The Boy Scouts of Shepherdsville Troop 868 returned last Saturday from a 15-day trip across Tennessee that included a week of tent camping at Boy Scout Camp Buck Toms near Knoxville. Eighteen scouts and four scoutmasters departed Shepherdsville on Saturday, June 11, for a week of touring and sightseeing prior to a week of resident camping.
The group visited Nashville, Chattanooga, Gatlinburg, Oak Ridge, and Pigeon Force during the eight days they took to arrive at Camp Buck Toms. They visited Lookout Mountain and the Chicamauga National Military Park, took a wild cave trip where they crawled through a cave wearing knee pads and miner’s helmets, toured an underground hydroelectric plant located 16 stories deep inside Raccoon Mountain, hiked 11 miles to reach the top of Mount LeConte (the highest peak east of the Mississippi River), rode go-karts, played miniature golf, visited several museums, saw two live stage shows, and got a rare private tour at Oak Ridge National Laboratory that included a visits to the computer data center where the second and fourth most powerful computers in the world are housed and the Graphite Nuclear Reactor where Uranium-238 was produced to create the world’s first atomic bomb.
At Camp Buck Toms, the scouts were able to swim, do archery, shoot rifles and shotguns, and work on a variety of different merit badges according to their individual interests. One scout earned his certification as a BSA Lifeguard and also completed the Mile Swim.
Troop 868 takes at least a two-week trip to summer camp every year. By participating in troop fund-raising activities throughout the year, 2/3 of the boys were able to go on this trip at zero out-of-pocket cost to their parents! Troop 868 prides itself on offering a program that is affordable for any boy that wants to be a scout.
The youngest participant on the trip was almost 11 and the oldest youth was 17. None of the boys had any problems with home-sickness.
The troop took a 4-day trip in April during school spring break to go whitewater rafting and zip-lining. Another 4-day trip to visit Fort Sumter and sleep aboard an aircraft carrier is currently being planned for July. In August, the unit will be visiting the U.S. Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
Troop 868 is based in Shepherdsville but serves boys from all of Bullitt County as well as southern Jefferson County. Scout troops do not have territories and boys interested in Scouting are welcome to visit and join any troop of their choosing. Troop 868 has a reputation for being one of the most active and best-run troops in the entire Lincoln Heritage Council.
Boy Scouting is a year-round program for boys aged 11~17 (6th-12th grades). Boys can join a troop at any time during the year. Interested boys and a parent simply need to drop in and visit any weekly troop meeting to learn more about the program. There is no cost to visit.
Troop 868 meets every Tuesday night from 7:00~8:45 PM at the Shepherdsville Community Center on Frank E. Simon Avenue. Scoutmaster Bob Meek can be reached at 964-5270. More information about Troop 868 and dozens of photos from past troop activities can be found on the troop’s web site at www.troop868.com.