Troop 10, Tallahassee, FL
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Chisholm Trail - 2007
by Wesley A.

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At Chisholm Trail we did alot of amazing things.  On Sunday we arrived and took our gear on a quarter-mile walk to our campsite, and waited to find out how we were going to get to our activities the next day.  Nobody knew where we would meet for our pontoon boats.  So we made camp and slept in our tents on Sunday night.

On Monday, we woke up and found out that our pontoon boats were at the lakefront, and packed up that morning to be out by lunch.  We ate lunch before we did our windsurfing exercise (without wind), and headed out to Cavalry Camp.  Once there, we ate dinner of beans and hardtack, and slept in cavalry tents.  A couple of us hiked to the pontoon boats with a pillow and mosquito netting and slept there instead.

Tuesday morning we hiked back up to Cavalry Hill to learn how to march in ranks, make black powder capsules, and fire black powder rifles.  Then, to top it all off, we had a battle between the cavalry scouts and the evil adult leaders.  Later, we went to watersports for tubing and wakeboarding.  My dad went to the emergency room with a kidney stone and missed watersports and our Tuesday night stop at Comanche Indian Village.

At Comanche Indian Village, we were treated to supper of a nice juicy ham and some kind of red berries, not raspberries or strawberries.  When my friends and I got into my tepee, we chased a tarantula off my sleeping bag.  Later that night, my dad dropped by to say he was sleeping in a cabin for the night.  About 3:00 on Wednesday morning, it started to rain.  We had opened the tepee before we went to sleep which meant we had to close it in a downpour.  Because he was in a cabin, my dad missed the storm!

When we woke up on Wednesday, we repacked our gear then went to learn to throw a knife and an atlatl (a traditional Comanche spear), and shot arrows at styrofoam animals.  Then we went to the lake to try to sink each other in war canoes.  After that, we went to the marina for swimming and a date with "the blob", a tube where you sit on one end and somebody jumps on the other.

That night we did Covert Ops.  We split up into three teams, had our MRE’s for dinner and received our mission.  We were to defuse a “bomb” that crash landed in the woods using a box with a series of four switches, a GPS navigational system, three different one-eyed night vision goggles, and two walkie-talkies.  One person watched a screen indoors with one walkie-talkie, making sure we were on course, and five people went on the actual mission.  When we asked the staff what was out there, they said last week there was a report of a bear, but mostly other staff members with air-soft guns waiting to pick us off.  So we set out, stopping every few steps, looking through the night vision, and finally gave up the idea that there was any staff members out there.  So we finally get to the bomb and set to work on it when we hear a “crack” in the woods close to us.  Of course, I’m the one with the walkie, so I say, “Umm, home base, we’re getting a noise in the trees.”  All of a sudden, there was a giant “CRACK CRRAACCKKKK” ahead of us as our team had figured out the code to the bomb, and yet again, I have the walkie.  I scream into the walkie-talkie at the top of my lungs, “MAYDAY, MAYDAY!!! IT’S A BEAR, IT’S A BEAR!!!!” and we take off for our lives beating the other two teams to the base and winning the mission.  Then, after the excitement died down, we finally went to our tents and slept what felt like forever.

On Thursday morning we packed up and had the morning to ourselves. We decided to go exploring, so we went and saw a lot of things. We saw about 5 tarantulas, a mouse, 3 scorpions, and what we thought was a Rattlesnake. We left that morning and did our water activity over at the windsurfing area. When we went to leave, however, we were told to stay where we were because the Texas Rangers camping outpost was right up the hill. We set up camp, yet again, and got in our tents immediately, for it had started raining again. We ate dinner after walking through all the puddles the rain left behind, and taking the stroll through the bushes past the other campsite, and had our dinner of beans and bread. It tasted SO much better than Monday night’s dinner, for sure. We crawled into our tents, and literally dropped like flies.

Friday morning we met back up at the main Texas Ranger camp area to go horseback riding, and black powder shooting. The first we did was the horseback riding, which was a small, 20 minute trail that did a loop around at the end to come back the same trail. Then, we did the black powder, again, against the adults. That was hilarious. The adults, because we couldn’t aim at them, fell down anyways after we pulled our triggers. One almost fell in a cactus. Funnier stuff almost happened, but we couldn’t convince our leader to let us attack the adults with our bare hands. But we went after them eventually. It was absolutely fun.

When we went to do our water sports activity, we ran through a huge cloud of rain, drenching us from head to toe, through our skin, down to our bones. It was one of those freezing cold, stinging kind of rain, considering our pontoon boats were going 25 mph, on a lake that was so long, it was 2 miles to almost every activity. By the time we got to water sports, we were soggy, and there were only two parking spots left, which was good, because we only had two boats. After leaving for Cowboy Cooking, we hung up our clothes to wave in the wind so they would dry as we went a mile up the lake to cowboy cooking. We got there, and cooked AMAZING steaks. They were juicy and completely cooked, inside and out, which is every scout’s dream. When we finally got to bed after eating like kings and barbarians, we didn’t want to have to leave the next day.

Saturday morning we packed up and went back to the main camp we first came to when we showed up, and walked our stuff to our cars. We then said goodbye to all the staff that was there, and prepared for the two day journey back to Tallahassee.