Camp Tuckahoe & Gettysburg

The troop has pretty much been a nomadic group the last couple of weeks as we have traveled from Tulsa to Chattanooga to Jamboree and DC. Last night, after visiting Arlington National Cemetery and the Naval Academy, we made our way to Camp Tuckahoe in PA. Camp Tuckahoe is a BSA camp and is about 30 minutes from Gettysburg. They were very gracious to allow us to stay in two of their 45 man cabins. We rolled in very late and worked quickly to get unloaded and settled for the night. This morning we were up early to get breakfast in the mess hall and to depart early for Gettysburg.




At Gettysburg, we had great tour guides who took us around the battlefield and brought the battle to life for us. We then watched a short movie about the 3 days of battle, narrated by Morgan Freeman (the boys love Morgan). Following the movie, we went to view the largest painting I have ever seen. A full 360 degree panoramic painting of the battle of Gettysburg. The cyclorama painting is 356 feet long and 27 feet tall. Simply amazing. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the painting. We also visited the Gettysburg Museum and spent some time in the gift shop.







Laying of the Wreath

I am sitting in the quiet peaceful cemetery having just experienced a very moving and inspirational ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. It is hard to imagine or appreciate the level of dedication offered by the soldiers who guard the tomb. These men guard the tomb 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with such precision and honor that it must inspire all who get a chance to witness it.

Following the 10:00AM ceremonial changing of the guards, the soldiers, with a delegation from Troop 26, replaced the wreath with the Troop 26 wreath. Throughout the ceremony I felt the honor and respect that our scouts gave to our country’s deceased heroes. I am proud of our boys. They showed all due respect.

This visit to Arlington has been special and sobering at the same time. What an honor it is to live in this great country where so many people are dedicated to the cause of freedom. Our generations, and those that follow, need places like Arlington to remind us of the great sacrifices that are required for liberty.


Washington DC

It was a very early morning for the troop. We were up at 5:45AM so that we could shower, eat breakfast and head over to the capital building to meet with Senator Inholf and Representative Bridenstine. Both Congressman were very gracious and spent quality time with the troop taking pictures, talking about their congressional effort, and taking questions.



After spending time with the congressional delegation, we toured the Capital Building and the Library of Congress. Both were awesome buildings and we got to see some great treasures. Some pics are below.





From here, we met up with a per-arranged Chick-fil-A truck, had lunch and then began a whirlwind of touring DC. We went to the Smithsonian Museum and gave everyone the option of touring the Museum of Natural History or the Museum of American History (or both).

We then went to Ford’s Theatre and the Peterson House, had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and took a tour of the mall and several Memorials. Included in the tour of the memorials was WWII, Vietnam, Lincoln, Korean War, and Jefferson. In all, we spent about 19 hours touring. When I asked what they thought, one of the boys told me that the experience was life changing. These kids are great.












Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

We toured the Smithsonian Udvar Hazy Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport on Wednesday on our way in to DC.


SR 71 Blackbird

The museum is home to an SR 71 Blackbird, the Space Shuttle Discovery, and hundreds of planes and helicopters from various eras.


Caleb and Samuel Smith surprised their brother Eli by joining us at the museum. Doug Fournet and Larry Thompson also joined us at Dulles.



Goodbye Summit!

We had an early wakeup at 2am Wednesday while the rest of the Summit was still sleeping. We had to take down the tents and dining flys and haul our gear to the pickup point at our subcamp headquarters.

We checked the radar when we awoke (something we have gotten very familiar with) and noticed a large thunderstorm bearing down on us. The boys kicked it into high gear and we “borrowed” a large staff tent near our pickup location to stage our gear. The last of the gear and boys made it to the tent just as the storm hit the camp at 3.45am.

Thanks to our teamwork the boys and our gear were able to stay dry through the storm. Our bus arrived at 5.30 and we quickly loaded up and were gone by 5.40.

Goodbye Summit!

Cleaning the Restrooms

Greetings to everyone back home. I apologize for not providing more timely blog posts, but battery life is at a premium out here at Jamboree. I did want to use some of my precious battery life to share an amusing story about an event that occurred tonight.

We are in camp C117, which is a sub camp of C1. In this sub camp there are probably about 1/2 a dozen shower house locations with 3 shower/potty buildings per location (2 for boys, 1 for men). I would guess that each location is shared by about 8-10 troops.

To manage the cleanliness of the facilities, each of those troops take turns each day cleaning the facilities and today it was our turn. Alex B took control of managing our teams as they worked through each of the restroom buildings. To minimize the impact to traffic, it was requested that we work one building at a time, which the crew did (in a timely manner I might add).

