Posts Tagged ‘Squad 7’

2014 Walk to Cure Arthritis


Today was another successful troop for the “Walk to a Cure Arthritis” event. Even though the weather hung over us threatening  to rain down on our fun and activities, luckily it stayed at bay until the event ended. Thank goodness.

Troopers suited up and took to the stage around 9:00 am. The event included introductions, Zumba (which I took part in) the Walk of course and a gaggle of Kids trying to take down us troopers.

So one more troop down and many more to come. Here are some pictures of the event today.


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Photo by: Victoria Nelson / Handler


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Wow, thats all one can say about this troop. what a day we had as a Squad. The weather cleared up and turned out to be an awesome day for the Parade and the Festival.

Our day started in the parking lot at around 7:00am. Troopers gathered up and we visited with each other telling our stories from past events. Bonding time as we all get ready for the parade. its always nice to mingle about and chat it up before an event.

The parade started around 10:00 am and we had a blast giving high fives and posing for some photos for the crowds that lined the streets. Its always nice to here the crowd wind up into a loud cheer as we round a corner. it just brings joy to my hart each time I here it. Means we are doing a good job and that the goal.

After the parade some troopers departed, some dressed down as did it so I could help handle for the troopers that toughed it out and stayed in armor for the better part of the day. We walked around and posed for photos and chatted it up, had some food and drinks.  The people were great and loved seeing the troopers in armor and kilts. this throws some people though and they just have to ask “Why Star Wars and Kilts, Whats the connection?” we really do have a good story other then we were invited and we love to come. maybe we should work on a good back story to tell lol. We trooped from 10:00 to 5:00 when the last trooper was ready to take a rest. He did however head back to the festival for more fun and entertainment.

The Festival is packed with great Celtic music, it fills the are and helps set the mood. you can’t help but feel like you have gone back in time a bit as you hear the music and see everybody in period clothing. Each band takes the stage and plays with all there hart for the fan. But none play with as much hart and soul then Albannach. This band starts with a punch and does not stop until their set is done. you can not stay seated as the drums and bag pipes get the blood moving. They are quit good if i say so myself. you can check them out here on facebook.

What makes a great show even better. The band inviting Storm Troopers to the stage for their last song. There is nothing better then being on stage dancing and having a great time with such a high energy band. Albannach you guys rock!!!

Here are some photos of the days events.

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501st Squad7 members meet up once again to a show of force at the Art Walk in Downtown Jacksonville. The rain had stopped and the cool weather made for a nice night trooping with all the great people out to enjoy the evening. We walked about and did what we do so well and had a great time. Here are the photo of the evening. Hope to see you at the next Art Walk next month.

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Odyssey of the Mind

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This was another fun troop and for Squad7 a nice turn out of troopers. The Bishop Snyder High School put on this annual competition for it students and this year they invited the 501st to join the fun. The day is filled with problem solving activities for the students set in a caravel like atmosphere. There were hundreds of kids moving about the school grounds, taking part in all the activities.

Squad7 Troopers invaded the activities and were met with an awesome response from students and parents. Students started lining up and taking pictures, reaching out and touching the armor to see if it was real. Trading cards were a big hit as students collected them from each trooper and asked for autographs. The excitement was clear to us and everybody around us knew that this was to be an even better event then they could have imagined.

Students were spread all around the school grounds taking part in all the activities. Dressed in their team colors ready to competed, students could not help be smile as they walked past a Jawa  or a Tuskin Raider, Watching closely as the Storm troopers and Biker Scouts stood post. Star Wars has landed right in there schools court yard and they were not sure what to make of it. But they soon relaxed once they understood they were not being invaded and were being celebrated.

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For two hours the students enjoyed the company of the 501st Squad7 members. The School donated $200.00 to a charity in the name of the 501st and we greatly appreciated their generosity. We were assured by the staff at the school that we would be asked to come back for this great and educational event.

Thanks for all the Troopers who were able to make it out.

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It’s 9:30am on December 31, 2013 and Squad 7 members are gathering in the parking lot to get prepared for the 1 mile troop in the Gator Bowl Parade at downtown Jacksonville, Fl.

The sky was overcast and there was a cool breeze coming off the St Johns river that put a chill in the air. As the first few members showed up, we setup tables and started laying out the food and drinks for everybody as the got here. This was a great idea to kind of tail gate before the troop. it was a hit and everybody pitched in with everything needed to make for a successful tailgate party.

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There was excitement in the air as more and more members showed up. We had plenty of time to visit and get to know each other better, tell stories of past troops or talk about future troops and why we all love to part of the 501st and Squad 7. The food was great and the company was better, now we start getting ready for the troop.

We had a new addition to Squad 7, It was a M35 Deuce, It drove up to our little party and boy was it bad to the bone. its big, mean sounding and sporting the Imperial Cog on both sides. It was some kind of cool.

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Standing on the street waiting for the line to move, the troopers were ready to head down the one mile journey to wave and bring smiles to the crowed as we passed them by.  It was great to see all the families out there even with the cool weather and being in the middle of the week. We trooped on and did what we do and did it so good.

As we came to the parade end we all loaded up int the Deuce and trust me as a Stormtrooper that was a trick as the Deuce stands so high of the ground that we needed ladders to climb up. Troopers don’t climb latters so well but we managed and took the mile ride back to the staging area where we dismounted and attacked the food tables again.

