Troop 870 considers themselves a high adventure Troop that is populated with Scouts and families that like to go out deep in the wilderness. They learn interesting new stuff all while creating an adventure and preparing young men and women for life, fulfilling the mission of the Boy Scouts of America. The out-of-the-box camping trip this Troop came up with and conducted in November 2015 did just that.
The planning for this trip started in October 2014 at their annual planning meeting where someone in Troop 870 suggested that “maybe we should test our Scouts’ ability to ‘Be Prepared for anything”. This statement sparked the idea of how our Scouts can prove their readiness for anything. The answer to this question came when someone suggested that they should conduct a mystery Scout trip where nobody would know where they were going and what to pack or expect except the Outdoor Assistant Scout Master, Committee Chair, Outdoor Coordinator and Council professional staff. For the next nine months, the Outdoor Assistant Scout Master kicked around different ideas. Some of these ideas included scuba diving at the Blue Hole, climbing the Tooth of Time at Philmont, and camping at the bottom of a volcano, but only came to one solution: a “trip through time”.With a trip location in mind, the next step was to find a date. The Troop Adult leadership settled on the weekend before Thanksgiving as this worked best for most schedules with midterms, the holiday and dicey weather.
On the morning of the trip it started unlike any other trip for the Scouts and parents within Troop 870. The Outdoor Assistant Scout Master asked the guys to arrive prepared ready to take care of themselves for the weekend. Specifically each Scout and attending adult were asked to arrive prepared backpack ready with food, tent, clothes etc. for both cold and warm weather excursions. The only thing Scouts know about this trip is that any group gear would be provided. Other than that the Scouts and attending adults had no idea what was in store or where they were headed.
Until after the Scouts and attending adults were loaded up. They were then told that they were headed on a “trip through time” in the Comanche National Grasslands in Southeastern Colorado.
“I signed up for this trip because I wanted to see if I can be prepared, even if I don’t know where I am going. I wanted to test my skills and see if I am able to be comfortable with the supplies I have and still have fun”, stated Eagle Scout Luke R.
“To prepare for the trip, I packed everything I could because I didn’t know if we were going to hike a lot or freeze”, stated Eagle Scout Brady R.
Upon arrival, the Scouts were told they would be setting up camp on the lip of Picket Wire Canyon. During the next day, the Scouts hiked all 18 miles to see the largest concentration of dinosaur tracks in the United States.“Throughout the mystery trip, I saw breathtaking things, but the coolest thing was the dinosaur footprints. When I saw the footprints and put my foot in the three claws of a dinosaur foot, it was unbelievable and mind-blowing to think that these footprints were made over 65 million years ago and were left for curious people.” 1st Class Scout Joshua B.
After the trip ended and the Scouts returned home, they were left with memories that would be the talk through the new-year.
“The trip was such a hit that the annual planning this year has already added another Mystery Trip for November 2016”, stated Greg Streech, Assistant Scoutmaster, Past Scoutmaster Troop 870.
View more photos here: Photo Album