Starting on Aug 4th, 9 senior scouts participated in a weeklong Maine High Adventure (MHA) trip that covered over 65 miles of paddling on rivers and lakes in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway in Northern Maine.
This was an incredible trip for everyone and what I truly enjoyed being the advisor on this trip and the trek was an excellent example of what “boy lead” means. The trip starts with a “brainstorming” session led by the crew leader – Ben Clarke, and assistant crew leader Xander Caulfield (both veterans of prior MHA trips). The boys worked with a chief guide (MHA ranger) to prioritize the activities and the type of trip the boys wanted to do and they ultimately selected a 65-mile canoe trip that included seeing 100-year-old trains left in the wilderness, paddling on lakes, and navigating class I-III whitewater rapids.
A couple of highlights from the trip include:
· Big Days – we had two big days of 14 miles and 22 miles. The 14 miles were on lakes and included several miles crossing a lake with strong head winds and foot high waves. The 22-mile day started at 3:30 am and by 8:30 amwe had done several miles on a lake, a half mile portage, and class 1 whitewater. We finally arrived at our campsite at 7:30 pm after experiencing Class III whitewater, 1-mile portage around a 30-foot waterfall/class V whitewater, and several miles sailing across a lake using the dining fly as the mainsail.
· Easy Days – we had a couple of lighter days of only 4 or 5 miles, but that is where we finished off the activities for canoeing merit badge, fishing, cooking birthday cakes over a fire, and building storage tables with lashings/wood.
· Wildlife: We saw a moose, bald eagles, fed gray jays, listened to loons calling across the lake at 2 am and watched Ospreys diving for their breakfast. We saw more wildlife than people, so we were truly off the grid.
· Scout skills: The scouts had excellent field craft skills and in the words of our guide, Ricky, “they made it easy for him”. We ate well, always had a fire when needed and could set up and break camp in record time.
· Teamwork and great attitudes: The best part of the trip for me was to see how the group worked together on the crew duties, changed up canoeing partners, and tried new things. Everyone had a great attitude and respected each other through-out the trip.
As advisors on the trip, both John Inman and I had the opportunity to relax and enjoy being a part of this adventure. Three sets of pictures (1, 2, 3) can be found at the new Troop web site. Thank you to the crew leaders Ben Clarke and Xander Caulfield as well to each of the scouts on the trip.
This blog is a weekly message from the Scoutmaster.