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PAT BATTLE Co-Anchor of NBC’s “Weekend Today in New York” program Pat Battle was kind enough to present a minute-long segment featuring an intrepid group of scouts from Troop 113   who ‘battled’ the elements at the Valley Forge National Historical Park in Pennsylvania the weekend of February 13th, 2015. Troop 113 attended the 103rd Pilgrimage & Encampment - the longest continuously-running Scouting event in the world - to follow in the historic footsteps of General George Washington and his men. COLIN’S CHRONICLES 2015 Weblos Woods Troop 113 had a good a experience at Webelos Woods this year. We drove out to Cathedral Pines County Park on Friday, October 23rd and set up camp. On Saturday after the opening ceremony, we spent the rest of the day doing our cooking demonstration. We assisted the Webelos in cooking kabobs. The Webelos picked what they wanted on the kabobs from a selection of meats and vegetables and put them on the coal stove to cook.  Many packs participated - one of which was a local pack 877. This year was different - we did the closing ceremony Saturday night because it was supposed to rain Sunday. We packed up quickly on Sunday morning and headed home.  All in all, our Webelos Woods adventure was a success and we're hoping to see some new scouts come spring.	  2015 West Hills Camping & Fall Court of Honor Troop 113's West Hills backpacking trip from 9-25-15 to 9-27-15 was a success! We drove into West Hills County Park on Friday and set up camp. Saturday morning we learned how to tie a bear bag without harming the tree, use a water filter, and about the different kinds of stoves and how/when to use them. We then packed up and hiked into the field where we unpacked our packs and learned from the older scouts and scoutmasters which items were necessary and which were not. Next, we had lunch, put on our packs again and started a 5-6 mile hike. On the hike the scoutmasters set up stations along the way. One station was how to use a map and compass.  We got back around 6:00 to 6:30, set up the tents, and started to cook dinner. We built a campfire and watched skits that night. On Sunday morning we packed up and ended the trip with the Court of Honor. Our troop earned 106 merit badges and awards as well as 8 rank advancements! All-in-all the West Hills trip was a big success, and we had a lot of fun, too!  2016 Youth Leadership Training Youth Leadership Training 2016 was great. We started off by meeting in the shelter at West Hills Friday evening, January 8th.   We watched the movie Apollo 13 and ate pizza, both of which were really good! On Saturday, each of the scout masters gave presentations about different leadership topics to the troop.   Some of them included videos too which I liked. As a team building activity we put together the sleds that were used at polar bear. We cooked lunch on the stoves outside of the shelter. In the afternoon the scout masters finished their presentations. In the evening we made dinner and did skits. On Sunday we packed up, did a police line and went home. I think the weekend was good because it was fun and I learned new material and heard new ideas that can help me in future leadership positions.  2016 Polar Bear Polar Bear this year was lots of fun. We drove to Baiting Hollow Scout Camp Friday January 29 and hiked in to our campsite. It was a very short hike but it was cold. When we got to the campsite we immediately set up our tents. The next morning, we made breakfast, and drank Mr. J's amazing Hot chocolate. This was some of the best hot chocolate I have ever had!  We then went to the opening ceremony and started the activities. Some of the activities were fire building, bear bags, snow shoes, log cutting, and tomahawk throwing. My favorite activity was the tomahawk throwing because I had never done it before. I didn't get one to stick but I left a dent in the log. At fire building, I learned tha you could start a fire with a gum wrapper and a AA battery. We went back to the campsite at noon to make lunch and get the sled. We built the sled at YLT. It was made of wood and had wheels because there was no snow. Everybody put their stuff in it and it was also used for the great race. The scouts pulled it with rope from the front. We then went and did more of the activities. The last activity was the great race which was fun. All of the scouts pulled a sled with a scout inside it down a road as fast as they could. Saturday night, was the award ceremony. We won a bunch of awards including 2nd at the log cutting and the great race. We also did a scouts own that night. This was my first time at polar bear and I think it was a lot of fun.  2016 Backpacking Troop 113's backpacking trip along the Appalachian trail on November 14 and 15 was great. We met at 5:00 am in the Harborfields High school parking lot and drove up to the parking area at New York Route 55 in Pawling , NY. We hiked a total of 7 miles, 4 miles on Saturday, 3 on Sunday, ending at the Appalachian trail train station. We then hiked an additional 1.5 miles onto the big W for lunch. The trail was rocky and required concentration to hike. There were a lot of slippery rocks covered by leaves on the trail, planks, bridges, and boardwalks along the way. On the trail we saw 2 spectacular views, one being Nuclear lake the other was from the top of the mountain looking down at the fields below. We stayed at the telephone pioneers shelter and the camp site was very hilly. This made it very hard to find level ground to set up a tent. Since a scout is kind,  the troop left the lean-to open for other hikers. Three other hikers came Saturday afternoon and forgot the bag with the tent, so they were happy to have the lean-to. We arrived at the campsite around lunch time so we set up our tents and made lunch. During the remainder of the day we had fun playing in one of the rock formations and set up camp. We applied skills we learned on our the West Hills trip in October and filtered water from the creek near the campsite for drinking/cooking water and we cooked on backpacking white gas stoves. It was cold Saturday night so we made a fire and did skits. The hikers who stayed in the lean-to brought a collapsible saw which helped gather larger pieces of wood so the fire was nice and warm. Sunday was warmer and sunnier which made great hiking conditions.  A little bit into our hike on Sunday we saw the Dover Oak. The Dover Oak is the largest tree on the Appalachian trail. It is 300 + years old! All in all, this trip was great and we had a lot of fun.

