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Boy Scout Troop 581
(Gainesville, Virginia)
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Outdoor Events of 2020

Here's the deal:  if you want details, you need to either log on to the members-only part of our web site, or come to one of our awesome meetings.  Not a member yet, but thinking about joining us?  Well, then you should know that our Boy Scouts created an incredible calendar of camping trips and monthly themes (stuff we work on at weekly meetings) for this year.  Check out the summary below.

       Month  Theme  Outdoor Adventure 
  January     Winter Camporee
 Camp Snyder
  January  Ski Trip
 Canaan Valley, WV
 Klondike Derby
 Conway Robinson State Forest
 NCAC Orienteering Meet
 Pohick Bay State Park
 Trout-O-Ree 2020
 Graves Mountain Lodge
 Mount Everest
 Nepal, Himalayas
 George Washington Nat'l Forest
 Summer Camp
 The Summit High Adventure Base


Summer Camp

Troop 581 is all about summer camp.  We love it!  We REALLY love it!!!  The September before we head to camp, our Scouts vote on the camp they want our troop to attend.  We ensure that every camp we go to has programs that are fun for ALL of our Scouts.  We do look very hard at the quality of the first year camper program, but we also consider the quality of the merit badge program and exciting opportunities for older Scouts.

In 2014, we attended Camp Raven Knob near Mt. Airy, NC.  This awesome camp is located in the cool mountains of North Carolina.  We had 49 Scouts earn over 200 merit badges.   Our summer camp history is the stuff of legend.  Log in to the private side of the web site and check out the Summer Camp History on the History & Lore page.

In 2015, we took it to the next level.  We headed north to Camp Keowa on the Ten Mile River Scout Reservation in Narrowsburg, New York.  On the ride north we toured the largest outdoor store on the planet.  Before we rolled into camp, we stopped at the famous TMR Scout Museum for a great Scout History program.  And then our entire troop (100 people) will canoed down the Delaware River, but not before we consumed our epic blueberry pancake and multi-breakfast meat morning feast.  

In 2016, we headed to the mountains of western North Carolina to Camp Daniel Boone.  Brook trout, Dutch oven cobbler, and non-stop Scouting action.  Amazing doesn't describe!!!

For 2017, we camped at the legendary Camp Rodney for a week of jaw-dropping, eye-popping Scouting fun.  What's more is our older Scouts headed back to Camp Ottarri at the famed Blue Ridge Scout Reservation to live like 1870s mountain men...always a great time!  

In 2018, we summer camped at Camp Ottari.  And we also sent 24 boys to Mountain Man camp -- more than many troops send to regular summer camp!  

In 2019, we headed to Camp Rodney for an all-boy week of summer camp.  We celebrated the Fourth of July on Chesapeake Bay.  How many crabs can a human eat?  We did our best to find out and we're still not sure we've found our limit!

For 2020, Troop 581 heads to Camp J.C. Justice on the The Summit High Adventure Base!  Will you be a part of that group photo?  We sure hope so!!! 

Whitewater Rafting

We love whitewater rafting.  Every May we head to the New River and blast through some class III and IV whitewater.  Cost is reasonable, so we usually have quite a few family members attend as well.  And the food deserves special mention.  Can you say "pig roast"?  Oh yes, we eat like kings.

This shot is the real deal.  These are Troop 581 Scouts and leaders in action on the Million Dollar Rapid of the New River.  Grab your paddle and join us!

High Adventure

Yep, we got that.  Troop 581 tries to send two crews of up to ten Boy Scouts and leaders to one or more high adventure experiences each year.  Some of our Boy Scouts have even earned one of the rarest awards in Boy Scouting, the Triple Crown of High Adventure, by attending all three high adventure bases.  For most high adventure trips, Boy Scouts must be age 14, but if you cannot wait to get out into the wild, then check out Northern Tier or The Summit High Adventure Bases -- Boy Scouts can attend who are age 13 during the year of the trip (i.e., even if they turn 13 after the trip).

