Scouting 101 – Bob Granchie
(May 17, 2012) OK, I think I left off with the Scouts getting ready to head on out after Saturday’s lunch of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. No doubt they were probably good, but I bet nowhere near as good as what Mary Carcelli and her gang of spatula flippin’ mamas whip up down at the high school cafeteria. That’s definitely some good eating there.
So now that the Scouts had filled their bellies up, they headed to the training area that the National Guard had selected for the Scouts to use. This area was called the EST or Engagement Skills Trainer. Again, it had nothing to do with promoting or teaching the scouts the fine art of dating or perfecting opposite gender relationships. That they would have to learn on their own. Or else have dad explain and listen to him brag about his exploits of younger day conquests. (Be forewarned though Scouts … dads and fisherman are created from the same gene pool … they both have a tendency to exaggerate their “catches.”)
Now let’s get back to the EST. At the center the boys had a couple of areas to go to – both under the tutelage and watchful eye of one of the National Guard sergeants. The first piece of equipment was a two-manned simulator that created the exact feeling of driving a Humvee or being it’s gunner. In the initial run Scoutmaster Jeff operated the vehicle while Eagle Scout Dan Grich took command of the gunnery job. Unfortunately Dan couldn’t hit anything, let alone the enemy. Needless to say their mission wasn’t very successful. Hopefully the other Scouts had better luck completing their simulated adventures.
The other piece of equipment was a video rifle range. This allowed the Scouts to use air powered rifles that recoiled and reacted like the real rifles used by our military. These included the M-4 carbines, M-9 pistols, and the 240 Bravo machine guns. The simulation also required the Scouts to reload the guns with new magazines when needed. The entire training episode allowed the boys to experience not only how the soldiers train but it also gives them a deeper respect and admiration to all of our men and women in uniform who are actually doing these activities day in and day out in order to protect our country from all kinds of enemies.
After all was said and done, the boys definitely have a greater knowledge of what it takes to be a soldier in today’s army. It’s not for everyone, but for the ones that do enlist, we are all grateful. No matter how we personally feel about war or overseas fighting, we still need someone to watch over us so we can sleep easily at night. And just like the Scouts … we still need to Be Prepared.
Once they left the EST, the entire group headed back to Cobb’s Pond. First thing on the agenda was to make dinner. On the menu for supper was macaroni and meat sauce. And boy did it ever taste good. Not sure if it was the taste or just their hunger that made it seem so awesome. Either way, it really hit the spot. (Unlike Dan Grich’s shooting expertise.)
After dinner came the bow and arrow competition. Contest number one: Accuracy. Closest to the target was new Scout Matt Ondo. Next was Kegan Wormley and lastly was Nick Mozingo, who at least hit the picnic table that was holding up the target. (Perhaps next year he will actually hit the target itself. No guarantees, but maybe.)
Contest number two: Distance. Again Matt Ondo excelled (or in this case propelled) in excellence. Advancing his arrow a total of 68 feet was a thing of beauty. In a best of three, he beat out Nick Mozingo.
Contest number three: Creativity. Once again it was Matt Ondo coming in first for a clean sweep of all the competitions. Judge Danae’ Gulu chose Matt’s bow stating that it looked “evil, but in a charming sort of way.”
As a result of Matt’s huge success and with the wearing of his dark sunglasses and coupled that with his long blonde hair the Scouts nicknamed him “Mondo” since he looked like someone you’d see on a beach in southern California. All I can say is, “Way to go, dude!”
Saturday evening was spent by most of the Scouts hanging around the campfire or down at the pond fishing. Which means they were either exaggerating about stories of old or creating new ones about how the “big one” got away. In any case, as they say, “It doesn’t get any better than this.”
That about covers this week. I will finish up with Sunday morning’s exploits and the Troop’s trip to an old Scout camp that was built in the 1920s. So please stay tuned for next week’s article. In the mean time have a super week ahead and try and get some of that vitamin D (a.k.a. sunshine).
As always, take care and God bless.