POR Elections to be held June 10th

From: Allen Powell
Sent: Friday, June 06, 2014 9:52 AM
Subject: POR elections next Tuesday, June 10th

This is a reminder that Tuesday, June 10th are Troop POR elections. Scouts above the rank of First Class need a POR in order to advance in rank.

Since we have had two crews gone to Sea Base these past two weeks, we will allow time for those who wish to run to sign up at the meeting. You can sign up to run for up to 3 PORs so you will have the opportunity to be elected to an alternative POR if you are not elected to your first choice POR.

The term of the POR’s runs for 6 months from July 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014. Please do not run for a POR if you cannot commit to being at meetings and on trips regularly during this time period. We have scouts involved in many other activities including sports, band, drama, etc. We have two terms per year (Jan – Jun and Jul – Dec). Pick the term that has the least conflict with your other activities so you can make Scouts a priority and do the job properly. You must be present and do the job to get POR credit.

Attached is a document with POR job descriptions. Certain PORs require a minimum rank (these are noted in the document) and in general we allow primarily scouts at the rank of First Class and higher to run for a POR as the higher ranks require a POR for advancement whereas lower ranks do not. If no scouts at higher ranks run for a particular POR, scouts at lower ranks are free to run.

On election night, Scouts must be present and in FULL Class A Uniform to run. They should also be prepared to give a short speech indicating why they think they should be elected to the position. If a scout wishes to run for a POR but cannot be at the meeting on June 10th, I may allow them to run in absentia if the scout calls me to discuss and provides a written speech that can be read.

The positions are:

Elected positions:

Senior Patrol Leader

Assistant Senior Patrol Leader


Chaplain Aide





Appointed by SM:

Troop Guide

OA Representative


Den Chief

Leave No Trace Trainer

–Allen Powell

Download (PDF, 132KB)

Buffalo River Trip Update

From: Danny Smith

Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2014 4:39 PM

Subject: Troop 96 Buffalo River Trip Update

Here are the current plans for the July trip to the Buffalo National River in Arkansas:

Saturday, July 19 – Leave Birmingham, Drive to Northern Arkansas

Sunday, July 20 through Friday, July 25: Canoe

Friday, July 25 – Exit the river and drive to Birmingham

Online Sign-Up Spreadsheet:  Please sign-up using the following link ASAP so that we can calculate the actual budget and start planning meals and travel logistics.


Estimated Cost: It is usually a hard chore to find all of the canoes we need and trailers that are road-worthy for such a long trip; therefore, we are currently planning to rent canoes, life jackets and paddles and have our vehicles shuttled to the takeout.  Here is the quote I received from an outfitter based upon an assumption of 40 people (20 canoes) and 4 vehicles to shuttle (hopefully vans):

$4,400 canoes (only charging for 6 days)

$332 to shuttle 4 vehicles

Less 10% Scout Discount

Total: $4,258.80 (this equates to $106.47 per person for the outfitter)

To cover food and fuel I assume the actual cost will be closer to $175 per person; however, we are planning for the Troop Christmas Tree fund to cover some of this cost and we will determine an actual trip cost as soon as we determine how many sign-up for the trip and the feasibility of taking any canoes with us from Birmingham.

River Mileage:  (See attached map).  With higher river levels in June we have put in at Woolum and paddled 75.5 +/- miles to Buffalo City on the White River; however, July historically has lower river levels making a Woolum put-in infeasible.  Therefore, we will either put in at Baker Ford (about 64 miles to exit) or at Tyler Bend (about 60 miles to exit).  We usually only cover about 10 miles each day to allow plenty of time for swimming and fishing each afternoon.  To avoid paddling upstream a mile against strong currents on the White River for an exit at Buffalo City, we will plan to exit at Riley’s just across the White River from the Buffalo confluence.  It is much easier to land there by passing between two mid-channel islands with less current.

