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LeConte Trip Instructions 2017

posted Nov 15, 2017, 4:32 AM by Scott Lovell

Scouts and Families:

We are meeting at the Publix on Woodlawn at 7:30 PM Thursday night to buy the food for the LeConte hiking trip. Every scout going on the trip should come help us shop! If everyone comes, we should be done in an hour.
Families should plan to come to the "studio" condo units to join the troop for breakfast Saturday and Sunday, and to pack your lunch on Saturday morning. Anticipated menu includes:
Friday Dinner - Driver's choice on the way up Friday night (scouts, bring money for fast food)
Saturday Breakfast - Microwaveable sausage biscuits, cold cereal, milk, fruit juice
Saturday Lunch - Brown Bag Lunches - Sandwiches, chips, fruit  (packed by an "assembly line" on Saturday right after breakfast)
Saturday Dinner - After the hike we typically return to the condos to shower and change clothes, then head back down to Gatlinburg for pizza at the "Cosmic Arcade," followed by a short walk to the "Cheesy knife shop"
Sunday Breakfast - Bagels, cream cheese, milk, fruit juice, any other leftover food
Sunday Lunch - Driver's choice on the way home Sunday (scouts, bring money for fast food)

Friday Travel/Navigation
We have a number of families joining us this year, which is great.  Families will be driving themselves to our lodging at the "Summit of Gatlinburg" Condominiums in Gatlinburg, TN, independently and don't need to coordinate your travel with each other or with the leaders who are driving the unaccompanied scouts.  DO let us know if your family is not going, but don't worry about letting us know if you will be early or late arriving on Friday night. Plan on it taking about 5 hours to drive from your home to the condos in Gatlinburg, allowing for a bit of traffic and a brief stop or two.  A full sit-down meal, or worse-than-usual traffic or weather can extend that time.

Your destination (for use with your car or phone navigation system) is:
The Summit of Gatlinburg

Upon arrival at "The Summit" families will need to find the condo complex office.  The condos are arranged in a "ring" around a central area.  The office is the only building in the center of the complex.  On the glass door of the office you should find taped an envelope with your family name.  In that envelope you will find the key to your assigned unit.  Find your building and condo unit and QUIETLY settle in for the night.  Do not concern yourself with checking in with the rest of the Troop on Friday night.  You will meet up with the rest of the troop early the next morning for breakfast and to pack our lunches for the dayhike, as detailed below in the "Saturday Agenda" section.

You will find there are several different routes to Gatlinburg from East Cobb, with approximately the same estimated travel time.  Each driver can make his own choice of route depending on personal preference and current conditions.  Bear in mind that unless you leave quite early on Friday, it will be dark the entire way, rendering the more "scenic" routes far less so. The "Highway" route, via !-75 through Chattanooga and Knoxville, is the longest in miles, but allows high-speed travel (if traffic is OK).  The "central mountain" route travels north up I-575 until it ends and then on through smaller roads through Blue Ridge, GA, and on up into Tennessee along Routes 76 and 74 to Cherokee and then through the park to Gatlinburg.  The "eastern mountain" route travels up I-85, then I-985, and then route 23 north through the Smoky Mountains to Cherokee and then through the park to Gatlinburg.  In the past, I have saved the mountain "scenic route" options for the drive home on Sunday and taken the "Highway" route up on Friday night, but, again, each driver can make their own decision.  Drive carefully and do your best to arrive safely, regardless of the route you choose.

For the following three carloads of people, who are NOT driving as families or independent leaders to Gatlinburg, departure for the trip is 6:30 PM Friday from the parking lot of Holy Family Catholic Church. We want to have all the cars loaded and be ready to roll by 6:30, so don't be late!