THE ‘K’ KORNER

2014 High Adventure Trip on the Allagash River & Mt. Katadhin Hike

Well, I don’t think any of us was disappointed by our latest high adventure trip. Four days of canoeing and a hike up a mountain. The Allagash River trip was the farthest from civilization (and the closest to Canada) that we’ll probably ever be. It started out with a lot of driving. We met at Taylor Avenue and drove all the way to Maine. We stayed at Camp Nutter and cooked dinner. We formally organized our crews into the Manatees and the Blob Fish. If you don’t know what a blob fish is, find a picture of one on the internet. You will not be disappointed. Mr. Mello found a bow and arrow made out of wood and string. We had a lot of fun with that. The next day, we drove even more. We were practically in Canada when we stopped at our campsite for the night. We got up nice and early and got into vans to drive to the beginning of the river. It took three hours, and most of us slept in the vans. Then we arrived at the Churchill dam to begin our trip down the river. The very beginning of the trip had the most dangerous rapids. It was especially difficult for those of us who had yet to get used to our canoes. We had to paddle across a huge lake without any current. The first day was the most exhausting, but we did get to see a moose walking around in the water. Both crews stayed at Jalbert camp site that night. We pumped water and ate dehydrated food for dinner. Then we caught, cooked, and ate trout. I didn’t think it would taste good, especially when we decided to boil them, but it was fantastic.  After the sun went down, we got to see a moose cross right in front of our campsite in the dark! Each day on the river was about the same. We would get up at 6, pack, and begin canoeing at 7. We would eat breakfast in the canoes and then keep going down the river, occasionally taking breaks. We would stop for lunch, which was pretty much crackers and peanut butter. Sometimes the current was strong, and other times we had to paddle to move at all. At the end of the day, we would paddle up to our campsite and set up for the night. The second day was the longest distance on the river: 24 miles. We portaged our canoes a short distance around a small waterfall. That night was the only night the crews stayed at separate campsites. The Blob Fish caught and ate another trout, this time grilling it over the fire. Max ate a grasshopper in exchange for a milkshake later, which he never got. By then, we had gotten the hang of everything we had to do. The third day, we had to portage our canoes almost a mile around Allagash Falls. It was hard work, especially when you’re wearing water shoes. Then we got to actually see the falls up close - and I do mean up close! We got to swim in a less intense part of it. The water rushing over your head is one of the greatest feelings ever.  The last day, we canoed through the St. John’s River and back to the campsite we stayed in at the beginning. We shared the campsite with a girl’s camp, so naturally, I got to watch everyone in the troop make fools of themselves. We drove into Fort Kent and ate at The Swamp Buck. The steak was a nice change from dehydrated pasta, and the fried ice cream for dessert was amazing.  The next day was more driving, to get to Baxter State Park. The day after that we got to climb Mount Katahdin! We got to the base of the trail at 6:30am, and began out ascent. The first few miles were like any other hike, except that it was all uphill. Eventually, we left the dirt trail and did some rock scrambling. The views were incredible. Even the pictures don’t do them justice. After the rocks, we were pretty surprised to find that the last half mile was almost completely flat. We rested at the summit for an hour and a half, and then headed down. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Troop 113 camping trip without a little rain, and it picked the worst time to strike. We had to climb down the rocks while rain, thunder and lightning were being thrown at us. It was one of the most dangerous things I’ve ever done. We cooked dinner in the Blob Fish’s campsite. We were all so tired that none of us wanted to make anything. The Blob Fish scouts all cooked their own meals and went straight to bed as soon as they were allowed. Eventually the Manatees showed up and had their food. We drove home, dirty, sore, and happy. We all stopped at McDonald’s for breakfast and began the all-day drive home. It was definitely deserving of the title “High Adventure Trip” - and in the case of Mt. Katahdin, the emphasis is most definitely on ‘high’!!! 

