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2011 USCG Elizabeth City

03/28/2011 from Mr. Wheeler

Greetings Troop!  We had another wonderful camp with our host, the Elizabeth City Coast Guard Air Rescue Station.  Yes, it rained but not flooded so no worries there.  It was a great training rain.  We didn’t cook meals in the weather making this an easy camp especially for a new crossover scouts.  Let’s get to some details.

Muster and launch went off without a hitch.  Our new trailer swallowed all the scouts gear with ease with much room to spare.  SPL Alec and crew got business done and off we went.

GPS units are so nice.  You have to be a little watchful but for the most part just follow the line.  Mr. Gamin had us on post without a hitch.  

Our pine tree abode on station awaited.  Plenty of room to spread out and flat.  Nice and easy.  Older scouts made sure the less experienced scouts were ok.  It never fails to amaze me how quickly we can turn an empty space into a tent city.  ASM Mr. Diming was ready with a very tasty fruit basket crackerbarrel.  It wasn’t long before we were snug in our tents for the night.  Friday night low temperature was right at 40 degrees.  Hardly worth a mention for the Polar Bear hardened Scouts of T2860!

First up the next morning was chow.  That’s one of the main activities at this camp, chow hall!  Mmm-mmm hot and ready.  Just the ticket on a cool morning.  We visited the water patrol bay and boats next.  These professionals see it all and are ready for anything including the bad guy.  The rescue boats we explored are designed for specific missions on the inner waters of the local area.  In fact, our visit was cut short with the loud WHOOP WHOOP of the duty sirens and our host had to go to work!  Rescue dog Mako stayed behind.  Cool dog. Much petting.

Next on our agenda was the video room where we met several pilots and air crew leaders.  We learned a great deal about the Coast Guard’s duty and how they serve our nation.  They are in the life saving business along with law enforcement of our coastal waters, and sometimes international waters.  They are absolute professionals who clearly have a passion for their duty.  Being selected to serve in the Coast Guard is compared to qualifying for Yale or Harvard.  Make no mistake, the men and women who serve in the Coast Guard are the best of the best.  The service overall is small and they are extremely choosy with regard to recruiting and selection of their members.

Up next was a visit with the rescue swimmers.  If you’re in trouble, this is the guy you want coming to get you to safety.  Even with all the pre-selection qualifications to get into rescue swimmer school, and that alone is insanely hard; there is only a 20% pass rate.  These are very special people who do the impossible for a living.  Just amazing.  

Next was the helicopter service bay where we visited with one of the flight mechanics.  He’s part of the air crew who work as a very skilled team on the helicopter, each with specialized jobs.  Part of his job is to get survivors and the rescue swimmer in and out of the helicopter without harm.  I’m not using the word safely because there is little about their tasks that we would consider safe.  They explain it as mitigating risk while completing the mission.  Some missions have a LOT of risk to mitigate.  The air crews are very brave men and women who perform amazing feats of skill aboard a machine trying to shake itself to pieces, in very bad weather, while snatching survivors in any state of injury form perilous conditions.  

Next stop was the C130 rescue plane service bay.  These are huge planes used for many tasks.  Their mission is very different from the helicopter crews.  C130 crews with their aircraft can’t pluck people from the water but they do drop rescue items from the cargo bay, provide extensive search and surveillance, and have a specific task of monitory icebergs in shipping lanes.  They have many more jobs and a huge range of territory responsibility reaching far beyond our nation’s immediate coastline.  Twelve hour flight duty is not uncommon with crews packing long stay bags as they never know where they may end up at the end of the mission.  The electronics alone are extremely sophisticated.  The dedication and professionalism of those who serve on the C130 crews was evident.  

We were even provided a first hand account of a real live rescue of sorts.  One of T2860s finest went plop on the cement floor of the maintenance bay out of the side service door of the C130 we were permitted to check out.   It wasn’t the kind of flight duty Mathew has always dreamed of.  I guess if you’re going to damage yourself, it should be while doing something really cool.  Falling out of a Coast Guard C130 rescue plane has a certain coolness to it.  The nurse at the hospital certainly had a look of surprise when I told her he fell out of C130.  That took some explaining.  Fractured wrist bone, bumped knee.  Wrist immobilized, sling applied, two hours later Mathew was back at camp ready with a tale to tell.  Go home?  Nope, not Mathew.  With some serious support from his friend Daniel, he was in good hands and carefully looked after.  PJ, you have some competition.  

Mathew even made it back in time for evening chow and a visit to the fire station.  For some reason the fire guys were very careful with safety during our visit.  Hmmm…wonder why?

Back to camp the next activity was using the base gym.  We had exclusive use of the facility.  The hand ball court was turned into dodge ball mayhem for real.  You really don’t want to know what was going on in there (I watched over it and it didn’t’ get out of hand).  About 9:00pm we called it a night at the gym and headed to crackerbarrel.  Yummy fruit basket again, man those strawberries were good.  By now it was spitting rain, cooler, and it didn’t take much coaxing to get scouts to bed.  

Much rain during the night but it was light mostly and not the flood stage we had last time in 2009.  Stuff was wet in the a.m. but not a big deal.  A warm breakfast (eating again, I love this camp), quick vespers, pack-up and we were headed for home.  

