From Russell Hurta Saturday 6/21/14


Hello All,

I can't explain how weird it has been without being able to communicate with everyone.  It has it's goods and bads.  We are home bound and making good time.  We pulled out of BTSR around 7:45am.  

Boys had a blast, but are ready to be home.  We walked away from camp with only a few scrapes and bruises, but survived through the week.   Oh, BTW be ready for some stinky clothes and stinky scouts.  There are a lot of fun stories that will be told and there were a lot of memories that were made.  

We are looking to roll into Needville around 8:00 - 8:30. Keep an eye on your email. I will keep everyone posted as we move along.  

ASM Hurta




From Melissa Vincik via Russell Stratman Friday 6/20/14


Good Afternoon!!  ASM Stratman advised that they are going to try to arrive in Needville around 8pm on Saturday evening.  They will allow the Scouts to call their parents when they get to Columbus, which is about 1 hour from Needville.  The boys are doing fine.  Just a couple of scrapes, nothing major.....I'm leaving you with this photo taken by Monika...It was the sky yesterday at the McDonald Observatory BTSR Scout Star Party.



From Russell Hurta - Monday 6/16/14


Hello Everyone,

Things are going well.  I am going to have to apologize for the communication.  We are between about 800ft mountains in valley.  We have no service what so ever.  We can catch wifi at the HQ but every leader and staff member are trying to use one server.  We had to make a run to town.  This might be my last chance to contact you.  We setup camp went to opening ceremonies and BTSR had a good dinner for us.  We woke up around 6 boys ate breakfast and headed off to merit badge classes.  So far all the boys are doing good and having a great time.  If I have any chance to email again, I will do my best too.  Everyone have a great week and we will see y'all on the weekend.  

Only in case of an emergency.  Contact number for BTSR: 432-426-3709.   Only in case of an emergency


ASM Hurta


From Russell Hurta - Sunday 6/15/14

Day one down.  Pulled into Caverns of Sonora around 3:00pm.  All the boys were able to take the cavern tour right away.   Learned a little and had a good time on the tour.  After the tour some boys played tag football and some played cards.  Finished the day with a pizza dinner.  Settled under the stars for a nights rest.  Pulled up cots and took cover during the light show with all the lightning in the west. Woke the boys up at 6:30,ate a little breakfast and hit the road around 7:45.  BTSR here we come.  Hoping to be there sometimes after lunch. 

Happy Fathers Day from Troop 129 Scouts to all the dads back at home!!!!

More updates to come.  

ASM Hurta



Trip to BTSR, Photos by James Drennan



Leaving Needville 6/14/14 7a.m.
From Russell Hurta - 6/9/14

So,  who is packed? 


It is finally time for Camp. Below are some instructions and information you may need. Please read everything listed here so you will know what you need to have and do. This will be a loooong e-mail.



We will assemble Saturday, June 14th at the St. Paul’s in the parking lot. You may start arriving around 6:00am to start checking in and loading your equipment. We will depart Needville at 7:00am SHARP.


 We will make a brief stop at the Buc-ee’s in Luling. The scouts then will be able to take a restroom break and purchase a snack and drink. 


Mid way we will stop at Caverns of Sonora.  This is where we will be camping for the night before making it to BTSR.  The Scouts will need to have $4 for the overnight stay.  While we are at the park we will have the opportunity to take a tour of the caverns.  The tour of the caverns will be an additional $16.  The tour is optional for the boys.  The troop will provide dinner for the scouts that evening.  We will wake up bright and early Sunday morning, have a quick breakfast and head out on the road to BTSR.



ASM Monika Ricklefsen has been assigned the duties of camp nurse. Before we leave, all medications with instructions for dispensing them will be turned into her. Please bring them in their labeled bottles if applicable and place them in an appropriate zip lock baggy with the Scouts name written on the baggy. This includes asthma puffers and epee pens. I would like to have one for the Med box and one kept on person.



