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Posts Tagged ‘Outdoor Leader Skills’

Dutch Oven Cooking - Click picture for more pics

Dutch Oven Cooking - Click picture for more pics

This was a really great training course that I would recommend for every Boy Scout leader.  It’s not just an opportunity to sit and listen to someone teach but an opportunity for sharing ideas, knowledge and experiences.  It was truly a dynamic learning experience for all involved whether teacher or pupil.

We began by setting up flapping tents in a windy sprinkle on a dark and dreary Friday evening at Camp Tranquility in Oak Mountain State Park.  Then the real fun began.  We sat in on a great Leave No Trace (LNT) presentation by three of the best LNT instructors in the Shelby District.  Okay, I could be just a bit biased.  🙂  We were then instructed by the Master Chef himself on the proper way to use one hand to break and egg into a ziploc bag.  A very nice recipe for eggs-in-a-bag was then presented.  Then since our appetites had been whetted it was on to a cracker barrel of Oreos and cheese popcorn.  At least those were my choices.  There were plenty of others.

We roused our achy bodies from a snuggle warm sleeping bag  to an overcast morning with a hint of anticipation in the nippy air.  I could hear the soft whisper of aromatic coffee and delectable eggs-in-a-bag coming from the kitchen area as they called me from my slumber.  Then the real fun began.  We cranked up the flames for boiling water.  One for the coffee and one for the eggs.  What a breakfast we had.  Then it was on to the classes.

We learned all about the flag and what to do and not to do with the flag.  We learned about tracking animals and identifying trees and plants.  We learned about sharpening, handling and carrying for axes and knifes.  We learned about lashing, whipping, fusing and knot tying.  We then learned about cooking with a trash can, a Coleman oven, and a Dutch oven.  We then partook in a most excellent feast of garbage can turkey, vegetables and Dutch oven biscuits.  It was awesome.

Afterwards we learned about how to build different types of fires, safety involved in properly putting out a fire, tinder, kindling, flaming balls of death and the fabulously flaming Fritos.  We then learned about maps and compasses and how to orient them with ourselves and where we were.  We then got to do a small orienteering course.

It was then free time to come up with and practice skits for the evening fire.  We also began the process of preparing for dinner.  We had planned on Hobo dinners so we need to utilize our newly learned fire making skills and come up with a roaring fire to make some hot coals.   Our skills were up to the task and we soon had a bonfire going.  I thought we were going to have to practice our skills on how to put out a forest fire.  Our Hobo dinners turned out great though.

The fire and skits were a lot of fun.  The instructors laughed a lot at our ridiculous skits and we all had a fun time doing them.  We then sat around the fire and watched it mirror the night sky.  We then doused the final sparkles and drifted back to our tents and another blissful night under the stars.

The next morning we chased down some more eggs-in-a-bag with some coffee and began the task of breaking camp.  Halfway through it was time to go learn about a Scout’s own service.  We walked down to a very nice location overlooking Lake Tranquility.  It was a little on the cool side sitting in our chairs but made for a comfortable walk down and back.  Since we were all of the same faith it was a little different to have some of the other faiths as part of the service.

After our walk back we finalized the camp breakdown, said our goodbyes and thank yous and headed back to our homes and a shower.  It was truly a very good experience.

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