Camping in New York City, covering a sum of 50 miles under their own power, and visiting one of the greatests cities in the world is one way to describe the Troop's capstone adventure during the summer of 2015. Over Labort Day weekend the Wheelmen of Troop 25 traversed the lower West Side of Manahattan by bicycle starting at the Staten Island Ferry and traveling to the George Washington Bridge. They returned to the ferry by way of Central Park where they "took a turn around the park" and added several more miles to the trip. Traveling as a troop poses its own challenges but the organized scouts prevailed and were rewarded with fantastic sights, terrific weather, and lots of excitement. Their preparation paid off when they were able to cover a distance of thirty four miles.
Throughout the summer adults, such as Chris H. facilitated rides on local trails building up the troop's endurance and confidence. By the time they arrived each scout had ridden at least fifteen miles in one trip and most had ridden more than that.
Cycling is not all they did! On Sunday the scouts explored lower Manhattan and then trekked north on the Metro to visit The American Musuem of Natural History. The musuem highlight for many was the Hayden Panetarium while for others, the statue of President Theodore Roosevelt held sway. From there they begin a walk (known to most scouts as an urban hike) to Times Square. En route they had supper at a diner, passed numerous NYC landmarks, and even had a chance to visit the upscale home of mid-town resident. By the time they returned to the ferry, their "walk" added another eighteen miles to their endurance trophy bag.
Another unique aspect of their visit may surprise some people. The site of their accomodations permitted the scouts to sleep in the woods of Staten Island. Camp Pouch, an official Boy Scout camp, is a natural enclave with dense woods, a scenic lake, and various facilities that most scouts would recoginze as trademarks of a summer camp. The hospitality of the staff was genuine and much appreciated. It was also the first time most of the scouts had slept in an Adirondack hut. These three sided lean-tos are ideal for light travel needs. No tents to carry, setup, or break down! Though the weather was mild, these huts were engineered to be heated by fire pits equipped with reflectors. Overall, the site was perfect for their needs and very affordable.
In the end the scouts had the kind of adventure they'll remember for years to come (as will the adults who accompanied them). Each participant made a real dent in the requirments to earn the Bicyling Merit Badge as well as the National Outdoor award for "Riding". We can't wait to see what's next!
Several scouts attended Hidden Valley camp for a second week. They did this as "provo" or as members of a provisional troop. If you think your son would enjoy and benefit from an additional week of camp next summer keep this opportunity in mind. The cost is only slightly more than a week with the troop and they have the full spread of activies from which to choose.
Summer camp at Hidden Valley took place in July. The troop was well represented by experienced scouts and first year youth.
Now is the time to start looking ahead to next year. Most scouts can pay their own way if they start saving now. It's good discipline and should be encouraged.
June ~ All about Biking, Hiking, and Canoe Building
The main goals of June were to prepare for our bicycling adventure in New York City, explore nearby trails, and complete construction and launch our canoes.
Bicyling commenced with our first ride completed on June 16th. We covered seven miles of the Windham Rail Trail after starting at Windham Junction. At the end of the ride Mr. Hubert introduced some mountain biking techniques and scouts had a chance to test their new skills on some nearby mounds.
We are behind on our canoe construction project but we are scouts and we know how to deal with it. What you can do is visit these pages for details on our approach to getting the work done. With a little bit of good luck, we will launch our canoes by the time school starts in the fall.
The main event of May was Spring Encampment and Chuckwagon Derby. The Troop camped at Camp Carpenter (Lions Den site) on Friday and Saturday. We hosted a "Cooking" station for Cub Scouts.