The outings are one of my favorite things about Cub Scouts. We get to go on field trips I wouldn’t have thought to look for. We discover parts of the state we haven’t explored. Can you believe we’ve become so good at finding the field trips close to home that we sometimes forget to look beyond Northeast Wisconsin?
Last May, we headed out of the area on a scout camping trip at Fort McCoy in Southwestern Wisconsin. The first day of the outing was at Fort McCoy’s Armed Forces Day Open House. They offer this free open house annually on the third Saturday in May. Why go? What does the Open House have to offer? Read on.
Tour the Training Grounds
We started our day at Fort McCoy with a tour of the 60, 000 acre Fort. By far, the most interesting part of the tour was the training grounds where they train for combat overseas. You can see that it’s currently set up for training to fight in the Middle East. We also found it interesting that civilians are permitted to hunt and fish on the huge chunk of land.
Vehicles & Equipment
There’s nothing quite like standing next to a truck loaded with weapons and ammunition to make you think about your priorities.
World War II Buildings & Fort Museum
If history is your thing, between the museum, the historical buildings, and the main exhibit hall, there’s a lot to see and many veterans to talk to.
Our son especially liked “training” on the obstacle course. The guys running the course found him…amusing.
Historical “Museum” of Military Vehicles
The Equipment Park has 70 vehicles on display including Howitzers, trucks, helicopters, and of course, tanks. What
mom boy could resist?
Water bottles, lanyards, pencils, etc. Paolo crammed as much as he could in his bag. You might have noticed P wearing the Official Olympics windbreaker he snagged.
All Commemorative Area buildings are open, guided installation bus tours are offered, and special activities are scheduled. For specific Open House information please visit http://www.mccoy.army.mil/PAO/Public.asp.
We thoroughly enjoyed the Open House. Our favorite part of the trip though? Camping at the Fort McCoy campground. Specifically, waking up to the sound of reveille. Even though it was earlier than I liked, it was neat to be woken up by the sounds of trumpet. And then to hear Taps at night. I wasn’t as thrilled with the sounds of combat- Guns? Canons? Who knows? But it was a new experience for us. It certainly wasn’t the usual tweeting of birds that usually go with camping.
P asked me tonight if we could go again this year. You know? We just might.