Food:  The menu will be carefully prepared and all food (except for personal snacks) is purchased and packaged in watertight containers before the trip.  We distribute the weight amount all canoes.  We will have a food packing meeting before the trip. Rather than cook as separate patrols, we will plan to assign cooking and KP duties for the entire group on an alternating basis between all of the patrols for the entire group.  We can pack the food and gear more efficiently for the entire group (probably two stoves) and some large pots and pans.  We will pack the food into 5 gallon buckets with screw on lids.  We will ask Scouts to freeze jugs of water to place in 5 day coolers.  We will consume the refrigerated food earlier in the week, but should still have cold until Thursday morning.

Merit Badge Pre-Requisites: Swimming and Canoeing.  While swimming must be completed here before the trip, it is permissible to start the canoeing merit badge here and finishing it on the river with on-the-job training if you are not able to complete it here (here is the preferred option).


Danny Smith

Download (PDF, 260KB)

Chickamauga Trip

Below is the sign-up sheet for the Chickamauga trip. I have added names based on sign ups at the last two meetings. I ask everyone to review the list and make changes as needed. Now that the date is confirmed for May 2-4, some may now be able to go who had not signed up previously when the trip was on another date. Some who signed up for the previous date need to confirm they still plan to go on the trip May 2-4. If you need a trip to get your participation percentages where they should be for advancement, this is an easy trip for this.
Expect more news from Mr. Hartwell as the trip date gets closer. After OA elections next week and a short program, we will make final preparations for the trip (tent buddies, patrol cooking, who brings what, etc.)
Allen Powell

Events over the Next Few Months

From Scoutmaster Powell:
1) Saturday, April 12 – Cooking MB Class: Scouts in Mr. Hall’s Cooking MB class will be having the Outdoor Cooking portion of the MB at Oak Mtn State Park (Scouts wear your scout uniform for free entry to the park):
a) 12:00 Trail hike and cooking – Those needing the trail hiking cooking requirement meet Mr. Powell at 12:00 noon at the Parking lot across from the playfield at the end of Terrace Drive (just before the Peavine Falls road). This is in the Double Oak Mtn Lake area past the Marina and park HQ, near the pavilion area. Scouts are responsible to bring: a backpack, water, hiking clothing and boots, stove, fuel, their two meals plus one snack. Scouts can share a stove if necessary. Scouts, read the MB requirements. You must bring 1 snack and you must prepare 2 meals. At least 1 of the 2 meals must be cooked. We will cook over stoves (no fires). Also, no Mountain House meals or any meals where you only add water are permitted. You can bring dehydrated ingredients but you must have more than one ingredient. Mr. Hall has previously covered this in your class. One meal can be a breakfast.
b) 2:00 Outdoor cooking – All those in the class meet Mr. Hall at 2:00pm at Honeysuckle Pavilion (it is in the same general area where the 12pm group will meet Mr. Powell). Those doing the trail hike and cooking will be finished by 2pm in time to start the 2pm session with Mr. Hall. You have previously prepared menus and shopping lists for the meals. Mr. Hall is purchasing the food and you will need to bring $10 each to cover the cost of this food. You will be grilling, stove cooking, campfire cooking and Dutch oven cooking. If you have a Dutch oven, please bring it with you. Each one of you will be cooking! Later in the afternoon between 4:45 and 5:00pm you will feast on what you’ve prepared.
2) Sunday, April 13, 2:30pm – Eagle Court of Honor: For Garon McGuire at Episcopal Church of the Ascension
3) Fri-Sun, April 25-27 – April trip: We are going to Chickamauga Civil War Battlefield near Chattanooga. We had previously planned a climbing trip but our climbing guides could not be available on our planned dates. This year, Easter falls on our usual third weekend for trips and so we had to find another time. Last Tuesday night we had discussed possibly doing the trip on May 2-4, but we have many Scouts who have a High School and Jr. High Band event that weekend and so we have settled on the April 25th weekend. An online sign-up sheet is at the following link:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16EDAl69ED1-QA_jYL1MuT6Rv0E6mLGgT2os7exnD6jo/edit#gid=0
4) Tuesday, April 29, 6:30pm – Sea Base meeting: For Scouts going to Sea Base in May and their parents. We will be less than one month away from the Sea Base trip and this will be an important briefing.
5) Tuesday, April 29, 7:30pm – Order of the Arrow elections: We need at least 50% of the troop to be present in order to have the election. Please make sure you come for this important election.
6) Tuesday, May 6th, 7:30 – Scout Physicals (tentative)
7) Saturday, May 10 – BSA Swim test: At General Holle’s house starting at 9am. Those going to Sea Base or Summer Camp must pass this test prior to those trips. Any scouts participating in any other water-outing (ex: Canoeing or Water Sports/Lake) must also pass the swim test.
8) Tuesday, June 10 – Troop POR elections: Sign-up sheets will be available the two weeks prior to the election
9) June 15-21 – Summer Camp: Manyhave signed up for Summer camp, but there are others who still need to sign up. Please do this NOW!! Let Mr. Etherington know your Merit Badge selection. If you are an older scout, still come and participate. Coming to Summer Camp gives you two (2) trip credits for participation. Knock out those final few MBs, or, if you have all or most of your MBs for Eagle, you can still come out and take it a little easier, participate in some of the older boy activities and have fun with the troop. BSA Lifeguard is another fun thing for older Scouts to do. Give your parents a break for a week!
10) Meeting plans: Finally, last Tuesday our Patrols worked with our SPL and ASPL and planned the meetings for the next three months. Below is the schedule. If Patrol Leaders have any questions or need assistance, please contact Andrew Dunlap or Jared Rocha. Parents, please give this to your scout, especially if he is a patrol leader. Patrol Leaders are: Ben Moore-Blue Beavers, Luther Ward-Dragons, Scott Landers-Flying Eagles, Paul Tierney-Rattlesnakes, Cody Crossland-Roadrunners, & William Heidepriem-Scorpions)
April 15 – Flying Eagles: Lashing Skills teaching capped off by flagpole lashing contest
April 22 – Dragons: Camping & backpacking gear, What to bring for backpacking vs. car camping. What is not needed. Preparing for Chickamauga trip.
April 29 – Rattlesnakes: OA Elections then Geocaching
May 6 – Scout Physicals (tentative)
May 13 – Scorpions: Camp stove cooking contest
May 20 – Blue Beavers: First Aid demonstrations & refresher
May 27 – Roadrunners: Fire building
June 3 – Flying Eagles: Identifying plants
June 10 – POR elections
June 17 – No meeting (Summer Camp)
June 24 – Rattlesnakes: Camp gadgets, how to build different camp gadgets
Allen Powell

