Positively Outstanding War-story

Last Tuesday was yet another mesmerizing night at scouts.  A Vietnam War POW spoke to the troop about his experiences – from the battle where he was gravely wounded, including a ‘sucking’ wound which punctured his lung, another which tore up his knee, another which broke his shoulder, his days in the jungle, hiding among the bushes with dead bodies everywhere – trying to keep the VC from finding him.  His descriptions were stunning – how the volume of the war would dial back and all he could hear was his pounding heart, the fear he felt as the full-sized tiger stalked straight toward the bush he was hiding in, the focus on remaining calm as the communist captors would hit him in the face with AK47 butts when he wouldn’t cave in to their demands, living a year underground in a cage with log stocks imprisoning his legs, the 40 day summer hike from Laos to the Hanoi Hilton in 120 degree heat with only a ball of rice a day, losing 25% of his fellow captives along the way.  From the descriptions he gave, the way he stayed alive was his first aid skills from scouting, and his focus on his faith, his country and his God.  For two long years and a month – in the most extreme conditions imaginable.  Years later, here is Dave Alwine spending time calmly looking back over this unbelievable period of his life in the context of teaching the scouts the importance of the scouting and leadership skills they are developing.  Incredibly uplifting!

This Tuesday we will have another speaker, this time Z. Parizek, a former SPL from our troop, provide background and insight from his fantastic trip years ago to Camp Alexander in the Colorado Rockies, where we will be in just a few short days.  We will also be doing some trailer loading and final patrol prep, so come join your patrol-mates in adding to your Honor Patrol lead (you are in the lead, right?), and preparing for an awesome trip to summer camp this weekend.  For those of you needing more Class B red t-shirts, remember that they are $4 each, on sale this month only from Mr. Murphy!!

We have final confirmation that our Patrol Leaders’ Council retreat will be August 16-18 at the Scottsdale Conference resort.  Scouts in the upper leadership tiers will be receiving their invitations to the weekend the end of July, and can begin preparing their ideas for next year’s outings and service projects anytime!

For those of you looking forward to our next weekend outings, they include a backpacking trip through the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness south of Williams, and the annual family camp the weekend of September 30 at Ft. Tuthill south of Flagstaff.  Please plan on bringing the whole family – it is the one time a year that the whole family can come on a campout and enjoy the outdoors (cool pines anyone?) and troop meals and activities as part of the T648 family.  Hope to see many of you there!

In the meantime, see you at the troop meeting tomorrow night!

Mr. Cole