10/14/2006 – 10/15/2006
While planning the Fall Calendar, it was brought to the troop’s attention that there was a considerable amount of clearing that needed to be done to the trails in Wheelwright Park. After a short discussion, it was decided that we could make a trip out of the work that needed to be done because two scouts needed service projects for the rank of Star, and most of the younger scouts needed a couple of service hours to reach Second or First Class. We planned to have two groups, the two patrols we have in the troop, work on different areas so that we could maximize efficiency. Patrol and Senior Patrol leaders would have cell phones and walkie-talkies for communication. Our Senior Patrol Leader, who is just finishing mapping the park for an Eagle Scout Project, went into the park and marked trails which needed clearing on his map, color coded based on priority, so that we would know exactly what we needed to work on.
We met on a Saturday morning at the park entrance, divided up tools among two wheel barrels, and the two patrols set off. We worked much faster than anticipated, and had made substantial progress by lunch. We stopped work before four, completing everything we wanted to do. The troop set up camp, and started dinner. We ate hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, and had smores for dessert. After an eventful, and perhaps a little hectic, evening things settled down around nine and taps was played by quarter to ten. The Senior Patrol and Patrol Leaders, nixing a night hike to look at the work of the day, went to bed not long thereafter.
In the morning, the Senior Patrol and Patrol Leaders got up shortly after seven and revelry was around seven twenty. To hasten our camp cleanup, all scouts were required to have their tents down before they were allowed to eat. Breakfast consisted of pancakes and bacon, with instant oatmeal available to those who wanted it. While Patrol and Senior Patrol Leaders cleaned up from breakfast, younger scouts were taught fire building skills and reviewed saw, axe, hatchet, and knife skills. When everyone was done, and camp consisted of bags, packs, and containers piled up next to the road into the site, the two patrols headed out on hikes around the park. These hikes were an attempt to complete several Second Class requirements for the large number of scouts who needed them. Unfortunately, time was not on our side, and we were unable to get five mile hike and animal and plant identification requirements finished. The two patrols ate lunch at spots in the park of their choosing, and then met at the main entrance for the conclusion of the trip. All gear had been moved to the parking lot there by the Senior Patrol while the hikes were in progress. Overall, this trip was very beneficial to the park itself and helped everyone touch up on their brush clearing skills; plus there are many scouts who are now quite close to becoming Second Class.