Chinnabbe Silent Trail Backpacking Trip

Another great backpacking trip this weekend! I have attached a few of the many pictures we took. I tried to shrink the size so in total they are under 1MB so as to make it through email. I hope the quality is still okay. The last picture is of a plaque at the end of the Chinnabbe Silent trail that tells about the trail construction by BSA troop 29.

Many thanks to Dr. Leonard for planning and leading this past weekend’s trip. The route was a perfect length and by starting at a high point near the top of Cheaha Mtn, the hiking was mostly downhill. The weather was great Fri night and Saturday. On Sat morning, we were on top of Mt. Cheaha and had a great views along the trail from several rock outcroppings including McDill Point. See the attached first few photos. The first one looks like the boys are sitting right on the edge, but to put everyone’s mind at rest, I took a couple more photos (see next two) so you can see they were not really on the edge :-) We are always careful and Dr. Leonard and I were drill sergeants when it came to safety.

By Saturday afternoon, after 8 miles on the trail that day, we were ready for downtime. We had a great campsite Sat night at the intersections of two rivers, just below a waterfall. We had plenty of water close to camp and were able to play around in the ice cold water that afternoon as the air temp went above 70 degrees. The water felt great after a long day of hiking and the clear sky and moderate temps made that evening around the campfire perfect.

Rain started early Sunday morning around 4am and by 6:30am we were in the middle of a pretty good soaker. The rain continued but finally let up a little around 8am and we decided to pack up in the lighter rain and hit the trail. We had a slightly tricky water crossing right off the bat (see pics) but after that we had a fairly easy final 3 miles out. After a stop in Oxford for lunch, we arrived back at AAA at 2pm yesterday.

