Skies Part In Time For A Great Float Trip

Float Trip 2014

Float Trip 2014

Thirteen scouts and five leaders braved torrential downpours and spectacular lightening to reach Maggard’s Outfitters on Friday night, Sept 5th. Fortuitously, the rain let up just as we pulled into camp so we were able to set up tents without getting drenched. Due to the residual storm system, we weren’t able to get on the river until afternoon so we had a leisurely breakfast of champions cooked by the Old Goats (breakfast burritos and BACON) and then ate our “trail lunch” in camp prior to hitting the water. The sky cleared up, the sun was shining brightly and we were treated to a perfect afternoon for paddling and floating downriver. The scouts kept with tradition and derived great fun in swamping their buddies’ canoes. The boys also had fun catching lots of crayfish and tormenting each other with them. The day was completed with a gourmet dinner of steaks, potatoes, and cobblers prepared by the OGs. Following a “quiet” night, we returned to Lawrence Sunday afternoon.

What We Did at Camp Alexander

Camp Alexander 2014

Camp Alexander 2014

Troop 53 participated in quite a few things at Camp Alexander.  For example we joined in the Iron Man competition.  The Iron Man is when each troop selects 3 runners, 1 archer, 2 swimmers, 2 portage carriers, 1 mountain biker, and 1 banana eater.  We ended up taking third in the Iron Man competition.  We also participated in the campfire run by the scouts.  I think that the boys enjoyed watching the opening campfire and taking part in the scout led campfire.  It ended up raining almost every day.  Overall I think we all had a good time at Camp Alexander.

Alex Craig

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2014 Northern Tier

Canoe Base 2014

Canoe Base 2014

Crew K consisted of Will Benkelman, Dylan Edwinson, John Eldridge, Jonathan Lesslie, Dillon Rowland, Devin Van Schmus, the advisors Curtis and Julie Lesslie, and our Interpreter, Casey Stanko. We paddled at least 64 miles and camped on the South Arm of Knife, beautiful Cherry, Kekekabic, Wasini (at the “Hilton”), Ima, and Moose (next to Horseshoe Island) Lakes. After a long (20 miles) first day on the water, we got to our campsite on the South Arm at about 8pm and the mosquitoes were already out to enjoy dinner with us. The next day’s camp was much nicer, and the water was extremely clear throughout the day of paddling on Amoeber, Topaz and Cherry Lakes. The crew had fun rock jumping at both Ima and Wisini, and Will caught and cooked fish at Wasini and Moose; the first a large-mouth bass and the second a pike. Another highlight was standing in Eddy Falls against the powerful waterfall. The wind picked up on the second to last night at Ima and continued the next day as we paddled Ensign Lake in choppy water. The final day we got up early and went to roughly one mile away from Base Camp before setting up the dining fly and eating breakfast and lunch on a small island while we waited for the designated time to check in.

Jonathan Lesslie

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Fun Times at Canoe Base

Canoe Base 2014

Canoe Base 2014

Canoe base was nothing short of what any veteran has told you. For a week my crew was out in the wild, secluded from most others. During the morning/early afternoon we would paddle hard, hoping to reach a good campsite. Once we reached our campsite we would just relax, eat, and fish. Canoe base was cool because you could control how hard you wanted to work. My crew paddled hard most days so we could have one layover day at a nice campsite. It was a good experience and I recommend that anyone eligible in three years should go.

Ethan Kallenberger

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Scouting 500 Was Cool

The Scouting 500 was so cool. They had fireworks, a museum, army vehicles and police dogs. They had a blow up game called meltdown. We met the daughter of the founder of Boy Scouts. They had a Lego derby, bb gun shooting, and biking the speedway. The best part was 12,000 scouts came together as one.

Collin Doll

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Merit Badge University — March 2014

A quick break for our scouts.

A quick break for our scouts.

Twenty scouts attended our first merit badge program. It was held at the Lawrence Police Station at 15th and Wakarusa. Some of the classes were Citizenship in the World and Citizenship in the Community. Most scouts earned at least one merit badge. I learned a lot of new things and I think it was a great experience.

Alexander Arnone

New Eagle Scout Brett Carey

New Eagle Scout Brett Carey

New Eagle Scout Brett Carey

I’ve known Brett Carey, II since his first Monday night Scout meeting. Like all our Troop 53 Eagles, he has grown to be one of the finest young men I know and his Eagle Scout Board of Review in late March was the FIRST in the 2014 “Eagle Year” for our Pelathe District.

Brett has a positive, winning personality and is an effective leader in every group he joins, whether an official team or just a casual group of friends. He has been elected or appointed to several youth leadership positions within the Troop – for good reason – but that’s not how we know he’ll be an exceptional Eagle Scout. Brett’s come to understand the importance of living the points of the Scout Oath and Law – regardless of whether he’s in uniform.