Thank you:

SPL Alec – Awesome!!  

Senior Scouts – Way to go Scouts!  

Special mention:

Scott Stuart…you know why Scott.  Nice job.  

Andrew Husbands – crazy but contained (sort of) and always on point with leadership.

Crossover Scouts – T2860 now.  Survived cold rain and dodge ball..WOW!

Daniel Reinhardt – A more loyal friend you will never find!

Mathew – Stayed the course!  Very impressive Matthew.  

ASM Daryl Downing – Wow Daryl, perfect execution and even got us to chow on a cold yucky Sunday morning.  Not an easy feat with early morning cold wet scouts.

ASMs Mr. Diming and Mr. Blake.  Old School T2860 scouters who have nothing but praise for the T2860 of today.  Thank you very much for all the help and keeping the vigil of the T2860 legacy.  

ASM Mr. Reinhardt who helped transport damaged scout and Scoutmaster.  Thank you John!

ASMs who transported our Troop – THANK YOU!!  We just can’t do a travel event without folks who step up and help.  Thank you very much!

Parents at home, especially the first year parents who had scouts attend without you, I know that was hard.  Parenting isn’t easy and turning over the most precious thing in the universe to the Troop just about tears you apart.  The reward is that bouncing young man who has so many tales to tell when he returns.  All parents should be proud of how well the Scouts did at this camp.

Our Scouting spirit was notably high and I don’t think it was just the great chow!  My personal opinion is our spirit resides principally in the older scouts who make sure the entire Troop is taken care of.  It feels good to help.  As a young scout, having a fellow scout help you with a task is true scouting.  

RECON is leading the way with many serous young leaders hot on their heels.  

Nice job T2860.


Mark Wheeler

3/14/2011 from Mr.  Downing

Hello, Scouts, Scouters & Scout families

This is a relatively long email [I’m following Mark’s example ;<) ] – please hang in there and review the whole thing if you’re likely to go on this campout.

 Here’s the troop web site for this campout --  Please print the items you need.

 If you’re likely to drive, please print a map.  Here’s a link for a door-to-door MapQuest map --  You may want to print a map to get you home too.  Speaking of driving, I’ve been encouraged to minimize the # of vehicles.  Of course, I’m looking for parents to volunteer to drive; however, I may ask some adults to leave their vehicle at home if we have more than enough.  At the meeting this Wed. Donna Worley will be collecting permission slips, driver information and money ($15/person).  Please print a permission slip (found at T2860 link above) and bring it to the mtg w/ your check or cash.

 Here are some safety precautions while we’re on USCG Air Stn. Eliz. City:

-   No open fires.

-   No cel. phone use while driving.

-   Everyone must be wearing a seatbelt.

-   Obey posted speed limits.

-   Stop for people in or about to enter a crosswalk.

-   Drivers – ensure you bring your driver’s license.

-   Stay away from the flightline unless you’re cleared by a USCG official.

 Please review the file “Troop 2860 U.S. Coast Guard Air Stn Elizabeth City Campout” that’s posted at the above link – it contains a lot of useful info.  Your guess is as good as mine re the weather for this trip; however, be prepared for rain (  Mother nature has chased T2860 away from Eliz. City in the past.  Since the air station is on the water, it’s quite windy.  Although it’ll officially be spring, bring warm clothes (other than cotton) and layers.  You can anticipate highs in the mid-60s and lows in the low 40s.

We’ll be traveling in class B uniform but wearing class A uniform all day Sat. & Sun.

Please hold your questions until after the campout presentation this Wed.

Attention everyone who’s planning to go – there will be a couple hours for scouts who need to work on advancement.  Does this mean all scouts who are 1st Class and higher can head for the hills?  No way!  Many scout ranks have requirements that you have to assist a more junior scout learn a skill.  The adult leaders fully expect older scouts to be assisting younger scouts during this time.  So bring your favorite knot tying rope, compass, nature guide, or other items that may be needed for advancement.

The T2860 Aviation Merit Badge Counselors (Hoge McClaugherty & David Mueller) will discuss this MB at the upcoming mtg.  You may want to peruse the Aviation MB worksheet -- -- to see if you’d like to work on this badge.  There will also be two 1½-hour MB classes on Thurs. 4/7 & Thurs. 4/14 at the Woodlake UMC Hampton Park campus.

One of the games slated for Sat. night is wallyball.  I need T2860 scouts who are in 10th, 11th or 12th grade to learn this game and run it.  You now own wallyball; enjoy!

The USCG has graciously offered to feed us in their galley (dining facility); therefore, we don’t need mess kits and won’t be cooking.  The cost for meals is included in the $15 and will be paid by the troop.

Shortly, Mr. Diming (our web guru) will post to the T2860 Eliz. City web page a detailed map of the air station will all the places we’ll visit highlighted.

Get ready for a fun and informative trip into the Dept. of Homeland Security maritime rescue business.  Visit for info about the air stn.


Daryl Downing

Troop 2860 Committee Member


Aj Mezynski,
Mar 15, 2011, 9:06 AM
Aj Mezynski,
Mar 15, 2011, 9:06 AM
Aj Mezynski,
Mar 1, 2011, 6:21 PM