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.
Some of our very senior scouts like Alex, Bobby, Will, Erik, and Michael have now aged out of scouting. Alex, Bobby, and Michael will be heading off to college, while others finish high school. We wish them all the best as they start their new trails and navigating through college life and senior year. We welcome them back as often as they can visit and as often as their schedule allows. These scouts were your ASPL's, SPL's, JASM's and were active members of the PLC who have been a big part of our troop and contributed greatly to our troop culture. Congratulations to Alex for reaching new heights by obtaining the National Outdoor award, which is a very rare award to earn. They will be very much missed, especially by your Scoutmaster. Will is a rising high school senior and will be staying on this year as ASM. He attended summer camp as an adult (he aged out a week before camp) and helped the troop and will continue doing so as some of the positions transition to new leaders. He is still our quartermaster until elections in September. Thank You Will!
We also welcomed back John Rzepczynsi, who is a rising college sophomore who is now an ASM and environmental science merit badge counselor for our troop. John has been working with the scouts this summer and will be available through early September. Thank you John!
We have a number of scouts who are currently working on Eagle projects and they will need assistance. This is a great opportunity for younger scouts to learn how projects are done and to witness the work that each scout goes through to plan, prepare, execute, and report out their project. Logan, Luke, and Jacob have projects in various stages and please stay tuned as they will need scout and scouter (adults) assistance. These projects by design help the community and not scouting directly. It is a great way to give back and instill the notion of being a good citizen.
The High Adventure trek in Maine continues as several of the boys are canoeing and camping. Thank you, Mr. Clarke and Mr. Inman for putting this great opportunity together for the boys.
Elections will be starting in September. For SPL/ASPL, you need to be 14 or older, Star or higher rank and committed to attending all of the camping trips in September, October, November and every Troop and monthly PLC meeting. For PL's, you need 1st class rank or higher, 13 or older and committed to attending the camping trips and Troop and PLC meetings. If you are interested in any of these positions and you meet the criteria, please send an email to JJ (our current SPL) and me. If your interested in other positions, the same holds true. Be prepared to attend meetings, PLC meetings and go camping.
Special thanks to Mr. Cancio and Mr. Rzepczynki for running the summer programs. This helped the troop a lot and its much appreciated.
Enjoy the rest of the summer and be prepared to answer the call to help others. After all, we “help other people at all times”.
We have a senior crew that left for Maine High Adventure (MHA) yesterday. The MHA team will spend a week canoeing through the remote regions of Maine and you can check out a video of past MHA outings. For everyone not attending MHA, we look forward to seeing you at Emerson Field on Tuesday at 7PM.
This blog is a weekly message from the Scoutmaster.