On November 11th the troop piled into Applebee’s Restaurant on business 249 to help honor veterans at Applebee’s annual Veteran’s Day celebration. On Veteran’s Day the restaurant offers veterans and their families’ free dinner. The troop helps out by bussing tables, cleaning up, washing dishes, opening doors and keeping the drinking glasses filled. It’s more than just our way of saying thanks; it allows opportunity for the boys to get to know the people who fought for our country. Troop 1493 has volunteered at this annual event for years. It’s always an enjoyable experience for everyone; and the vets especially enjoy having the boys there.
Later in November the boys participated in the Civil War reenactment at Liendo Plantation. We have done this annually for many years but this is the first year the boys actually got to participate in the reenactment. Prior to this all the boys did was community service at the event.
It’s an interesting story how they got the opportunity to actually participate in the reenactment this year. This summer the troop went to Sid Richardson Scout Ranch which is near Fort Worth Texas. Many of the older boys signed up for the cavalry program at the ranch. This program is run by members of Venture Crew 1872. This is the same venture crew that annually participates at the Liendo Plantation Civil War reenactment. Our boys impressed the venture crew so much that they invited the troop to join them at the reenactment.
Only the older boys participated in the reenactment because the event is considered a “high adventure” activity by the Boy Scouts because it deals with things like black powder, and, according to Boy Scout rules, only boys 14 and older can participate in high adventure activities. So, while the younger boys did the usual community service (trash duty, clean up, wiping tables etc.) the older boys participated in the reenactment. The boys were given period uniforms which included wool pants, a wool overcoat, a hat and a cotton shirt, and they got to sleep in civil war style tents. During the reenactment they got to shoot black powder firearms. Of course there were no projectiles in the firearms, but the powder did make quite a bang! It was a great experience for all. Actually participating in a reenactment brings a whole new perspective on history. It’s one thing to see this kind of stuff in the movies and on T.V. but to actually live it for a while? That brings a whole new level of appreciation for history and what our ancestors did for our country.