, Mark S caught a 22 pound fish with a 12 foot crappie pole at the open fishing area. It was a new world record. He used a single piece of corn as bait.

 After the scouts had lunch, a storm with very dark clouds started creeping toward the Summit. Large sudden gusts started picking up, and caused the dust to spread out through the air. Luckily, the scouts were warned to take shelter and not touch anything that would conduct electricity. Lighting was reported so all the activities were suspended until further notice. The scouts who were back at camp, took shelter in the bathrooms until the storm cleared. After the storm, the programs resumed.

 Finally, the scouts returned to camp and waited for the Flaming Penguins Patrol to cook a fabulous meal of hot dogs and chili dogs. They were very good! Also, some scouts received some letters from home. Then, the Flaming Penguins Patrol started cleanup.


 What a day!  The troop was allowed to raise the flags for the entire camp!  (We had a couple of extra flags!) Our troop flag was flown with the jamboree flags.  This was the first time for me (four jamborees). . . we were one of 18 troops (out of about 900) selected!

 Mark S has a fish story for the ages--I believe the fish (a carp) is bigger than he is  . . . the look of everyone in the photo says it all. Our ATVers went for a ride this morning--sorry no photos here. Some of our scouts were present when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was honored this afternoon (see photo).  Tomorrow is the first stadium show.


The Scouts woke up around 6:00 am and had breakfast, which was prepared by the Pancake Patrol. The meal today was cereal with Pop Tarts. After breakfast they packed their lunches, and then they were set to do whatever activities they had planned. Before they left, the scoutmaster gave all the Scouts 10 decks of Boy Scout cards each. If they collect 101 of different cards, then they will receive a reward of a special pocket knife.

While they were doing their various activities, the scouts stopped to have lunch. The lunch was cracker with a topping of chicken pate, a cheese and ham sandwich, fruit snacks and fruit cups. Once the Scouts finished their activities they returned around 4:00 for an early dinner before the Stadium Show at 6:00. The dinner was macaroni and cheese with salad, which is made by the White Crayon Patrol. Afterwards they cleaned up and relaxed before they headed out to the Stadium Show. At the Stadium show they had a a wonderful time, and a memory they will never forget. after the show, they went straight to the campsite, checked in, and went to bed.


 Weather remains warm (hot!).  Guests included the Chief Scout Executive Micheal Surbaugh (sp?) and National Commissioner Charles Dahlquist.  The stadium show band was X-Ambassadors--their most well-known song is "Renegade" which is used in the Jeep commercials.  The photo below shows the two big screen televisions with the stage in between. Lake Goodrich is in the background, along with a gorgeous sunset. We have been informed that President Trump will address the scouts Monday evening.  The visit will require re-arranging our schedules and the Adults are working on this task. 


Today, the Flaming Penguins Patrol woke up at 5:30am to prepare breakfast. They woke up to rain and some wind. Everyone else woke up at 6:30am. For breakfast, the Flaming Penguins cooked scrambled eggs and sausage. There were also bananas, muffins, various flavors of juice, and nutri-grain bars. The food smelled incredible.

After the scouts ate breakfast, they prepared their lunches. Lunch was turkey and cheese sandwiches. After the scouts prepared their lunches, scouts got into their Class As for attending worship services. There were all kinds of worship services in various locations.

When the scouts came back from the worship services, many had lunch and then were working on achieving 101 trading cards. Congratulations to Andrew who found the last 101st gold card! Andrew will be awarded a special edition Jamboree pocket knife. Some scouts enjoyed playing in the Gaga pit. After that, the scouts went to various activities.

At around 4pm, members of the Square Patrol came trickling back to the campsite to prepare dinner. The dinner this evening was spaghetti with meatballs and marinara sauce. It was a delicious dish, and the Square Patrol cleaned the kitchen well.


 We had a light rain from about 5am to 10am.  The sky cleared and it was warm and sunny the rest of the day.  Even now, some summer thunderstorms are flashing in the distance.  The jamboree had a number of special guests today.  The Papal Nuncio (Vatican Ambassador to the US) Archbishop Pierre Christophe led mass for Roman Catholics this morning (see photo).  The bishop of the West Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball led a service, and one of the Apostles of the LDS Church led its service.

 In the afternoon, activities resumed, including BMX (see photo).  Patch trading is everywhere!!  (see photo).