Camp Yawgoog 2014

I think we can all agree that Yawgoog 2014 will be one to remember for a long time. Very little went wrong, we earned honor troop, and so many awesome things happened to make it one of the best Yawgoogs ever. Props to Ian for keeping everyone in line. We packed up the trailer on Sunday morning and drove all the way to Mystic (No ferry this year). As usual, we stopped for ice cream and the army-navy store. Then we drove to Wendy's/McDonald's for dinner, where I managed to trip and spill my smoothie all over myself. I think that next year everyone will be looking forward to the incredible soda machine at Wendy's. It has a touch screen and everything! After that, we arrived at camp and made the long trek from the parking lot to our campsite, Silver Buffalo. The campsite where you have to walk a mile to get anywhere. This year, we had less scouts, so there was more than enough room for everyone, and there were some extra tents.  Monday morning was, as usual, the time where we had to do plenty of work. After breakfast, we went to take the swim test, and take troop photos. Then, that afternoon, "Camp Yawgoog comes alive." Merit badge classes started, and we had a work-filled afternoon. Then, we got to the dress parade rehearsal. It started off so innocently, as we were marching off the field. "Every 14 steps, we should all just skip." Who knew that the whole troop would actually do it? We skipped off the field (While marching in straight lines, no less) and back to the campsite. This became known as "gazelle-ing." Even the staff started doing it. It was incredible! We did it whenever we got an opportunity for the rest of the week. Tuesday was the real start of the camp week.  ll merit badge classes were officially started. Someone took a map of camp and made a Camp Yawgoog Risk game that went on for most of the week. But something else even better happened that afternoon. During a free period, a few of us took a walk down to the Christmas tree farm. We passed a strange looking cabin and decided to check it out. In the woods behind it, we found a car made out of sticks, logs, and rope. We brought it back to the campsite, and asked out PC if we could have it. He said yes, and we spent hours and hours working on it and fixing it up. We tried to drive it around the dining hall, but the wheels cracked in half. We ended up using a whole lot of duct tape on it.  Every night we had a campfire ceremony full of skits and songs. When Chris did one-man rough riders, he brought the house down-literally. There were a few New York City muggings that didn't go according to plan. We also learned from our inside man in the kitchen that the meatballs they serve us are labeled "fully cooked, oven roasted, Italian-style dinner balls." Every night ended with a list of good deeds from everyone. Thursday night was the overnighter. The scouts that went were me, Sean, and all the new scouts. We canoed across the lake much more smoothly than in previous years, probably because the site was really close. We had a great night of swimming, fishing, and card playing. The water was really warm. When we got back, we discovered that the troop had worked until two in the morning re-lashing the car.  Friday night, we cooked for ourselves in the campsite. We made hobo stew by putting all the ingredients we wanted into a tin foil wrap and putting it on top of hot coals. It was by far the best tasting meal we had all week, and we didn't have to hear the beaver call once. That night, Order of the Arrow members left for their ice cream social, and a big crowd left for fingerprinting. Then we had baked apples for dessert. Saturday was the last day for merit badges, and the Staff's day off. We all collected our bluecards and had an easy afternoon. That night, we went to the big campfire, and somehow, we got there first. Sean got to carry the Sandy Beach flag, and it looked like all his dreams had come true. We all yelled until our voices gave out and watched "Willy Wonka and the Bake Shop Factory." Sunday, we packed up really fast and went to the dress parade. No gazelling was allowed this time. After standing around for an hour, we marched off the field and straight to the cars. On the way back, we took the ferry.  We tried to watch the world cup, but the satellite signal wasn't great and we were stuck with women's softball for a while (Not that anyone was complaining).  Well, that's another year at camp. This blog really didn't have that much information. You had to be there to understand  all of it. I hope everyone is ready for Allagash in a month. I'll see you all then, and everyone make sure your scout sign is at 90 degrees!

