Adventures: Comments, Publicity, & Contacts
AL - Battleship USS
"Compared with the Aircraft Carrier Yorktown in
Charleston South Carolina, my troop thought the Alabama trip wins hands down. A nights
stay is just $12 a scout (it may have gone up a dollar or two since we last were there)
and includes the USS DRUM Submarine. It is just outside of Mobile and there are a number
of good low cost buffets to take the Scouts to. Also nearby is Fort Pickens National
Military Park on Santa Rosa Island. The USS Alabama visit is even going to get better.
Work is now being completed on a new Museum and IMAX theater right next to the parked
What made the trip special for our scouts was adding the
first night stay in Pensacola, some 45 miles away. At Pensacola troops can stay for free
at the Naval Air Station's barracks (Air Conditioned group quarters), or bring their own
tentage and stay at the group camping area.
As is the case at most military bases we got to eat great food dirty cheap in the base
dining hall (which overlooks the Gulf of Mexico, awesome view). The scouts were transfixed
by the weekend free visiting hours of the Land Survival School. It was at this very school
that Col. Scott O'Grady (the Air Force Pilot who was shot down & survived uncaptured
in Bosnia for five days) learned how to do that. Of the joys of learning which bugs to
eat! After that grand experience the U.S. Department of the Interior operates Fort
Barrackis which was held by the Confederacy throughout the Civil War, it is across the bay
from another fort which the Union Controlled.
Finally the National Naval Aviation Museum is here at the NAS base. It too is free, it
is huge, and has a wonderful gift shop. The Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Saratoga, just
decommissioned from active duty, is also nearby for practice take off and landings by NAS
My Patrol Leader's Council was able to take in both cities, with meals, gas,
admissions, and even a patch for only $32 for the weekend coming all the way from about 50
miles below Atlanta. We built the trip around American Heritage Merit Badge as our theme.
It was a wonderful sneaky ploy to listen to World War II & Civil War era songs on the
bus radio vs. the kind of music they always want to play too loud during long trips.
Seriously, the combination of the two periods in U.S. History and the many resources there
on site are the perfect opportunity to complete this Merit Badge. It is a great trip."
U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville
"This is Boy Scout Space Exploration Central. The
Greater Alabama Council has an annual Scout Merit Badge Day there one Saturday in October
of each year. On any weekend you are bound to see tons of Scouts in the area because the
trip is just that good.
Here again, stay at Redstone Arsenal military base, same great free barracks &
cheap meals as described above. The Museum is an all day affair. There are four parts to
the trip. The first is the Museum itself which has more than 200 hands on experiments,
games, computer simulations, etc. Out back is the Rocket Park where Scouts can see full
scale models of many of the vehicles of U.S. Space Exploration.
The IMAX theater features great films (I recommend Destiny in Space or The Dream is
Alive although L-5 and Mission to Mars are also good). Finally you can bo