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Community    |    Articles of interest to the community.

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published on 11/15/2005

Scouting on the Mountain


Scouts on Signal Mountain have been active as they approach the end of the year. Cub Scout Pack 3116 recently wrapped up another successful popcorn sale. October is a great time for camping and Cubs don’t get left out. Cherokee Council sponsors “Cub and Partner” family camping at Skymont Scout Ranch each weekend in October. This was well attended by local Cubs and their families. Cubmaster Craig Haney said over 30 Cubs and family members attended the weekend he went and, in spite of some rain a great time was had by all. The October pack meeting had a rescue theme. Two officers of the Chattanooga Police Department K-9 Department brought their dogs. Cubmaster Haney donned the quilted suit and played “perpetrator” allowing himself to be attacked by the dogs and demonstrating one more way that crime doesn’t pay (and can hurt!). Then Signal Mountain Fire Department talked on Fire Safety and brought a fire truck and ambulance for the boys to investigate. Mr. Haney is planning a November meeting on family genealogy and of course December will feature the annual Christmas Party.

Scoutmaster John Glass of Troop 60 provided a description of his troops’ recent activities. His scouts have been actively involved in several projects this fall, including two separate expeditions to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to clean up hurricane debris. The troop's public service hours for this year alone are easily in the four-figure range. The scouts continued their traditional support of the Stump Jump Cross-Country Run thru Prentiss-Cooper State Forest, and the weather gave them a break this year. It was a beautiful day at the run's turning point at Snooper's Rock (named for the revenuers' use of the rocky point as a spotter location for moonshiner activities in the Tennessee River Gorge). The Stump Jump goes thru some of the most beautiful scenery in the South, and runner boosters find the Troop 60 refreshment location a great spot to encourage their participants.
On the last weekend in October, a dozen of the scouts took advantage of the semi-annual Junior Leadership Training course at the Pot House - located at the point where the Tennessee River went thru the big rock shoals below the whirlpool known as the "Suck" and earned the warning title of "The Pot". The lodge is a combination of an 1800's era, two-story log cabin and a beautiful, classic assembly-building addition owned and managed by the Tennessee River Gorge Trust. It enjoys picture window viewing of the considerable river traffic at the time of the annual Color Cruise (alas, this season the color was largely missing). This year, the training was a combination of individual leadership presentations by community professionals and illustrative movies, shown for several weekends prior to the outing. The qualities of successful leadership were discussed and analyzed from several different perspectives, including the types of applications that can be made of them. Then, a few of the river's fish population had an out-of-water experience. After the devotional time on Sunday, several scouts and leaders attended the Air Show at Lovell Field, winding up a long, profitable weekend.

The weekly troop meetings for October and November are concentrating on the Auto Mechanics and new Nuclear Science Merit badges, including a planned trip to the American Museum of Science/Energy in Oak Ridge and corresponding campout at Frozen Head State Park before Thanksgiving. Tearing down and reassembling a working engine (hopefully without left-over parts) is a rare opportunity many of the older folks could also profit from, and the fact that the world is reviving interest in nuclear power production makes a working knowledge of the principles involved particularly timely

Troop 116 recently worked on the Aviation merit badge. Major Pete Garland, a Gulf War vet, Air Force Reserve officer with recent duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, Delta Air Line pilot and father of Troop 116 scout Jake Garland led this effort. He met with the troop to discuss the technical details of flight and regale the boys with stories of combat flying and his varied experiences such as landing large C-130 aircraft in small African dirt landing strips. After this “classroom” session, 16 boys went out to Dallas Bay airport in Hixson. There, they met Orville Biddle, a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association and volunteer for the EAA’s Young Eagle’s program which introduces young people to the thrill of flight. Each boy got a chance to fly in Mr. Biddle’s Cessna 205 and a chance to handle the controls. Needless to say, all made it back safely and had an adventure of a lifetime.

Next month, Bob Wagner will tell us of Troop 176’s recent activities. They are currently involved in their annual firewood fundraising and quite busy.

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