Today the White Crayon Patrol woke up around 5:30 am to prepare both breakfast and lunch for later. The breakfast today was cream cheese bagels with fresh juices and bananas. After breakfast the White Crayon Patrol cleaned the kitchen and the rest of troop was free to go to any activities for about 2-3 hours. During their activities, the ate their lunches, which is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pudding, and pretzels. 

 When the Scouts returned to the campsite at 12:30pm, they took their showers, and organized their personal items before we went to the President Trump event. Around 1:00 pm the SPL counted attendance, and then around 1:30 pmthe troop left to go to the event. Once we arrived at the AT&T Stadium, President Trump discussed about citizenship and community service. After the event, our troop returned back to the campsite. They check in with Mr. Nostrand, and they prepared for bed. Finally, all the troop went to sleep approximately 9:30 pm."


 1. Mr. Trump spoke for about 30 minutes.  As part of his introduction, he mentioned Vice President Pence's scouting career.  He then referenced Secretary of State Tillerson as an Eagle Scout.  He then introduced the following Eagle Scouts who walked out on stage behind him:  Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price.

 2. I was very impressed with the troop's effort to gain a good seat at the speech.  On their own, they decided to leave an hour early to ensure they were processed through security in a timely manner. The result was that the scouts were about 50 yards back from the security line, directly in front of and about 100 yards from the podium. This effort was their own initiative.   The result was an outstanding viewing location.  The behavior of our scouts was outstanding.

 3. I mentioned Friday that Mark S had a fish story for the ages.  The catch has been declared a world record: the largest grass carp caught on a pole without a reel.  Details here: and here

4. We were treated to a gorgeous sunset. (See Photo).


Today, the Square Patrol woke up at 5am to prepare breakfast with pop tarts, nutri-grain bars, apple, grape, and orange juice, and raisins. Everyone else woke up at 5:45am because the scouts had to leave at 7am to leave for the buses for the day of service. After everyone had breakfast, the scouts prepared their lunch and prepared their daypacks. Lunch was chicken salad. After that, everyone left for the Scott Summit Center to get on the buses and go to the day of service site.

When the scouts arrived at the buses, there were many other troops awaiting to hop on the bus and go to their day of service. When everyone settled in on the bus, Christopher, the SPL, explained what the day of service and the messenger of peace was and its origin. The bus ride to the day of service site took 1 1/2 hours. Our task was to paint the walls inside the barn, build a rail, and do some landscaping. When we arrived at the house with the barn, a lady greeted us and told us about what animals lived here, where the restroom was, where the supplies were, etc. After that, we put our daypacks down and formed pack lines by patrol. Then, we got started.

For the barn, 2 patrols worked on painting the walls of the barn white. 1 patrol worked on the 2nd floor while the other patrol worked on the 1st floor. Other patrols were working on painting the cat's shelters and building a rail. The owner runs a website and non-profit organization called The owner has a lot of cats.

Then, we had lunch. Christopher then asked the scouts questions about the day of service and messengers of peace. After lunch, we resumed working. In the barn, we put a 2nd coat on the wall waist down. Finally, everyone finished the service project and everyone gathered for a photo in front of the barn. After that, we left for the Summit.

1 1/2 hours later, the scouts arrived at the bus drop off location. They got off the bus, and headed for their campsite. The Flaming Penguins Patrol went head of the troop so they could prepare dinner. The menu was pulled pork! About an hour later, dinner was ready. After the scouts finished dinner, clean up began. After clean up was finished, the scouts either relaxed, played cards, or play in the Gaga pit. Finally, the scouts went to bed.


The Messenger of Peace Day of Service involved work at a local non-profit.  Our troop performed painted the inside of two rooms in the barn of the animal shelter, fortified a bird fence against foxes, and stained an outdoor structure.  Ms. Yoak, the operator, was extremely gracious, and complimented our troop on its work and efficiency.


Today the scouts woke up around 6:15 in the morning, and the cooking Patrol for breakfast was the Pancake Patrol. The breakfast today was powdered, chocolate, and glazed donuts.The scouts had the option to either go to their regular activities close to base camp or they could go to the Garden Grounds. The Garden Grounds is a 4 mile hike up to the top of the mountain with various games and entertaining shows, like a Native American cultural dance. After the groups were split up between the troop, we set out on our journey.

