Boy Scouts Troop 22 News: Wildlife Preserve Visit

Boy Scouts Troop 22 Campout

SgtMaj Jim Poe

boy scouts troop 22Several hardy Boy Scouts Troop 22 of the Marine Military Academy eagerly charged-into a potential foul weather campout this past weekend conducted at Adolph Thomae County Park. The pristine park is located within the… Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge area near Arroyo City, 25 miles from campus, next to the Arroyo (Spanish word for creek). The boys shrugged-off weather concerns for the higher opportunity to engage in camping, fishing, hiking, outdoor cooking, advancement work, and the brotherhood of Scouting. The usual suspects (Christopher Dunn and Troop 22 Senior Patrol Leader Zachary Garner) appeared directly after school and selflessly volunteered to assist in logistical preparations for the benefit of the troop (it seems Zachary brought along his portable pen holder!). The boys cut kindling wood for the campfire, then assembled & organized required items into the troop trailer. They joined other waiting members the HQ bldg for departure.

Boy Scouts Troop 22 At the Park

boy scouts troop 22With winter darkness descending, the boys ignited outdoor lamps and rapidly set-up the campsite, kitchen area, and made meal preparations. Make-your-own-designer sandwich was the main evening menu item. They quickly demolished two loaves of bread and large packages of sliced ham & cheese along with supplemental items such as peanut butter/jelly, chips, and fresh fruit. Christopher Dunn was first out of the chute to string a fishing pole and put it into the nearby Arroyo. Adolph Thomae Park is a very popular fishing site in the Rio Grande Valley. The boys had a relaxing time catching – nothing – that evening. A warm campfire prior to bed was most welcomed, since temperatures dropped into the high 40’s with high, noisy winds sweeping the park.

boy scouts troop 22Saturday morning was cold and blustery. The boys bundled-up, left their tents, and assembled near the mess area just in time for a sudden steady rain to interfere with breakfast preparations. It took awhile to figure-out the wandering mummy suit guy was actually Christopher Dunn! Hot cocoa inside the trailer-as-shelter provided some comfort for hungry boys awaiting a rain break. Internet said rain continues the next few hours. Lacking proper wet-weather clothing, they were given the choice of ending camp and return to campus or breakfast at Mickey D’s and continue to camp. NO fair weather campers here; to a man they chose to continue with camp, leaving no doubt that this was one durable group of fearless young men willing to accept challenge! They bumped into MMA’s Dr. John Butler and family at McDonalds. Dr. Butler took sorrowful pity on this group of cold and hungry and aided a few with the generous purchase of a warm breakfast.

Rain ends, and return to campsite finds the boys fully engaged in fishing. Some took a break for rank advancement work. For example, Christopher Dunn practiced rope lashing skills and created a handy camp gadget (a cooking pot tripod).

Lunchtime and the boys prepared a thick and very tasty Scout Stew accompanied by potato salad and side items.
Other events include evening foil dinner (silver turtles), a popular specialty with Troop 22. Foil is packed with meat, potatoes, and veggies, spices, and then cooked directly on charcoals about 7 minutes per side cook time. VERY fulfilling-filling meal followed with a campfire and Smores later that evening. The storm has completely moved-on by this time. The evening air is cold, the sky is very clear, and our small corner of the universe is on full, glorious display. The Scouts engage some night fishing and make several catches, returning the fish to their natural environment. Zachary Garner led the boys through an impressive Boy Scouts Troop 22 Flag Retirement Ceremony before enjoying in the pleasures of a campfire prior to retiring to their respective tents.

Sunday morning, and a cereal-style breakfast minimizes cleanup for an easier departure from camp. The boy fished early, and then hiked the reservation, identifying evidence of at least 10 types of different plants and animals per advancement requirements. Adolph Thomae is a popular fishing, camping, hiking, and birding area. It is a protected, old-growth area. Scientific birding, nature, and botanical studies take place here frequently. The park also offers an impressive boat launch and landing site. Educational placards can be found though-out the park. It is a wonderful place for the camping family or those seeking a peaceful nature day.  It was a fitting ending for the Boy Scouts Troop 22 campout.

Boy Scouts Troop 22 Ends Campout

The boys packed and cleaned-up, then devoured a four-sleeve box of Ritz Crackers and ready cheese before departing. As a Thank You! courtesy for the no-charge park access made for Boy Scouts Troop 22, the Scouts conducted a detailed clean-up of all camp areas on the large, south-end area of the park. Our Scouts did some fine work, and a great time was had by all!

Boy Scouts Troop 22 Photos

Click here to view all the photos of the Boy Scouts Troop 22 weekend campout!