Monthly Archives: January 2014

West Point Camporee

WHAT: 52nd annual West Point Camporee

WHERE: US Military Academy at West Point, NY

WHEN: May 2-4, 2014

Attendance is limited to the first 30 scouts and 6 adults who sign up. Because of the camporee requirements and since West Point is approximately a 4 hour drive from Fallston we will be required to depart Fallston no later than mid-morning on Friday May 2. If a scout is interested in attending it will require missing school that Friday. Also the troop will be participating as a “Lightfighter” group. That means that all gear, food and personal items will be hiked in and out of the camporee.

West Point Permission Slip

Please complete and return to Jeffrey Schwab

as soon as possible.

Scouting for Food and Upcoming Training

1. Scouting for food Announcement – Save the dates 3/29 bag drop-off and 4/4 food pickup> Also looking for submissions for the Scouting For Food Patch – Download Scouting for Food Patch Design Contest Info

2. Troop 292 in Abingdon MD – Mega Merit badge Day Camp 2/15/14 and 3/22/14. This is a really nicely run event. The first day you go over requirements and complete some. The 2nd day you go back with all of the items you needed to do on your own to have them signed off. Download Merit Badge Day Camp Info

3. STEM Merit Badge Day -2/1/14 – Downtown
Download STEM Merit Badge Day Info

4. ADULT TRAINING – Upcoming IOLS training – Anyone planning on becoming an Assistant Scoutmaster needs to take this training. 3/22 + weekend of 4/4-6
Download Adult Leader Outdoor Skills Training Info

5. ADULT TRAINING – University of Scouting held at Carroll Community College
Downoad University of Scouting 2014 Info


Thank you,

Sharon Gardner

Philmont 2015

We have a few scouts and adults already signed up for the Philmont 2015 Expedition but we still have plenty of openings! Hand in YOUR permission slip before the slots fill up! Permission slips must be turned in to Lisa Murdock NO LATER than February 6, 2014, but the sooner the better!

Troop 899 has received a 2015 Philmont Scout Ranch Expedition for two (2) crews! Our arrival date at Philmont is July 22, 2015 and we depart August 3, 2015. Each crew will be 7 – 12 participants, scouts and adults. Please see the attached information sheet and [REVISED] permission slip for details. Please read both documents in their entirety. Pay attention to the eligibility requirements. Go to the Philmont website for more information at

Philmont 2015 Scout Ranch Permission Slip

Philmont 2015 Information sheet

Please contact Lisa Murdock directly at or (410) 557-6449 if you have any questions.

2014 Summer Camp

WHEN: June 22-28, 2014

WHERE: Ockanickon Scout Reservation

Troop 899 2014 Summer Camp Info Sheet

Discounted Rate

Those who sign up before Feb 28 receive a discounted rate, so please review the following information and return the permission slip as soon as possible for this reduced rate. More information will be distributed in the coming weeks.


In the coming months I will be sending outs a lot of information describing the summer camp program at Ockanickon Scout Reservation (OSR). OSR is a new location for Troop 899, and there will be several changes from last year’s program. Please make an effort to carefully read through the information provided to ensure a good experience for the scouts.

Why start now?

It might seem a little early to start discussions on summer camp, but we are actually right on schedule. Our incentive to start early boils down to cost savings. OSR gives discounts to those scouts who resister early. The schedule for registration and cost is listed below.

Special Discounted Rate
Feb 28, 2014—$384

Special Webelos Crossover Rate
May 30, 2014—$384

Regular Camp Rate per Scout
April 25, 2014—$406

Late Camp Rate per Scout
May 30, 2014—$421


Please fill out the permission slip as soon as possible if you plan on attending summer camp in 2014. There will be several announcements to remind you, but after the cut-off date the higher fees will be used. Ensure adequate funds in your scout account through Mike Rusk.

What do we know about OSR?

OSR is located near Pipersville, PA about 2.5 hrs by car. While Hurricane Sandy inflicted significant damage on the facilities, OSR has been fully repaired and in many cases facilities and buildings were upgraded during the process. Most of the food is catered/delivered and rumored to be outstanding by youth and adults alike. The staff seems to be highly qualified and pay particular attention on how to improve the program each year, and as such, they provide great opportunities to the scouts. The first year scouts will go to the Dan Beard Program while returning scouts will be scheduling their own merit badges and activities.

