Thursday, May 12, 2011

Gettysburg Campout Information

Dear Scouts and Parents,

Just a reminder that if you plan to participate in the Gettysburg, PA campout May 20-22, 2011, please see me at tomorrow's scout meeting to sign up. I will also be collecting checks from those of you who plan to attend. The cost is $60 per person. See all the details below about what is included in the campout and the price. There are only approximately 1.5 weeks until we depart, so I will need to finalize numbers for the campground and the bike tour company. Please respond as quickly as possible. We will collect money at tomorrow's troop meeting and on the 19th at the COH. Patrols should also make time to plan the menu for their patrols during tomorrow's meeting.

Please complete this bike tour waiver form and bring it to the troop meeting tomorrow night, or on the 19th, or when you arrive at the church parking lot on Friday, May 20. Each person who rides on the bike tour must complete a waiver form—child and adult. You cannot go on the bike tour without one.

Joe Feaser pointed out that for newer scouts, the 9.5 mile bike hike would most likely satisfy the 2nd class requirement:
1b. Using a compass and a map together, take a five-mile hike (or 10 miles by bike) approved by your adult leader and your parent or guardian.* (We can make sure the bike tour goes 10 miles for these scouts, and you do not have to currently being working on your 2nd class advancement to get this requirement signed off)

Call with questions at 364-4485. Thanks.

Ed Gigante



Our May campout is in Gettysburg, PA, on May 20 – 22, 2011. We will depart at approximately 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 20 from Shady Grove Church and will return approximately 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 22. Please respond to this message if you are planning to attend--please see below for specific information to RSVP.

The cost per person is $60.00 for the weekend, which includes:
· A three-hour, professionally-guided bike tour that will take us through the hallowed ground of the Gettysburg National Battlefield, site of one of the deadliest battles in U.S. history, where thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers died. Scouts should provide their own bike and helmet, but If you need to rent a bike, it's an additional per person charge (fee for bike rental TBA but likely $10-$20 additional). We will have support vehicles following the bikers to offer assistance for tired bikers, repairs, water, etc.
· All meals including dinner at a pizza place on Saturday night. (Scouts should eat on Friday at home before we depart).
· A living-history campfire presentation by a Union soldier on Saturday night at our own campground. Experience what it felt like to be a soldier in the Union Army during this turbulent time in our nation's history.
· Camping fee at Artillery Ridge campground which is near the Gettysburg National Park. Artillery Ridge is a full-service family campground with shower facilities and restrooms, a recreation hall, and other amenities. The National Park can be seen from the campground location.

Don't want to bike? Please note, if you are interested in attending, but do not want to participate in the bike hike, please contact me. If there is enough interest by parents (and some scouts), we may be able to offer an alternate bus tour of the battlefield (which will cost approximately $15 more per person than the standard $60.00).

TO RSVP, please hit reply to this message and:
· indicate how many scouts will attend;
· how many adults or other family members will attend;
· if you are bringing your bike and helmet or need to rent;
· if you can drive and, if so, how many you can take in your vehicle, and if you can tow bikes/have a bike rack/have a trailer
· If one or more members of your party would rather take a bus tour

Some people have asked about the bike tour's length and challenge. I guess people are trying to gauge if their scout (or perhaps themselves???) are able to make the trip. So let me assure you of a few things:

· The certified battlefield guide knows that we're a scout troop made up of younger and older scouts and some parents.
· This is a three-hour tour, not necessarily a three-hour bike RIDE. There will be a short spurt of riding, then a stop at a monument or battle location, then a short ride, etc.
· The course is 9.5 miles, rides along National Park roads for most of the course, includes minimal town traffic, and contains a few hills. There is only one hill that the guide describes as a bit of a challenge and may require some to walk their bikes up.
· We will have at least one, if not more, support vehicles to pick up tired scouts, take care of repairs, offer water and power snacks to those who need it. The support vehicle will be at every stop along the way of the bike route. So if you're worried your scout can't make it—don't worry. We will encourage him to go as far as he can on bike, and if need be, pick him up in the support vehicle and take him the rest of the way in the support vehicle. We want this to be a positive, educational experience for all, so don't let fear keep your scout from going!
· If adults want to participate, but don't want to ride bikes, they can just drive their vehicles from one stop to another. Our battlefield guide will mark each stop on a map and the car drivers can meet the bikers at each stop. And don't forget, if there is enough interest among non bike-riders, I can look into arranging for you to take a guided bus tour during the time the troop is on their bike tour. The price is approximately $28 for adults and $17 for youth 17 and under (of which, $15 is covered in your $60 trip fee)

Will there be free time? Yes!
Right now, Saturday afternoon is a free afternoon for scouts. The campgrounds at which we are staying has a fishing pond (no license required), volleyball court, basketball court, horseshoes, ice cream social, camp bingo, even a craft sale that weekend. The campgrounds also has horse stables (though no public riding I believe), and a Gettysburg diorama depicting the Battle of Gettysburg (additional fee). There is an outdoor pool but I don't think it will be open yet (I'll check).

Can my family come? Yes!
People have asked about bringing their families. YES! Please bring your families. This is a great experience for the entire family. If they want to join the bike tour but stay in a hotel, or not do the bike tour but camp with the troop, or get their own campsite, fine. Do as much or as little as you want. Obviously the $60 fee is all inclusive for the scout experience, but if family members want to do some or all of our activities, we can just charge you the actual fee for the tour, or for the living-history campfire experience, etc. I'm not an accountant, so be patient with me, but we can work it out. Contact me directly.

If you have questions about any part of the trip, don't hesitate to call us at 364-4485 We have both been working on planning for this campout, so you can chat with either one of us about it. Thanks!

Ed and Julie Gigante

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