Car Assignments
Car 1Car 2Car 3
DriverHilary ThorntonClint MastersFriday - Shelly Bitter/ Sunday- Tim Miller
Sam TCalvin MAlex B
Noah TJake MDraven S
Sam EDrew MJames M
Joseph M  

Saturday Agenda:
6AM - Meet in the studio units of the troop (Typically in Building 4) for breakfast and to pack lunches
7AM - Meet in the Summit Parking lot with daypacks to drive to trailhead

WEATHER NOTE: Due to nasty weather forecasted for Saturday, troop leadership is seriously considering re-routing the troop's dayhike to a different trail.  Instead of a steep climb to the top of Mount LeConte hrough driving rain, turning to ice and then snow, we propose to hike to a nice waterfall (Ramsey Cascades) instead, at a lower elevation that should be more sheltered from the wind and ice.  
Here is a link to the proposed alternate hike, which is an 8-mile roundtrip.  Ken Williams, a past T433 Scoutmaster and a veteran of many of these trips, recommends this alternate route.  He has done it in the past with his family.

7:30AM - Arrive trailhead, park.  Trail briefing and commence hike.
~11:30AM - Lunch Stop at turnaround point
~4:30PM - Return to cars at trailhead.  Once all have returned, drive back to condos. Shower and change for dinner.
~6:00PM - Depart Condos for dinner in town at the Pizza Arcade, followed by the cheesy knife shop (China Bazaar).  Bring permission form if you are not accompanied by your parent.
~9:00PM - Return to Condos for the evening.  TV, cards, etc. until bedtime.

Sunday Return
Around 8AMSunday Breakfast for scouts and families will be served in the studio condos where the troop scouts have spent the night, similar to the day before, but not as early.  After breakfast we will clean our units and load out our gear for the trip home.

Return travel from Gatlinburg on Sunday will again be independent travel for families, on their own schedules, with three cars of scouts driven back by leaders.  For planning purposes, waiting parents should plan that the three "troop" cars will return to the church by mid-afternoon on Sunday.  Each scout passenger will call his parent(s) with a updated estimated arrival time once we are on the road.

Packing for the trip is easy. Since it's condo camping, you just need an overnight bag and a day pack. You should bring the following items:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Clothes to sleep in
  • Day pack (bookbag will work)
  • Clothes for the hike (no cotton!)
  • Jacket/ Rain gear (it will be cold, and there is some rain in the forecast!)
  • Gloves
  • Good hiking boots
  • Extra socks for the hike
  • Flashlight (it gets dark earlier now)
  • Clothes for Gatlinburg and drive home
  • Toiletries
  • Money for cheesy knife shop and food-stops on the way up and the way home

You will be carrying your lunch in your day pack, and it will fill up with clothes you take off as you get heated up during the hike. Other items you might like: camera, hiking poles, and playing cards to play at the top.

IMPORTANT: You must have a permission form signed by your parents to buy a knife at the cheesy-knife-shop!

Permission form can be found attached below (KnifePermissionForm.pdf)

Print this form and get your parent or guardian to sign it and bring it with you!

Holy Family Fall Festival

posted Oct 3, 2017, 1:34 PM by Scott Lovell

Scouts and Families --

As was announced at Monday night's meeting, Troop 433 will be staffing a recruiting table again this year at Holy Family Catholic Church's annual Fall Festival.  Our table will be next to Wheeler Robotics at the top of the driveway that leads down to the scout shed.  The church has apologized for not giving us more notice, but the festival is THIS SUNDAY from 11AM-4PM.  A flyer about the event is attached below.  

ASM Lee Miller and SM Thornton will set up the troop table and staff it from 11AM -1PM.  Scouts and leaders are encouraged to attend (please wear Class A Uniform) and talk to whoever passes by about scouting and our troop.  This will also be an opportunity to take orders for scout popcorn!  In addition to recruiting new scouts and selling popcorn, having a table at the Fall Festival is a great way for T433 to strengthen the ties with the church that sponsors our troop.

If you can stop by for an hour or two (or the whole time!), let Mr. Thornton know when to expect you.

Before or after your time "working the table", troop 433 scouts, leaders, and families are invited to attend and enjoy the games and activities at the Festival.  Food and beverage will be available for purchase at the festival.

Yours in Scouting,
Hilary Thornton

Scoutmaster, Troop 433
Assistant Cubmaster, Pack 744
Cell # 267-414-9356

Fall Events

posted Oct 1, 2017, 4:13 PM by Scott Lovell


We need to start planning for some upcoming events and that means I need to hear from you!

