Newest Eagle Scout


Join me in congratulating Atticus and Elizabeth on his successful
Completion of his Eagle Board this evening

Congratulations Atticus!!!
I’m so proud of you
Dave M.

Way to go Atticus!!!!
Knew you would make it!!
Brett A.

Awesome job Atticus. All the hard work paid off and I am sure the lucky council patch helped also "</p

Congrats to you and your mom. Elizabeth you put in plenty of hard work (and camping trips) yourself!!
Lisa P.

We’ll done Atticus!!
Rob Byrne

Congratulations Atticus!!
The Chambers

Great job Atticus!
The Rishers

Your personality, attitude and determination will take you far, be always yourself, don’t change, because you are such a great guy!
Congratulations on a well deserved honor to you and your family!
The Diazes

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Expedition 609-L Chattahoochee Bend State Park January 28, 2017

Our 4th Pre-Trek hike in preparation for the 2017 Philmont Trip started at 6am at WCA Saturday morning.  We proceeded south in hopes of finding just a little warmer weather compared to the North Georgia mountains and the Appalachian Trail.  Some of the Scouts enjoyed their first visit to a “Dwarf House” and decided to see if they fit through door.  After a quick breakfast at Chik-fil-A, we proceeded to one of Georgia’s newest (2011) State Parks for a nice little walk.  The weather cooperated by giving us sunny conditions and cool temperatures.  While not in the mountains, our hike was a rigorous one due to mileage.  Crew 1 managed to hike 13 miles between 10am and 4pm including a lunch break and a couple of short stops.  Crew 2, however, managed a nice walk in the woods of 15 miles during the same time.  Quite an accomplishment, even if you thought the terrain was a little more flat than usual when carrying a full backpack.  If you want to know more about the park, just click the link, Chattahoochee Bend State Park.

Once back to the campsite, the crews set up tents and enjoyed some more freeze dried meals of the variety that we will enjoy at Philmont, spaghetti  and beef stroganoff.  Dark comes early this time of year and so did the falling temperatures.  Being at a State Park, we enjoyed an uncommon activity on hiking trip, a campfire.  The group gathered around the campfire and were treated to stories of unlikely scuba diving survivals, ghosts, and a one man show including an extended Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation (thanks to Drew C).

The night eventually won out and everyone retired to their tents.  The clear skies, which gave a great view of the stars, also allowed the temperatures to fall and we awoke Sunday morning to temperatures in the upper 20s.  But, a little frozen condensation and frost on our tents and gear couldn’t slow down a march towards the mornings reward, IHOP.   Pancakes, and mostly those of the chocolate kind, were a wonderful reward for the hard work of the previous day.  We made it back to WCA before noon.  Plenty of time for the adults to work out the kinks before Monday!

Thank you, Robert

P.S. Remember to unpack your tent and let it dry out today and tomorrow.  Never store a wet tent, unless you want to grow mold!!!

Adults: Jamie S, Robert P, Dave M, Brett A, and Jeff C

Scouts: Pierce S, Stephen P, Tristan M, Andrew M, Jake A, Thomas D, and Drew C

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Lock-in December 16th, 2016

The annual December Lock-in or “all-nighter” was held on Friday, December 16, 2016.  We met at WCA  Friday evening and departed shortly after 6pm. We arrived at Funopolis in Commerce promptly at 7:00pm.  The kids were given instructions by the Funopolis staff and let loose for 3 hours of video games, 10 pin bowling, 2 sessions of laser tag, and games with tickets for prizes.  Due to the cold weather, the outdoor activities such as go-carts were not available, but Funopolis added additional time for games and laser tag.  Laser tag was a hit with the Scouts getting about 20 minutes of group competition.  Lots of video games were available, some that even the Adults could reminisce about.  One Adult even secured the high score on a game and received a “how come you’re so good at this game” comment.  It’s because I grew up playing the game!     Some of the more industrious older Scouts identified a cheap game that was giving out lots of tickets and managed to accumulate quite a large stash for a nice prize haul at the end of the evening.

After 3 hours, the Scouts were done and so was the Funopolis staff.  We made our way back to the WCA gym for more fun.  With hours of fun, games, movies, pizza and maybe a little sleep the hours passed away, slowly there at the end.  Thanks to all the parents who spent some or all of the night and also the parents who arrived promptly at 7am to pick up a very tired Scout.

What a great way to end the 1st semester of school or begin the Christmas break.

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Philmont Expedition 609-L Stone Mountain Park December 3, 2016

Expedition 609-L met at WCA at 6am Saturday morning to brisk temperatures for a short trip to Stone Mountain Park.  Once at the Park, already busy with people exercising, we filled our water bladders, donned our packs and headed up the Mountain on the walk-up trail.  Summiting the mountain after a 1 mile climb gave us early morning views of Atlanta and north Georgia.  We headed back down to find the Cherokee Trail and the 5 mile around-the-mountain trail.  The scouts made good time, just not as good as the trail runners who past us multiple times.  I added an extra loop to give us some more mileage before getting back to the walk-up trail.  One last climb up the mountain and then back down and we were done.  A trip of about 9 miles in 4.5 hours.  A good 2 miles per hour pace, even with the mountain climb.

