Annual Troop 25 Turkey Cook-Off

Camp Rodney, Elk Neck Peninsula, Maryland

12-14 November 2004

(Click on any photo below to view and/or download a print-quality image)

Page updated 15 November 2004 15:48

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Alex, CJ, Phil, Zach, Matt, and Drew prepare to sit down for Thanksgiving in the Field

Ship 25's Thanksgiving Menu

Mashed Katahdin Potatoes and Gravy

Herb Stuffing with Parsley and Onion

Dried Indian Corn

Turkey a la Rodney with Cranberry Sauce


Sparking Grape Blanc 2004

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At long last it finally happened ~ Ship 25 received a coveted invitation to attend the annual Troop 25 Turkey Cook-Off at Camp Rodney on the Elk Neck Peninsula, Maryland.  We arrived Friday night in a pouring rain.  Since Sea Scouts are resourceful, it didn't take our guys long to figure out that if we put some stacked tent platforms on the ground first, we'd be elevated above the mud.  Also, if we pitched our dome tent under CJ's canopy, we'd be really dry.  And so it was....

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The rain stopped during the night, so Saturday morning we were able to set up everything properly.  The Skipper mandated a massive cleaning of all cooking and eating utensils, as they had not been put away from the last trip in the best of condition.

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The whole point of the turkey cook-off is to prepare an elaborate Thanksgiving meal in the field.  Here, our Turkey veterans of past cook-offs (back when they were land Scouts), Zach and Drew, start charcoal in a pit.  Our turkey, which we named Rodney, will be placed on top of the coals, and covered with a cardboard box lined with tin foil to reflect the heat.

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Alex whips up some bacon and pancakes for breakfast while Zack prepares the tin-foil lined cardboard box for Rodney.

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CJ, in red hat, surveys the scene while Drew does a gargoyle imitation from the top of the pile of tent platforms.

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Matt offers advice to Alex, while at the next site over, Steve Willich and Jim Walters relax and watch the frenetic activity of the land Scouts.

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Drew and Zach, our turkey experts, place Rodney the Turkey wrapped in his tin foil pan, on top of the coals.  Drew's younger brother Kyle (a Ship's cabin boy), cruises by on his mountain bike to watch the pros at work.

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The "Pleasure Dome", aka the Ship 25 tent, properly erected in the sunshine at last.  At right, the Ark tows the trailer in search of firewood for the Saturday night campfire.

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End view of the Ship's site.  At right, the central area of the land Scout site with it's excellent view of the head of the Chesapeake Bay.  Our Ship had originally thought about arriving by water, but the rain and the anticipated difficulty of  ferrying all our materials to shore dictated our ultimate decision to come by land instead.

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At left, one of the land Scout patrol sites.  At right, examples of some elaborate Troop 25 cardboard ovens, complete with thermometers.  This is really high tech stuff.

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The Black Hawk patrol, Troop 25's newest and, obviously, most energetic land Scouts.  The Ship predicts these Black Hawks will be a vital force for fun in the Troop.  Who knows, some of them may even become Sea Scouts some day.  At right, older land Scouts "play it cool."

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Zach, Phil, and Matt discuss the progress of the turkey:  in at 1000, out at 1600.  At right, Skipper (seldom without his computer and printer) prepares the official Ship meal menu card to enhance the Ship's "ambiance" quotient.

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The Ship's site at mid-day.  At right, Matt, Drew, and Zach in cammo (The cammo trio).

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Zach and Drew check on Rodney the Turkey.  At right, CJ, Phil, Skipper, Alex, Matt, Drew, and Zach pose for a photo op with Rodney.

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Matt, Drew, and Zach put their best face forward for the camera.  At right, an impromptu ball game for the land Scouts.  Strike One!  (note brown ball going past the batter's knees over the plate).

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An enthusiastic crowd fills the bleachers for the ball game, while upcoming batters warm up in the bull pen.  At right, the catcher gives a few pointers to the batter.

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Looks like this runner just slid home on his butt.  On wet, muddy ground, that's Scout spirit for you!  At right, Zach rests from his labors on top of one of the Ship's benches.

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It's almost Turkey time, and Phil is busy making final preparations for the stuffing.  For a view of the Ship's actual meal, see the top photo on this page.  At right, a land Scout patrol sits down to it's dinner.

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At left, the Black Hawk patrol shows fine form with matching plates, bowls, glasses, and utensils.  The Skipper, as a "celebrity judge", rated the Black Hawks tops for ambience and Scout spirit.  At right, the Flaming Arrow patrol, veterans of many a cook-off, show the style that has made them legendary: Turkey AND crawdads, plus THREE kinds of desert.

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Kyle's patrol had wall decorations and sparkling grape juice to supplement their meal.  At right, what Scout camping trip would be complete without a roaring camp fire?

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At left, two potential Ship 25 recruits when they are otherwise ready. At right, taking down CJ's tarp on Sunday morning.  The Ship set a new record of 2 minutes 31 seconds.

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The Ship finishes its record-breaking disassembly of the tarp.  Soon Camp Rodney was disappearing in the Ark's side mirror.  We all look back on this weekend as a really fun event.

Ship 25 thanks Troop 25 for inviting us, and expresses the hope that we'll be invited back next year.

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This page is from the website of SSS YORKSHIRE - Sea Scout Ship 25, York, PA, USA -