A week ago we had a few scouts, parents and siblings at our rescheduled bike trip. We stayed at BSA Camp Greenough in Yarmouthport, MA at a new, for us, camp site. There were three newish adirondaks with bunks, flagpole, fire pit and picnic tables. Overall camp was clean and ready for scouts and we are lucky to have access to such a great place to camp, right in central Cape Cod.
This year the trip was led by ASPL and crew chief Lincoln. We biked directly from Camp Greeough to the Cape Cod Rail Trail (CCRT) link which then led to the full CCRT. This was new for us too. We proceeded east along the bike path. When we hit Nickerson we made the decision to push ahead for ice cream in Orleans which put us about 19.2. Our usual bike trips are 25 miles. This year, with a smaller group and a longer day, we tallied 38.5 miles. No scout was interested in doing 11.5 miles more for the 50 miler! It was a nice day, everyone stayed hydrated and we got back to camp and to plan around inclement weather conditions. We moved the tables inside for cooking and had some great meals. By 9:30 pm most everyone was ready to turn in after a long day.
Sunday, we broke camp, cleaned and left it cleaner than we found it (I’m pretty sure), and all departed for home. I’m looking forward to having a big family bike trip in 2022 at our usual Memorial Day weekend time.
We will need a quartermaster, so if anyone is interested talk to Henry first.
Tuesday we had a rainy meeting under the tents but made good use of the time to remind everyone about camp. The scouts shared experiences; lessons learned for packing and preparation; what is new this year; and what works best. One reminder is the camp troop Code of Conduct policy, which needs to be reviewed and signed by scouts and parents prior to camp. If you have any questions, let me know and I will be reviewing this with all scouts in preparation for camp.
See you next week.
Do your good turn daily.
Scoutmaster Message 06-11-21
We have an Eagle Court of Honor this weekend for three graduating high school seniors, JJ, Simon and Lucas. Please come to the Scout House Sunday (June 13) from 3:30-5:00 pm, to take part of our troop’s celebration of this accomplishment. These scouts have been a big part of our troop and what makes Troop 132 special. Looking forward to seeing you Sunday.
Our bike trip is planned for the weekend of June 18 to 20; and while we hope many of you will attend, we understand that some had other plans for this rescheduled date. Still, this is a family trip and we welcome all family members; we are hoping for good weather but are prepared for anything that comes up. At Tuesday meeting, we will be to do some updated planning and ensure the patrols are ready, especially with their new gear.
Planning for the year has started and we are making progress and will have a schedule out for the remainder of the year soon. This calendar will include meetings, Courts of Honor, service projects and our camping/outdoor events to the best of our ability to plan 12 months out. We will align on the dates and leave some flexibility in case the event itself changes so you can at least plan on that. Of course, we will be looking for adult “Honchos” for many of these events.
Keep in mind Honcho’ing is the activity by which adults plan the logistics, arrange the fees, and work with the SM (Scoutmaster-me) and Outdoor Activity Chair (Melissa Liazos) for camping/outdoor events. Sometimes we ask the Honcho to attend a Patrol Leader Council meeting (PLC) to describe the prospective event, and get feedback and decisions from the scouts. Ultimately, the scouts are the ones that initiate the ideas, and the adult leaders and Honchos help make it happen. Honcho’ing is a great opportunity to get engaged with the troop. In fact, you don’t actually have to attend the event, it’s planning and logistics to make it happen. What is really good from my perspective is that having many hands makes light the work. We have a great group of adult volunteers that make all these events possible, so I encourage scouts to ask your parents if they want to help. The best way is to contact Melissa Liazos to see where we might need help at email@example.com
Do your good turn daily.
I’m sure we were all disappointed canceling of the Annual Family Bike Trip, but it’s a good lesson on how to update your plans given new information and changing weather conditions. This happens all the time when outdoors on hikes, while paddling on rivers, lakes or sailing on the ocean. You have to factor in the weather and be watching for changing conditions and adjust your plans accordingly. Not adapting in real time can put you at risk; there are lots of good books to read about this. One book I read, borrowed from Mr. Spraque, is Critical Hours: Search and Rescue in the White Mountains. Plenty of case studies of where very experiences hikers did not factor in changing weather conditions. It’s a good read.
I always thought that the Weather Merit Badge should be an Eagle-required merit badge, since most - if not all - our activities are outdoors. Most council, district or national scouting events require we post a forecast for the troop along with our duty rooster which is good practice. Many of you have this merit badge. This fall we will see if there is an interest in offering it again. Of course, we prepare for most weather conditions but should remain aware and adjust plans as conditions warrant.
Cancelling the trip was a good decision. The Troop Committee discussed this and in the future if there are any questions then a small group between the honcho, assistant scoutmasters, troop risk manager, scoutmaster and troop committee chair will make the decision. Hopefully that will be rare.
In the words of Ben Franklin: “Some are weather-wise, some are otherwise." Let’s have a troop of scouts that is weather-wise and makes good decisions.
Do your good turn daily.
PS: We have postponed the Annual Family Bike Trip to June 19-20, weather permitting, of course!
This blog is a weekly message from the Scoutmaster.