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Gastonia Squadron Inaugural Bivouac

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(L to R) Major Parker, 2Lt Beutler, C/Amn R. Lightsey, C/A1C Bianucci, C/Amn A. Lightsey, Lt.Col. Boesen; front row C/CMSgt Beutler and C/SMSgt Lakey. Photo credit: Sue Beutler (click image to view full size)
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Weekend outing advances cadet skills

8/22/2015––The Gastonia Composite Squadron conducted an inaugural bivouac at its annex location, “Camp Semper Sursum” in Gastonia. The purpose of the 24 hour event was to teach SAR skills to cadets in a practical and relaxed setting. 

Five Cadets and four Senior Members gathered at the squadron annex on Friday afternoon, August 21st at 4:00 pm. Activities began with a hike to the campsite combined with lessons on identification of plants, both hazardous and edible. After sleeping shelters were erected (no tents allowed) the cadets collected natural materials for a camp fire and then were instructed on building a fire. Recent rains made for a real-life experience as each Cadet utilized the materials collected and only two matches to get their individuals fires started. Every Cadet was eventually successful in lighting a fire. After closing ceremony, a spaghetti dinner was served and the Cadets enjoyed some free time. Later in the night the Cadets were divided into teams for an after-dark scavenger hunt in the woods. All teams successfully completed the mission before turning in for the night. 

Saturday morning brought a breakfast of bacon, eggs and biscuits followed by a class on search and rescue basics presented by Major Frank Parker. Lt. Col. John Boesen then instructed the Cadets on the proper use of a compass, and they completed a compass course both forward and in reverse. After lunch C/SMSgt Lakey and 2Lt. Beutler gave instructions on first aid and rendering aid to a victim located during a search. C/A1C Bianucci bravely volunteered to play the victim! Then the time had come to break down camp, clean up and head home. The event was enjoyed by both the senior members and the Cadets and plans are underway for the next one.