04/24/2010 – 04/25/2010
On Saturday, April 24, 2010 seventeen scouts had committed to participate in ‘Advancement Weekend’ at the Boy Scout campsite within Wheelwright Park. The first order of business was to load up all of the camping gear including tents, stoves, and water containers and cooking utensils from The Locker at Deer Hill School. Mr. Hill’s trailer and Mr. Hillman’s van were loaded by the scouts and brought over to the North Main Street entrance of Wheelwright.
This particular Saturday was also a work day for the Trustees of the Lightkeepers Cottage where Troop 28 holds Eagle and Court of Awards ceremonies. Mr. Avery asked whether scouts were interested in earning services hours for advancement, so many of us delayed starting on the campout so that we could help spread mulch in the beautiful gardens around the Lightkeeper’s Cottage. With so many scouts assisting, the job was completed quickly and we went on our way to Wheelwright.
The scouts participating in Advancement weekend were: Robbie, Brodie, Evan, Adam B., Andrew, Jake G., Wyatt, Jack O’B, Nick, Dylan, Quentin, Patrick, Connor, Ryan, David, with Derek as the scout in charge and Tucker assisting.
The main objective of the campout in Wheelwright Park was to get the newly crossed over scouts involved in skill building and learning the basics of camping. We began with everyone meeting at the entrance to Wheelwright and hiking in with our backpacks to setup camp. The day continued on with scouts working in their patrol groups doing various activities from earning Toten chips to navigating throughout the woods using a compass.
A few interesting things happened during the campout. On a small hike led by Jack O`Brien to the rock formation known as ‘the Lemon Squeezer” which is a traditional first year Tiger Scout hike. Some boys figured out that they can’t fit through the small openings in the rocks anymore. Your Historian just happens to be one of the scouts who took the narrowest route, made it through but ripped his sweatshirt along the way!
Tucker assigned a five scouts with time on their hands a challenge of building a shelter capable of fitting all of them into it and sleeping in it. The structure was made of sticks, pine needles, and leaves to provide protection from the rain and wind. It worked but nobody slept in it and it was taken down shortly after.
A campout dinner is usually one of the most treasured times of the campout. This held true for on the advancement campout with spaghetti and red sauce for dinner, and egg burritos/ bagels for breakfast. For dinner Dylan, Nick, and Adam C. did a fantastic job of using the stove to boil water and make pasta, and warm the red sauce. Dinner was served in order of who was ready first, making an organized line to be served. All went well and the food was good.
For cleanup, we did the traditional three bucket system. A bucket of cold water, soap warm water, and bleach water. It went by fast one a man on each station and one drying the utensils of fellow scouts.
A game of manhunt was organized and playing during the night hours after dinner and cleanup. Manhunt is a game with one seeker and many hiders continuously running from the seeker and he chases them down. Once tagged you help the seeker find people and tag them. The last person standing is the winner. Lights out was around 11 pm
We woke up the next morning around 6am to go on the hike. We started out by leaving the campsite, and walking to the North Main Street parking lot near the baseball fields. Then we took a trail that ended up at an old cabin that girl scouts used many years ago. The cabin was full of old furniture – maybe they were antiques — and artifacts and is badly in need of a cleaning with all the dust and dirt in it. I think this will be one of our projects over the next few months. From the cabin, it was a short distance back to our campsite. We packed our gear, cleaned up to leave no trace, and headed back to the parking lot for our rides home. This was a very successful campout where many new scouts learned the joys of camping.
Adam Benson, Historian