March 22, 2018

Gettysburg Outing Historian Reports – March 2017

March – 2017.  This was the first outing for many of Troop 55’s new scouts.  Read here for great summaries of the cold, snowy, slushy Gettysburg outing.


Vikings Patrol Historian Report         

By: Cameron Beem

The Vikings patrol enjoyed the Gettysburg outing this year. When we arrived, the ground was very slushy from the recent snow, but we were still ready to enjoy a great adventure. We set up our tents in the snow, and then we went to the visitor center, which is an amazing place. We enjoyed a fun hike, around the Gettysburg memorial area.

We had a lot of fun seeing the amazing sights, like monuments and memorials, and also the great view from little round top.

Gettysburg-Vikings-2 And even a little civil war roleplay Gettysburg-Vikings-3

When we got back, things were smooth sailing until it started to rain, but we had our dining flies, so no harm done. But when we went to bed you heard the sound of the rain start to change.

It was snowing. Luckily, we came through it with our scout spirit. When we went home, we had all of our gear, and some new memories of a great outing.


Eagles Patrol Historian’s Report

By: Tyler Syring

Pictures Courtesy of: Adrian M

The Gettysburg outing for the Eagles was quite successful. Attendees for this outing included John B, Tyler S, Adrian M, and Nathan H. We showed up at the church at 7AM. It was a very early start to a brisk Saturday morning. After the rest of the troop showed up at the church, we went over the schedule for the outing. Then, car assignments were announced and the troop left around 8:30 in the morning. The drive to Gettysburg was not too long. Once at our campground, it was hard to set up tents because there was still snow on the ground. It was iced over and very hard; therefore, making it challenging to put stakes in the ground. After camp was 90% set up, we ventured out to the Gettysburg Visitor Center. At the center, we saw the guns and musical instruments used and played during the Civil War. We also watched a neat movie about the Civil War and the third day. The third day of the Civil War is also known as Pickett’s Charge. Morgan Freeman narrated this movie. After the movie, we were taken to a cyclorama which is an oil painting made by a French artist displaying Pickett’s Charge. It is the largest oil painting in North America.

After the visitor center, we went back to camp, had lunch, and went over the details of the hike. The Eagles lunch was cold cuts made of bread, turkey or ham, cheese, and mustard. It was a tasty lunch. The hike was about a four and a half miles around Gettysburg National Park. There were some really cool sights such as Observation Towers and little rock fortifications. Scattered about the park were cannons that were used during the war.


Once we returned to camp from the hike, we started dinner. We had a lot of pasta with meatballs and red sauce – that dinner was very tasty and hot on a cold evening in Gettysburg. After dinner, we cleaned up and it took about 45 minutes to clean everything. We went to bed around 9 PM because none of the patrol needed a Scoutmaster Conference and it was about to start snowing and raining again.

The night was VERY cold because of the snow. We all woke up around 7 AM and started breakfast. We had eggs and bacon, which was very hot and tasty to eat on a cold morning. Cleaning took around 30 minutes to finish. After we cleaned, the patrol took down our dining fly and gave it to the quartermaster, turned in our chuckbox, and passed inspection on the first try. Way to go Eagles! We took down our tents after a successful inspection.

We had a nice Sunday service before we departed Gettysburg. Once the Sunday service concluded, we got back in our cars and started the journey back to Great Falls, Virginia. The Gettysburg outing was a successful outing for the Eagles. We had a great time together and enjoyed a snowball fight within the troop.



 Sharks Patrol Historian Report

By Daniel Zhang

We left for Gettysburg at around 7:30 AM. The car ride lasted an hour and a half, and we finally got there at 9 AM. There were two to three inches of snow when we got there. We fooled around for a bit, throwing snowballs and such, before unpacking our stuff and patrol gear and setting up our tents. We played a bit more with the snow before we lined up and got ready to go to a museum. It was a short five-minute drive to the museum, where we watched a short film about the Battle at Gettysburg and saw a cyclorama painted in 1883. We got back to the campground at around 12:30 and ate some lunch. Most patrols had cold cuts; ours was no exception. After lunch, which somehow lasted two hours, we finally started for the hike.

 The hike, for the sharks patrol, lasted about two and a half hours. We walked 5.5 miles, got a short tour from a volunteer, and had a short snowball war with the Bears. When we got back, we started to prepared dinner. My patrol cooked the ground beef, soaked it in burrito sauce, warmed the tortillas, and our dinner was ready. The Sharks also brought Oreos and chips for desert.

