Philmont Autumn Adventure – October 2015

12 brave OG’s fought their collective fears and travelled into the unknown…

Okay, so nobody had to force us to go spend three days at Beaubien basecamp smack dab in the center of South Camp in Philmont.  We had a great time and look forward to a return trip soon!

Autumn Adventure Pics

New Eagle Scout Matt Siler

New Eagle Scott Matt Siler

New Eagle Scott Matt Siler

Well, the new Eagle Scouts are coming at us fast and furious, it seems. Matt Siler of Troop 53 in Lawrence successfully passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review and becomes the third new Eagle Scout in the District in the past week!

Matt is a Senior at Lawrence Free State High School where he is an honor roll student and hopes to be elected to the National Honor Society this year. He is also a four-year participant on the school’s golf team. Matt has already been accepted to three colleges for next year and waiting on word from a couple more schools. He said he is possibly leaning toward attending KU where he would major in business with an emphasis in accounting or international finance. Matt has already worked the last two summers at Security Benefit in Topeka on paid internships. He is also doing an unpaid internship in accounting at Pinnacle Career Institute this year.

In Troop 53, Matt’s leadership includes two terms as Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. He has attended Camp Alexander in Colorado three summers and another summer camp in the Grand Tetons of Wyoming. He also holds the rare Triple Crown of High Adventures, hiking at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, canoeing at the Boundary Waters in Canada/Minnesota, and enjoying the sun and waves at Sea Base in Florida. Wow. And who says Scouting isn’t fun?

Matt’s Eagle Project was to plan, build, and install two wooden benches and three wren bird houses around the walkway and pond at the Golf Course Superintendent’s Association of American headquarters’ (GCSAA) nature area in Lawrence. The nature park is open to the public, and the beneficiary of the project is the non-profit Institute for Golf and Environment that approved the project and helped fund it. The project took 101 people hours to complete. We believe this is the first Eagle project on the GCSAA’s grounds, which is located at 1421 Research Park Drive.

Our Board of Review team was comprised of Dr. Charles Loveland, Mark Gleeson, Mike Shambaugh, Jim Mielke, and Acting Scoutmaster Dr. Steve Segebrecht. Thanks to your gentlemen.

Matt Siler has grown up in a Scouting family with his dad being an Eagle and three of his four cousins now Eagle Scouts with the fourth one currently working on his Eagle.

Please congratulate Matt when you get a chance. He’s Pelathe District’s newest Eagle Scout!

Rich Bailey
Pelathe District Advancement Chair

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

View Pics from Camp Alexander

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

View Pics from Canoe Base

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

View Pics from Canoe Base

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

View Pics Here

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