Those that chose to go to Garden Grounds went to the trail with an Order of the Arrow Guide. As we hiked up the trail we took occasional breaks to discuss about environmental awareness and the principles of Leave No Trace. When we finally reached top of the mountain there were games like a Spartan Race, mini games from Scottish history, black powder rifle shooting, tomahawk/knife throwing, and there was even a Chick-fil-A nearby as well.

After lunch a few scouts decided to go back to base camp early so they could do some more activities. Some scouts came to Gardens Grounds late because they did base camp activities in the morning. After the Garden Grounds and the activities at base camp, all the scouts returned to base camp Alpha by 5:00 pm. The White Crayon provided a delicious dinner of fajitas. Finally, the scouts went to the showers, got dressed, and went to bed around 10:00 pm."


 After dinner this evening, the troop went to a nearby field for the Base Camp Bash, a two hour outdoor concert by a country band. (See photo).  Tomorrow is the last day of program.  Beginning tomorrow afternoon, we will start taking down the campsite.  The closing show is scheduled for tomorrow night. Continuing a jamboree tradition, rain is predicted. 7:-((

 On another matter, NCAC's Scout Executive Les Baron has issued a statement regarding the President's visit Monday.  You may read it here:   Our scouts were asked to be courteous, respectful, and apolitical, and given guidance about what that meant.  I am proud of their conduct.


Today, the Flaming Penguin Patrol woke up at 5am to cook breakfast while everyone else woke up at 5:30am to clean the showers. Breakfast was bagels, nutri-grain bar, trail mix, and apple, grape, and orange juice. At around 6:15am, the scouts had breakfast. After that, everyone was told to come back at 12:30pmto help pack up the site some. Then, everyone left camp to various activities. At around 10:30am, a big storm hit with a lot of rain. Everyone in the Summit took shelter and there was lots of lighting and thunder. Soon at 12:30pm, everyone came back to camp to help out with packing. It was raining at the time. Scouts packed up the stoves, carts, and tables. Because it was raining so hard, we could not do a lot with out getting drenched by the pouring rain.

The Square Patrol began cooking dinner in the mid-afternoon. The menu with beef stew! At around 4pm, dinner was served! It was very good. Soon after, the Square Patrol began cleanup. Then, everyone started to prepare for the stadium show. The scouts arrived at the show about a half an hour later, and got seats off to the left side. The Plain White T's were the band for the night and put on a great show. Following that, the jamboree staff put on a great show of fireworks! After that, everyone came back to base camp and went to bed.

Today was the last day of activities. Although it rained for a majority of the day, the scouts persevered and we managed to have wonderful concert. Beautiful fireworks and big smiles from the scouts!


The scouts got one last day of program.  Midday, it began raining off an on . . . Rain at the end of the jamboree is a (unfortunate) tradition.  For me, it was a day of memories--Steve Costner, a successor Scoutmaster from my home unit Troop 1539  came out for the day for a visit.  We toured the museum at the Summit and saw an early First Aid kit (similar to my father's First Aid kit from the 1930s)! I also saw a canteen similar to the one my parents gave me for Christmas one year.  On the wall of the museum were pictures of Eagle Scouts, including one from Vienna, Virginia. 

Yesterday, the scouts on the Garden Ground took a photo for me.  During the 2013 Jamboree, our troop bought a rock with the numbers inscribed on it.  The rock, carved by a stonecutter at the National Cathedral, was incorporated in the campfire ring. I stayed in camp for the closing ceremony, but I could see the fireworks and they were spectacular!  Tomorrow, we go home.

Jul 8-9 Hiking, Applachain Trail

Our Crew hiked 20 tough miles on their final Philmont preparation weekend.

Jun 26-Jul 1 Canoeing at Lenhok'sin, Goshen SR

We Canoed the James River for 4 nights and 5 days on one of Virginia’s most scenic rivers. We Paddled 64 miles from the headwaters at Iron Gate to the Snowden Dam experiencing over 100 class I rapids, 20 challenging class II rapids, and the infamous Balcony Falls. Several Adults and Scouts tried fishing along the way and we camped nightly at wilderness river side locations. The crew particiated in a river clean up project and met the 50 Miler award requirements.

DAY 1 Sun:  Goshen Scout Reservation | Lenhoksin.  Check-in, Swim Tests and set up camp. Round-Robin camp education, dinner and campfire program.