             YEAR               ACTIVITY
   2009       Philmont Scout Ranch
   2010   Northern Tier High Adventure Base - two crews
   2011   Florida Sea Base - two crews
   2012   Philmont Scout Ranch
      Bahamas Sailing Adventure 
   2013   Northern Tier High Adventure Base - three crews
   2014   The Summit High Adventure Base - three crews
      Philmont Scout Ranch - two crews
   2015    Sea Base Bahamas - two crews
Florida Sea Base - one crew
  2016   Philmont Scout Ranch - two crews

2017   Northern Tier High Adventure Base - four crews
  2018    Philmont Scout Ranch - year of the big fire
Rocky Mountain High Adventure Base
  2019   Sea Base Bahamas - two crews
Sea Base Saint Croix - one crew
   2020   Philmont Scout Ranch - three crews
The Summit - two crews


  Northern Tier High Adventure Base - three crews

Winter Camping

Winter Camporee:  First, we went to the Winter Camporee on January 18-20.  And it was a classic Klondike Derby!  We put those Scout skills of ours to the test as we hauled our sled from station to station, testing out mettle against everything the Klondike had to throw at us.  And then there was our mastery of the two-man crosscut buck saw.

Rock Enon Cabins:  And then we had our troop winter camping trip in February to Camp Rock Enon.  At this event we will had access to tent camping, Adirondacks (3-sided shelters) and two very warm cabins.  And it's a good thing we had those toasty cabins because boy di it get cold!  Moose, bear, and trout -- yeah, we ate that.  It was all about the mountains, roaring fires, and some fine winter camping cuisine.

The Nanuq Award:  Created just for you by your PLC, this award is meant to motivate YOU to do some winter camping.  Nanuq (also spelled Nanook or Nanuk) is the word for "polar bear" in the Inuit language.  To earn it, you just needed to sleep three nights outdoors during this winter camping season (December 2015, January 2015 and/or February 2016) at a Scouting event.

Skiing and Snow Boarding

Yep, we do that too.  Every January, in addition to our regularly scheduled camping trip (brrr!), we have our annual ski adventure at the Timberline Ski Area.  We head to the mountains of West Virginia for the best powder south of the Mason-Dixon Line.  Sound unbelievable?  Timberline has an unusual micro-climate which results in some amazingly great ski conditions.  

Accommodations for the boys and the heartiest of adults are located in the bunk house.  Conditions in the bunkhouse are ... rustic and ... well, odiferous.  For those concerned about such things or have an interest in a more advanced hygiene state, know that many of our families stay in the nearby hotels which provide very reasonable rates.  And then we have our high-end Scouters who rent a house on the slopes -- not quite camping, but what a view!

Timberline provides basic ski and snow board instruction.  And the group rate simply cannot be beat.  For those Scouts up to the challenge, they provide opportunities to earn the Snow Sports Merit Badge.

And Troop 581 is on a roll:  every single year we have experienced active snow fall while we were skiing.  Think of it as the Alps of the South.  Come join us!

Black Gold

That's right:  mulch.  What does that have to do with the outdoor program, you ask?  Well, everything.  It is the source of all our power, so to speak.  Scouts who sell mulch can grow their individual Scout accounts to epic proportions, allowing them to go on all sorts of adventures without having to put the beat-down on Dad's wallet.

But mulch is more than that.  In Troop 581, it is a state of mind, a way of life.  OK, maybe for just some of us.  Scouts need not sell mulch if that is not something that interests them.  However, we do ask that all hands turn out for Mulch Day every March.  It is a day of hard work, lots of food to replace those burned calories, and, of course, plenty of mulch fellowship.

As we range farther across the globe in search of more exciting Scouting adventures, the motivation to sell more mulch has increased.  Every year brings more mulch.  A Scout is Thrifty.  Check out our sales history.

             Year           Bags Sold 
   2009    6,000
   2010    10,000
   2011    13,000
   2012    14,000
   2013   15,081
   2014   15,000+
   2015   15,725
   2016    17,965

buy mulch buy mulch buy mulch buy mulch buy mulch buy mulch buy mulch buy mulch buy

Trout-O-Ree: April 3-5, 2020

Troop 581 is back in the trout fishin' action this spring!  We make a triumphant return to Graves Mountain Lodge where we once again hosted the District Trout-O-Ree.  Our Scouts will provided leadership to the whole shebang -- from the Patrol Trout Fishing Tournament, to the Order of the Arrow Tap-Out, to the Fishing Merit Badge Program.  Troop 581 Scouts will be up to their elbows in rainbow trout!

We have FOUR stocked waterbodies to choose from:  the Rose River, the Robinson River, a Catch-and-Pay Pond, and a Catch-and-Release Pond full of monster-sized trophy trout.  Yeah, they're whoppers.  But if you think the fish are big, then you should see the campfire!