Monday, September 6, 2010

Edisto River Canoe Trip-June 12 & 13

Scouts and adults participated in a refreshing and relaxing canoe trip down the Edisto River. Over thirty scouts and adults assembled at the scout hut, loaded the troop trailer, went over final instructions and headed toward the Ridgeville area. Prior to putting the canoes in the water, the scouts reviewed safety procedures required for a waterborne activity. The adults also transferred cars and the troop trailer to Givhans Ferry State Park where we would camp that evening.

The area was experiencing a June heat wave, so we were overjoyed to start down the river. While any breeze seemed hot, the water was cool and refreshing. The scouts enjoyed the scenery and there were multiple stops along the river for swimming, relaxing and, of course, lunch. Alligators and snakes were not spotted and the scouts missed out on the opportunity for some hand to hand combat with those creatures. However, the absence of those critters meant the scouts could conduct water warfare on one another. Everyone was victorious, particularly since it was hot and humid and a drenching really cooled us off.

Later that afternoon, we pulled into Givhans Ferry State Park and set up camp. We were greeted by Mr. Andy Groves and Mr. Rick Hall, our volunteer cooks for the evening. They prepared an exquisite scout dinner of hot dogs, corn dogs, spiced-up beans and other assorted treats. Following some checkouts for advancement requirements, it was time for evening entertainment with scout skits. Perhaps it was the heat that caused confusion and short term memory loss, but the scouts should keep their day jobs as students. We all had a good time with the skits and it was a relaxing way to end a delightful day on the river.

Following breakfast and cleanup, the scouts broke camp and adults moved cars and the trailer to our final exit point downstream. We had a leisurely trip that Sunday morning, stopping a few times to relax and also hold a scout service in an isolated area. One of the lessons was to enjoy the wonders of creation and we certainly did that on our canoe trip. At our final destination, we had lunch and prepared for the trip home.

The scouts and adults had a great time. They had undergone canoe training the previous month at Camp Moultrie and were fully prepared for this trip. Over twenty scouts earned the Canoeing merit badge. Many thanks to Mr. Butch Hills who organized the Moultrie training and Mr. Clinton Dunn for leading the trip down the river. Also, thanks go out to all the adults who participated and helped make this a safe and memorable excursion.

Photos from the canoe trip are posted at:

Friday, July 9, 2010

Troop 20 Assists With Oyster Shell Recycling Project

On Thursday, July 8, Troop 20 participated in an ongoing Oyster Shell Recycling Project with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). The scouts assembled at the Ralston Creek boat landing on Daniel Island. Staff from SCDNR briefed them on the purpose of the project and what tasks they would be performing that day. The project is important in a number of ways. Oysters filter water, thereby improving the water quality. Oysters build reefs which provide a habitat for fish, shrimp, crabs and other animals. Oyster reefs also act as natural breakwaters that protect shorelines from beach erosion.The scouts unloaded bags of oyster shells from two trailers and loaded them unto some boats. The DNR staff moved the boats to another part of Daniel Island while the scouts travelled by car. Once the boats reached their destination, the scouts unloaded the bags of oyster shells and placed them on the beach.
At low tide, one can see how the recycling project is proceeding. The recycled shells will regenerate oyster beds and act as a breakwater, preventing erosion.
Our Troop 20 scouts did a great job, especially when considering the high heat and humidity of a July summer day. Well done to the scouts.
For more info on this SCDNR project go to and then click on Shell Recycling.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Service day at Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church

Troop 20 scouts and leaders performed a good turn on Saturday, 01 May, for their sponsoring organization, Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church. Pictured above are from left to right: Michael Epperson, unknown scout, Tomie Robinson, ASM John Watson, Max Watson, Ross Cary, Waring Hills, SM Clinton Dunn, Joe Dunn, George Robinson, Stas Watson, Ilya Watson and Vlad Watson. The scouts made short work of around 100 bales of pine straw that needed to be spread out on the church campus landscape. Great job scouts!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Troop 20 Merit Badge Cyclists Do The 50 Miler

Boyce Campsen, Jacob Kitten, Cameron Epperson, Dillon
Schaaf, Stas Watson, Vlad Watson and Sebastian Salas

On Friday, April 23, six scouts and three adults loaded the troop trailer and headed up the road to the Pineville area. The goal was to cycle 50 miles within eight hours as required by the Cycling merit badge pamphlet. The group established a camp site near mile marker 16 on the Lake Moultrie Passage of the Palmetto Trail. A seventh scout joined us later in the evening.

After a good night's sleep which was periodically broken by the songs of whippoorwill birds, the group had a hearty breakfast, checked their bikes and assembled day packs for the ride. Led by ASM Butch Hills, Mr. Lester Kitten and ASM John Watson, the group set out on its initial leg of 25 miles. We headed in an easterly direction on the dikes until we crossed the Rediversion Canal by using the Highway 45 overpass. We travelled in a southerly direction until reaching mile marker 4. Then we reversed course and followed our tracks back to mile marker 17 and then back to camp for lunch.The initial leg of 25 miles was completed in about 3 hours and fifteen minutes. The morning leg was done with cool temperatures and a mostly cloudy sky. Lunch consisted of sandwiches and cookies for everyone, with an additional course of ibuprofen or advil for the adults.

The afternoon leg was more tiring as we all anticipated. We deviated from the initial leg. This time, we headed in a westerly direction, past the Old Santee Canal to the vicinity of mile marker 20. Then we retraced our path back to marker 16 and continued as on the morning leg. Since we had already travelled about six miles, we would only have to reach the vicinity of marker 6 and then return to camp. Needless to say, the second leg was rough. However, nobody wanted to quit. When the going gets rough, the tough get going, if only slowly.

After our arrival in camp, a welcome sight appeared. It was like being in the desert and coming upon an oasis. ASMs Guy Ando and Steve Hudgins appeared on the scene, ready to cook dinner for us since we would be pretty exhausted. They made a homemade pasta dinner consisting of penne, sauce, meatballs, sausage and garlic bread. The sauce and meatballs were made from Mr. Ando's grandmother's recipe. The group devoured the meal, leaving very little in the way of left overs. After we bid the two cooks goodbye, everyone went to their tents around 7 pm. The whippoorwills did not have a lively audience this night.

We were awakened around 4 am Sunday morning with a sound and light show as a major storm was coming through the area. Then the rains started and kept coming down. The group decided that breakfast could wait. We broke camp in the pouring rain and headed back to the scout hut, where we unloaded the trailer and were dismissed.

This cycling trip proved to be more difficult than some of the backpacking trips. However, the scouts showed true determination and a great positive attitude. They and the adults had a memorable experience and I bet they would do it again.

Many thanks to ASM Hills for organizing the trip and to Mr Kitten for his leadership and assistance. Special thanks go out to ASMs Ando and Hudgins for that magnificent Italian dinner!
Many thanks and congratulations to the seven scouts who accomplished the 50 miles well within the timeframe.