Rounding out the day squad members wiped out the rest of the food and chatted it up and then we called it a day and for some headed to our evening places to celebrate the incoming new year.

Here are some photos of the event.

Photographers: Walter Woodruff and Kaelin Clevinger

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image5Keystone Heights, destination next. After doing the Pecan park Troop. I loaded up and headed to Keystone Heights for the Parade. This would be the first time I have been to Keystone for anything so this was truly a new troop for me. I brought with me my step daughter and her friend. they would handle and take pictures for us.

We got there pretty early so we walked about and visited with other troopers that lived out that way.  As the sun started to fall from the sky we headed back and started dressing out. once all the troopers were geared up and ready to go we headed out to our position in line. we stood around and took some photos and chit chatted about past troops and other sorted tales of trooping.

The parade master walked by yelling “7 min to go” and everybody started getting in position and ready for the walk. the Sun was down and the night had fallen on the streets. The darkness was lit with the festive lights on the float in front of us and the houses we will soon be passing as we troop on.

Time to go, everybody lined up and we started our slow walk down the street. the crowed looked like shadow people as I tried to see them as we passed each block. The colorfully lit house help make the people stand out as they cheered and waved as we marched by. Its was funny as we marched I kept hearing people say “Look it’s the Star Wars” that just sounded strange and funny to me. The march was not a long one and I really enjoyed the limited sight I could see through my bucket. before I knew it we are done and I could relax.

Thanks to the kindness of the float in front of use they offered to give us a ride back to the starting point so we would not have to make that walk back. That being said as a stormtrooper is can be difficult to sit, Another troop and I kind of balanced on the edge and held on for life as we rolled on down the road. After a few moment of hanging on for dear life we were back to the staging area and we all piled into the lodge where we stored our gear and dressed back into street cloths.

To round the night out some of us troopers hit the local BBQ house and had a great meal as we chatted it up and had a good time. In all this was a great trooping day. I was able to knock out two troop and had a good time doing so.

Here are some of the images below.

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06-Troop Dec 7 2013 020What another wonderful day for a Troop and on this day I would do two troops. First up was the Pecan Park Flea Market Troop. The second will be in my next post, where you can read all about it.

The troopers gathered up and we started walking about the grounds. One of the benefits here is being able to stay out of direct sun light. Walking undercover of the main buildings make this troop more bearable. On this day the weather was son nice even been in the direct sun was not to bad, although you would not want to stay out in it to long.

This venue provides us with a lot of photo ops and bring smile to all the kids and parents out shopping for good deals. We also were able to show up to a young mans birthday by the paint ball field that Pecan Park has. “I didn’t know they had one now” but it was full of people shooting paint at each other.

We trooped around and continued to do what we do best “show off in our costumes lol” and then we were provide some food and drinks as a thank you for trooping the event.

We closed out the troop with a few more photos and hand shakes and then were for off to troop number two for the day. Here are some photos from this troop.

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image8The December Art Walk was a success. The crowed was great and the weather, well it was ok. maybe a little warm once all suited up but we managed just fine tonight.

The crowed turned out  and the mood was upbeat and exciting.

The Art Walk is held on the first Wednesday of every month. So come on out and enjoy the sights and sounds, take a picture with a Stormtrooper or two and just enjoy an evening at downtown Jacksonville.

here are some photos from the night. Enjoy and remember you to can enjoy some Art Walk fun.

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Photos by: Victoria Nelson – handler

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I know this is a bit late, but this and a few other post are going to be coming that are late to the game as well. sorry folks sometime real life gets in the way. but here you go.

star-wars-reads-dayStar Wars reads day at Book-A-Million.

This is a pretty big event for the 501st as we are spread out all around town at different locations to engage people at book stores around the city. Susie, Kyle and I were posted at the Atlantic boulevard Books-A-Million. This location had setup a table with Star Wars crafts and some treats for the kids to have.

I had a good time interacting with the kids and yes adults to as they walked around the store. we had a few kids come in costume which always makes this TK smile, even though you can’t see it lol.

Here are some images of the event and can’t wait until next year.

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FrontCard386One Anniversary as a 501st Squad 7 member.

After just over a year of working on my Stormtrooper armor I submitted my images for approval to the 501st legion. As with anything it took a few more submissions to get there but on November 16th, 2013 I got the Email. it Welcomed me to the legion and to Squad 7 my local Florida garrison. I was so excited for a project completed and a new phase in my personal life.

One Year later: So I have been a member for one year now, I have completed over 21 troops in that year and I could not be more happy with the decision I made to start this great adventure in my personal life. I have met some incredible people in this organization. I am always impressed when I see the people that give of their time to go and troop the events that we do. The passion for there work and their hobby, I was not sure how I would feel going into this about putting myself out there. people knowing that I was a Star Wars fan and even bought and put together a costume to wear out in public. I was unsure of the reaction, the labeling or the cost of respect from co-workers or you bosses and piers. But once I went out and trooped a few events and saw the impact it has on the children and their parents, my mind was put at ease and the response from my piers was acceptance and understanding. This made it a bit easier to proceed with this new adventure of mine.MOSH7

The Future: What does the future hold, well as for me it getting out there and Trooping more events as I can. I love the work that the 501st does and provides and I want to be part of that. So let see what year two brings me and the 501st.

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