Kroger Card

Kroger's Community Rewards Program will donate a percentage of your in-store purchases to the charitable organization of your choice -- hopefully BSA Troop 800.  All you have to do to make this happen is link your Kroger Plus Shopper's Card to the Troop's account.  This costs you nothing.  Your spending is 100% confidential and this program DOES NOT affect your earnings toward fuel program discounts.  

Click here or on the Kroger Plus Shopper's Card above to learn more.

May 15-17, 2015 -- Fishburne Family Farm - Mt. Sidney, VA

For our May 2015 campout, we traveled West again, but this time to Mt. Sidney, VA, to the farm of one of our Asst. Scoutmasters - Howard Fishburne.  Our original plan was to camp at his mountain farm, but due to heavy rainfall which made the road impassable, we had to fall back to Plan B.

We arrived at the Fishburne Family Farm Friday evening just in time to enjoy a really nice sunset.

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The boys got their tents setup in the edge of the field.

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We woke up bright and early Saturday morning and the boys working on their Cooking merit badge fixed breakfast in Dutch ovens for the whole Troop.

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Once breakfast was ready, the boys served it up for everyone.

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After breakfast, we hit the road and went over to Natural Chimneys State Park, where the boys checked out the rock formations and hiked the trail above the rocks before taking a break for lunch.

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After leaving Natural Chimneys, we headed over to Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport, where the boys got a chance to see a medevac helicopter come in for a landing after an emergency run.  One of the flight nurses/paramedics took some time to answer quite a few questions for the boys.  A newspaper reporter also interviewed one of our boys for an article to be in an upcoming issue of the local newspaper (see

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Another one of the flight nurses gave the boys a chance to see the inside of the helicopter up close.

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After returning to the farm, the boys went on a short hike down to a creek and then came back to start preparing dinner. Once again, the Cooking merit badge boys fixed dinner for the whole troop.  Each of the seven boys fixed a Dutch oven full of a unique recipe of chili. At the end of the meal, there was absolutely nothing left.

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After dinner, we opened a controlled area of the farm for shooting sporting clays, where many of the boys got to shoot a shotgun for the very first time ever. 

Later on in the evening, some of the boys built a nice bonfire, but it didn't last very long due to the strong thunderstorms that began moving through the area.  Fortunately, the storms came right about time for lights-out, so the boys headed for their tents and bunkered down for the night.

Sunday morning saw the boys wake up to some very wet camping gear. For the boys who paid attention to the instructions on how to properly setup their tent, they didn't have to deal with anything more than a wet tent.  However, for the boys who didn't pay attention to those same instructions, they learned a very valuable lesson which they probably won't soon forget.

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One of the things we discussed in our last troop meeting before the campout was some of the things to expect and things to watch out for on this trip, including snakes.  Our original plans were to go to Mr. Fishburne's mountain farm, but due to the excessive rain through the week, the road was impassable.  Little did we know those same things we discussed would still apply even around the farm down in the valley.  On Sunday morning as Mr. Bright was folding up his tent, he flipped up the corner and found a 3 ft long black snake that had taken shelter under his tent.

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Once the boys got their tents down and packed away, we had some extra time, so we opened up the range for shooting sporting clays again.

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All in all, it seemed like the boys really enjoyed this trip, even though it was pretty casual and low-key.

Next month's trip, we'll be camping at Camp Justis and canoeing on the James River, which we're sure they'll enjoy just as much, if not even more.

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