Cades Cove Full Moon Hike

Front row: David Wilds, crew committee member; Joan Tomlinson, associate advisor; Cait Newton, associate advisor; Tyler Newton, associate advisor; and George Shields, crew advisor; back row: Ella W., president; Evan S., vice president of program and treasurer; Kate A., historian; Andrew M., vice president of communications and crew guide; Eduardo Padron, associate advisor; Tucker M., vice president of administration; James H., quartermaster; and Sonny Schow, crew committee member. [📷 Jordan Frye, crew committee member]

Crew 4 has completed its first adventure, and it was a great success!

The full moon above the Missionary Baptist Church [📷 Tyler Newton]

On Friday, February 10, 2017, the crew assembled at the Cades Cove Ranger Station in Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a full moon night hike through Cades Cove.  We began the 11 mile hike shortly after 8 p.m. and completed it by 1 a.m.  Along the way, we visited several historic structures, including homesites and churches, and learned about the history of the Cove.

About three miles into the hike, we detoured into a grassy field near the Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church.  This site, located at N 35° 36.476 W 083° 49.576, was the location of Camp General Spence, a Civilian Conservation Corps (“CCC”) camp.  A bronze plaque attached to a rock marks the site.  The marker’s inscription is as follows:

In Honor
of the
Civilian Conservation Corps
1933 – 1942
whose hands built the roads, trails, bridges,
campgrounds and picnic areas in
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.
“If you seek their monument, look about you.”

Because we chose our crew number to honor the CCC, we made sure to pause for a moment at the marker to pay our respects to the boys of CCC Companies 1214 and 5427 who called the camp home.

Venturers Ella W., Andrew M., Evan S., Kate A., James H., and Tucker M. making the Scout sign during their induction ceremony  [📷 George Shields]

We then walked further into the field to find a circle of stones built by these CCC boys.  The stone circle is approximately eight inches in height and eight to ten feet in diameter; it likely surrounded a flagpole or served as a flower bed when Camp Spence was in operation.  There we formed our own circle and conducted our first crew induction ceremony.  During the ceremony, our six Venturers repeated and committed to live by the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, and the Venturing motto: “Lead the Adventure.”  All six Venturers thus completed the requirements for the Venturing Award, and our Advisor presented the awards at the conclusion of the ceremony.

We are excited to have completed our first adventure, and we are already planning our next one!

Venturers Andrew M. and Evan S. practice orienteering during the night hike  [📷 George Shields]

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