Scouts bring back memories from Black Hills

This article submitted by Molly Connors on 8/21/96.

Two weeks ago, 11 Boy Scouts from Troop 34 and two chaperones went to Medicine Mountain, a Boy Scout camp in the Black Hills.

Medicine Mountain, which is near Custer, S.D., offers meadows, a lake, a stream, surrounding hills and Medicine Mountain itself to Boy Scouts every year. Each scout earned several badges at camp.

The camp offered counselors not for each group but for each area: there were geology counselors and nature counselors. The scouts all took turns cooking over a fire or on a camp stove. Each scout served as either cook or assistant cook at least once. The cooks had to draw the food from the camp commissary before each meal.

Barb Ingalsbe, one of the camp leaders (or chaperones), woke the group up every morning at 6:30 with a song or two.

Ingalsbe and Diane Gilk, the other camp leader, slept in a tent near the scouts. The scouts slept in three separate tents.

During the day, the scouts worked toward earning their badges. They did everything from fishing to swimming to sailing. They even slept in shelters made from branches one night.

Before the scouts could participate in any waterfront activities, they had to pass a swimming test. The water kept a 60-degree temperature throughout the week. The swimming activities weren't high on anyone's list after the first water encounter.

The scouts visited the Crazy Horse Monument, toured Jewel Cave and drove through the Needles, where they just missed a hailstorm.

The scouts and leaders climbed Medicine Mountain, which is 6,400 feet. From their vantage point, the scouts saw Rapid City, the nearby town of Custer, Harney Peak (the highest point in the Black Hills) and South Dakota's plains.

Troop 34 won the Spic n' Span plaque for having the cleanest campsite. They also won the White Buffalo Award. The White Buffalo Award is only awarded two or three times every summer. It goes to a troop that shows scout spirit, works together well and sets a good example.

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