Court of Honor
Our Court of Honor ceremony is Monday October 23rd. All boys who want to be considered for Rank Advancement need to see me immediately. There are only 3 more meetings to get this done. SPL will need to choose an MC for the ceremony.

Appalachian Trail Hike
October 21st. Please get your name on the sign-up sheet for this backpacking trip. It is a one-night backpack trip with individual cooking. This is a great opportunity for new scouts to learn to camp on their own. We will be hiking the next leg of the Appalachian Trail in North Georgia.

LeConte Condo Camping
November 18th. We need to get a head-count for this trip so we can reserve the condos. Please sign-up on the Trip Reservations form. This is a great full-family trip where we sleep in condos and enjoy Gatlinburg after the hike. A fun trip for the entire family. Please sign-up today!

Other LeConte Details:
First, the $100 fee is for a single scout spending the night with a group of other scouts. The family fee is usually a little higher (~$300) and gets you a separate condo for your whole family.
Second, we spend two nights in the condos, Friday night (arriving late, usually around midnight) and we leave Sunday morning.
Finally, we do not have more nights of condo use to offer, but if you want to arrive earlier on Friday and spend the day in Gatlinburg, that is an option.

Merit Badge Clinics - Fall 2017

posted Sep 19, 2017, 6:58 AM by Scott Lovell

Merit Badge University is a quality Merit Badge program that helps Scouts learn about different fields of knowledge. By recruiting experienced professional counselors, Scouts receive an unparalleled experience. It’s hosted on the beautiful Kennesaw State University Marietta campus, giving Scouts a great opportunity to experience a college atmosphere.

The $15 registration fee includes breakfast as well as program materials for most classes with only a few exceptions. Classes will include Emergency Preparedness, Personal Management, Communication and much more! Classes will be available for registration September 14th.


Other Merit Badge Clinics

Troop 241 at Canton is offering Merit Badge classes on 11/11/2017

For more information and sign up, please visit 

Remember to get approval and your blue cards from Mr Lovell and Mr Thornton.

Current News

posted Aug 27, 2017, 2:29 PM by Scott Lovell

Aviation MB
Monday night (8/28/2017), we will complete the Aviation MB by building and demonstrating flight with small planes. If you already built a plane on your own, bring it to the meeting. Please do not miss this opportunity to complete this MB! Otherwise, you will have to work on your own with the counselor. 

WIlderness Survival MB
Many of you completed most of the Wilderness Survival MB on our last camping trip to Lake Allatoona. One of the requirements that most boys did not complete, was to show a Wilderness Survival Kit. This kit will contain everything you think you would need if lost in the wilderness. Please bring your kit on Monday night and show it to me to get this requirement checked off.

Next Camping Trip
Our next camping trip will be at the Allatoona Aquatics Base again and we will be hosting the Cub Scouts from Pack 744. We have the unique opportunity to show them what camping with Boy Scouts is all about and to teach them scouting and camping skills. Please register for this trip on our website for the weekend of September 15-17.

Notes from September 10:
Our next camping trip is another fun adventure at the BSA Aquatics Center at Lake Allatoona. We will be hosting the Cub Scouts from Pack 744 for a fun weekend on September 15-17. We will need everyone to sign up quickly on the Trip Reservations page of our website and then we will need to go shopping for food this coming Thursday night Sept 14th (7:30 PM at Publix at Woodlawn).

We need additional adults on this trip, so please volunteer to join us by putting your name on the Trip Reservation form under the Adults section.

Aviation Merit Badge

posted Jul 19, 2017, 8:57 AM by Scott Lovell

July 19, 2017
I am planning on putting together an Aviation Merit Badge "clinic" for our troop .  Working with Southwest's Atlanta Maintenance Base Manager, he has offered the use of the hangar as a classroom.  In addition, we will be able to arrange a tour of the control tower the same day.  Looking over the Merit Badge workbook, we may have to stretch a couple of items to make it work, but I don't see it outside the lines.  Here is an outline:

Maintenance Hangar
-Group meet in the parking lot 
-Utilize a classroom or conference room to go over academic portion of the merit badge
 --Aerodynamics, airplane componenents, types of aircraft, aircraft controls, aircraft instruments, aircraft engines, different pilot licenses, aviation job descriptions (pilot, dispatcher, mechanic), build model FPG-9 for later flight. (~2 hours)
-Tour the functioning part of the hangar (~1.5 hours - time goes quickly)
--mechanics will "stop work" and set up stations around an airplane and a spare engine on a stand for small groups of 3-4 to rotate through.  the stations will cover parts of the airplane as well as pre-flight duties/inspections.  The cockpit will be a station as well that I will be at.
--Stores, shipping/receiving, fabrication, etc.
--Test fly our FPG-9s (ground launch and elevated launch)
-Lunch - while there is a small break room we can eat in, the Base Manager stated when they've had groups in before they wash the hangar floor and have a large blanket they lay out for a picnic in the hangar with the big hangar doors open - other options include going to a local restaurant near the airport (Dwarf House is near as is Airport View Restaurant, both "landmarks"). 

Control Tower
-we will all drive over to the control tower which is on the opposit end of the airport (near international terminal) 
--tallest control tower in the United States and Busiest in the world
-controller(s) will great the group and we will have to sign in and go through security
-expect they will show us their classroom and simulator
-we will go to the tower cab and watch the tower in action 
-explanation of what each station in the tower does (clearance delivery, ground control, local control, supervisor) and job description (bonus job description as only 3 are required)

Possible Bonus 
-trying to get in touch with the Airport Fire Department to tour a station and possibly their training facility and/or an inside tour with airport operations

This will be a full day, but i think it will be fun and engaging for the boys and anyone else who wants to come along.  I would like to plan for a weekend day in August, possibly the 12th.  Having a date sooner than later will be helpful.  Some other bullet points:

-everyone will have to sign a waiver to enter the hangar - I will ensure everyone gets a copy and will bring extras, they don't have to be turned in till we get there
-no open toe shoes - no exceptions
-security at the control tower is similar to a court house - metal detector and empty pockets - no knives and no one on the "no-fly" list.  Cameras are OK
-peanut allergies?  Southwest will "cater" the hanger to make sure we have plenty of peanuts, pretzels and some drinks (same stuff as on the plane) - if we have peanut allergies, only pretzels
-this is not restricted to only scouts, parents and siblings are welcome, however, the "classroom" may be a bit much for anyone younger (I'll do my best to keep it engaging) and infants may be a distraction (we will be bringing Danny). 
-I will need a good count about a week to 10 days out
-the Merit Badge calls for pre-flight on a light airplane - we will be doing it on a Boeing 737
-I can help arrange Discovery Flights for interested Scouts at a local flight school - at their own expense (I will have information on those and costs available)
-there are some other safety/security "briefing" items that I will go over with the Scouts at the Hangar the day of - nothing big, just where not to go and what not to touch
-there is a regularly scheduled plane to be in the hangar daily for routing maintenance, however, there is a 2% chance of not having an airplane in the hangar - also, based on the maintenance required, we may or may not be able to power it up (cockpit stuff) or walk under certain parts (fuel tank servicing for example).  This is not expected, but we can't plan for it.

I think I've covered everything.  Please let me know if this is something we want to move forward with/bring to the scouts and see if they are interested in.  Also, any questions, please let me know.  This is my first time trying to organize something like this, so any advice, tips, etc are greatly appreciated.  



A. David Eiser

July 21, 2017
Attached is an outline for the scouts and their parents regarding the Aviation Merit Badge Clinic as well as a waiver everyone must sign before the hangar tour (it is written for school field trips, adults that go should just fill in their own name as the student).  Please let me know if this is ok or if you think it needs more/less information.

Upcoming Events

posted Jul 13, 2017, 12:45 PM by Scott Lovell

Our next camping trip is our annual Water Sports trip to lake Allatoona. The trip is the weekend of August 25-27. We will have the opportunity for swimming and canoeing. You will also have the opportunity to compete an Orienteering Course and complete the Wilderness Survival merit badge. Please print out the requirements ahead of time and be prepared with then necessary supplies.

