Scouts cover their tracks at railroad campout

Special to the Tribune

Spencer, NC – Recently, 23 Boy Scouts from Weaverville’s Troop 15 attended the Railroad Merit Badge Weekend at the North Carolina Museum of Transportation in Spencer, NC. This event is reportedly the largest of its kind in the nation. Thirty-four troops were present, totaling over 400 scouts.

Boy Scouts arrived until late Friday night, with Troop 15 taking advantage of the school closure to be the first troop to arrive and set up camp in daylight. The Scouts survived a frigid night, with temperatures sinking to a bone-chilling 21 degrees. Lots of huddling around the campfire Saturday morning!

After cooking a hot breakfast, the troop went to five classes spread across the morning, learning about railroad history, organization, safety, signaling, and trip planning. This was followed by a ride on a train after lunch.

Ironically, with the afternoon sun beating through the train’s windows, the boys changed their tune from “I’m freezing!” to “I’m too hot!” After the train ride, scouts had free time to explore the museum exhibits and participate in an orienteering challenge.

The boys represented the Weaverville well, providing the flag detail to lower the U.S. flag Saturday night and raising it again Sunday morning.

They were also bold enough to be the first troop to offer an entertaining skit at the campfire Saturday night. Low temperatures only reached 27 degrees Sunday morning, practically tropical after the previous day. Everyone survived the weekend, fingers and toes intact.

Over the past few months, Troop 15 has been busy as they have camped out on the battlefield of Chickamauga in October, placed flags in the cemetery for Veterans Day, collected food for Manna Food Bank during the Weaverville Christmas parade, spent a weekend in December aboard the aircraft carrier Yorktown, camped out along the ocean to see the re-enactment commemorating the 155th anniversary of the second battle of Fort Fisher, and participated in Scout Sunday at the Methodist Church.

However, their schedule is not about to slow down. Upcoming activities include this week’s welcoming the graduating Arrow of Light Cub Scouts into the troop as brand-new Boy Scouts, a campout planned in March at Crowder’s Mountain, and their quarterly road cleanup along School Road the morning of March 28th. They’d also like to thank the good Samaritan who gave the troop a $100 cash donation during our December road cleanup.

Finally, both the Boy Scouts and the Cub Scouts will begin their annual sales of Camp Cards during March and April. If you’re not familiar with these, for $5, you get a card good for 10-20% discounts or buy-one-get-one (BOGO) offers at a couple dozen local businesses.

On top of that, Ingles includes a one-time $5 reduction on a $50 purchase. You’ll break even immediately, and come out way ahead by the end of the year if you use it a couple of times. At virtually no cost to you, you provide a Scout with funding to go to summer camp. Look for Scouts selling Camp Cards during March.

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