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.

July 18-25, 2015 -- Camp Raven Knob - Mt. Airy, NC

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Another July and another summer camp is behind us.  For the first time in a few years, BSA Troop 800 returned to Camp Raven Knob in Mt. Airy, NC for summer camp.  With 43 boys going this year, we had nearly 100% attendance for the troop.

Summer Camp started off with the obligatory farewells and loading of Big Red at the church.

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 Right before leaving, we headed inside for the annual group photo.

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Upon arriving at camp, the first thing we do is get our site all setup, including Mr. P's office. 

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For those of you who wonder exactly how well your kids eat when they're at camp... rest assured, they're not going hungry.  How does french toast sprikled with cinnamon and powdered sugar sound for breakfast?

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How about some bacon and eggs to go along with that?

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One of the things BSA Troop 800 is known for and prides itself on wherever we go is our organization and professionalism.  Every evening before dinner, even though we didn't even eat at the dining hall, our boys donned their full Class A uniforms and marched double-file to the parade ground to observe the lowering of the flag.  After the ceremony was complete, they would turn around and march right back up the hilll to our campsite for dinner.  For the most part, of the nearly 900 other scouts in camp the week we were there, we were the only ones to do this every night.

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A better look at the parade ground at Camp Raven Knob as all the troops in attendance were preparing for the opening night dinner.

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For those of you who don't know, our troop typically does not eat dinner in the mess hall no matter where we go to Summer camp.  This isn't a slight to any of the camps, but more due to the fact that we believe the boys need more food than is provided by the camp.  With all the walking and activities the boys do each day in camp, they're burning 3000-5000 calories, but are given less than 2000 to replace them.  So, our standard policy is to obtain our allottment of food from the kitchen staff at camp, take it back to our campsite, supplement it with more ingredients and/or additional items and add some flavor.  Below is what our dinner was at the first night of camp.  While it doesn't look bad and really didn't taste bad, the portions were extremely small.

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Our boys waiting patiently for the opening campfire to begin...

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Due to excessive heat, there was one evening we allowed the boys to wear their Class B uniforms to evening retreat -- but as you can see, we tried to keep everyone looking the same.  You wouldn't believe the number of positive comments we receive from other troops about how our boys conduct themselves.

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At midweek, the Wahissa Lodge of the Order of the Arrow conducted a callout cermoney and special Native Indian dances celebrating their lodge's 100 year anniversary.

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One special thing they did was to call out all the scout leaders who had served in the military -- this included over half the leaders we had in attendance at camp. 

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Some of our boys enjoying some evening dowtime in their tent.  As you can see, the tents were pretty nice and in good shape.  Every pair of boys had a tent (we cover them with a tarp just in case), their own cot and a concrete slab so they weren't sleeping directly on the ground. 

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The boys are in patrol lines for evening attenandance before they march down to the mess hall for evening retreat and back for dinner.

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Just to keep things interesting and fun, Mr. P gives the boys something different every night before retreat, like sunglasses, a Hawaiian lei, an American flag, bubble wands, etc.  On our final night, they wore them all as they marched down to the amphitheater for the closing ceremony.

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A number of boys from Troop 800 who were in the Robotics merit badge class got to compete in the final robot battle in front of the entire camp.  As it turned out, we had boys on BOTH teams.

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The final battle ended up being a melee and didn't end until one robot knocked the other of the platform.  Surprisingly, this took a couple of minutes before a winner was declared -- and it was one of the boys from Troop 800! 

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As has become tradition with Troop 800, Mr. P always gives the boys a nice clean Summer Camp T-shirt for the ride home from camp (mostly because everything else they have stinks by this point). 

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One of our other traditions is to take the boys to a Golden Corral on the trip back home from camp.  This year, when we stopped, the manager of the restaurant happened to notice our t-shirts and where we were from.  Initially, he mentioned that his two nephews back in Richmond were both in Boy Scouts and were Eagle Scouts, but he wasn't sure what troop they were in.  After talking to Mr. P, not only did we figure out what troop they had been in, but that their names were on the side of Big Red -- along with all the other Eagle Scouts from Troop 800.  He ended up going out to take a picture of Big Red so he could send it to them.  It just goes to show that you never know when you'll run into someone that knows you.

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