Scouts from Troop 43 have been enjoying the snowy Wisconsin winter.
On Jan. 18, the troop had two patrols participate in the Potawatomi Council’s annual Klondike Derby held at the Watertown Conservation Club. Several Scouts practiced their winter camping skills and camped the night before the event in below freezing temperatures. Scouts carried all their gear on sleds and took part in many different tests of skill from compass reading, fire building, knot tying and winter rescue techniques. Both patrols won several awards and the Oompa Loompa patrol took third place overall.
Taking a break from winter, several Scouts have been working on a metalworking merit badge at Black Oak Forge. The Scouts have been learning blacksmithing skills including how to safely work with a forge.
The forge can reach temperatures over 3,000 degrees and the steel the Scouts worked with had a temperature well over 1,200 degrees. Learning and practicing safety was a top priority at all times. During the work sessions, each Scout completed two projects with the forge, anvil and hammer. The Scouts learned the proper techniques to taper and twist steel to complete their projects.
Sunday, Feb. 2 was Scout Sunday. Several boys from Troop 43 assisted with the morning mass at St. Henry’s which is the Troops charter organization. After the service, the Troop held their winter Court of Honor. Senior Patrol Leader Josh Mitchell awarded 17 merit badges and three rank advancements.
Celebrating rank advancements during the ceremony were, Scott Butzen, first class; Charlie Hickey, second class; and Ayden Kulick second class.
Merit badges were presented to Scott Butzen for camping, emergency preparedness, orienteering, scholarship and truck transportation; Julian Byrne for genealogy and orienteering; Caleb Hauglie for orienteering; Charlie Hickey for environmental science and orienteering; Jonathan Kilps for orienteering; Remington Kilps for orienteering; Joshua Mitchell for camping and orienteering and Nathan Walter for Citizenship in the Community, orienteering and person fitness.
Three Scouts earned Den Chief Awards for working with local Cub Scout dens. Scott Butzen, Joshua Mitchell and Nathan Walter received the Den Chief Service Award.
Next up for Troop 43 will be the Potawatomi Council’s annual first aid meeting held the first weekend in March. The Troop will test their emergency response skills in several crisis situations. The Scouts will be graded on their ability to properly triage the situation, teamwork and their first aid skills.
Mid-March, Troop 43 will be participate in the Scouting for Food program. The troop will be collecting food donations for the Watertown Food Pantry.
Watertown Boy Scout Troop 43 welcomes boys of any faith ages 11-17 to experience outdoor adventures and volunteerism. Meetings are held on Tuesdays in St. Henry’s school cafeteria from 7 to 8:30 p.m.