Why attend summer camp?

At OSR, it is not just about earning a lot of merit badges. The focus is on giving the scouts a broad range of experiences and matching merit badge instruction to the scouts of the right ages/rank. Last year at Hawk Mountain Scout Reservation, it was possible to work on about 6 merit badges, but the OSR staff has found that a lot of scouts leave with partial MBs and miss out on trying new activities when taking on a large number of MBs. OSR staff also found that MB sessions are much more useful when the scouts sign up for MBs that are appropriate for their age/rank. With that being said, I think the scouts going to OSR this year will have greater opportunities to try new things and still earn MBs and have a lot of fun throughout the week.

Merit Badges and Activities

Download the Troop 899 2014 Summer Camp Information Sheet to see the list of merit badges and activities offered by OSR in 2013, but it is likely that many of these will also be available in 2014. As soon as the 2014 merit badge list is available I will forward it to the troop. For now, it might be helpful to get some initial ideas of what merit badges are of interest. OSR uses an approach called “Ages and Stages” to help scouts select MBs that are appropriate in difficulty and subject. This helps the MB instructors by creating classes with narrow age distributions and at the same time increases the chances that the scout will enjoy the MB and actually complete it. There is some flexibility in the selection, but this is handled on a case-by-case basis.

More Info Contact

Matthew Bratcher at
Tony Celmer at

5-7 Mile Troop Hike

Sat, Feb 22, 2014

Sweet Air section of Gunpowder Falls State Park in Baldwin

Depart: 10:00 am in parking lot of Sweet Air Section of Gunpowder Falls State Park, Dalton Bevard Road (off of Moores Road)
Return: 3:00 pm in parking lot of Sweet Air Section of Gunpowder Falls State Park Dalton Bevard Road (return time will be determined by hiking pace and may be sooner or later)

Troop Hike Permission Slip w/ directions on page 2
Activity and Consent Form

This is a great hike with ascents, descents, rocks and mud, open fields, woods, and a good stretch along the Little Gunpowder Falls.

  • Each hiker will need to dress appropriately (hiking boots/shoes, layered clothing for cold weather, etc.) and bring a day-pack or backpack to carry “trail” snacks/lunch, water, rain gear, gloves, etc.
  • Any scout who can recite the BSA Outdoor Code correctly gets a sweet trail treat!
  • Make a baggie of your favorite (healthy) trail snack and share your recipe!
  • Pack your best “Be Prepared” backpack or daypack for hiking; we’ll compare and review what works and what doesn’t work for future outings!

This is what Boy Scouts Do!

Permission slips and activity consent form (attached to each other) are due to Lisa Murdock Thursday, February 13, 2014.


Contact Lisa Murdock directly at or (410) 557-6449

Parent/Leader Meeting

Parent/Leader Meeting

January 27, 2014, 7 pm at FUMC

As leaders of Troop 899 we have heard some concerns that the current direction of the Troop may not be fulfilling expectations you and your scout may have. We would like to schedule a meeting between the Parents and Leadership of the Troop to air these concerns and come to some consensus on what changes need to be made going forward.

To start with we would like to suggest the following talking points and we can branch from these as time allows:

Leadership accessibility
Rank Advancement process
Rank Requirement sign off
Scoutmaster Conferences/Board of Reviews
Merit Badge process
Scout lead meetings and activities
Scout responsibility in advancement
Troop Communication
Scout Account guidelines

Please try to attend this meeting to discuss your concerns and help us improve the experience your scout has in Troop 899. Our goal is to create a safe, welcoming, challenging, learning environment that helps all grow in scout skills and leadership abilities.

Yours in Scouting,
Troop 899 Leadership

Hard to Get Merit Badges

Troop 899,

I came across this merit badge opportunity in Newark, Delaware that you may be interested in. Throughout the rest of the winter and spring, Iron Hill Museum is hosting a Merit Badge Center. They are offering a wide variety of merit badges, many of which are hard to do without special materials or facilities. The merit badges are taught by professors from the University of Delaware’s Academy of Science and use the extensive campus resources. Below is the link to their merit badge schedule, and I encourage you to take a look. I am signed up for this Saturday’s Robotics MB class and welcome anyone to join me.


Andrew Brannon