The cogs of the great machine began to turn
This is the valley where Heroes are grafted
Glory sought, our true character learned.
One of New Orleans prestigious private schools had brought into being a small contingent of the Corps of Discovery. Many of the finest students from this institution were called into service. Outfitting for the venture began weeks before the mission by many of the new recruits. A call to action was in motion. The Canoe and Trail General Staff was summoned to provide support. Mobilization.
The objective of the operation was simple: Build confidence, show the value of teamwork and leadership while providing challenges through the education of outdoor skills over three days. The chosen site of the engagement was Black Creek, in Desoto National Forest M.S.
Over 50 students comprised this expeditionary force. A few shy of the full 7th grade class. They met for first muster and shuttle to Black Creek. Byron, Chief of Staff (C.S.), Evelyn and Tom, members of the General staff (G.S.), had arrived at Moodys Landing on Black Creek. A depot was established complete with canoes the food and water. Logistics. The General Staff awaited contact with the shuttle.
A minor break in the communications link between the G.S. had resulted in minor confusion but arrival at Moodys Landing occurred on schedule. Lunch was served and the force was divided into four separate Corps. Red corps was to be led by Expedition Commander (E.C) Bill and took the namesake of the "Red Barrons". White Corps was to be led by Corps Commander (C.C.) Karren . Blue Coprs, led by. Jenn C.C. and Paul C.C.. Camo Corps, led by Jason C.C..
The four Corps were directed to haul their gear and canoes down to the river and began launching canoes
|Chief of Staff.|
All of the canoes had made it on the water. The Corps had launched individually and at regular intervals to maintain proper distance in order to navigate over the obstacles they would encounter on their advance.White Corps at to be at the front with Red Corps taking the rear guard.
The expedition comes upon an oxbow bend in the creek that affords a large, broad, beach. An order to bivouac is called in by the G.S.
After dinner a communication link is achieved between the party and General Headquarters in New Orleans. The information that is gained is less than satisfactory. A large, potentially powerful, storm front is heading in our direction. Impact is forecast for the following evening some time around 19:00.
Decisions in and any expeditionary attempt are rarely decided by an individual. The course of direction is often decided through debates, combinations and compromises of multiple strategies and the tactics necessary to carry them out. The General Staff, Expedition Leader and Corps Commanders met to discuss the options. The party would Paddle to Janice Landing in the morning, as early as possible. From there Command could decide to stay, paddle on the four more miles to Cypress Landing, order a withdrawal to a safe location to prepare proper defenses or call the shuttle for a full retreat.
The recruits had awakened early and to a clear morning. Breakfast was being prepared and Blue Corps was given mess duties.
Bivouac had been broken and the canoes reloaded. The process of launching began.
All boats were on the water pushing for Janice.
All four Corps make it to Janice.
After a moment of recovery through time and a meal; the four corps met to haul all the gear from the river. The expedition decided on withdrawal from the creeks front lines and was to head west, just over a mile, to high ground to meet the approaching front.
A proper encampment had been set up. Tents were pitched on high ground and a mess hall was prepared under the large pavilion. Dinner quickly led to rest among the recruits in anticipation of the coming front. The encampment became entrenched.
Full contact was made with the storm front. The sporadic bursts of resistance sustained earlier in the evening were fully overshadowed. Violent, forceful and dynamic. Many of the recruits were initially shaken by the onset of the event. Once confidence in the defenses had been built, the sense of fear was abated.
By mid morning the troops had maintained a high degree of morale in the wake of the previous nights engagement and victory without casualty. Joyful, in a state of solidarity, and slightly drenched the troops awaited departure.The encampment had been broken down and the shuttle to take the expeditionary corps back to G.H.Q. in New Orleans had arrived. The freshly trained troops left the General Staff to complete the clean up of the site and shortly after, the G.S., departed for G.H.Q. also.
No mission is complete without setbacks but we managed to accomplish all of our intended objectives. The new troops of the Corps of Discovery had been sufficiently challenged. The respectable qualities of leadership and teamwork were instilled and the duration of the trip was maintained. One, unintended lesson though was also conveyed to the new troops: The value of Safety and Respect for Mother Nature. It was displayed by all members of command, an intuition for perusing safe operations, and when contact was made, with the violent force that nature can be, a plan and quick response, in the name of safety, had followed through.