After cleaning the first boys restroom/shower building, the crew moved to the second building. As they were securing the building, two scouts from another troop tried to enter the building and were notified that this building was closed, but that the first building was available.

Surprisingly enough. These two scouts had forgotten the scout oath and law and uses some rather inflammatory, off-color language with our cleaning crew to vocalize their disgust. Rather than using the other building, they insisted on waiting, timing the crew, and verbally badgering them while they did their job.

You would have been very proud of our boys. Rather than responding negatively to these two antagonistic goobers, they took it upon themselves to make sure that they really did an awesome job cleaning the restroom. They cleaned everything twice or trice and did it as slowly as possible to insure that the restroom was completely spotless. The crew claims that it was purely an accident when water from the sprayer flew over the wall and got the goobers wet. They informed me they were washing tp from the ceiling. (We wondered aloud how tp became attached to the ceiling.)

I wasn’t around to witness the cleaning crew, but learned about it tonight after the fireworks display when we did thorns and roses as a troop. Mr. Baumgartner mentioned that only Troop 26 could have as much fun as they did cleaning the restrooms. That’s when the boys shared the story. It was a good laugh and I thought I would share with you.

Stadium Show

Saturday was the big stadium show. It was originally scheduled for Saturday, but due to the weather forecast, it was moved to the afternoon.


There were several guests and speakers, including Mike Rowe from Discovery Channel (“Dirty Jobs”, “Deadliest Catch”). Mike is an Eagle Scout and he gave a great talk about Scouting and educating our youth.


Later, the rock group 3 Doors Down performed. They did a great job of and the boys really got into it.

You might be able to find the Mike Rowe and 3 Doors Down videos on YouTube.



Day of Service

Yesterday, C117 participated in the Messengers of Peace Day of Service. The troop had to rise at 5:00AM, cook breakfast, and hike to the loading point. We hopped a bus and drove 2++ hours to Welch, WV. We met the mayor of Welch before we moved over to their site.

Our service project was to clean up a family cemetery and sand and paint all of the ironwork. We ended up being about an hour late due to an more scenic route than originally anticipated so we had a lot less time than originally scheduled.

Despite the shortened work period, a large quantity of poison ivy, and a physically demanding project, we managed to complete the task with time to spare. NOTE: we took special precautions to avoid the poison ivy and Mr.Warriner has set up a special clothes washing station to make sure exposure is minimized.




Day of Service

Wednesday we had an early 5am wakeup and a 7am pickup to head out for our day of service. We traveled 90 minutes to Welch, WV to a cemetery to perform some landscaping and painting.


Each Troop at The Jamboree will do a day of service during their stay. That’s over 35,000 scouts heading out to do helpful projects around West Virginia.

The 9 Counties surrounding The Summit have been preparing for the past three years for these service projects to help in much needed areas. It’s a great way for the boys to give back to the community that helped build The Summit for them.


At our project we painted several railings and cleared brush from the grounds of the cemetery. The cemetery had gravesites dating back to the mid-1800s and held the grave of the first pilot shot down in WWI.



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Opening Ceremony

Tuesday morning we attended the opening ceremony in the Summit Stadium. They introduced the Bechtel family who donated the land and much of the funding for the Summit.

Afterwards, the boys spread out across The Summit to take in the activities and sites.

The facilities here are first class. One of our Assistant Scoutmasters, Joel Stinnett, is working the rock climbing area and said they are using specially designed equipment that is better and safer than any he has seen before.




Summit Scenery

The Summit is a beautiful place and the grounds are amazing. Here are some shots from an evening walk around the lake.

The weather today was much hotter than expected – highs in the low nineties with no breeze and lots of humidity. While there are lots of trees, most of the camping areas are wide open fields with little shade.

Our camp site is about 20 minutes from the lake activities and rock climbing, but further from other areas of camp. Overall, we are in a fairly central location.

The boys had a busy day setting up camp and getting unpacked. We had to figure out how to pickup and prepare food, cleanup, shower, and trade patches. They did a fantastic job pulling together and taking care of everything.

Tomorrow morning we have the opening of ceremonies at The Summit Stadium.


Chickamauga Civil War Battlefield

We arrived at Chickamauga National Battlefield this morning and watched a film about the battle. Our Park Ranger Chris gave us a very informative and passionate talk about the Civil War and it’s history in the region. Chattanooga was a pivotal battleground because of its significance as a rail and river trade route.


Tennessee Valley RR Museum

After traveling all night and sleeping on the bus, the crew arrived at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum around 8:30am eastern time. We set up shop and ate breakfast in the parking lot.



After breakfast, the boys were able to hang around the living museum and hop on some of the cars. Below are some pics of the boys milling about the RR cars.