2014 Canoe & Skills Campout at Cedar Point

Last weekend's canoe trip was a huge success. We were able to combine a skills camp for Allagash with a fun, relaxing beach trip. The general opinion of everyone that went on it was that we should do trips like this more often. We got there and set up our tents late in the afternoon. Almost immediately we realized how many ticks were in the area. Throughout the trip, you were lucky if you found less than four of them crawling on you. That wasn't nearly enough to upset the trip, though. After eating breakfast, we all picked up the canoes and carried them (with difficulty) to the beach. There, we learned about how to canoe and got into the water. All the new scouts took swim tests so they could be allowed in a canoe. We all took turns taking the canoes out on the water. Most of us capsized more than once. After a quick lunch break, we were right back in the water. After dinner and a campfire ceremony, we headed straight to bed. The next morning, I was designated the quartermaster for the trip. We packed up and left quicker than usual.  Most of us were grateful for that. It's a long drive home, and we all wanted a shower. Make sure all of you guys are planning for Yawgoog!

2014 Youth Leadership Training

Well, YLT was last weekend.  It was interesting because, unlike most trips, it was only one night.  We got there Friday night, ate pizza, and learned leadership-related things. I won't tell you specifically what we learned - you have to come to YLT for that. There was no movie this time, but that was okay. There wasn't really enough time for one. The trip was more relaxed than most other trips. We didn't have to shop for food, and we got to sleep in a cabin. We should do this more often! (Just kidding, I'm not lazy like that) We divided into temporary patrols for the trip: Patrol Team 6, and the Air Jordan patrol. We even made flags out of pizza boxes. We woke up bright and early at six to do PT, led by new SPL Max. Then, we made eggs by patrol.  Our day was filled with lessons on leadership and games, like helium pole, Zulu toss, telephone, and more. Since part of my job is to make everyone that didn't go want to go next time, I'm going to tell you that we got cookies, and donuts! Lunch was grilled cheese, and dinner was a great steak-chicken stir fry that we all worked to make, and it came out great! After that, cleanup went by fast and we left before eight. It was a great trip, and I look forward to next year's. Everyone remember to prepare for Allagash and Yawgoog this year!

Thomas Meets Governor Cuomo!

One of Troop 113’s own, Thomas, met Governor Andrew Cuomo during the Governor’s Emergency Preparedness Conference in Albany. Thomas’ photo was taken with the Governor (see Gallery). Thomas received an Emergency Preparedness kit, recounted meeting the Governor, spoke about being prepared during an emergency, and he distributed copies of a list of items to have on hand to the Troop during a regularly scheduled meeting.

2014 Polar Bear Camporee (January 2014)

This past weekend was a very successful skills camp at West Hills.  Most of our new scouts came and got a jump-start towards Tenderfoot.  The whole weekend went great, and I think everyone had fun. Both nights, many of us were kept awake by some owls, but we mostly slept well.  When we woke up in the morning, after breakfast, we had the flag raising, poisonous plants, and fitness stations.  Then, in the afternoon, we had first aid, knots, and the EDGE method.  When we finished with stations, we played Troop 32 in football – and won!  It’s also worth mentioning that Hayden may have a future cheerleading career.  For dinner, the Senior Patrol created the food of the Gods-aka Bacon Weave.  I will never be satisfied with plain old human food again.  At night, we had a scout’s own and a campfire ceremony.  There were all of the classics, and surprisingly, some new ones.  Afterwards, all the older scouts gathered all the junk food everyone had brought and had a scouts-only crackerbarrel.   We cleaned up Sunday morning much faster than usual.  Now we need to think ahead to later events.  In April, we will have a combination of a skills camp, survivorman, and a Philmont shakedown.  Also, in a month, we will have SPL elections.  Who will replace me?  Come to the Spring Court of Honor to find out!

