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  • Writer's pictureGreg Long

It's a long way to the top!

Troop 12 took on its most challenging pioneering project to date—a 25-foot tall climbing tower and despite the rain, it was an epic success.

16 Scouts and 5 adult leaders ventured 92 miles from Springfield to Camp Mooney in Winston, Oregon for their weekend adventure on Sept. 22 and 23. The large Oregon Trail Council property provided ample recreational space to set up and construct this massive pioneering project using only rope and timber. One of the challenges of this outing was the number of new scouts, who lacked previous pioneering experience and rope skills. The unpredictable Fall weather also played a factor during the construction.

“The weather, particularly the rain, did slow down the building process a little, but in the end, the troop was very smart with their time management,” said Star Scout Charlie.

Some of the Troop 12 Scouts had prior experience building a monkey bridge and a catapult, but this tall tower required a lot more lashings. It took about 4 and half hours to complete the tower and hoist it up, which was surprisingly less time than expected—especially considering the rain. Fortunately, the rain lifted for several hours in the early afternoon, allowing the scouts to move fast. Cheers could be heard when the troop successfully hoisted the tower upright, and then came the next challenge—climbing the tower. BSA certified climb instructor Nick Turtura provided guidance and encouragement for the scouts.

“The best part of the trip was going up the huge tower we made ourselves. Going up shows bravery, and a lot of trust in your troop. The way up was pretty slippery because of the rain but it added a challenging aspect that made it memorable.” exclaimed Charlie.

“Safety is our primary concern,” said Scoutmaster Mr. Long “And by “our” I mean me and the other adult leaders. But the boys? I’d say their primary concern is fun. And after seeing their faces at the top of that tower, I’d say ‘Mission Accomplished!’ It was a blast. I couldn’t be more proud!” What pioneering project will Troop 12 take on next? We will find out October 2023.

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