2023-24 Adventures

T680 Adventures and Service - 2023-24

Jumpstart 2024

(March 15-17, 2024)

Troop 680 welcomed five new Scouts from Pack 680 at the Pack's crossover ceremony on March 9.  Four of those Scouts were able to attend the Troop's annual Jumpstart Campout, March 15-17, to get started on their Scouts BSA journey.  This year's Jumpstart took place at Camp Wilson / Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton, VA instead of the Troop's usual location at Prince William Forest Park due to renovations to the campground there.  This was the first time the Troop had been to Camp Wilson in about seven years, and things worked out well.   The weather was perfect, unlike the previous year, and the four new Scouts who attended did a great job, earning Scout rank, Totin' Chip, and Firem'n Chit.   The SLP planned the campout and led the new Scouts through the requirements aided by the ASPL and a great team of Scouts from all of the Troop's existing Patrols.  Also, the three Scout cooks did a great job keeping everyone fed with all sorts of interesting offerings, including steak and potatoes, crepes, and the ever-popular hamburgers and hot dogs.  Two of the Scout cooks also completed requirements for First Class rank and Camping MB.   Additional photos are available on the restricted pages.

February Winter Chill Campout

(February 24-25, 2024)

Troop 680 returned to its favorite winter camping venue at Big Run State Park in western Maryland after a few years absence.  In years past T680 has arrived to find deep snow on the ground.  Unfortnately, this year, above freezing temperatures and rain on Friday washed the snow away, but the weather turned cold again on Saturday morning and brought light snow flurries just as T680 was arriving.  The snow flurries  continued for most of the day, giving the Scouts an opportunity to practice setting up tents in the snow.  By late afternoon the sun came out for a brief period but the temperature never got above freezing and was in the high teens overnight providing an excellent opportunity for the Troop to practice cold weather camping techniques.  Despite the cold, Souts had fun playing hockey, going on a hike, hanging out by the fireplace in the picnic pavillion, and watching a movie outdoors in the cold after the campfire program.  Special congratulations to Mr. De Angel who proved his Mountan Man bona fides by constructing a bed for the night out of downed tree limbs,  leaf-filled garbage bags, and a tarp.  He'll be ready for the next Northern Tier Okpik adventure.  Additional photos are available in the photo album on the restricted pages.

January Video Game Meeting

(January 21, 2024)

Continuing a tradition started in December 2022, the Troop held its annual video game gaming meeting on January 21 at Good Shepherd.  The Troop had two projectors this year to allow two groups to compete on different games in a large game format while others played games in small groups on consoles and laptops thoughout the room.  All-in-all it was a fun indoor activity during the cold weather as the Troop prepares for its traditional February cold weather Winter Chill campout.

Winter Court of Honor

(December 10, 2023)

The Troop held its winter Court of Honor on December 10th to recognize those Scouts who advanced in rank, earned Merit Badges, and participated in activities since the Fall Court of Honor on September 10th.   At the Court of Honor, we presented the Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, and Life ranks to those who earned them. We also recognized Scouts that have earned different Merit Badges as well as those that earned patches during various campouts.  We also thanked the adults and Scouts who participated in the annual Scouting for Food collection.

Scouting for Food

(October 28, 29 & November 4, 2023)

In an effort to help a local food bank get ready for the approaching winter season, Troop 680 and Cub Scout Pack 680 took part in the annual national Scouting for Food (SFF) collection on Saturday, November 4, 2023.  Twenty-four Scouts and eighteen adults from Troop and Pack 680 collected 371 bags of food totaling 3,781.90 lbs.  from  four neighborhoods and then delivered the food to the United Community Food Bank.   Without the assistance of Cub Scout Pack 680 and Troop 680 Scouts, who helped put flyers on the doors the week before to remind people of the collection on the 4th, the project would not have been successful.

Rifle Marksmanship at Cavalier Pistol & Rifle

(October 13-15, 2023)

Troop 680 headed down to the Cavalier Rifle and Pistol Club in Montpelier, VA from October 13-15.  The Troop had an amazing time while attending Project Appleseed, an event run by the Revolutionary War Veterans Association, which is a nationwide nonprofit organization.  They learned about rifle marksmanship and the history of the American Revolutionary War.  From pitching tents to hitting bullseyes, scouts embraced the spirit of a marksman.  It was a very educational and exciting experience for everyone involved.  Everyone followed the safety rules, and there were no injuries on this campout.  Additional photos are available in the Troop photo album on the restricted pages.

Caving at Glade Cave

(September 16-17, 2023)

Troop 680 originally planned to go rock climbing near Waterfall Mountain in the George Washington National Forest September 16-17 with our good friend Lester Zook of Wild GUYde Adventures, LLC , but the weather had other ideas.   The inclement weather forced the Troop to go underground, so, instead, Mr. Zook took everyone to Glade Cave near Bridgewater, VA.  The cave was exciting and had lots of great features that appealed to all of our first time cavers and our four experienced cavers who had been caving several times before with Mr. Zook at Kees Cave in  Franklin, WV (see the 2021-22 Adventures page).  Among the great things were: the in-the-dark challenge crawl, the dungeon, and the ski slope.  Troop 680 Scouts also learned about navigating in caves, interesting facts about the  formation of caves, and how to explore caves safely.   When not in the cave, the Troop had a great time camping at Camp Overlook in Keezletown, VA, and attended mass in Harrisonburg, VA, at Blessed Sacrament.  

Intro to Backpacking for AOLs and Webelos

(September 9-10, 2023)

To encouage AOL Scouts and Webelos Scouts from Pack 680 to remain in Scouts and crossover to Troop 680 when they are eligible, the Boy Scouts of Troop 680 took them on an overnight introduction to backpacking trek on the C&O Canal from Saturday, September 9,  to Sunday, September 10.  Following a route used in previous years the Boy Scouts hiked approximately 4.4 miles from Seneca Landing / Riley's Lock (mile post 22.8) to Sycamore Landing (mile post 27.2) where they met up with the AOL Scouts.  The group then hiked another 3.3 miles to the Chisel Branch trail campsite (mile post 30.5), where they spent the night.  The next morning, the group hiked 0.3 miles to the Edward Ferry parking lot for the drive home.  The Scouts did a great job hiking and arrived at Chisel Branch well before the onset of several afternoon thunderstorms.  Despite the storms and rain, all of the Souts had a great time  and learned a few backpacking skills, including how to set up bear bags.

Assateague Beach Campout

(August 18 - 20, 2023)

In keeping with tradition, Troop 680 kicked off the 2023-24 scouting year with its annual beach campout at Assateague State Park in Berlin, MD.  The weather and water temperature were perfect once again, which made for an enjoyable weekend.  The only downside this year was the unusually high number of black flies and mosquitoes.  Although not unusual for Assateague, this was really the first year the Troop encountered as many as it did in the seven years since the Troop started making this trip.  Also of note, the wild ponies of Assateague made a return to our campsite this year, having not seen any last year.  Unfortunately, they visited us right after lunch and although we had put all the food away, we had not yet taken the trash out, so they decided to rumage through the trash and made a big mess.  One also got caught up in the guidelines to one of our awnings and yanked it up to break free.  Despite these few challenges, everyone had a great time enjoying the beach, taking care of business at a PLC, the camaraderie of cooking and eating together, and the fun of the evening campfire.  

Additiional Photos from Assateague have been posted in the Trooop photo album on the restricted pages.