2014 Polar Bear Camporee (January 2014)

Last weekend was the trip we’ve been hard at work planning for months – Polar Bear.  The reason it took so much planning was because our troop was hosting the event.  I’m not sure which was better about us hosting: the heated cabin, or that the food was cooked for us.  That also meant no scrubbing pots in the cold.  Hosting definitely had its advantages, but it was a lot of work. We spent most of the first night planning for the next day and putting stickers on the coins we used for scorekeeping.  The extra ones made great poker chips later on.  Once we were done organizing everything, we were ready to run the stations.  The next morning, after a flag ceremony, everyone went to their stations and prepared for the patrols to arrive.  The system of six stations with substations worked well.  There weren’t any problems with having too many patrols at one station.  Members of our troop were hard at work recordkeeping and giving out the right amount of coins.  When we stopped for lunch, Anthony judged all the Dutch oven cooking entries while we ate.  The afternoon was just as smooth as the morning. That night we counted up the coins and had a campfire ceremony before we went to bed.  The next morning, we had the sled race.  We made sure that there were no metal poles in the way this time.  After that, we announced the winners.  Congratulations to Troop 406 for winning both first place in the events and the spirit award!  Now the question is will they host next year? The organization and planning beforehand really paid off.  It ran way more perfectly that we could have ever hoped.  Now that we put it behind us, we can focus on what’s coming up next.  Any day now we will be getting a whole wave of new scouts.  Everybody come to the meetings and get them to stick around!

Pre-Polar Bear Planning (December 2013)

Our Polar Bear planning weekend was a success. We all hope that the actual Polar Bear weekend will run smoothly. Considering no one has ever done a dry run before, this should be one of the most organized events in Polar Bear history. We arrived in camp as the rain came pouring down. Setting up our tents in the rain was not fun, but worse was actually sleeping in them.  We all woke up soaked. Five of us combined three different tents to make a hyper- tent, which provided us with plenty of room, but not enough protection from the rain. We split up into groups to take each of the six stations. I worked on the orienteering course, which turned out to be the most work. We made three different courses so we could move patrols through the station faster.  We got some scouts to run them, and some ended up really off. They left Schiff reservation and walked through a cemetery before turning back. Everything was prepared by the end of the day. We ate dinner, and made a campfire. That night wasn’t as wet as the day before and we slept better. The next day, we packed up efficiently and got out fast.  All we need is another troop to help out on the day of the event and we’ll be all set.

Bear Mountain / Appalacian Trail (November 2013)

Our backpacking trip on Veteran’s Day weekend went great. What made it interesting was that, since it was more than one night, we had to make sure our stuff was all organized the whole trip. After driving for an hour and a half we got to the parking lot. While we waited the scouts got to eat peanut butter M&M’s courtesy of Mr. Rooney. Then we got on the trail, splitting into three groups. The trail wasn’t especially hard, but the views were amazing. At one point we got a good look at the campsite we would be staying in from on top of a mountain half a mile away. This was cool, but then we realized how far away the shelter was. When we got to the shelter, we could understand why it had a reputation for being one of the most beautiful campsites we have stayed in. You could see across the whole park. There were also city lights that went on at night to make for an even better view. If you looked closely at the horizon, you could see skyscrapers. Since we didn’t find a water source the first day, we split up the water we had to make dinner. The next day’s plan was to make our breakfasts for lunch once we found water. The hike was a little harder the next day. We hiked for a while and found water to pump. After that, it became steeper and rockier, but worse than that, it rained. The whole hike was exhilarating. We ended up getting so far behind schedule that we had to stop and camp at the shelter that we planned to have lunch at. When we got there, though, we realized that the first group had made a wrong turn and ended up climbing Bear Mountain. Two of the adults that were with us hiked to the cars and drove to pick them up while the scouts put up our tents and relaxed in the shelter, which was surprisingly warm. Eventually, everyone came back without any harm done. The good news was that, with the cars moved, we had a significantly shorter hike to do in the morning. The next day, we got packed up and ready to go reasonably quickly. We would have been slower, but Ian’s dad said he would let him stay home if he got the whole troop on the trail by 8:15.  I’ve never seen the troop move so fast. After we hiked for a little, we had a scout’s own while we waited for the adults to get the cars. Then we left for home. We were all anxious to get home and shower. It was a great experience, and for some, a new experience.

