02/06/2009 – 02/08/2009
This year’s ski trip was quite a change. Our troop’s traditional annual ski trip was during school winter break. Gone was the quaint, rustic cabin and wood burning stove, bologna & cheese sandwiches at the base lodge made lovingly by Mr. Brown and Mr. Lehr. Our new venue had us staying in the Waterville Valley Resort Conference Center, taking part in Waterville’s special Boy Scout overnight program. Troop 28 along with 5 other troops from New Hampshire and Massachusetts “camped out” on the carpeted floor of the lower level of the conference center.
We had 17 scouts make the trek up north: Brodie, Evan, Kevin, Andrew, Jack O., Robbie, Hugh, Julien, Sasha, Hayes, Derek, Jack T., Adam, Greg, Alec and Christian. Our adult leaders were Mr. Thomae and Mr. Ackley, who along Mr. Jackisch, Mr. Mack, Mr. O’Brien, Mrs. Hillman and Mr. Benson helped make the trip a great success.
The weather was very unpredictable — it would be bright and sunny then 5 minutes later, it was snowing and the sun was nowhere to be found behind a thick cover of clouds. The good news was that it was not bitter cold and windy and even though it was the weekend, the slopes were not overcrowded.
Day one of the trip consisted of driving to Waterville. The scouts arrived between 7:30 – 9 pm because of heavy Friday traffic. It didn’t take long before a table was dragged into our sleeping quarters for the nightly poker game. Day 2-Saturday, we woke up early, put on our ski clothes, put our equipment on the shuttle bus and headed to the mountain. Mr. Thomae took the kids to get their rentals and Christian handled the food vouchers. After everyone had eaten their very pricey breakfasts, we began our wonderful day of skiing.
Waterville Valley has two main lifts — Quadzilla and White Peaks Express. We were given instructions to stay with a buddy and to meet at 11:30 for lunch at the Base Lodge. After lunch and a rest, we all went back out onto the slopes for another 3-4 hours, before taking the shuttle back to the conference center for a fun filled evening.
As part of our Scout weekend, we had a pizza party with the other scout troops and then we could go back to the mountain for snow tubing. After the pizza dinner, Robbie brought the scouts to the movie room and we played man hunt. After playing man hunt for about an hour, we all got into our cars and drove to the mountain for some snow tubing. This was the first time tubing for most of us. I think some of the adults had the most fun — Mr. Jackisch and Christian spent all of their time trying to shoot each other over the wall. We were certainly tired after skiing all day; now after 1 ½ hours of tubing, we were dead. We crawled back into our sleeping bags and slept until Christian kicked us awake in the morning.
One of the activities planned for the scouts was the snow sports merit badge. Our merit badge counselor Mr. Benson enthusiastically gathered his students: Hayes, Adam, Brodie, Sasha, and Kevin. Mr. Benson, with Mr. Mack helping, had the scouts show the basic ski moves and turns, stops hockey stop, pizza wedge and carving edges. Some instruction was provided. We learned that Brodie is best riding his snowboard “goofy”, which means left foot forward. After discussions about ski etiquette and safety, the scouts were released to wreak havoc on the mountain.
On Sunday we all got up at 7:00 am and packed up our stuff into the cars and drove to the mountain. Again, we ate breakfast at the base lodge and then headed up the lifts. After a couple of runs we stopped for lunch at 11:30. Once everyone had eaten we did just a few more runs then returned all the rental gear. Mr. Thomae grabbed a group picture of us just before we were going to get into our cars and drive home. By about 2:45pm everyone was in a car driving home. I think that this ski trip was successful because everyone stayed safe and had fun, but most importantly, we all were able to sleep at night!
Derek A. Benson, Historian