DAY 2 Mon:  Depart Goshen and Drive to Twin River Outfitters in Buchanan. Gear-up and Bus to Irongate near the confluence of the Cowpasture and Jackson Rivers. 11 mi paddle to Gala campground.  The brownies canoe past us, oh my!  The outfitter says the water is 10-12 in high, but wow those rocks seem to jump right out and hit the canoe. We're adding to our trail name list: Magnet can find any/every rock in the river, but also tires and campsites. We decide to collect tires as our service project.. 38 total.

DAY 3 Tue:  Paddle 17 mi from Gala to Oxbow farm, camp with cows watching us. :|

DAY 4 Wed:  Paddle 9 miles to Buchanan and stop at TRO for a briefing and lunch. Back on the James for 6 more miles.

DAY 5 Thur:  Paddle 12 miles from Arcadia to Wilderness Canoe Co. Pull the boats up the hill and help the TRO staff unload kayaks and load the canoes.  The brownies must have felt bad, they gave us some pizza!

DAY 6  Fri:  Paddle 7 miles through lots of rapids including the Balcony Falls, wonder why it wasn't as difficult as we thought? Wait at Snowden near the dam and then bus back to WCC for the vehicles. Drive back to Goshen and visit Webelos at Camp Ross. Glorious Showers!  Burgers on the grill and evening campfire.

DAY 7 Sat:  Up before 0500, pack and decamp before the staff has a chance to wake us. :)  Head to Harrisonburg for Waffle House then back to the VFW to clean up and get home.

James River Association Maps, Aerial, Satellite and Profile information

Terrain 360 On the water view for the entire river

Upper James River Water Trail Overview and Section Maps

Jun 16-18 Hiking, Gettysburg Battlefield

We hiked 12 miles in the heat and humidity enjoying the challenge and rewards of scouting. We had went to places ranging from a sniper's den to a general's headquarters. We had also went inside of some of the exhibits and looked at some of the strategies and some of the gear the soldiers had. We had finally looked at a cyclorama depicting Pickett's charge which was the largest civil war painting ever created. We had learned about the formations of the armies and how both of them fought and where. We went back to our campsite and had some dinner before going to sleep and going back the next morning. We believed that this camp out was quite successful for helping the scouts in orienteering, and from what I saw we all had a good hike.

Jun 9-10 Hiking, Applachain Trail

We had a few problems with our plans to hike Old Rag mountain and ended up at Weaverton Cliffs.

Jun 3 Scott M. Eagle Project, Camp Higroads

We assisted Scott in constructing / replacing four sets of canoe racks to benefit the camp and their children's programs. We also had done some other things for the camp like clearing the pet cemetery of sticks. We cleared the area around the water conditioner to keep the fish alive in the lake and cut down some of the logs and organized them neatly. Overall a good service project and was well lead by Scott M. who has received his eagle rank.

May 27-29 Camping, Goshen 50th Anniversary

We Participated in this historic event and enjoyed all the activities Goshen Scout Reservation had to offer. The event was wet and muddy but capped off by a great fireworks show.

Apr 30 Hiking, Buzzard Hill

We Hiked 12 miles working on enduance, cooperation and skills

Apr 22-23 Philadelphia & USS New Jersey

We Hiked around Philadelphia seeing historic sites and learning about our independence. Later we boarded the Battleship USS NJ, getting a guided tour, watching the small guns fire and exploring the next morning. We had first came to Philadelphia and went inside the visitors center to wait for the rest of the troop. While we waited we saw the March for Science by the entrance of the building. We then went to see the liberty bell which was nearby to some of the exhibits around the area like seeing a replica constitution. Afterwards we went to get some food that we seemed to all enjoy. We went back to the cars and drove over to a parking garage near the USS New Jersey. The USS New Jersey is an Iowa-class battleship that has been in three wars: World War II, Korean war and the Vietnam war. We had gotten a tour around the ship and towards the end of the tour we got to see the smaller guns fire before we went to sleep. In the morning we explored the ship on our own and then went back to the VHF.

Mar 25 Hiking, Banshee Reeks

We Hiked 8 miles getting back into the swing of things now that winter has passed.

Mar 17-19 Biking, C&O Canal Trail

We Biked 26 Miles enjoying the weather and sights.

Feb 24-26 Sking, Roundtop Resort

We spent a great weekend at Camp Tuckahoe and a not so snowy day on and off the slopes at Roundtop.

Jan 28 Jack P. Eagle Project, "A Place to Be"

We assisted Jack in constructing a sensory experience room at his Music Therapy school.

Jan 13-15 Wimp-O-Ree

We held our annual Merit Badge Weekend.

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