We found a good people watching spot and ate our Philmont lunches.  A variety of meats in packets, protein bars, and nut based snacks were mostly enjoyed by all. The weather was good as it was warm enough not to need coats or jackets but cool enough to keep from getting hot while hiking. On top of the mountain, the wind cooled s pretty good.  While the sun never really came out, the trails, the lakes, the covered bridge and the grist mill were still great sites to see.  We did have to pass up the “Snow Mountain” tube rides but got to see a movie set and then the park train pass-by.  We returned to WCA at 2pm.

These trips are meant to practice not just hiking but also team work, group dynamics and trail food.  This time, we could have used a little better teamwork as we tended to spread out along the trail.  But kudos to Thomas, Sean, and Jake for stepping up and helping out a crew mate by taking some extra gear, and weight, for part of the trip. All-in-all, the Scouts are doing great on the trail and should look forward to being experienced hikers once in Philmont.

Scouts attending: Jake A, Tristan M, Drew C, Thomas D, Sean M, Stephen P, Tanner W, and Pierce S

Adults attending: Robert P, Tom W, Jamie S, and Dave M

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Troop 7 Philmont Pre-Trek Hike November12, 2016

Our hikers met at WCA at 5:30am Saturday morning for our 2nd pre-trek hike in preparation for Philmont next summer.  After breakfast in Cleveland at the Chick-fil-a,  we arrived at Neel’s Gap, famous for the only structure that is actually on the trail, the Mountain Crossings store.  The threat of smoke or wildfire related issues did not materialize, instead we great sunny weather with a cool breeze. The 2 crews started together going up the Byron Reece Trail.  Once at the intersection with the AT, the 2 crews separated for the rest of the hike.  Crew 2 continued on the AT and UP Blood Mountain.  Crew 1 smartly continued on the Freeman trail and went around Blood Mountain.  Once on the other side of the mountain, both crews made an out and back from Bird Gap to Jarrard Gap.  After lunch, Crew 1 then returned to the start by going up and down Blood Mountain while Crew 2 returned by taking the Freeman Trail around.  Both crews met up at the Mountain Crossings store and set up camp nearby.  I understand that both crews did really well on the trail.  On Crew 1, Tristan M. did a great job with pace setting.  The hike was strenuous but enjoyable and ended up being close to 9 miles.

Each crew ate dinner as it began to get dark and then tried to entertain each other so we wouldn’t have to go to bed at 6:30pm.  We enjoyed a cool but not cold night and eagerly woke early at 5:45am to pack up.  The crews did a great job getting packed up, still in the dark.  This will be a needed ability in Philmont.  We were on to breakfast, this time at Huddle House.  We were treated to waffles, omelets, biscuits and grits at the #1 Huddle House in America.  It’s true, they said so!

Crew 1 attendees:

Tristan M., Stephen P, Tanner W., Tom W., Robert P.

Crew 2 attendees:

Jake A, Drew C, Thomas D, Jackson M, Sean M, Brett A, Dave A

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Hard Labor Creek State Park Trip Report October 14-16, 2016

We met up at WCA at 6:00pm to pack the trailer and head just down the road to Hard Labor Creek State Park for a weekend that had pretty much perfect weather.  The primitive campsite #4 was very nice, but the lack of water would mean several trips to the campground office to fill up the coolers.  We arrived just before dark and set up camp and unloaded what was needed from the trailer.  The group planned out the activities for the next day, enjoyed the evening and eventually observed lights out at 10:30 pm

Saturday began early and in the dark as Scouts with fire duty were awakened at 6:30am.  But the early start gave way to some great pancakes, bacon, and fruit for breakfast.  A quick check of bikes, tire pressure and helmets and the mountain bike contingent left for the trails.  I didn’t go biking, but I only heard good things from those who did.  A trail ride of almost 8 miles was completed with no major injuries but a few good stories.  The Scout who stayed in camp got some time to learn some new board games, go fishing, check out the dam and spillway for the lake and just hang out.

Saturday afternoon started with lunch and then some free time.  Then, the Scouts were offered the chance to earn a merit badge, fingerprinting.  After about 2 hours of learning the history, the differences between AFIS and your iphone, the need for individuality and permanence, what whorls, arches and loops are, and finally making our own prints, the badge was completed.  While not eagle required, it was fun just to learn some of the basics of fingerprinting.  Plenty of free time was left just to have fun.  The most fun was found playing in a ditch!

Dinner was another example that some of our Scouts really can cook, and some are getting better at it all the time.  One group had homemade chicken soup with cornbread and the other had burritos that would rivial a local establishment for fresh ingredients. Then the lesson of why it’s important to complete KP duty before it gets dark and why putting off your work is never a good idea was demonstrated.  Eventually everything was washed and put away.  The SPL had a chance to teach safety during hazardous weather to help some Scouts with rank advancement.

