Troop 719 Year in review

Troop 719 Scouts were busy with a variety of activities in 2023.

The year started with the annual Planning Campout, held at Camp Burnett in Southlake. Here, Scouts finalized plans for the following year and elected a new Senior Patrol Leader. Scouts elected Ben to be SPL to start the year.

Campouts for the year were decided with a blend of old favorites and new places. This year, Scouts did some pre-planning to come up with a tentative list of campouts and then finalized the selection at the Planning Campout. This year, a group of older Scouts cooked as they were finishing the camping and cooking merit badge requirements on the way to Eagle.

Over the course of the year, the Troop was fortunate to have 4 Scouts earn the rank of Eagle. Three Scouts named Andrew and another named Daniel all completed Eagle Projects. All Andrew’s constructed items for St Patrick’s Catholic Church. Two Andrew’s made tables for the church while the third made a bookcase for the choir. Daniel improved some green space around St Patrick’s School. Read more details on Troop 719 Eagle Projects.

Actually, none of these projects would have been possible without the generosity of Knights of Columbus Council 799.

Other Scouts from the Troop helped with these Eagle Projects. Troop 719 has a proud tradition of Eagle Scouts and more projects are coming in 2024.

January also marked the first of three Courts of Honor. A formal recognition ceremony, the Court of Honor is when Scouts are formally recognized with new ranks, merit badges and awards earned recently. Troop 719 has a tradition of Scouts honoring his mother when they earn a new rank.

February started with Scout Sunday. Then, later in the month, Scouts hosted Pack 719 at the Troop’s version of Webelos Woods. Here, the Scouts cooked for Cub Scouts and showed what happens on a Troop campout. The event was marked by a lot of mud as it rained the week before. The cooking area had to be moved after each meal as the area generated so much mud.

March was busy with 3 activities. The month started with Scouts helping St Patrick Catholic Church in Dallas, through whom the Troop is associated. The Scouts set up for parish’s annual St Patrick’s Day Celebration and helped run it. Then, the annual Crossover event was held where Cub Scouts joined the Troop. This year, the Troop Patrol Leadership Council, made up entirely of Scouts and who run the Troop, planned and ran a totally new crossover ceremony. Also, in March, the Scouts camped at Eisenhower State Park in Denison Texas. A lot of fishing happened at this campout. Also at this campout, 2 Scouts Team participated in a cobbler throwdown and a Troop Cobbler King was crowned.

April was busy with 2 big events. First, Scouts helped to run the annual Bike Rodeo. This is a service project the Scouts have been doing for many years and is sponsored by Dallas Rotary Club. A former Scoutmaster who hosts the Troop on his property for a campout helps run the event and the Scouts provide service hours in return for the campout.

In April, Scouts participated in the Circle Ten Camporee at Trevor Rees-Jones Scout Camp in Athens Texas.

In the middle of May, the second Court of Honor was held. With exams and school ending in May, Scouts decided not to have a campout.

June marked the end of the school year and a busy month for the Troop. In Texas, it is very hot in the summer so not much is done in July and August. The highlight for most Scouts is Summer Camp, held at Camp Constantin, on the shores of Possum Kingdom Lake in Graford, Texas. This year it was dangerously hot and, for the first time, many merit badge classes had to be held in the dining hall. But, Scout had a lot of fun.

The Troop always participates in the annual Fat Bat tournament and an event where the Scouts build and then race their own rafts.

At Summer Camp, the Scouts choose a new SPL. Stefan was chosen by the Scouts to to be the new SPL.

Also is June, 8 Scouts and 4 Adults participated in a Philmont Trek.

Only a service project was held in July. The Scouts mulched the playground at the School in time for the new school year. Most of the Troop turned out for this annual service project.

It always seems a lot of Scouts get behind in cooking. As a result, the Scouts wanted to have a campout in August to help people get a lot of cooking completed.

Originally scheduled for a weekend at Camp Wisdom, it was changed to a day because of the extreme heat. At Camp Wisdom, the Troop reserved the pool for the afternoon and had a lot of fun.

In August, the Troop started the Ad Altare Dei program. The Troop runs the program in cooperation with the National Catholic Committee on Scouting and the Dallas Catholic Committee on Scouting, which is part of the Diocese of Dallas. About 15 Scouts met once a month to learn more about their faith.

In August the last Troop Court of Honor was held. Scout moms are always excited to part of the Court of Honor.

In September, the Troop’s favorite campout happens, which is the canoe campout. Although this year, the Troop wanted to do kayaks. The Troop goes to Broken Bow for a weekend and spends most of the day Saturday canoeing.

October started the Scouts doing another service project. Scouts prepared and served lunch for local refugees as part of a program run by St Patrick parish.

Every year, the Troop holds the Norm Sears Memorial Advancement Campout. This year was the 14th annual. The event is held in St Jo Texas at the ranch of a former Scoutmaster. It is focused on advancement with a lot free time for fun.

Despite hurricane like condition, 3 scouts participated in a Jr Sporting Clays Competition at Camp Wisdom. Scouts shot at 10 stations around Camp Wisdom and each station allowed each scout to shoot 5 times. Our Scouts did great job with the top Scout shooting 80% of the targets over the course of the day.

To start November, Scouts who were elected to the Order of the Arrow (OA) did their ordeal. The ordeal is necessary for Scouts to become part if the OA.

Circle 10 Webelos Woods was held in November and the Troop participated. Webelos Woods gives the chance for the Troop to show Cub Scouts from around the area how great Troop 719 is. The Scouts had a fire building station were they taught Cub Scouts how to make a fire using a flint. Troop 719 Scouts did an amazing job almost every Cub Scout was able to light a fire using a flint.

In December, the Scouts did their annual project of singing Christmas Carols at a local nursing home. Many of the residents of this home are poor and in bad health.

As a Catholic Troop, the Scouts try to do what Jesus would want us to do. The Scouts spread joy to the residents. The residents really look forward to the boys singing.

It was a busy year with a lot of activity. Scouts anxiously look forward to 2024.

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