Phoenix, Arizona Scouts BSA Troop 747 “the Minutemen” packed incredible adventures into just 30 days
It began on June 10, 2023, when the troop attended summer camp at their “home away from home” – Camp Geronimo. In addition to Troop 747’s thirteen Scouts and four adult leaders, the troop also took along a couple of “*Fast Track” Scouts from Troop 738 and Troop 17, as they wanted to go to Camp Geronimo, even though their troop was not attending. This makes the 4th year in a row that the troop has taken Fast Track Scouts from other Scouts BSA troops under their wing and made them “temporary Minutemen” for the week. The boys had a blast! They provided the Color Guard at Sunday’s first evening Flag ceremony and looked sharp, standing at attention with their formal white gloves. The Scouts did an outstanding job!
Troop 474 traditionally meets throughout the summer, taking off the week after summer camp so that the adult leaders can recover. The following Saturday, June 24, Troop 747 sent a contingent to summer camp at Emerald Bay on Catalina Island, California. Sixteen Scouts and four adult leaders spent the first night at Cabrillo Scout Camp in Long Beach, then boarded the early morning ferry to Catalina for a fun-filled week of Oceanography, sailing, snorkeling, scuba, and many other merit badges. Some Scouts also learned important lessons about sunscreen and seasickness! The “War Canoes” was a particular highlight, as was the “Sunset Cruise” – a chance for the *Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) and adult leaders to enjoy a spectacular cruise at sunset.
On the 4th of July, fifteen Scouts skipped sleeping in on holiday to meet up at 7:00 am to perform a Flag Subscription Service for the neighborhood. The troop has 13 neighbors who donate to the troop, and they deliver an 8-foot–tall American flag, complete with Color Guard Ceremony, at each home. Then in the evening, return to collect the flags and store them until the next holiday.
A few days later, on July 8th, 27 Scouts, leaders, and family members returned to California to attend the overnight adventure on the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum. Minutemen became the “Chargers Squadron” for the weekend, as they were shown to their bunks (tri-level sleeping berths) – the same berths the sailors of the Midway slept in back in the day. Knowledgeable educators gave the “Chargers” terrific, personalized tours. The high temperature in San Diego was a cool 70 degrees, some 40 degrees cooler than Phoenix.
After more tours on Sunday morning, the troop headed to the San Diego Maritime Museum and toured five other boats, including a retired Navy submarine and a pirate ship replica used in filming the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Troop 747’s Senior Patrol Leader, Jackson, did advance research on the ships at the museum, so the troop had their own personal tour guide (without spending extra money).
Next up: All Night Game Night Lock-in on July 21st. No rest for the adventurous Minutemen!
Submitted by Doug Ullrich, Scoutmaster/Founder of Troop 747 – The Minutemen
*FAST TRACK: For those who attend Camp Geronimo without their unit. Camp Geronimo provides leadership.
*Scouts BSA Senior Patrol Leader position: This position is responsible for leading a group of Scouts within a troop and ensuring that all activities and events are organized and run smoothly.