94th Annual Troop 53 Chili Feed

Troop 53 94th Annual Chili Feed

Troop 53 94th Annual Chili Feed

Bring your friends and family to the 95th Annual Troop 53 Chili Feed! Only $5 per ticket for the best chili, chili dogs, beef or vegetarian vegetable soup and a slew of delicious deserts. Yum!

It will be at the 1st Methodist Church, 946 Vermont (Downtown), Lawrence, Kansas, from 11 am to 7 pm.

Purchase tickets from a 53′er you know or purchase them at the door.

Please share with friends and family through Facebook. Or heck, just give them a call. See you there!

Download the flyer here.

Fun Had By All At Ski Trip

Ski Trip 2014

Ski Trip 2014

This year’s ski trip was a super fun event. I (as well as pretty much everyone else) could not have been happier to come on this trip. While we were there, everyone had a great time with their friends skiing and tubing. Some of us started out bad skiers and some were already great but either way we all improved. And by the end we couldn’t get enough of it. There were different slopes and paths to try, which made it really hard to get sick of it. Very few of us wanted to stop but when we went from skiing to tubing I was also very exciting.

Tubing was a whole different experience and it seemed like there was even more variety. We went down the tubing slope by ourselves, in small groups, in large groups, in long line. Most of us were practically devastated when we had to leave. It is without question one of the most fun experiences I have had in scouts, and I would do it all over again.

Calvin “Hobbs” DeWitt

More Pics Here

November Campout at Camp Jayhawk

Camp Jayhawk November 2013

Camp Jayhawk November 2013

We enjoyed a perfect November campout at Camp Jayhawk. The Boone campsite was new to our troop, located right next to a small lake and nestled in the trees so that we weren’t exposed to the gusty winds. We had a bright full moon, as well as a storm front with lots of lightning at the same time.

The younger boys enjoyed building a monkey bridge, while the older boys got to experience the new rifle range and test their skill with .22s at fifty feet. Mr. VanSchums successfully crossed the monkey bridge to demonstrate that the structure was “Scout worthy”.

Mr. Benkleman and Steward found a few minutes to fish in the lake.

We look forward to another November with such fine weather. And the Jayhawks pulled off a victory to boot!

That’s my story. I would be happy to have anyone add or improve it.


Pics can be found here.

Belated Post for Camp A 2013

Camp Alexander 2013

Camp Alexander 2013

Overall this year was a good year at Camp Alexander. Although, it got a little chilly getting down into the thirty’s some nights, we all managed to stay warm. Overall I think the kids had a great time. Many of the kids earned merit badges. All of the first years earned their swimming merit badge. Sadly, none of the third years were able to get their wilderness survival merit badges due to in climate weather on the night they were supposed to sleep in their shelters. It was a great time and place for astronomy as there were no clouds and no moon. On Thursday the third years went on a white water trip. The water was high so it was great, and we only had one person fall out of the boat. We all had a great time even though almost every day it rained. Thankfully no one got sick or injured except for a few minor cuts and scrapes. So onto what you’ve all been waiting for — the pictures!

Click here for Camp A 2013 Pics from Finch.
Click here for Camp A 2013 Pics from Festus.

Philmont: July Crew #2

Philmont Crew #2

Philmont Crew #2

10 days, 70 miles, 19 Pro Bars. That’s what it took for crew 2 from Troop 53 to complete their Philmont experience. The high points (literally) were Mt. Phillips and the Tooth of Time. When not scaling peaks the crew shot black powder rifles, climbed Urraca Mesa, learned search and rescue, went fly fishing with flies they tied, went on a horseback trail ride, shot .30-06 rifles with cartridges they reloaded themselves and won the Crooked Creek Poo Flinging Competition.

-Brian Van Schmus

Matthew Siler (Crew Leader)
Ross Chumbley
Tyler MacMurray (unfortunately left on day 5 with ankle injury)
Anthony Van Schmus
John Eldridge
Justin Siler
Devin Van Schmus

Luke Lesslie
Trenton Shambaugh
Bryan Chumbley
Brian Van Schmus

View some pics here!

Philmont: July Crew #3

Philmont: July 2013 Crew #3

Philmont: July 2013 Crew #3

Philmont treks are intended to challenge all participants physically and mentally. My crew would agree that our experience over the last two weeks would be considered challenging, but it would also be considered the trip of a lifetime. Our expedition, 712-G-03, backpacked Philmont’s Itinerary 7. This trek took us throughout most of the South Country, and through part of Central Philmont. We traveled 63 miles over the course of eleven days and ten nights. The trek had us travel to many different places, spending nights next to the Agua Fria River at Fish Camp, or on the Summit of Mount Phillips. We took side hikes to the top of the iconic Tooth of Time, Cypher’s mine and to Ute Gulch to collect food. After eleven days, one giant mountain, two bears, two lightning storms, many hacky sack games, and countless breathtaking sights, we were more mature, and functioning greatly as a crew. Philmont is rarely easy and at many times frustrating, but it is an experience that everyone will look back on fondly.