Saturday night campfire was a great exhibition of storytelling, joke telling, and the sharing of roses, thorns and buds.  We have some great story tellers.  Some who just tell good stories and some who’s excitement about telling the story has to make up for the lack of an actual story.   There was however a great deal of laughter and good natured fun.  The food and biking seemed to be the big weekend hits.  The quest for a real bed and shower were the most often things to look forward to.

Sunday morning stared bright and earlier again with another good round of food for breakfast:  grits, eggs, bacon, sausage, cheese and hash browns.  The mountain biking group got in another short ride while the base camp group got a little extra experience with the proper trailer packing and how to leave the campsite better than we found it.

Overall, I think it was a great trip and that the Scouts had a good time!!  A special thanks to our adults who drove, pulled the trailer, and carried bikes (Dave. M, Dan E, Mike R.)

Robert P.

Scouts Attending: Bennet A, Daniel E, Tucker M, Matthew M, Tristan M, Andrew M, Jackson M, Sean M, Collie P, Stephen P, Michael R, Jeb R, Samuel R, Ben S, Adam T

Adults:  Dan E, Dave M, Robert P, Mike R, Jason R

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Philmont Pre-Trek Hike 1 Expedition 609-L Oct 1, 2016

The group going to Philmont Scout Ranch next summer has begun their training, crew building, and backpacking proficiency.  This weekend was the first of the training hikes that will be done to get everyone prepared for the 11 days backpacking in New Mexico.  We were blessed with perfect weather, actually a little warmer than we are used to.

We gathered at WCA at 6am Saturday morning and packed the pickup and van.  Off to the Appalachian Trail, we stopped at McDonalds for breakfast.  Uneventful except for the yellow jacket sting I received on my recently injured thumb.  Luckily it wasn’t a sign of things to come.  We headed off to Three Forks, a campsite just 4.3 miles down the trail from the beginning of the AT at Springer Mountain.  Once we arrived, we took time to fill up on water and talk about the ways of treating water on the trail: filters and chlorine tablets. Then it was off to Springer Mountain.  The scouts made great time, exceeding the 2 mph goal while doing the 4.3 miles, up hill all the way!  We had lunch on top of the mountain where some of the scouts were introduced to new foods like SPAM and pepper jack cheese.  They will get to experience several more trail foods as we do more hikes!

We made it back down the hill, another 4.3 miles, in what seemed to be record time.  The scouts did great working as a group.  We even received a compliment on their manners from a group going in the other direction!  Once back at camp, the scouts had some time to explore the area, put their feet in the creek, and learn about hanging a bear bag.  The bear bag eventually came down when another unsuspecting group decided to camp underneath it.  Well, we all have to learn!  Dinner was more trail food, but dehydrated beef stroganoff tastes good at the end of the day.

Everyone retired to their tents before 8pm as it was getting dark.  A mostly quiet and uneventful night ended at 6am.  The scouts packed up in the dark and headed to the cars.  A winding forest service road drive led back to breakfast filled with biscuits and gravy or omelets or pancakes.

We were back at WCA before noon with some good experience, areas to work on, and a good start to our training.  Many thanks to Tom W and Jamie S for driving.

Robert P

Scouts attending: Drew C, Tristan M, Stephen P, Pierce S, and Tanner W

Adults attending: Robert P, Jamie S, Tom W

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Hunting Island Trip Report/Labor Day Weekend Family Sept 3-5, 2016

Nine scouts, six adults and three siblings left Westminster Christian Academy early on Saturday morning.  In spite of the recent passing of Hurricane Hermine, we enjoyed fantastic weather and beach conditions all weekend.  We took our time getting down to Hunting Island and all enjoyed a late Huddle House lunch in Hampton, SC.  Camping at Hunting Island is ideal for a family camp weekend because of its facilities – we pitched our tents right next to some very modern restrooms and just over the dunes from the beach.

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Navigation Overnight August 20-21, 2016

The trip started out Saturday afternoon as Scouts began arriving at Camp New Gilwell around 1:30pm.  The recent wet weather created some muddy area making it necessary to hunt for new, less messy, tent sites. While the tents were going up, Scout Master Tom worked out a navigation course of 14 points, complete with decoy flags to keep the Scouts honest and sharpen their skills.  After some instruction time by the ScoutMaster and the older Scouts on the use of a compass, the hunt began.  Older Scouts were paired with younger Scouts to help guide, teach, and encourage.  After a little more than an hour, the group got together to debrief about the use of a compass and to learn how to judge distances and heights.

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Cooking Camping Trip May 13-15, 2016

Camp New Gilwell

On Friday, May 13th, at 5:15pm the Scouts gathered at Herman C Michael Park for a long, 10 minute drive, to Camp New Gilwell in Watkinsville. The early start was to accommodate the need to begin cooking Friday night for the cooking merit badge.  The goal of the weekend was to provide opportunities for the Scouts to work towards the cooking merit badge.  The badge requires the Scouts to help plan and cook several meals during a camp out as well as use various methods.  Further work requires the Scouts to cook at home and plan and cook meals for a backpacking trip.

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