Reimers Ranch (November 2009)

The climbing campout at Reimer's Ranch Travis County Park was great!  We arrived Fri. night, set up camp and felt the chill of the night set in. Upon waking, we found the temperature to be 31*, with a light frost on everything uncovered. Sam H. managed to play reveille on the frozen bugle, the first time I have heard reveille played by our troop in 3 1/2 years! We all had a nice hot breakfast and cleaned up. 
Eric S. and Tom H. went down early and got everything set up for the climbing. The ASPLs split the scouts into 3 groups of about 11 each and we took the first group (mid aged scouts) down to the climbing cliffs for some rappelling and climbing. The weather warmed up to a beautiful day! We hiked from our camp down the canyon entrance and watched the terrain and vegetation change dramatically (from hill country scrub to lush fern filled spring fed stream with cypress and pecan trees (dozens of other isolated trees and plants) in this oasis. We passed a cave (who's name will not be mentioned, though I think all the boys now know the name!), overhangs, cliffs, stalactites, stalagmites. The stream fed into the Pedernalas River and we hiked down parallel to the river about a 1/4 mile to our climb area. The scenery and views were stunning. We could even see the back of the Alamo in the distance (used for the movie filmed there a few years back). The scouts did a great job on both the climbing (2) and rappelling (1) routes.
The newly named Tejas Yetis (formerly known as the PITS) (all 13 and one of the three groups) went on their 5 mile hike and got several rank advancements knocked out- KUDOS!  The final group of mostly older scouts (most of which arrived Sat AM @ 9) came down to climb on the second shift and they too were all over those walls like spiders! 
A lunch break was had by all, spread out over an hour as the groups came and went. Lunches were made for the 4 climbing instructors.  2 helpful volunteer instructors, Steve Von Tempo and Arthur Puckett joined Eric and Tom in leading the scouts in a safe and extremely fun climbing adventure (they provided some great training and orientation to climbing as well!). Most of the boys were fairly tired after their climbing and/or hiking.
As dinner was being prepared, one of the many friendly park rangers, Roger Brewster, stopped by to see how thing were going and set up the Sun AM nature talk and service project. Ranger Brewster got to witness our troop in action and dealing with a real life situation with the "gas fuel fire incident".  Through our shock and dismay, Ranger Brewster summed it up well... "I guess they won't do that again!".  No one hurt, situations corrected and we went on with dinner, great chili and cornbread for the leadership (tnks Steven W), had early cobblers (4) prepared by the Tejas Yetis (peach, misc. fruit {my fav!}, cherry and apple). With full bellies, big smiles and camp chairs, we headed up to a clearing for the campfire.
Flashlight with multiple colored nalgenes served for a fire and lanterns lit a great collection of  skits, songs and religious services. We also held our SPL election with Brian E. and Harper H. as the 2 candidates. Results of which will be disclosed at COHonor. After the long and busy day, we all hit the hay.
Sun we slept in until 7:00, ate breakfast, packed up camp in time to hear Ranger Roger Johnson give us a very educational engaging interactive participatory talk on the geology, geography and wildlife of the park area and the adjoining preserve. Yes, the scouts had some fun learning some things!
We left for our service project, on to the preserve, to cut cedar (Ash Juniper). Scouts and scouters took to the side of the ravine and cut the heck out of those cedars, for about an hour. We came across a porcupine, up close and personal, but without incident. We then rallied the troop for our departure, an hour later than expected. The caravan headed to Rudy's Barbeque (or Austin Pizza for the vegetarians and friends), we ate Very Well! To the church we went!
At the circle up, Mr. Swenson acknowledged Mr. Clark, as this was his last campout as Scoutmaster. What a fine job he has done for this troop! AGEE, AGEE, AGEE, OYE, OYE OYE!  
Neal Hagood, ASM Troop 410