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R burr C, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Rain and Mud.

Last weekend, 4 adults and 4 scouts decided to brave the great outdoors during the cold. We knew that rain was in the forecast with snow predicted for Sunday morning but the start from the church had no indication of that weather. In fact, not until we got near R-C was there a hint of rain.

We made it in darkness to our site after I overshot it and the scouts picked their spots with the knowledge that they didn’t want to be anywhere that the rain might gather. Tents were put up with minor sprinkles at worst and we were able to get to our tents relatively dry. Once in the tents, though, the weather had enough of waiting and decided to dump on us all night. A good bit of the weather was small hail/grauple in addition to rain which made for a nice drumming on the tents.

Saturday morning had a bit of a respite so that the pop-up tents could be put up. One picnic table was able to be covered so that it could be used in the rain. Our scouts learned how to play a fun variant of liar’s dice as well as playing Uno and some Chess. This reporter noticed that the scouts didn’t seem to like calling each other liar and instead said “cap” when they thought someone was bluffing. Chants of cap, cap, cap could be heard now and again from the picnic table.

Hiding their dice from one another. Check out the mud puddles near the fire ring.

That was the good news. The bad news was that the constant rain/grauple overnight seemed to saturate the ground and it didn’t take much walking to have mud puddles everywhere. The ground was pretty sticky and we were lucky someone didn’t lose a boot!

In the afternoon the weather let up enough for us to hike to the box canyon area of Christopher Creek.

The pools of the box canyon area from above.

We also traveled to the springs of the creek and passed the big Sycamore that in warmer months marks crawdad fishing country.

When the moon hits your knees and you mispronounce trees, Sycamore!

Saturday evening, discussions of potential snow were had before bed. Sunday morning, we woke to some scouts wishes being granted.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t cold enough overnight to freeze the mud puddles, so packing up was a bit tough and many trash bags were used to avoid tracking mud into vehicles.

The snow came down heavy as we gathered to wrap up the outing. A nice ending to a tough but fun outing.

Sunrise Ski Trip Recap

At the Show Low cabin right before going back to the Valley

Wet… that’s it… nothing else.

Okay, maybe we can do a little better than that. Our troop headed up to the White Mountains on Friday night and we had our meal in Payson. Once we got up to the house in Show Low, we had a bit of a wait as the deadbolt lock wasn’t opening for us. After some time, an alternative ingress was found and all got prepared for skiing the next day.

On Saturday morning, we had a quick breakfast of pastries and caravaned up the mountain. On the drive up, as we got near 9,000 feet, we all got excited to see the snow start to fall. Once we got to the resort, we found out a couple of things:

  1. The falling snow was very wet.
  2. We were there during the THROWDOWN @ SUNRISE PARK RESORT. What this meant was that DJs would be playing loud music at the bottom of the hill ALL DAY! (our scouts may have enjoyed this more than this reporter).

Regardless of these things, the scouts and adult leaders got their passes and made for the runs. The good news is that after a bit of a rise in elevation on the lifts, the wet snow changed (the music also got a bit more bearable but I digress). The bad news is that it was a bit more like small hail/graupel. A bit of wind and the graupel would sting your face as you’d be going up the hill on the lift. Those that didn’t have masks found that their gloves would provide some level of protection from the abuse.

For lunch, Mr. Parizek did his usual wonder work on the grill with burgers and brats. He even finally had a reason to use the instant canopy as it had now changed to rain down in the parking lot. Many a skier was relieved to see the parking lot food and accommodations.

Some of our troop felt they’d had enough skiing for the day and some felt they weren’t wet enough and went back out for a few runs after lunch. The beatings by the hard snow and the wind had our troop leave a little earlier than when the resort closed for the day.

We retreated back to the house in Show Low wet and tired. Quick showers and a change of clothes were a welcome relief for all. For dinner, Mr. Parizek had a few of the scouts help with making chili, cornbread, salad and pudding. There were some games of hide and seek and cards afterwards.

Sunday, we awoke to snow and not that wet stuff that we had on the slopes. This was the dry snow that dreams are made of! Our scouts had trouble getting ready for our trip back down to the valley as they wanted to have a snowball fight.

I’m sure that many of our scouts would have loved to have spent at least another hour playing in the snow but it was time for us to head back to the warmth of Phoenix. The weather led to a very foggy decent down the rim but all returned to Phoenix relatively intact.

Another fun snow outing albeit a very wet one!

Orienteering Course @ CCC Feb. 8th 10:00 AM

This Saturday, from 10 AM to 12 AM, we will have an opportunity to go over First Class Rank Requirement 4a, which is stated below:

“Using a map and compass, complete an orienteering course that covers at least one mile and requires measuring the height and/or width of designated items (tree, tower, canyon, ditch, etc.).”

This is open to all scouts that want to get this done as a group. You can also request to do this on your own at a later time. The course takes at least an hour to complete. We’ll meet near where we hold our meetings at 10:00 AM. Please read the navigation portion of your Boy Scout Handbook if you haven’t already.

Bring your compass and a pencil.

Cold Weather Campout Recap

Some come to Arizona in January to get away from the cold but not our troop!  For Troop 648, January is the signal for us to get out of the relative warmth of Phoenix and to head to the colder climates of Arizona.  9 brave scouts, 4 adult leaders and a scout in training headed up to Mormon Lake Friday evening.  The temperatures were near freezing as we reached our site, which led our scouts to unpack and setup quickly.  Getting to sleep for some was quick, others not so much.  Hindering sleep was one local resident, Sir Barksalot, who’s ability to bark for hours was quite noteworthy. 

