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  • Writer's pictureGreg Long

Exploring the Universe: Troop 12's Visit to Pine Mountain Observatory

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

Stars and Navigation

In the month of September, Troop 12’s Patrol Leaders’ Council chose to explore 2 skills: Astronomy and Navigation.

To help us fully experience the vastness of the universe, we set our sights on Pine Mountain Observatory, a facility managed by the University of Oregon dedicated to exploring the mysteries of the night sky.

The Obsidian Treasure Hunt

Since our visit to the observatory was scheduled for the evening, Troop 12 opted to make a pit stop. We headed to Glass Butte, Oregon, a place famous for having the largest deposit of obsidian rock in the world.

Glass Butte was amazing! Obsidian was everywhere, glistening in the sunlight like black gold. We were filled with awe as we trekked through the surreal mountain landscape strewn with rare shards of obsidian as far as the eye could see.

But our time at Glass Butte wasn't just about looking at obsidian; it was an opportunity for scouts to collect these unique rocks and have a physical reminder that planet Earth rocks!

Setting Up Camp at Pine Mountain Observatory

Time was ticking, so we moved on to the next stop in our whirlwind adventure -- Pine Mountain Observatory.

After our patrols set up camp, we cooked and ate together as a troop, enjoying good conversation -- while also enjoying an amazing chicken alfredo dinner.

A Night of Tradition and Laughter

During this trip, we had the privilege of welcoming two new scouts who were camping with us for the first time.

To mark this special occasion, the troop held a sacred beret ceremony where these scouts received their red berets—a symbol of pride and achievement that promotes a sense of unity within the troop.

One of the big highlights of our adventure was the campfire program, considered by many as one of the best in Troop 12's history.

Senior Patrol Leader Douglas and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader Wyatt led the program with a blend of organized directing and hilarious in-between skits.

The laughter around the campfire was loud (really loud)-- and strengthened the strong sense of brotherhood that defines Troop 12.

(Not So) Starry Night at Pine Mountain Observatory

Although the night sky was somewhat overcast, our expert guide, Mr. Eric, made sure our visit to Pine Mountain Observatory was worthwhile.

He led us through the observatory's impressive array of telescopes and computers, giving us a crash course in the science of astronomy.

Despite the cloud cover, we were fortunate to catch glimpses of the moon and Saturn.

Navigating Life Through Scouting

Troop 12's visit to Pine Mountain Observatory was an unforgettable adventure.

While we may not have seen a lot of stars due to the weather, our journey was filled with learning and laughter.

This trip will definitely go down in Troop 12 history as being Out of this World!

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