-Ethan Kallenberger

Crew Members

Barry Benkleman
Will Benkleman
Josh Burrichter
Spencer Conard
Ivan Davidson
Ethan Kallenberger
Jim Kallenberger
Gabe Magee

See more pics here from Crew 3′s trip to Philmont.

Hondo Pics

Gabe Magee Pics

Summary from Philmont — July Crew #1

Trek #19 – 80 + miles…traversing North and South country at Philmont.

Despite long hikes, seemingly endless uphills, and downpours of rain, crew 712-G-01 had a fun and memorable trek. From challenge courses to spar poling the group squeezed in as many programs as they could after hours on the trails. Along with programs they also took day hikes on several different occasions: summiting Baldy Mountain, viewing the sunrise at Inspiration Point, and, the general favorite, climbing the Tooth of Time. Before heading to bed every night the crew followed the practice of doing their thorns, roses, and buds. Many times these were comical and humorous, but also, at times, they were deep, heartfelt, and thoughtful. No one member could have made it without the help of the entire crew and the wise, almost holy, teachings of Ranger “Lord” Daniel Wolf.
-Ryan Liston

Members of Crew 712-G-01:
Alex Clabaugh
Carson Gilliland
Mason Gilliland
Patrick Liston
Ryan Liston
Brian Morris
Jay Morris
Sean Morris
Jennifer Shambaugh
Mike Shambaugh

View some July Crew #1 pics below!

Le PoZer Pics

Shambala 1 Pics

Shambala 2 Pics

News from Philmont, and the Carey Run!

Even from the mountains of New Mexico, Le PoZer can still email me a great photo! Take a look at this…July Crew #1 and OGs as they enjoy their domination of Mt Baldy.

Troop 53 on Mt Baldy (12,441 ft) in Philmont

And this pic that Le PoZer asked me to post a few weeks ago. Better late than never.

Troop 53 OG Brett 'Hillbilly' Carey, Sr.

Troop 53 OG Brett ‘Hillbilly’ Carey, Sr.

Bretty Carey took on the Rim to Rim to Rim Challenge at the Grand Canyon Memorial weekend this year. Carey conquered 47 miles over a 20,000 feet elevation change in 17 hours 59 minutes. Grand Canyon up close and personal! Whew!

Have a great day,

New Eagle Scout Ross Chumbley

Congratulations to Ross Chumbley

Congratulations to Ross Chumbley

Congratulations to Ross Chumbley of Troop 53, who recently passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review.

Ross will be a junior at Eudora High School and is a member of the Eudora High School Football and Wrestling teams. He is also involved in FFA and Skills USA. Ross is a member of the National Honor Society and will be Junior Class Vice-President this upcoming school year.

Ross also enjoys participating in canned food drives and fund raising activities for non-profit organizations. While he has supported many organizations, his two favorite causes are breast cancer awareness and St. Jude’s Research Hospital.

In addition to his school activities and community service, Ross works part-time at Gene’s Heartland Foods during the school year and builds houses full time in the summer. Ross also loves to fly and is currently working on obtaining his pilot’s license. Just in case you are wondering, he has indeed earned the Aviation Merit Badge.

Ross is considering several options after high school. His first choice is to attend either the Air Force Academy or Naval Academy and pursue a career in flying. Another option is to attend flight school in Florida and learn to pilot jumbo jets. Ross is also considering a degree in Biology from KU, coupled with advanced studies to become an anesthesiologist. Still another option is to attend Kansas State and pursue a Veterinary degree. Most of these options also include joining KU ROTC and the National Guard in St. Joseph, MO. Several lofty and ambitious options for a young man who is not afraid to take on a challenge. Given his history and success, Ross will undoubtedly be successful in whichever option(s) he pursues.