Starting to prepare their meal

After a breakfast of eggs and bacon on Saturday morning, the group headed up to Fort Tuthill in Flagstaff.  A few scouts went to Flagstaff Extreme while the rest played in the patches of snow nearby.  After some lunch, all the scouts went to play in the snow.  Since we were at a fort, the scouts seemed to be in WWII mode, building pillboxes and snowballs.  Some of the snowballs were cannonball sized.  Once a truce was established, a tall skinny snowman was built from the big snowballs. 

Troop 648’s skinny snowman

A big todo was made out of finding one scout’s hat.  He’s cries of “Hat! Hat!” were in vain as he’d left it right where we had lunch.

The troop made an early dinner of burgers with mac & cheese.  A decent sized fire was made and some of the troops had hot chocolate.  A few of the scouts retired early and most weren’t too far behind.  One adult leader was asked the time by a scout and when told it was 7:30, the questioning scout said, “It feels a lot later than that.”

Our scout leader made good on his word of wanting to get an early leave on Sunday morning and had the scouts up quite early to pack up their gear.  A quick pickup, thorns and roses and a prayer and we were on the road back to Phoenix.  One scout said they could feel their feet again when we reached our gas stop.

Thanks to all the scouts that made this a great outing.  Of note, we want to thank Drew for his attendance on his last official outing before he ages out.  We look forward to him joining us in the future as an adult.

Camp Geronimo in Review

Another successful trip to Camp Geronimo by Troop 648.  This year, we had 18 scouts participate in summer camp north of Payson.  

Our scouts on Friday

It was a bit of a crowded one at Geronimo, over 900 people. We managed through long lines for swim tests and dinners with great patience and the camp was quite efficient after the first day.

Camp is up the hill a bit

We had site 5, which was new for our troop.  This wasn’t too far from the center of camp, but we were up a hill and slightly back for a fairly isolated camp.  

Our scouts completed a plethora of merit badges.  This may have been the best completion percentage for merit badges in over 10 years! That merit badge work, along with their Big-G Gold award effort, kept the camp clean by a lack of scouts except at night. 

Working on the service project. Nobody lost any fingers or limbs. Although we did have a shoe hit as shown below:

Stop hitting me in the foot! – Dylan

We had five days of perfect camp inspections and another Big-G Gold award for our troop.  We had one of our younger scouts finish the “I DID IT ALL” challenge.  We worked hard on our service project and represented our troop well at our flag ceremony.

Our Troop leading the morning flag ceremony

Mr. Cole reported that it was one of the few Thorns and Roses for summer camp at Geronimo that he’d ever heard scouts bring up thorns about being too cold overnight without there being rain! Don’t think that’s anything to worry about now that they are back in the Valley of the Sun.

Willow Springs Lake Canoe Outing

This last weekend, 11 scouts in our troop headed up to the rim to beat the heat (well… usually we’d have to beat the heat). Our destination was Willow Springs Lake for a canoe outing.

We found a nice spot off the Old Rim Road on Friday night. Camp was setup fairly quick. Some of our older and “wiser” scouts decided to see if it would really be cold at night in hammocks.

On Saturday, after a breakfast of bacon and eggs for our troops, we headed to the lake. Canoes were taken off the trailer and off everyone went.

Let’s get ready to paddle!

The wind was blowing a bit, so most of us headed up wind to have an easier paddle back. Some of us went exploring a peninsula, some of us found a geocache across the lake and some of us tried to combine fishing and canoeing with no success, unfortunately. We regrouped a bit after noon and refueled on sandwiches.

Coming in for Lunch
Quick group photo during the lunch break

A vote was taken and we decided to head back out to the water. Some of our group decided that they were going to brave the chilly waters and have some fun jumping off the rocks. Hard to believe but we have video evidence. The adults would have jumped in as well but someone had to supervise.

After a bit, it was decided that we’d head back to camp. A few of the scouts made the short trip to the edge of the rim before dinner.

Look at that view!

After dinner, we had a nice warm fire where we enjoyed for the most part just staring into the fire and relaxing.

Nice start to a nice warm fire.

We want to thank Sean and Eric, our youth leaders, who ran such a great outing. We’ll definitely be back again in the not to distant future.

Brrr-onimo (Cold Weather Campout)

5 scouts and 2 adult leaders braved the cold at Camp Geronimo over the weekend.

On the way up, we stopped at Tonto Natural Bridge and took a look at the travertine bridge.

After that, we drove by all the Elk hunters and headed to the protection of Camp Brr-onimo.

Mr. Benyi had to do a double take as he was not used to seeing an empty camp!

We had a little hike up to Inspiration Point and then explored the camp a bit.

The scouts were able to fight off the damp and got their campfire setup.


A little rain, a dash of sleet, hail and a touch of snow over night.  Another good outing for our troop.



Cold Weather Gear Check Tomorrow Night

Any scouts that haven’t been cold weather camping are encouraged to bring their gear tomorrow to the meeting.  Keeping warm during the night is the big difference between a good cold weather outing and a “learning experience”.

We can look at your sleeping bag and pad as well as discuss layering at night.

See you tomorrow.

Mr. Carson

Troop Meeting 7/10 Cyberchip

In our meeting on Tuesday 7/10, I will be going over the Cyberchip requirements as well as some online privacy videos.

As part of the yearly Cyberchip “recharge” you should be looking at the requirements for the cyberchip for your grade at   Although not required for a recharge, creating a new personalized contract between you and your parents regarding Internet usage is highly recommended.

I’ll have Cyberchip patches for those that don’t already have one and have all the requirements met as well as will sign off on any recharges (so bring your cyberchip card ).