He has already completed the Triple Crown of BSA High Adventure with a trek to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, Sea Base in Florida, and the Northern Tier Canoe Base. He plans another Canoe Base trek this summer and has also attended the Tetons Adventure Base in Wyoming plus two summers at BSA Camp Alexander in Colorado.

Brett comes from a strong Scouting tradition – but he’s never taken his position, place, or responsibilities for granted. He’s among the first to help – not just his Scouting family, but also with his “civilian” friends. By his example, Brett Carey, II has already helped teach Scouting ideals to scores of kids. Along with how to keep a knife sharp, how to perform first aid, and how to stay safe, Brett’s been quietly at work showing others they’re unconditionally accepted for who they are, sometimes for the first time.

Brett’s Eagle project was both unusual and interesting. Working with Assistant Scoutmaster, Brian Van Schmus, and members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, he planned, researched, and restored a small plot of graves at the Franklin Cemetery near the K-10 East Hills Business Park outside Lawrence. The Sons of Union Veterans’ research has determined that two Union soldiers from the US Civil War are buried in Franklin Cemetery. Brett’s eight-member work crew cleared brush and weeds, completed some landscaping, repaired and re-set tombstones, trimmed trees, and built a new aluminum fence around the cemetery plot. They also placed an informative plaque on the fence to share the story of the people buried there. In the course of the project, the crew unearthed and then re-set another tombstone in the cemetery that had been covered over, likely for many years.

From the perspective of an appreciative unit leader, Brett is exactly the kind of young man who helps make our Scouting program strong – it happens whenever one of the younger boys he’s taught and befriended has chosen to follow his outstanding example by doing his own good turn, daily. Almost 16 and currently a sophomore at Free State High School, he is an honor roll student and is taking Advanced Placement classes. Brett also lettered in swimming last year as a freshman at Lawrence Free State High School.

He volunteers at the LINK nutrition kitchen and the Lawrence Humane Society. As a member of the Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church in Lawrence, he also participated in a Summer of Service mission with the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas. He traveled to Germany last summer for an extended family reunion and is planning an academic trip to England in the summer of 2015 with his AP English Class. Brett told his Board of Review that after high school he plans to major in Forestry or Wildlife Management to prepare for a career that will keep him outdoors as much as possible; however, he shared that he might also be interested in a US Foreign Service career. The value of serving on Philmont staff might also have been mentioned during his Board of Review …

I was honored to serve on Brett’s Board of Review along with Dr. Charles Loveland, Troop 53 Old Goat alum, Brian Van Schmus, current Assistant Scoutmaster and Troop 53 alum, Dr. Steve Segebrecht, current Assistant Scoutmaster and Life-to-Eagle Chair, and District Representative Rich Bailey – an all-Eagle Scout Board for the Pelathe District’s newest Eagle Scout, Brett Carey, II.

Kip Grosshans
Chartered Organization Representative, BSA Troop 53

Troop 53 Chili Feed – February 2014

IMG_2535Once again everyone had a good time at the 2014 Troop 53 Chili Feed.

Thank you all for working hard to make our once a year fund raiser successful!

Check out the pictures from the day.

Chili Feed – 2014




Update on Eagle Scout Hamilton Lewis

In a recent issues of Adventures in Scouting, our own Hamilton Lewis was featured in “Where Are They Now?” Included is the beginning of the article.

Growing up in on a farm in Western Kansas, Hamilton Lewis was drawn to movies like Back to the Future, Star Wars, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. His passion for visual storytelling, along with a love for the great outdoors, led Hamilton to creating an informational video for his Eagle Scout project to aide new students at Lawrence Free State High School.

While earning a degree in Computer Animation and Digital Film from Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota Florida, Lewis created an animated short, Cadillac ’59, and was named a finalist for a 2009 Student Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

Lewis, now 27, has worked as a previsulization artist (cinematographer) at DreamWorks Animation for almost 5 years on animated blockbusters that include How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda 2, Rise of the Guardians, and DreamWorks’ newest film, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, which will be released this March. Hamilton has been hard at work for the past year and a half on DreamWorks’ next animated feature, Home, hitting theaters November 2014.

You can view the PDF of the February / March 2014 issue of Adventures in Scouting here. The full article on Ham is on page 15.

You can also watch Lewis’ short Cadillac ’59 on YouTube here.

February Campout 2014

At the range!About 15 brave souls attended the February campout at the Fraternal Order of Police shooting range near Lone Star Lake. It was our first time camping there, and we’ll surely return again if possible. The day started out pretty cold, but the sun came out a bit and the snow began to melt making for a wet and muddy day. The boys made the most of it, firing a couple thousand rounds of .22’s and playing a pickup football game. Saturday night got down to about 20F, with a full moon and lots of coyotes yipping though out the night. A few boys learned the importance of packing extra socks and other dry clothes for sleeping!

Thanks much to Mr. Corey and Mr. Stuart for administering the shooting range. A couple of boys earned their rifle merit badge!


View some fun pics here.