 The next morning, we were woken up at 7 and had to start preparing breakfast. We cooked eggs and bacon and made bagel sandwiches. Cleaning up took a long time because someone (ahem, Taylor, ahem) dropped the skillet used to cook bacon in the mud. After breakfast, we packed up our stuff, cleaned the campground, and left.


Dragons Patrol Historian Report

By Michael Katson

Early in the morning on March 18, we left the St. Francis parking lot to go to Gettysburg, PA. When we arrived, we put up our tents and shortly after, we drove up to the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor’s Center.  There we toured the museum area, saw a short film, and experienced the Cyclorama. The small museum included uniforms worn by soldiers on the battlefield, the many guns they used, and other historic artifacts. We were able to watch a short film on the history of Gettysburg and its great battle called “A New Birth Of Freedom” narrated by Morgan Freeman. The Cyclorama is a circular painting created by French artist Paul Philippoteaux.  Its circumference is 377 feet and its height is 42 feet.  It took the artist and his team of almost 20 people a year to complete.  Luckily, we were able to view the detailed scene of Pickett’s Charge, which took place on the third day of the Battle at Gettysburg.

        Due to the snowy and cold conditions at the campgrounds, we were unable to bike around the park. However, our patrol still enjoyed a four-mile hike around the Gettysburg Park.  All scouts split into their respective patrols and they went in one of two different directions.  We got to see many statues and monuments, which mostly represented the many brave soldiers who fought in the bloody war. We ran into a gentleman who had been volunteering at Gettysburg for a long time and was currently restoring a wall that had collapsed.  He told us about Devil’s Den, which was not on the map because they wanted to preserve the site from harmful chemicals given off by tour buses.  We also saw, from a distance, Little Round Top, which was the site of a failed attack by the Confederate troops against the Union Soldiers. Finally, all the patrols met back at the campsite for dinner.  It began to rain while we were preparing dinner.  The temperature dropped and it became very cold. Most of us went to bed and during the night it snowed about an inch.  All in all, the history behind the famous Gettysburg Battle made up for the bitter cold weather we experienced.


Bears Patrol Historian Report

By Jason Jin

            On March 18, when we got to the Gettysburg campground, it was covered with lots of snow. First, we put up our tents and put our personal gear in. After we finished, we had huge snowball fights, and everyone was covered in snow. After a few hours, the patrols started to cook lunch. The Bears patrol had everyone bring their lunches, so no cooking or cleaning was needed.

            After lunch, there was more time for snowball fights. Eventually, everyone was wet and tired, so the snowball fights died down. Scouts decided to get their personal gear ready, and everyone waited for the hike.

            The Bears were the first patrol to hike. Along the way, we decided to take a break. The Sharks patrol decided to not stop and eventually caught up to us, and we had a mini snowball fight together. Everyone was trying to run and hit the other patrol with snowballs, but that ended when we arrived at a tourist attraction. There was an observation tower, and you could see what it was like to have the high ground. The hills were steep, which was why the high ground was so important.

            The Sharks and the Bears parted ways, and we were on our own. We didn’t take a turn, but we realized too late. The navigator decided to go back to our campground as fast as possible, since we already walked so far. We hiked on the roads in open plains, with the wind blowing hard making us all cold. In the end, we managed to make it back to the campground, and hiked 11 miles instead of the planned 4 miles.

            When we got back to the campground, we were all tired and it started pouring. We quickly set up our rain fly and started to cook. The dinner was good after such a long hike, and we started the hated part of cooking, cleaning. It took us pretty long to clean, and we didn’t get to sleep until it was very dark.

            The next day, we all made a quick breakfast and cleaned quickly, and we became the first patrol to finish. We took down the rainfly, packed our personal gear, and got into the cars and went back home.


Bucks Patrol Historian Report

By Albert Zhang

The day started normally: cold and frigid, but no precipitation. However, the meteorologist reports reported that it would rain later in the evening, so everybody brought rain gear to protect themselves.

After setting up tents and unpacking everything, we got back into the cars to go to the Gettysburg Visitor’s Center, where we would watch a video about Gettysburg. The video, which was extremely, perhaps excessively, dramatic, went over the basic parts of the battle: day one, day two, and day three. The video was followed by a cyclorama, which was a huge oil painting over four hundred feet wide. The painting was beautiful, and it showed even the smallest details of Pickett’s Charge, which was the climax of the Battle of Gettysburg and occurred on the third day of battle.

