Breckenridge Boy Scout troop grows closer after a year filled with adventure
For Boy Scouts, it’s all about learning to focus on “we over me” as a collective troop. Breckenridge-based Troop 187 made this message its goal as the members participated in service projects and went on trips this past year.
Troop 187, which is led by Scoutmaster Tim Reid, comprises about 14 boys from the Summit County area, all of which are anywhere from 11-18 years old.
“We are super close and know each other really well,” said Luke McMahon, who has been part of the troop since joining last year in the sixth grade. “We all get along really well.”
Troop 187’s year of adventure started when the members embarked on a four-day, three-night backpacking trip in March to explore the red-rocked Needles District at Canyonlands National Park in Utah.
Amy Varble, who is the troop’s committee chair, said the group had gone on a little backpacking trip to Twin Lakes but that the trip to Canyonlands was the first long-distance backpacking experience.
There were multiple times when the troop had to face the physical challenges of fatigue, on-the-ground obstacles and the execution of wilderness survival techniques to navigate the challenging terrain.
On top of the physical challenges, the troop also faced several mental challenges.
“The boys learned wants versus needs,” Varble said. “They quickly realized some of the things that they wanted to bring with them weren’t necessarily needed and were quite heavy. They learned a little bit more about what is necessary to have in extreme situations and what slows you down.”
Troop 187 also engaged in a service project at Frisco Bay Marina in June, when the boys put in over 20 hours working to get rid of the invasive plants in the section where the boats are stored.
Right after this service project, the troop left for another expedition. This time it was a three-day, two-night rafting trip on the Moab section of the Colorado River.
Troop 187 arrived in the heat of the summer when temperatures were well above 100 degrees, but the conditions did not staunch the boys from learning valuable skills or growing even closer as a troop.
“It was a lot of the kids’ first overnight raft trip, and they were expected to learn all the safety, including how to flip their own rafts to flip it back over,” Varble said.
The most recent thing Troop 187 has done as the year comes to a close is take a trip down to the U.S. Air Force Academy in October for Scout Night.
The U.S. Air Force Academy hosted other area troops for the Oct. 9 football game against Wyoming. The Boy Scouts troops were allowed to camp in the parking lot before the game, and then Troop 187 boys hiked the 13-mile Falcon Trail in order to fulfill the requirements for the historic trails award for the troop.
Through all of these adventures over the past year, Varble said the troop members have grown as individuals and as a group.
“Boys Scouts is all about that progression (of growing together),” Varble said. “These kids all join in the summer before sixth grade and make that tremendous progression. The boys realized on these trips to look for what they individually need as well as what the group needs.”
Varble also spoke about how many seventh graders in the troop have grown up significantly over the past year as they have had to learn how to teach the new sixth-grade troop members the material they learned just a year ago.
“I’ve grown a lot, and the troop has changed me a lot, too,” Luke said. “I now know a lot of different skills that I can use, like starting fires, wilderness skills and first-aid skills that can save someone’s life someday.”
Troop 187 plans on closing out 2021 with its annual fundraiser selling Christmas trees starting Friday, Nov. 26. The troop sells the trees from the Tiger Dredge lot adjacent to the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center.
Troop 187 hopes to be selling trees until at least Dec. 11 but will close down once all the trees have been purchased. The proceeds from the tree sale go to help fund the troop’s many adventures.
Learn more about Troop 187, which welcomes boys and girls ages 11-18, at Facebook.com/bsatroop187breckenridge.
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