This was a great trip to test a scout’s preparedness. We had a little of everything on this trip. We started with a mile of night hiking (headlamp). We had heat during the day (hydration and having enough water and a way to purify it). We had pretty cool temps at night and during rain (lightweight second layer of clothing). We had rain (waterproof tents and tarps as well as rain gear and backpack covers) and we had rocks, mud and water crossings on the trail (good boots that are waterproofed).

Packing up in the rain is no fun. I hope all the scouts emptied their backpacks as soon as they got home Sunday afternoon and set out their wet tents, rainflys and anything else that was wet and put wet and muddy clothes in the washer. You don’t want your equipment and clothes to get ruined!

Thanks again to Jeff Leonard for leading and to ASM Jeremy Anderson for assisting. Good trip.

Allen Powell
SM T96















Troop 96 Adults Win Awards

I wanted to let the Troop 96 family know about awards several of our adults received last week at the annual Vulcan District Adult Leader Recognition Banquet. Here they are:

Alan Davis – Boy Scout Leader Training Award

Wilburn Odom – Boy Scout Leader Training Award

Mike Anderton – Vulcan District Award of Merit

A word about Mike’s award. The Vulcan District Award of Merit is the highest award our District bestows. Our district is only allowed to give 3 of these awards per year. The award is presented to adults who not only display leadership and service within their units (troops, packs, crews) but also provide significant service to the District overall which serves over 50 units located in Homewood, Hoover, Mountain Brook and Vestavia. Mike has been very active not only with T96 but also with the Council (he is on the Board of Directors) but also with the District, specifically with regard to being the Chairman in charge of overall Youth Protection efforts and enforcement, but also as the leader of a monthly Eagle Board of Review panel. Past T96 winners of the Vulcan District Aware of Merit include Everett Holle, Paul Anderton (Mike’s dad), Roger Etherington, Loring Jones III, and Keith Sides. Congratulations Mike!! This is a well deserved honor.

Please join me in congratulating the men on these awards which recognize their service to the youth of our Troop and Vulcan District!

Allen Powell


There was one additional adult award that Allen omitted from his list:

Allen Powell – Scoutmaster’s Key  (for 3+ years of outstanding service as Scoutmaster for T-96)

The Troop was also recognized with a 100% Boy’s Life Unit award.

Roger Etherington


20-Mile Hike Canceled

This is to advise that the 20-Mile hike scheduled for Saturday, Feb 1, 2014 has been cancelled due to lack of planned participation. We will look to reschedule sometime in March.

Allen Powell

Dec 17th meeting

I know our Scouts are in the middle of Semester Exams this week. Therefore, the Dec 17th meeting will be kept short. We will be totally finished and closing the door to go home at 8:30pm. So please plan to pick up your scout early.

Here is what is on tap:
1) Drop off Christmas gifts for needy families (See Margaret Anderton’s email)
2) Sign up for Jan cold weather trip & short talk on waterproofing
3) Individual Patrols will elect Patrol Leaders

My goal is to be going to circle no later than 8:15pm.

See you Tuesday night. This is our last scout meeting of 2013! We resume Tue, Jan 7th.

Allen Powell

Tree Lot Shifts 2013

The below document lists all of Troop 96’s tree lot shifts for 2013.

Download (PDF, 578KB)

Trip Plans for 2014 Now Available

The preliminary 2014 Trip Schedule, along with the schedule of prior years including what is left in 2013, is attached to this post. You can see we still need some Adults to lead trips. Let me know if you want to volunteer.

To clarify, the dates for 2014 are primarily placeholders generally set for the third weekend of the month. As of right now the Summer Camp and Sea Base dates are firm. All other dates may change depending on the calendar and other significant conflicts. For instance, the April date will change because that is the weekend of Easter. The goal is to first firm up the trip and adult leader as soon as possible and then we will settle on dates as I work with the adult trip leader. Hope this helps. We will do this as soon as possible as I know you all want to have as much notice as possible to help you plan.


Allen Powell

Troop 96 Trip Planning 2014 (.pdf)