Scottsdale’s Troop 131 had our annual overnight “family campout” at this large park immediately west of Cave Creek, Arizona. All scout siblings and parents are invited. Twenty or thirty were in attendance, a good turnout. A few headed back to town late in the evening rather than stay the night.
We stayed in the group camping area, which had restrooms, hot and cold running water, and showers. The park is clean, well-run, and safe.
A tradition with this campout is that the boys cook dinner and breakfast for the adults. Usually the boys cook for themselves, as do the adults. Thank you, scouts!
We arrived on Saturday AM, Oct. 20, and set out on four-mile hike, a loop involving Go John and Overton trails. Nice scenery and a little altitude gain. I’d call it an easy hike; you could do it in sneakers but I was glad I had hiking boots because of the rocks underfoot. We shared the trail with runners, a few of whom were doing a 50-km (31-mile) endurance run! In 90° F weather (32.2° C).
After skits around the campfire, the scouts did a U.S. flag retirement ceremony. Most Americans these days don’t know that you aren’t supposed to simply throw a tattered, faded flag into the trash. It’s disrespectful to the soldiers and patriots who have sacrificed their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in the name of American ideals. The Boy Scouts of America and a few other organizations do a solemn ceremony during which we review the symbolism and history of the flag, then it’s incinerated in a small fire. The boys retired 21 flags, most of which had been collected by Congressman Dan Quayle. If you have a worn-out flag, your local Boy Scout troop should be willing and able to retire it for you. Thanks to Chris Raines for helping the boys with the ceremony.
As usual, the Arizona weather was great.
The Orionid meteor shower was a bonus for this trip, although most folks slept through it since it peaked between midnight and 5 AM. I got up around 2 AM and watched the sky for four minutes. Saw one meteor emanating from Orion and another unrelated straggler.
Everybody survived the campout, and no one got hurt. Thank you, God!