What can you expect at Night Ops?

If this is your first time learning about Night Ops, welcome!

Night Ops started in 2000 as an event that Steve N. organized for his son’s troop. Over the years, it has grown to include Trail Life USA and American Heritage Girl troops from around the South East Region.

New troops and patrols should check out all of the information on this website in order to prepare for this year’s event. We don’t hide any information about what challenges we have done in prior years.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us and ask! 

Before The Event Begins

On arrival, your Troop will check in at the Check-In Tent where you will show your health & medical forms, turn in paperwork, and verify who you have with you. You will receive your camping assignment and be given instructions.

After setting up camp, you will head to the Command Tent / Volunteer Tent. 

At the Volunteer Tent, ADULTS will sign up for and receive instructions for the Stations they will be at during the night.

At the Command Tent, YOUTH will receive their Patrol Info Packet which includes a set of maps (topographical, road map showing the trails, and a satellite map view), a set of coordinates, and instructions. They will also provide us with a Patrol name and the contact information for a youth with a cell phone (or receive a radio).

Before the event begins, your patrol must use those coordinates to identify the locations of the stations. You will bring your map to the Command Tent to be verified before you are cleared to start the event (which happens after the Mission Briefing).

When all of the troops have arrived, we will brief the adults and send them out to their stations. Each station will have a minimum of 2 adults and will be given score sheets. Adults should bring camping chairs, snacks, etc. for during the night. 

After the adults have been sent out, we gather the patrols together for the Mission Briefing. We will go over the rules for the event and give each patrol a station that they must go to first. After that first station, each patrol can choose where to go to next.

During The Event

After you have completed all of the stations /or/ it’s 3:00am, return to the Command Tent to check-in and complete the event.

Some stations may be difficult to find due to the nature of the station. Others will be easy. (Enemy camp will be fairly hidden, off-trail; fire building should be easier to see if patrols are there.) Each station will be marked with a glow stick that you should be able to see from the trail.

It is required that you stick to the paths and trails shown on the maps. The woods have poison ivy and other natural hazards. You also shouldn’t cut through campsites. Be respectful of those who are sleeping.

This is a timed event. The first patrol to return to the Command Tend after completing all of the required stations will win the Fastest Patrol ribbon. Time is also an element of every station.

You will do a lot of walking and be staying up late – last patrol was in around 3:00 AM last year.

Did I mention stealth? You are supposed to be quiet and relatively stealth. This doesn’t mean you have to army crawl or only use one flashlight. But it does mean that if you are chatty or shine your light around, you might run into enemy patrols armed with super soakers. You are required to identify yourself if asked as are all adults. If you need help, ask.

After The Event

On Saturday at 11:00am/noon, we will all gather at the bonfire ring for a Debriefing. Adults from each station will share stories and observations from their experience during the night, and we will award 1st place for each station. Then we will announce the winner of the Fastest Patrol ribbon and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners for the event overall. Event scores for each patrol and station will be posted for all to see.

Troop are welcome to stay and camp on Saturday night. Everyone should leave by 12/noon on Sunday.

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