Troop 171 Scouting Gazette

December 2019

Welcome to the Troop 171 Scouting Gazette

Our boys’ and girls’ troops, hereafter referred to as Troops 171B & 171G, have a year-round program that is full of outdoor adventures, leadership options, and good times. This newsletter aims to provide families with a monthly look at what we have done and where we are going. We invite you to read and enjoy this newsletter—and let us hear your thoughts.

--Jeff Bradley and Scott Miller, editors

Investment in Character and Leadership

Many thanks to the families who made a contribution on Colorado Gives Day in support of Troops 171s support of Longs Peak Council. We have yet to reach our combined goal of $10,000, however, so if you have not had a chance to give, please do so at this site:

Your gifts help support the camps we use, the Scout Store, and the professional Scout staff who assist us every year.

Tis the Season for Parties!

Every year the Troops have holiday parties for Scouts and parents. The Adult Party—please leave the Scouts at home—will be held on Sunday, December 15 at the home of Carl and Julie Gelderloos, 1685 Gillaspie Drive in Table Mesa, right next to Fairview High School from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Please bring an appetizer/hors d’oeuvres or a dessert to share as well as your choice of beverages. This party is a wonderful time to meet other parents and celebrate a great year for Troops 171.

The Scout Party will be held during our regular meeting time on Monday, December 16. Final exams are that week, so the evening will be fun and games. No uniforms necessary. Have Scouts bring their favorite snack food and a game to share.

Good Gifts for Scouts

We often say “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear.” Successful wilderness adventures depend on high quality, reliable clothing and gear. Here is a link to products that we recommend for outdoor adventures

January Campouts

January 10-12, Troop 171B will head to Camp Chimney Park west of Laramie, Wyoming for our pre-Klondike training. Chimney Park Scout Camp

Here Scouts can stay in a bunk bed-filled cabin or dig snow caves in which to sleep. On Saturday we will practice Scout skills such as first aid, fire-building, and lashing structures together. Free time will include opportunities to go skiing, snowshoeing, or playing cards with friends. This campout will have a Friday night departure. SIGNUP LINKS TO FOLLOW

One week later, January 17-19, Troop 171G will go to Camp Tahosa off the Peak-to-Peak Highway for their Klondike training. Tahosa High Adventure Base Here the girls will train and practice for the February Klondike Derby, gaining Scout skills and having fun while staying together in a cabin. This campout will also have a Friday evening departure. SIGNUP LINKS TO FOLLOW

Mt. Princeton Campout Report

Eleven Scouts and four adults from Troop 171B took to the waters on the evening of Saturday, December 7th at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort west of Buena Vista. We camped at the Iron City campsite, not far from the ghost town of St. Elmo at an elevation of almost 10,000 feet.

Shoveling snow at that elevation is quite challenging, as we found when two out of four of our vehicles got stuck driving out of the campsite on Saturday afternoon. The Scouts attacked the snow with shovels, and soon the two vehicles careened up to the road on Saturday in time to transport everyone to the hot springs. Scouts soaked in the 105-degree pool and then clambered down to Chalk Creek, where the hot water bubbled up through the rocks. Warm and toasty, we returned to camp, this time leaving three of our four vehicles up on the road.

That night it snowed another six inches, and when Assistant Scout Leader Bryan Oplinger attempted the drive with his pickup out Sunday morning, he got stuck as well. The Scouts shoveled valiantly, but soon it was time to go home. Bryan and Assistant Scout Leader Jeff Bradley stayed behind and eventually freed the truck and drove home in triumph.

November Campout Report

Troops 171B & 171G arrived at the Kellogg Ranch off Magnolia Road November 9-10 for a rare opportunity to cut down trees, construct emergency shelters, and spend the night within them. The forest on the Ranch needs to be thinned for fire prevention, so the Troops were doing a good turn for the Kellogg family, who graciously permits us to camp there every year.

Boys and girls swung axes and used saws to fell trees and use them to build shelters that would hold two to three people. Each shelter was covered with branches and brush, and Scouts gained valuable experience and had a great deal of fun.

Adult Training

All adults registered with Troop 171B & Troop 171G are welcome to attend most of our Troop outings and campouts. We have noticed great parent interest in going on these. However, some adults have said they have little camping or backpacking experience, and they would feel more comfortable if they were better prepared to enjoy the opportunities Troops 171 have to offer.

Beginning on January 20, 2020, we will offer an adult training program comprised of six sessions: five sessions during January – May, 2020 and one session in September 2020, which will be focused on winter camping.

Please join several experienced Assistant Scoutmasters as they discuss and demonstrate various Scouting skills, using Scout Merit Badge handbooks and other resources as guides. In addition to the winter camping session, sessions will include:

· Your Day Pack (or, “What are those ten essentials anyway?”); please bring your own daypack ready for a long wilderness hike.

· Your Back Pack (or, “Why is it so heavy and how can I fill it for less money?”); please bring your backpack if you have one, ready for a four-day trip.

· Scout Menus (or, “What to eat on day three that does not weigh too much or cost a fortune to buy”).

· Tents, Tarps & Knots (or, “How to pitch a tent that won’t blow to Kansas in a Chinook”).

· Staying Found with Map, Compass, Geographic Information System, and Personal Locator Beacon (or, “Triangulation is not a day-time TV plot device”).

All sessions will have a backpacking focus, as we really need adult leaders for our more adventurous trips. However, all backpacking skills are transferable to our weekend car-camping trips. All sessions will include Leave No Trace training.

Personal Fitness Merit Badge

The next Personal Fitness Merit Badge session will begin on January 13, 2020 at 6 pm. This is an Eagle-required merit badge that is generally offered by the Troop once a year. Before the January 13 session, Scouts must complete Requirement 1b, describe their most recent physical examination (Personal Fitness Merit Badge). Note: Your Scout does not need to get a physical exam specifically for the Personal Fitness Merit Badge.

Monday Night Parent Meeting - You Are Invited!

A Parent Meeting will be held on Monday, January 13, 2020 at 7 pm. We hope that at least one adult from each family can attend. Additional information will be provided in early January.

Looking Ahead...

Spring Break trips will take place March 21-28. This year we are offering a backpacking trip down Harris Wash for younger Scouts, Paria Canyon for mid-level Scouts, and a high adventure yet to be determined in the Utah desert. Watch for details in future communications.

Summer Camp will take at Medicine Mountain Scout Ranch June 13-20. Medicine Mountain