Summer camp helps shape Altus AFB Boy Scout troop

  • Published
  • By Maj. Rick Weaver
  • 97th Operation Group
Have you ever imagined camping in the Colorado foot hills, learning to sail or canoeing rivers and lakes? These outings and much more are available to those who join Altus Air Force Base Boy Scout Troop 212. 

Recently members from Troop 212 attended summer camp on the high plains of Colorado at Camp Cortland Dietler. The young men of Troop 212 participated in archery, first aid, canoeing, leatherwork, small boat sailing, astronomy, forestry, environmental science, profiteering and camping merit badges among many other fun and challenging activities. 

Camp Dietler is situated on the wooded edge of a large mesa. Two lakes provided ample opportunity for adventure. Each day started at daylight with lights out at 10:30 p.m. The troop was responsible for cooking all of its own meals while simultaneously completing campsite projects and attending three to four merit badge courses daily. 

The four youngest Scouts, Jeremiah Brown, Colton Millward, Wes Skinner and R.J. Weaver, took on the Dietler Dash. The Dash was composed of five events spread out on a 1.5 mile hike and had to be completed in one hour. The boys had to determine the height of a 42-foot-tall flag pole with no measuring device; identify three plants, untangle themselves from a human knot, tie three basic Scout knots and diagnose the ailment of an injured staff member. 

The next day all the boys were up early for the Penguin Plunge, a cool jump into Silver Lake. Later the Scouts geared up for Outpost where they slept under the stars, after a two-mile hike and a day of fun on the lake. During the last two days, the boys finished up their merit badges and squeezed in some last minute fun like rappelling, bouldering and shotgun shooting. 

This month the boys elected new leaders and they will plan event for the upcoming months. The Scouts will attend the Kickingbird District Wilderness Survival Camporee in Hobart. For more information about joining Troop 212, call 379-4173 or come to one of the meetings starting at 6:30 p.m. Monday evenings in Bldg. 318 on base.