This is a Group Cooking camping trip, and many of you need to participate for your rank advancement. Don't forget to check the Camping Packing List on the Troop website to be sure you bring everything you need for the weekend. Also be sure to sign up for the trip on our Trip Reservations form.

We will shop for food at the Publix at Woodlawn on the Thursday night before the camping weekend. We usually meet at Publix at 7:30 PM. All scouts going on the trip should participate in the food buying trip to Publix.

Publix Shoppting: Thrusday August 24th at 7:30 PM
Departure: Friday August 25th at 6:30 PM
Return: Sunday August 27th around 2:00 PM

Aug 23, 2017
Our trip this weekend is to Lake Allatoona. We have the opportunity on this trip to satisfy many requirements for rank advancement and also gain a merit badge. See details below:

Rank Advancement: First and Second Class Requirements for plan and prepare a meal. Prepare and clean up. Also use of a compass and map orientation will be covered on this trip.

Merit Badge: Wilderness Survival. This MB can be completed on this trip if you bring and demonstrate 3 ways to start a fire, make a personal survival kit and show it to your Scoutmaster. Demonstrate how to treat drinking water and sleep in an outdoor shelter that you made yourself.

Food: We will be shopping at Publix on Woodlawn Thursday night at 7:30 PM. All boys going on the trip should come help buy food for the group.

B: Mountain Man (hash browns and sausage in a Dutch Oven)
L: Sandwiches (ham, turkey, pb&j with chips and gatorade)
D: Chili (meat chili with beans served with tortilla chips and gatorade)
B: Fruit (assorted)
L: Waffle House (bring money)

Summer Camp Waivers

posted May 31, 2017, 2:29 PM by Scott Lovell

Parents of scouts going to summer camp,

 On Thurs, 6/22, scouts and volunteer adults who are going for the white water trip will require a waiver to be signed.  

1)     Please fill out the appropriate waiver form below.

2)     Bring the signed waiver to one of the remaining Monday meetings (6/5 or  6/12) and submit to Karen Pasqual

Nantahala for boys younger than 12 years old.

Ocoee for boys 12 years and older.

Summer Uniforms

posted May 21, 2017, 6:35 PM by Scott Lovell


Once Cobb County Schools end for summer break, it is tradition that Troop 433 switches to Class-B uniforms for the summer meetings.

The Class-B uniform is the T-Shirts that we issue for Summer Camp. Through the years, we have issued T-shirts of different colors, but all say Troop 433 on them. Any of these T-shirts is acceptable as a Class-B uniform. Boy Scout short pants are preferred, but other short pants may be acceptable. Talk to your SPL if you have questions.

So, our Court of Honor Monday night (5/22/17) is probably the last time you need to wear the full Class-A uniform until schools starts again next Fall.

Calendar Notes through June

posted May 17, 2017, 5:44 AM by Scott Lovell

A few Calendar Notes for you:

1) Next Saturday (May 20, 2017) is the Eagle Court of Honor for our two most recent Eagles, Harrison Smith and Ajinkya Sawant.  Scouts attending should arrive early (1:30PM) to help with setup.  The ceremony is at 2:00PM, downstairs in the Fellowship Hall at HFCC.  Attending eagle courts of honor for the older scouts helps inspire the younger ones to continue to follow the path to Eagle (plus, there will be cake).

2) The following Monday night (May 22, 2017) is a regular COH for T433, also in the Fellowship Hall at HFCC.  It starts at 7:30 and takes the place of regular Monday night meeting.  We arrive by 7PM to set up, and are typically cleaned up and out of there around the same time as on a typical Monday.

3) The Monday after that (Memorial Day, May 29, 2017), there will not be a regular Monday night T433 Meeting (we typically don't meet when national holidays fall on Mondays).

4) The next two Mondays after that there WILL be regular T433 meetings, but Scoutmaster Thornton will be away on vacation (in Alaska!).

5) The following Monday (6/19) there will be no T433 meeting because we will be at Scout Summer Camp (Rainey Mountain in Clayton, GA (NE GA Council)).

6) Monday June 26 will be a regular Monday T433 Meeting.

Yours in Scouting,
Hilary Thornton

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