Once we got back and finished eating lunch, we left as a troop to the cross-section, where various patrols went two ways on a huge circle.  Gettysburg-Bucks-1.png

My patrol, the Buxx, was one of the last patrols to leave. However, after walking up to the castle on Little Round Top, we caught up to three other patrols. The stairs to the castle were very small and steep, and was a challenge for the older scouts. The view from Little Round Top, however, was definitely worth it. With mountains that looked blue in the background, and the snow blanketing most of the ground, the view was breathtaking.


Skip a few hours, and then all of the patrols were back at the campsite, and we were already preparing for dinner, despite the fact it was only five in the afternoon. The Buxx were eating Shepherd’s Pie for dinner, which was intelligently made in a Dutch oven. Nevertheless, the dinner was delicious and there was enough left over for everyone to have seconds.

In the rain and the near-freezing temperatures, everybody went inside their tents to warm up and go to sleep.

The next day, the Buxx and the Dragons woke up to a surprise: The tent covering the picnic table we were using had fallen down from the weight of the snow! After a while, we got the tent back up and started getting breakfast ready. The Buxx had oatmeal in a bag, so we finished earlier than other patrols and then we started packing up our belongings and our tent.

Once everybody finished eating, cleaning, and packing up, we had a police to pick up trash that we might have missed earlier, and then had our Sunday Service, with Buxx member Eric Olsen acting as the Chaplain’s Aide. After that was done, the car assignments were read out again and then we drove back to Saint Francis’ Episcopal Church.



Scorpions Patrol Historian Report

By Tommy Keating

It was early Saturday morning when the Troop met in the Church parking lot for our Gettysburg outing. We all gathered into our Patrol and waited for the car assignments when we were assigned to our cars we all piled into the cars and began our Trip. After an hour in the car we reached our campsite and unloaded our packs so that we could begin to set up our tents. When finished setting up our tents the Troop drove up to the Museum to learn about Gettysburg and the battle that was the turning of the War. When we enter the museum each patrol split up to explore the museum before we could go see the movie. The Scorpions walked around and looked at the weapons and artifacts that we recovered after the battle and read about their function.

 After a good 30 minuets the Scorpions went back and regrouped with the troop to go see the movie. The Movie was extremely good and after words we got to go up and viewed a painting that was accompanied by a sound and light show. The painting was finished in 1883 and was completely painted in 360° and captured the battle. After the painting we left the museum to back to our campground for lunch. Our Patrol lunch was sandwiches but since they we fast and easy to make we were able to have extra time to prepare for the hike around the Gettysburg battleground. When every one finished lunch we all began our hike. When we reached our dividing point some patrols went right others went left. Along with the Eagles the Scorpions went right and hiked around. Their were many amazing sights such as the giant picket fences that where used by the Union to block the Southern army from charging them, their where also memorials to units who lost their lives. Near the end of the hike the Scorpions decided to go a different way then the Eagles so that we could see the see the castle at Little Round Top we decided to take a picture their.

When finished at little round top the scorpions walked back down the hill and ran into the Eagles again and continued to hike with them. By the time we to back to camp we had to start cooking do to it was going to rain and we did not want to cook in the Rain. We began to cook and it was not long before it started to rain lucky we had finished just in time and had just sat down before it got worse. Our Dinner was great it consisted of ramen noodles chicken and ground beef all cooked together to make a great soup. When finished we cleaned our mess kits and stove and went to bed. When the Morning came all of our tents where covered in snow and it was freezing. With many of us having numb feet and hands it resulted in us scurrying back to our tents to get toe warmers and Hand warmers. Breakfast for us was slow due to complications with our stove so all we were able to cook was a few pieces of bacon. After our light Breakfast we began to take down our dining fly after that we cleaned our chuck box and returned it to the trailer. When we finished putting away our chuck box we quickly took down our tent and prepared for our service. The entire Troop joined together before leaving to have our Service, which was a time for us to reflect on the outing. When over we all got in our cars and left the campsite and Gettysburg. Gettysburg was amazing and I had a great time with my patrol the scorpions always have a good time and I am so glad to be share our experience with every one.