The theme of this campout quoting from Mr. Lloyd, was “A Battle of Americans”. We left for Chickamauga Battlefield National Park at 5:00 pm. Chickamauga, which is located outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee, just recently celebrated its 156th anniversary. Even though it was only a three-day battle, those days were some of the bloodiest in the history of the Civil War. After a three-hour bus ride, we arrived, set up our campsites (which can be challenging in the dark), and went over our plans for Saturday.
On Saturday, we woke up around 7 am, had a quick troop breakfast, and headed over to the visitors center to watch a 30-minute film which told the story about the battles at Chickamauga. After the film, we started our hike which took us to different plaques and monuments throughout the park. However, instead of just hiking and reading the plaques, we had the pleasure of a personal historian guide to share research he has done about Chickamauga. General McAbee, the father of our Troop Committee Chairman, Michael McAbee, came along and read to us letters which had been written by soldiers.
As I listened to those letters I could visualize in my mind how it was. I liked what Mr. Lloyd said in his email “that despite the loss of life and destruction of towns when the war was over the soldiers returned to their home and family with love of country as a true Patriot”. I do want to mention a couple of things that got our attention. For our lunch, we had what the Civil War Soldiers called Hardtack. It’s basically a large soda cracker with sliced meat, and it was considered a rare meal back then. After lunch, we were asked by Park Ranger, Will Wilson, to perform a service project for the park. This project consisted of removing sturdy pine saplings, which is an evasive species for the hardwood forest that covers most of the park.
On Sunday, we woke up around 7 am and enjoyed a troop- provided hearty breakfast. After breakfast, we started breaking down our campsites. While packing up our campsite, we discovered that we had an unexpected guest come visit during the night. Two packages of 16 count hot dog buns were stolen out of our food container and partially consumed next to where Mr. Lloyd’s tent was. After looking at the evidence, we figured out it was a raccoon. We jokingly named him Scout Ricky Raccoon. Of course, Ricky didn’t stick around for his trial, but I’m sure he wished we would have stayed camping longer. Around 10 am, we loaded the bus and drove over to the Alabama Welcome Center/rest stop where we had lunch. After lunch, we had a church service led by Edward Boackle. After church, and making sure our area was clean, we reloaded the bus and headed back to Trinity, where we arrived around 2:00 pm. Thanks to Thomas Sartor, our Senior Patrol leader for leading this campout, which by the way, was Thomas’s last campout as SPL
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