I hope you all had a good weekend! I have heard a few things about the camping trip; however, it looks like the Freeze-O-Ree (or should I say Rain-O-Ree) was a good time and the rain held off until last night!
Remember Scouts- please dry and clean your gear right away. For those at the meeting last Monday, some of you got to see firsthand what happens when a patrol bin is put away wet!
In addition, there is some exciting information below concerning High Adventure, so please read the entire email!
We will have a Troop meeting at 7:30PM this Monday at Immanuel Church on the Hill!
SCOUT SUNDAY (FEB. 4th at 10:30)
Unfortunately, once again I will be out of town, however, next Sunday (Feb 4th) is Scout Sunday. For those that don’t know and from the BSA web site:
Scouts BSA designates the Sunday that falls before February 8 (Scouting Anniversary Day) as Scout Sunday, which is the primary date to recognize the contributions of young people and adults to Scouting.
Mrs. Wargo reached out to Father Randy to coordinate, and Mrs. Irwin graciously agreed to be our point person.
Father Randy requested that Scouts attend the 10:30 Sunday service at Immanuel Chapel.
Please note that is NOT where the troop meets, but just up Seminary Road – the first right – on the Virginia Theological Seminary campus. As some of you may recall, we have had the past two Scout Sunday services there.
We would like to have at least four to five Scouts attend; two to carry the cross – two to carry the American and Troop flags. The church also welcomes Scouts to do the (3) readings and (1) prayers of the people. Mrs. Wargo will provide copies in advance so that you can practice.
Please reach out to Mrs. Irwin if you plan on going!
I encourage all you who can attend please to do so and show our support for our amazing sponsor and chartering organization, Immanuel Church on the Hill!
FREEZE-O-REE 2024- (Facebook update from Mr. Dalton)
See Facebook post below from Mr. Dalton. In addition, take a look at the BSA Troop 131- Alexandria VA, page for photographs. Thank you, Mr. Dalton, and Mr. Heatherington!
The 2024 Freeze-O-Ree is in the books! The Scouts of Troop 131 represented the Colonial District well, helping to defend camp Snyder against a Yeti invasion. (Given the above-normal temps and the general swampy surroundings, it might’ve been a better home for Skunk Apes.) The Scouts engaged in such competitions as fire-building, flag football, and a scavenger hunt, and thrilled the closing campfire with their rendition of “The Twelve Turtledoves of Christmas.” (Ask your Scout about that one.) We had only one flooded tent casualty, and for the amount of rain that pelted us last night, that was getting out lucky! Once your Scouts have gotten the mud off and warmed up, they’ll have plenty of stories to tell!
AIDAN BOLTE EAGLE COURT OF HONOR
Adian Bolte and his family held his Eagle Court of Honor this afternoon. It was a great time, and I was happy to see so many scouts there, especially after the camping trip! A very big Congratulations to Aidan and this accomplishment!
HIGH ADVENTURE PLAN
First, let me thank Mr. Devlin and Mr. Farmer for researching and starting the initial planning for Troop-131 high adventure activities. While we sent a crew to Philmont just two summers ago, we are certainly still feeling the Covid Effect. However, I am happy to report that we are getting the ball rolling once again on high adventure and our intent is to have one high adventure outing every year moving forward.
For those of you that haven’t heard of this before, the Scouts BSA has a collection of four National High Adventure Scout Camps (Sea Base, Philmont, Northern Tier, and Summit/Bechtel) with programs that are a bit more challenging, and rewarding, than the usual summer camp experience. Each offers a different experience; examples include multi-day offshore sailing, learning to SCUBA, week-long canoe trips involving portage and primitive camping, and Philmont, which is the gold standard of scouting experiences (7/9/12 day backpacking adventures).
These programs are for older scouts, require a higher level of capability than the usual summer camp and come with additional (in some cases significant) financial requirements. To prepare the troop to participate in these events we need to plan well ahead. These camps are very popular, so planning one or two years beforehand is required for preparation, for fund raising and to reserve slots.
Sometimes there are crews that have a few extra slots available in shorter time frames, and we can look to this for any of our current scouts who are closer to aging out.
We identified the first week of August as our timeframe for high adventure activities over the next few years and our intent is to integrate some of the preparation for these activities into our yearly troop program.
As a result, and for the Summer of 2025, Mr. Devlin has reserved space to send 6-8 scouts to the Sea Base – sailing program (which could actually be in St Thomas depending on which boat we get assigned to).
We have also allocated Summer of 2026 (in the same early August slot) for a 7-day trek at Philmont Scout Ranch. Registration for this is not open yet.
Age minimums vary a bit and depending on the program, as a Troop our general policy is 13 for Sea Base and 14 for the others. With that said and for Philmont which is strenuous, the ideal range is for 15 and up in age.
We would like to hear from both the scouts and parents that you are interested in the activity. Given the Covid effect, we will need to prioritize based on the age of the scout (older scouts first, as the younger scouts will have more time to participate before aging out). There will be requirements for activities and before heading out. For example, preparation for Philmont will include a number of overnight backpacking trips to build up the skills (and muscles) needed. THIS INCLUDES ADULT LEADERS.
In the coming weeks, look for a signup sheet for Sea Base so that we can start to put together a list of interested scouts and adult leaders and begin the process of building out the crew and setting the prerequisite events.
More information will follow, however, here is the basic information concerning this trip.
- Location:Florida Sea Base – 73800 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, FL 33036
- Program:Coral Reef Sailing
- Total Cost for a crew of 6-8:$10,200 (note that the total cost is the same for 6 or 8)
- Minimum Cost per Scout:$1,275 (assumes 8 scouts- note the cost will be higher if the crew is smaller)
- Additional Costs:$800 estimated- Airfare, Travel Money, T-shirts etc.
- The payment schedule is as follows:
o 10% of Balance Due by June 1st 2024
o 50% of Balance Due by October 1st 2024
o Final Payment = April 1st 2025
We will also investigate and plan specific fundraising options for the crew going so they will have the opportunity to earn additional money and defer a portion of the costs. Scouts may also use any money they have in their Scout Accounts and from previous fundraising to help offset these costs.
See link below for more information and I hope you all will consider this.
UNIVERSITY OF SCOUTING- Scouters
For those Adults that are interested, the NCAC has an annual University Scouting Program on November 24th at Hayfield Secondary School. I have gone several times in the past and it is a good way for you to learn new skills or dust the rust off old ones. Be sure to look at the course catalog and note that Registration closes on February 18th.
It always amazes me how many adults are committed to scouting and this is a good way to meet with them. See link below.
SCHEDULE: One Month(ish) Look Ahead
Monday January 29th – Troop Meeting- 7:30 PM – Immanuel Church on the Hill
Sunday February 4th – Scout Sunday
Monday February 5th – Troop Meeting- 7:30 PM – Immanuel Church on the Hill
Monday February 12th – Troop Meeting- 7:30 PM (BoR) – Immanuel Church on the Hill
Friday, February 16th– 18th – Winter Camping/Backpacking –
Monday, February 19th – No Troop Meeting – Federal Holiday – Presidents Day
Saturday, February 24th – University of Scouting – Hayfield Secondary School
Monday February 26th – Troop Meeting- 7:30 PM (summer camp info meeting)- Immanuel Church on the Hill
Monday, March 4th – Court of Honor – 7:30 PM – Immanuel Church on the Hill
Monday, March 11th – Troop Meeting- 7:30 PM (PLC) – Immanuel Church on the Hill
Thursday, March 14th – Parent & Committee Meeting- 7:30 – Virtual