Horseback Riding with Troop 100 G

In the month of April, Troop 100 G spent a short two weeks earning the horseback riding merit badge with two experienced horse owners in Coker, Alabama.

Their adventure started with some fun, hands-on instruction as the girls were each given distinct horse figurines to expand their understanding of the different breeds and learn the different parts of the majestic species. After acquiring a basic understanding of horse anatomy, Troop 100 G learned how to mount and dismount (on hay bales), which types of feed each horse gender and age gets, the types of diseases that most commonly affect horses, and how each breed has its own unique personality.

To further the instruction, Troop 100 G had the opportunity to groom the horses by brushing, combing and conditioning them–much to the delight of the horses’ owners.

Before riding, the girls got a feel for directing the mellow animals in a short walk around a small arena, and they discovered that controlling a horse has as much to do with the disposition of the person holding the reins as it does the horse itself.

Finally, in the culmination of the course, The girls were allowed to ride the horses in a safe, controlled environment. With the help of the instructors, each Scout rode around the arena and was able to experience the wonderful world of horseback riding.

Scout Skating

Recently, Troop 100 G has started focusing on acquiring merit badges more than ever. As new Scouts join and time goes on, it’s important to keep everyone interested in Scouting, and the girls in Troop 100 G know how to do just that. Requesting help from the Druid City Derby League, these Scouts are going to have the Roller Skating merit badge in no time!

Derby Dame Demonstration

The professional skaters from the Tuscaloosa Roller Derby made sure to provide everyone with the proper equipment, instruction, and support to create a safe environment to improve skating skills.

Learning some basics

Everyone was a little wobbly starting off, but after learning some basic skate anatomy and simple stops, things began rolling along nicely (no pun intended).

Exhausted Scouts

After a couple hours of skating, the Scouts discovered just how difficult the activity truly is; that being said, they can’t wait to get back to it next week!

Winter Camp 2020

With COVID still raging through Alabama communities, it is more difficult than ever to keep things “business as usual”. Thankfully, for Scout Troops and Venture Crews throughout Alabama, and even parts of Georgia, Camp Horne staff in Cottondale, Alabama, had a few tricks up their sleeves.

Camp Horne’s entrance sign

Thanks to passionate camp coordinators and volunteers, Camp Horne’s 2020 Winter Camp took place from December 28-30, and it was packed with endless activities and opportunities for Scouts and Venturers to earn merit badges and complete certifications.

Scouts earning CPR and First Aid Certification

Of course, Winter Camp was conducted following BSA and CDC Guidelines with troops socially distant, masks up except for meal times, and nearly all activities conducted outdoors (CPR and First Aid as one of the only exceptions). Staff at Camp Horne pulled all the stops when arranging the outing and put together ATV certification courses, blacksmithing activities, and a myriad of shooting sports; not surprisingly, these were some of the most popular events.

ATVs getting sprayed clean at the end of a long day

Merit badges offered ranged from First Aid to Astronomy to Cooking, so everyone present had a variety of options to choose from when making their daily schedules. Our Troop 100 G members checked off several merit badges over the course of Winter Camp, and our Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster helped teach several of the courses themselves.

Astronomy merit badge being taught by a professor from the University of Alabama

To contrast with all the hard work during the day, the afternoons consisted of games, movies, and campfires.

Scouts playing cornhole

Needless to say, the Scouts and Venturers greatly enjoyed the rare opportunity to try new things amid COVID, and Winter Camp surely provided them with a fun way to acquire essential lifetime skills. Camp ended with the traditional Polar Plunge, tidy campsites, and heartfelt goodbyes as everyone departed to celebrate the coming of 2021 and the chance for new beginnings. Happy New Year!