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Following Christmas with their families, 27 Scouts and seven Adult Leaders from Troop 285 headed to Winter Camp at The Heritage Farmstead in Plano December 26-28. For three days and two nights, they braved the cold — well, "Winter in Texas" cold — and learned about a variety of Merit Badges.

Learning Merit Badges the Old Fashioned Way

Camp started with the Scouts setting up an 18-foot-tall teepee in the front pasture as a part of the Indian Lore Merit Badge. They played Native American games and learned history from a Troop family in the Navajo Tribe. Other families and leaders joined the camp and taught the Scout about Astronomy, Communications, Camping and Computers enabling the boys to earn their Merit Badges through firsthand experience.

And what would winter camp be without adventure? As of January 1, 2013, the Cooking Merit Badge is now required of all Scouts working towards the rank of Eagle. Over the three days of camp, the boys not only cooked all their meals and snacks, but they even roasted a 65-pound pig on a spit, over a fire pit that was built as a part of a Troop 285 Eagle project!

For the second year in a row, on the last night of camp, Troop 285 hosted a Family Night for parents and siblings to see the Scouts in action. The Scouts served roasted pork shoulder, Trashcan Turkey and the star of the night — the roast pig! Nobody went home hungry, and to ensure that, Dutch Oven cobblers were served as the ending to a great meal.

After a restful Friday night, the Scouts woke up early to brave the 50 degree water at the Texas Pool for the Polar Bear Swim, and age old Boy Scout tradition. Troop 285 is proud to announce six Scouts and four Adults succeeded are official Polar Bears.

After a nice warming hike back to Heritage Farmstead — no need for cars when you are camping — the Troop packed up camp and left no trace of being there for the last three days. 

Heritage Farms, Troop 285 will be back!

Troop 285 Scouts spent three days learning new skills, trying new things and eating very well. They may have gone home a little tired (thanks to a friendly rooster) but camp was a huge success! The Scouts of Troop 285 know it will be exciting in December at Heritage Farms for the third annual winter camp!