Scouts need to bring money for our scheduled stops to and from camp, merit badge kits (archery, basketry, wood carving, shooting, Indian lore, leather work etc) and Trading Post stuff. The money you bring to camp should be placed in 3 different-labeled-envelopes. We will keep it in our lock box for them. We will issue funds out to them as needed.


 1. Envelope labeled "spending money"-for money spent at Trading Post at camp. (The trading post usually sells ice cream, jerky and knick/knack items that would probably run a few dollars each. If you are allowing for a souvenir such as a t-shirt or hat, allow $15 to $25.

 2. Envelope labeled "travel money"  - money to be used to and from camp.  (We will stop at buc-ees or maybe some other places for restroom break and refreshments. 

 3. Envelope labeled "merit badges"  - if you signed up for certain merit badges their might be some additional cost.

(Mr. Stratman sent an email with that info on who needs what money for the badges they are taking.)


If you would like to set a daily spending limit for your scout please note that on the envelope and

provide smaller bills.  Such as $1's or $5's.


If there is any money left in the envelopes after the camp is over, it will be given to the scout for travel money on the way home.





Telephones for Scout use are not available at camp. If you have an emergency and need to contact your scout, you may try to reach the Troop leaders attending, on our cell phones.  These will be the leaders at base camp.  I will provide a list of all leaders that are going and there numbers at drop off.

Russell Hurta: 713-870-8297 Russell Stratman: 832-309-2556  Robbie Carlisle: 979-418-2694

Monika Ricklefsen: 940-704-1725



Camp is an outdoor experience. Personal items such as radios, CD players, MP3 players, electronic games should not be brought to camp and it is virtually impossible to provide security for these items. I will allow Scouts to bring cell phones on the trip to and from camp for the purpose of notifying parents of their safe arrival to camp and when we are almost home. They WILL be turned in to a leader when we arrive at camp and will be placed in a lock box until we leave. No exceptions.



Just as a reminder, here is a short list of items that you should not forget and are required for a successful trip.  Not sure if it was mentioned, but be sure to write, engrave or label everything with your name. 

Stuff starts to look alike and if gets left somewhere maybe it will make it's way back to the owner.


Water Bottle or Camel Back, Hat or Cap, Sleeping Bag, Cot, Two Pairs of Shoes (broken in hiking boots are best), Rain Gear, Sun Screen, Insect repellant (In non aerosol bottles), Medicated Powder, Flashlights with fresh batteries, Day Pack, Pen and Pencil, Small note pad and lots of Scout Spirit!



Saturday June 21 Troop will eat breakfast in campsite. Scouts will finish packing all equipment and personal gear. Camp host, with Troop leader and SPL will conduct a camp inspection and be cleared to leave campsite. We will then proceed to the camp office, pick up our paperwork at check out. Afterwards we will start our journey home.  We will first stop at Balmorhea State Park.  There the boys can enjoy a nice swim in the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool.   After leaving the park we will stop in Kerrville and pick up a few groceries.  We will proceed to Comfort stopping at a bird sanctuary to campout.  There we will enjoy some outdoor cooking, hiking, and campout overnight underneath the stars.  We plan on breaking camp early in the morning pull out around 9:00am or 10:00am. If we make one or two stops on the way back, we will hope to arrive home about 1:30pm or 2:00pm.



As always if you have any further questions please contact any of the adult leaders listed above and we will do our best to help you out. If you still need to add funds to your Son’s Scout account or turn in late medical paperwork now is the time to do so. Time has run out. There are still several accounts SERIOUSLY in need of attention. Remember that without a COMPLETE Health form including the Part C Physical YOUR Scout will not be allowed entry into camp according to BSA policy.


Class A uniforms will be worn during transportation and some during camp.


Packing List


Looking forward to another Safe and Exciting Summer Camp Adventure!

See you all Saturday Morning,


Thank you,

ASM Hurta


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