Weblos Woods 2013 (October 2013)

Webelos Woods was another great success this year.  We really made some good impressions on all of the Cub Scouts, and more importantly, their parents.  The fact that our cooking demonstration was run by the scouts only while the adults sat back and watched really says something about our troop. Our demonstration was cooking baked apples and bananas in coals.  After making the Webelos wash their hands (using the three-pan method) they set out stuffing their apples or bananas with things like, sugar, cinnamon, raisins, chocolate chips, and marshmallows.  A few of our scouts probably ate more marshmallows than they would want to admit.  Then, it would get wrapped in foil.  They would get to name their apple whatever they wanted, so that we could keep track of them in the coals.  We got every name idea from Pac-man to Terminator.  So many kids named it "Bob" that we had to make them add a number to it.  By far the greatest things were the chef outfits Cole and Ryan were wearing, and with moustaches, too.  They could be seen all across the field and made us stand out more.  So many people visited us that we ran out of food. Twice. The cold wasn't bad, but the wind made things difficult.  It blew away everything that wasn't weighed down, and we spent a lot of time chasing after napkins, paper towels, and plates.  It even broke the obnoxiously big ten- man tent that most of our troop was staying in. I hope the people of Cathedral Pines don't get mad at us when they discover some pieces of foil in the tops of nearby trees. We got packed up and left without much incident.  We'll keep our fingers crossed that some Webelos will join this year, and that they stay with it.

Yawgoog 2013 (July 2013)

This year at Yawgoog was great as usual.  The biggest difference was that instead of staying at John Glenn, we were at Silver Buffalo.  Silver Buffalo has a reputation for being really far away from everything.  So, we were thinking about this as we were heading down to camp, worrying about all the walking we would have to do.  When we got there, we saw that all of the rumors…………….were all true. We began in Taylor Avenue, as usual.  While most of the parents stood under the shade of the trees, the scouts stood in the hot sun of the parking lot, because we’re just that awesome.  Mr. S came and brought water for everyone.  Even Gary drank some!  After circling up, we hopped in the cars and drove out.  All of us got on the ferry, which was one of our last opportunities for air conditioning. We made the usual stop to Mystic where we got ice cream and went to the army-navy store.  We got to watch the drawbridge go up, too.  We stopped at Mcdonalds/Wendy’s for dinner and went to camp from there.  Once we got there, though, we had to carry whatever didn’t fit in the trailer from the parking lot allllllllllll the way to Silver Buffalo. The first day was the usual orientations where we all were reminded of the rules and the new scouts learned the ropes (In the case of raising the flag each morning, I mean that literally).  We went over all the fun stuff like waiter duty, the one way system, the dress parade rehearsal, the swim test, and the waterfront orientation.  Each night we had a campfire ceremony with all sorts of skits.  All of the classics were present as well as some new ones including an inventive version of Buzz Buzz and one starring Ian and half a dozen fire buckets filled to the brim.  Each one was run by a different person, and they all did a great job.  Every night we went through all of the good deeds we witnessed.  Any other person would be surprised by the number of good deeds, but we’re Troop 113. It’s what we do.  3:30-5:00 was reserved for troop activities.  Some days we just went to free swim, but we also did things like knot classes.  How long can Troop 113 go without making a “knot” pun? Knot that long.  We went on a hike learning about edible plants, which very few people decided to show up for.  You guys all missed it! We ate leaves that tasted like chocolate cake!  Okay, maybe we didn’t, but it was still really fun.  Luckily, there was perfect attendance for the emergency preparedness drill the next day, so I didn’t have to perform unspeakably horrible torture on anyone.  During the middle of the week, Tim and Sean came down for half a day and gave our spirits a boost.  The dining hall was the loudest it ever was that day.  We hoped that they would give our Frisbee team a boost, but we lost anyway.  Too bad. By the last day we were all exhausted. We went to the swim carnival, where Colin and Ryan almost won the canoe race.   After marching in the dress parade, which was a lot nicer than in years past, we got in the cars and began the drive home, during which many of us got much-needed naps. It was a great week.   I discovered what it’s like herding around two dozen kids all the time.  I hope everyone had a good time, and I hope to see everyone again on September.

