02/05/2010 – 02/07/2010
Every winter in recent history, the scouts of Troop 28 eagerly anticipate the scout ski trip. This year we were able to return to Bretton Woods, NH ski area. In years past, the troop was loaned the use of a Boy Scout cabin on Broomstick Hill Road in Littleton NH. I hear that it’s a cool cabin — rustic, with a wood stove, no running water or plumbing, and accessible by an unpaved road. Take a look at our website to see photos of past ski trips to get a glimpse of the scout cabin. The troop hasn’t been back to the cabin since 2008 because our troop has grown so much in the past two years that the cabin is not large enough to accommodate everyone in the troop plus the adult chaperones. So last year, the troop tried the ‘scout overnight’ package at Waterville Valley. We skied two days and stayed on the floor with our sleeping bags along with two other scout troops in the Conference Center at Waterville Valley. We had a great time, but everyone wanted to get back to Bretton Woods.
So on Friday February 5th 21 scouts including Christian, Morgan, Alec, Julien, Adam, Reagan, Derek, Nick, Dylan, Robbie, Jack T, Sasha, Andrew, Jack O, Thomas, Luke, Evan, Levente, Sam, Julian, Brodie came home from school, and hopped into the cars of our generous adult chaperones to make our way to Bretton Woods.
The troop had made arrangements with Bretton Woods to say in their Rosebrook Recreation Center, which is a very short walk through the parking lot to the Base Lodge. The Rec Center had Ping-Pong and billiard tables, squash/volleyball and volleyball courts, a big kitchen and eating area, a widescreen TV, showers, and a pool which were all constantly in use by the scouts.
Mr. Ackley was our Adult Leader and Derek was the scout in charge of leading the activity. Derek got lots of help from Christian and Mr. Ackley and considering how large a group we were, everything seemed to run smoothly.
Most of us got to the Rec Center on Friday night between 7pm and 9pm. Scouts and adults who needed to rent equipment went over to the Base Lodge if they arrived before 9pm, to get their gear. It was tough settling in that first night. We were all tired but we were really excited about being there and going skiing. Some of the adults — Mom! — Wanted ‘lights out’ to happen sooner rather than later. It took a while to set up our mattress pads and bags and find a comfortable place to sleep on the floor. After a brief troop meeting, we watched the first half of the ‘Terminator – Salvation’ movie, played cards, and played ping pong. I don’t think we slept much that first night.
On Saturday we had all agreed to get up at 5:45 am so we would arrive at the Rental Shop by 7am because some of us still didn’t have their rental gear and we were told that a group of 100 British students were scheduled to arrive to get their rental stuff. A number of scouts set their cellphone alarms and we woke to a chorus of beeps. Needless to say, we were the first ones at the rental shop and at the Food Court in the Base Lodge. Mr. Ackley handed out vouchers and we ordered our breakfast sandwiches, pancakes and other good stuff.
We had another brief troop meeting to remind everyone that we wanted everyone to come in for lunch at 11:30 so we would all eat together and get a head count. We made sure that everyone had a buddy that was of the same skiing level. Then we set off skiing on some of the easier trails to warm up our legs and refresh our skills of skiing. At 11:30 most of us were there and Mr. Ackley gave us the lunch vouchers. After lunch some of us played cards and a group went out with Mr. Benson to start their Snow Sports Merit Badge. Later, another group of scouts went out with Mr. Jackisch to do work on their badges. A video clip of Mr. J’s group will soon be up on the website – stay tuned!
We all tried to get together for a group photo at 3pm at the top of one of the lifts, but not everyone could find the spot. So we stayed out skiing till around 3:30 on some harder slopes and then we walked back to the Rec. Center. The plan for the night was to have a pizza dinner party at 5:30pm in our upper floor lodge space in the Recreation Center. So we played around doing various activities for about 2 hours before we ate. Brodie had secretly asked Mr. Ackley and Mrs. Benson if the troop could get a cake for his dad who was having a birthday. So Bretton Woods made a humongous chocolate cake for Mr. Jackisch. There was another Boy Scout troop from Newton, Mass. that was also skiing at BW. They came over to use the pool and billiard room on Saturday night. We shared our cake with their whole troop because the cake was that big! Afterwards we watched the end of Terminator Salvation, while some of the scouts played cards. After all of our activity during the day, we were all zonked and fell asleep pretty easily.
So on Sunday morning, we woke up at a more civilized hour and ‘broke camp’. We packed up our sleeping bags and gear and stacked everything in a corner of the kitchen. We figured it was easier than trying to pack up cars now then trying to unpack to put the skis in after we were done in the afternoon. We then headed over to the Lodge to buy breakfast and we decided to make another attempt to take a group picture just outside of the Base Lodge. After the photo, we got with buddies or groups and spread out throughout the mountain tackling hard or easy trails. At lunchtime, we talked with our adult drivers about when we were going to get off the slopes and leave for home. Most of us decided to leave between 3:00-3:30pm. We hit the slopes again for our last runs, and before we knew it we were in our cars driving home to Cohasset all too soon.
The ski trip is one of the best trips of the year and there were no scouts who didn’t love where we were staying or the mountain we were skiing on. This was only my second ski trip with the troop and I didn’t realize what a strong tradition card playing and cribbage was during scout trips. We have to remember to bring out cribbage boards and cards to Squanto or the Jamboree this summer! Everyone said they are looking forward to next year and hoping to have just as good or better of a time.
Adam N. Benson, Historian