Ross has been a very active and involved Scout since he began his Scouting career as a Tiger Cub. He has held various leadership positions with Troop 53, including Senior Patrol Leader and Troop Guide. Ross said Troop Guide is his favorite leadership position because he enjoys working with the younger Scouts. He has attended summer camp at Camp Alexander in Colorado several times and has attended Florida Seabase and Somers Canoe Base. He has also participated in a high adventure trek to the Grand Tetons. Ross also left for Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico the day after his Eagle Board of Review. Upon completion of his Philmont trek, Ross will have earned the prestigious Triple Crown Award. Ross has earned 26 merit badges and plans to earn several more before he reaches the age of 18. His favorite merit badge is fishing. Which, if you know Ross and his love for fishing, is obvious. When asked at his Eagle Scout Board about his favorite Scouting memory, Ross told the Board about a time at Somers Canoe Base when one of his canoe mates was hiking up a hill with a whale pack on his back, while Ross and another canoe mate were portaging the canoe below. Next thing the portage crew sees is the Scout who was going up the hill, suddenly come tumbling down the hill. Fortunately the tumbling Scout was not injured.

However, he landed on the whale pack on his back, unable to get to his feet and was flailing about like an upside down turtle. The portage crew ran to help upright their fellow Scout, laughing the entire way.

Ross’s Eagle Scout Service Project was to design, build and install new roofs on four separate dugouts at two youth ball fields in Eudora. Ross’s project was completed over one very hot day and took a total of 106 people hours for planning, construction and installation.

A sincere thank you to our Board of Review Team that included Kip Grosshans, Dr. Dale Denning, Jim Mielke, Rick Heschmeyer and Acting Scoutmaster, Dr. Steve Segebrecht.

Next time you see Ross please congratulate him on earning Boy Scouting’s highest honor.

Scott Braden
Pelathe District Advancement Committee

Philmont 2013 – The June Crew Experience

Getting Ready for a Long Ride on a Train to Philmont

Getting Ready for a Long Ride on a Train to Philmont

Just before midnight on June 17, 2013, eight scouts and four OG’s boarded the Southwest Chief train headed for Philmont Scout Ranch.  A large fire touched the southern Philmont property line a few days before their arrival and caused evacuation of the south country.  Due to the evacuation, the Troop 53 crew (618L03) was not able to trek their original itinerary #9, but instead followed #5F (F for fire).  Kudos to Philmont for handling the revisions on the fly and allowing all registered crews to attend camp as scheduled, despite 1000s of staff and participants being relocated and/or rerouted.

The crew saw absolutely no precipitation on the trail but some members sighted deer, newborn fawns, mama bear and cub, bobcat/ocelot, and many mini bears (chipmunks), as well as birds, lizards, and bugs.  The revised itinerary included some great programming which included:  reloading and shooting 12 gauge shotguns; burro racing (1st place with Crazy Carl); .30-06 rifles reloading and shooting; panning for gold; blacksmithing (made their own 53 brand); The Stomp (awesome bluegrass show); rock climbing and rappelling; branding their boots, Nalgenes, wallets, hats, and other misc items; a chuck wagon dinner; as well as lots of hiking.  In addition to the Philmont programming, the crew also enjoyed a lot of self-induced laughter! A few examples: Purl and EZBake were treated to an icon toast of real bread toast, courtesy Riddler, to celebrate their 25th Anniversary;  Jonathan the “J-Bomb” cleared a campsite single-handedly with a fog strong enough to take down Goliath;  Alex “Slugger” blew the ear protection right off his head while shooting a 12 gauge; David the “Destroyer” split log benches in half and nicknamed scouts from other crews—“Too Tight”, “Tank Top”, “Baby Phat”, and “Go Pro” to name a few; Casino Philmonte (card games in the boys tents); and lots of “bear” and “mountain lion” noises (often times causing asphyxiation of those hiking downwind…) .

Some other highlights of the trip include discovering their own “Window Rock” and taking the Leave No Trace pledge on it, the Demonstration Forest, tours of the Hunting Lodge and Villa Philmonte;  using the Red Roofs—NOT; hiking into Base Camp from the Tooth of Time; summiting Shaeffer’s Peak; and the flash flood at the Raton Train Depot which soaked all the packs lined up outside.  One not-so-exciting event was the injury and subsequent absence of crew leader, Josh the “Sniper”, due to a fall off the ‘cito climbing wall.  Everyone was greatly relieved when he was able to rejoin them after 24 hours at the Health Lodge.  The crew boarded the train home on June 30, two and a half hours late and arrived back in Lawrence on July 1, the same 150 mins late.  Crew members were: David Balmilero, Brett “Tatanka” Carey, Chaplain’s Aide Alex Craig, Zac Dixon, crew leader Josh Kallenbach, Chaplain’s Aide Jonathan Lesslie, Cole Overton, and Wilderness Pledge Guia Kyle Trompeter.  OG’s were: Brett Carey, Loren Kallenbach, Curtis & Julie Lesslie.  IWGBTP!!!!

Click on the links below to experience the trek…

EZ Bake Pics
Toaster Pics
Hillbilly Pics
Purl Pics