2013 BSA National Jamboree Report by Mr. Rooney

Wow, what a National Jamboree. The new Bechtel Summit Reserve is an awesome place. Eight intrepid Troop 113 High Adventurers traveled to West Virginia to visit the 2013 National Scout Jamboree for a day. The Jamboree had about 40 thousand Scouts attend. One of those scouts is our own Liam Diaz, part of the Suffolk County Council crew. The new Bechtel Summit Reserve High Adventure Base is still under construction, but the Summit Center and Activity Point were in full swing providing exciting activities for the Jambo participants and visitors. Activities included BMX, Climbing, Fly Fishing, Geocaching, Kayaking, Mountain Biking, Rappelling, Scuba, and Whitewater Rafting. We were able to view most of the facilities and walked, I mean wobbled, across the Consol Energy Bridge. A suspension bridge that crosses a gorge and connects 2 sections of the base, sways as Troops walk both ways across the span. We also attended the arena show at the AT&T Summit Stadium in the late afternoon. Besides Scout entertainers and the Jambo band, we learned a cheer from the King of Sweden and enjoyed a concert by Three Doors Down (hit song “Kryptonite”). And reciting the Scout Oath with 40 thousand others was very cool. The Bechtel Summit Reserve High Adventure Base opens next summer. This is a place that our Patrol Leaders Council should consider for a high adventure trip in the future. (Maybe as a back-up to Philmont in 2015.) Check out this link: https://summit.scouting.org/en/Pages/SummitActivities.aspx Please view the photographs on the Troop Photo site. The next National Scout Jamboree will be held at the Bechtel Summit Reserve High Adventure Base in 2017, and the World Scout Jamboree will be there in 2019. Put that on your calendars. Yours in Scouting, Jim Rooney Troop 113 High Adventure Coordinator

BLOG (May 2013)

Last weekend was the backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail.  For some scouts it was their first backpacking trip, and in general they did well.  All in all, it was a great trip and it was a lot of fun. I went on the easy hike so I could teach.  When we started out, the teaching group would hike ahead of the rest of the group.  When it was a scout’s turn to teach, he would stop and wait for the rest of the group to catch up.  Then he would teach the skill and catch up with the teaching group.  When I was teaching, for some reason everyone seemed to think I counted as one of the native animals (Like that joke hasn’t been used before). Speaking of animals, we saw a couple, including a toad, a chipmunk, and a centipede.  I almost stepped on a snake.  Most of the hiking was pretty easy, but the last half mile was really steep.  It was hard, but we finally arrived at one of the better campsites we’ve stayed in.  For one thing, it had a porch swing.  Some people would sit on the porch swing for half an hour without getting up so they wouldn’t lose their spot.  There was also a sort of balcony that gave a panoramic view of the forest.  There was a big pavilion with a ladder up to some rafters.  We ended up using this as our bear bag.  We had to take the ladder down so the bear couldn’t climb it.  Imagine what that would look like!  And the latrine….Let’s just say you go up to it, take a whiff, and decide you don’t have to go to the bathroom anymore. We waited for the challenge group to show up for an hour even though they were supposed to pass us.  When they got there and set up their tents, we sat around and talked for a while.  No one wanted to do any more physical activity.  Although we appreciate the enthusiasm Sean, no one wants to go running right after a long hike.  We were also trying to conserve our water, because the pump there was absolutely disgusting.  Even after it was purified, it still tasted like metal.  A while after making dinner, we all went to bed. We woke up to find that it was drizzling.  We ate and packed up fast and head out just as it was starting to get really wet.  We would have gotten out sooner, but we had to police line the campsite to death (thanks Sean).  We all hiked out wearing our ponchos and pack covers.  The adults hiked ahead to get the cars while the scouts split into three groups. What ended up happening was that the first two groups, including me, went the wrong way, while the third group went the right way because they had some adults with them to tell them where to go.  I was in the first group.  After stopping to wait for the second group to catch up, we waited for the third one, but no one came.  We tried calling the adults, and after the signal finally went through, we were told to wait by the highway, which we had crossed a little while back.  After harassing traffic for an hour, we were finally picked up.  Did I mention it was raining that whole time?  Based on what I heard from the group that finished the hike, we actually lucked out.  Apparently the hike got really hard past that point.  We all drove to Big W’s, which made any hardship we had suffered worth it. We drove back to Taylor Avenue, where it was still raining, and went home.  We were all ready to get out of the rain.  There won’t be any more trips after this until Yawgoog.  I hope to see everyone there.  

Thursday, May 5th 2013

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