Hike to Garden Ground Mountain

Thursday was our day to hike up to the top of Garden Ground Mountain.  It was definitely a challenging hike!  The boys came through it with flying colors.  Once we arrived at the top, they had several activities for the boys to participate in.  The pioneering area reminded me of the days when Troop 26 participated in Scout O’rama at the IPE building.

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Example of an old cell phone tower and a new cell phone tower.   The structure in front is all lashed together.

There was an exhibit on Lewis and Clark where the boys could get a patch.  The OA had a nice area where they were demonstrating their Indian dancing.  There was a different area where they had a blacksmith, tomahawk throw, knife throwing and black powder rifles.

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Watching the blacksmith at the top of Garden Ground Mountain

The times when Troop 26 participated in Scout O’rama was a long time ago, back when I was a scout.  They had gateways and several different structures that were all built by lashing timber together.

We had a storm move through while we were up at the top.  National BSA has a really good plan to provide for our safety during storms.  They had lightning strike within 10 miles of the Summit property and they shut down the activities at the top for 30 minutes.  When they shut everything down, they quickly directed everyone off of the top of the mountain.  There are several trails going up, so they had us hike back down far enough to get us off the top to a place of safety.  Luckily, we experienced no additional lightning and several of us went back up to see more of the activities, but the majority of A229, which was on the opposite side of the mountain top, decided that it was better to go ahead and descend and head back to camp.

It was a difficult, strenuous hike.  It took about 2 hours each way and we figure it was almost 12 miles round trip.  The view from the top was fantastic, though.

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Sub-camps A and B are in the foreground.  Our campsite, for A229 is just behind the trees on the left.  That’s where we came from!  Sub-camp C is behind A & B in this picture.

One additional thing we did at the top was very special.  Before we came to jambo, we were asked to bring a “rock” to place around the fire ring at the top of Garden Ground Mountain.  I was fortunate to make a good friend during my SR-1062 woodbadge course.  One of my fellow Owl’s, Mike Rives, works for Benchmark Monument in Tulsa.  I had asked Mike if his company might be able to put something together for us from some of his scrap.  He did a fantastic job of providing a rock for the fire ring that was one of the most beautiful of those on display when we reached the top.  It is made of genuine Oklahoma Granite and measures 12″ x 6″ x 4″.  It weighs at least 40 pounds.  So we hiked that heavy thing all the way to the top!  The special part of it is that we passed the backpack carrying the rock to every single scout and adult in troop A229.  So, forever…     …every scout in A229 can say he carried that rock to the top!  C117, has an identical rock.  Their plans may be slightly different, though.  I can’t disclose the plans for that.  I will say that if the plans go forward, we will have an unbelievable story to tell on our return that will cement Troop 26’s presence at the Summit forever!

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We all had tired feet when we got back down.  We were moving slower than normal.  But, we fixed a good supper and had a nice evening.  We had a salad with cucumbers, and tomatoes, tortellini and garlic bread.  We’ve had plenty to eat the whole time.  We are NOT going hungry!!!  This morning’s breakfast was the first where we didn’t have any leftovers.  We had french toast and bacon with apple juice.

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Here’s our dining area and our gateway banner.

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This is our cooking area just after we finished KP.

Most of the boys have left camp already this morning.  A few are hanging around playing chess and visiting.

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It is time to do some laundry.  We have a lot of clothes hanging from clothes lines between the tents.  Caleb actually volunteered to do laundry for a bunch of the boys.  So, I’m sure their clothes were cleaner thanks to Caleb!

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We should have something special to post tonight for the Mom’s and Dad’s back home.  So, be sure and check back in before bed.  (providing power rationing is successful)

We have one power outlet for our entire area of the sub-camp.  Everyone is gone right now so the picture below shows it being used during a slow time!

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We’re having fun and missing everyone!  More soon!

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