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Backpacking Camping Personal

Stepping down as Scoutmaster

On Thursday, December 9, 2022, Troop 660 presented me with this beautiful wooden plaque and compass as a farewell gift. As many of you know, I’ve been involved with Boy Scouts as a youth, and with my son, Quinton. I’ve been an adult leader for the last 12 1/2 years and I’ve been fortunate to work with the scouts from two Packs and one Troop. Now it is time to step down for new leadership.

The primary goal of Scouting is help youth development positive character traits, learn to become a good citizen, and to keep themselves physically strong, mentally awake, and morally strait. It was a pleasure to watch the scouts learn life skills such as leadership, cooking (some meals were challenging to make and eat), public speaking, and the importance of community service. I’ve watched the scouts learn skills and teach others those skills in our troop and to other scouts at multi-troop camping events.

I’ve enjoyed watching the Cub Scouts attend their cross-over ceremony to join a Boy Scout troop. I’ve had the pleasure attending and participating in several Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremonies over the years. With hard work and dedication, every scout has the opportunity to become an Eagle Scout. I see that in the scouts of Troop 660.

Let’s not forget about camping! Over the years we hiked parts of the Appalachian Trail, camped almost every month (sometimes in extreme weather), enjoyed week long summer camping trips, zip-line adventures at Lums Pond, hiked part of the Maroon Bells in Colorado, went white water rafting on the Arkansas River, and toured major national parks in Arizona and Nevada. We camped in snowy weather in Gettysburg and hiked through the snow cover fields and trails. We rode ATVs in the woods and learned rifle and shotgun safety. We have been on too many adventures over the years to mention in a post.

I am leaving the troop in the good hands of Bruce Williams, who will become the next Scoutmaster. Bruce has some great and exciting ideas for the troop. Bruce is a great role model for the scouts and I feel they will learn a lot from him. There are a lot of great ideas from the PLC (Patrol Leader Council) and what the scouts want to plan for the upcoming year. I think there will be some High Adventure camping, so I am looking forward to those posts. I wish Bruce, Sean, Frank, Jill, Katies, and the rest of Troop 660 Adult Leadership all the best in the years to come.

What’s next for me in scouting? I might continue as a merit badge counselor, maybe see if there is a position as camp master somewhere. I hope to camp with Quinton or my friends from scouts and visit state park outside of Delaware. Maybe camp at a national park too. Maybe I can do some training for the Vermont bike ride Mike mentioned in 2020. I’ve always wanted to check out Texas, North Carolina, Montana, and few other places where I’m off the grid, taking pictures, enjoying the campfire, and not becoming bear food.

What time is it? “It’s Go Time!” Good luck, Troop 660!!

Categories
Backpacking Camping GoPro Personal Video

Whitewater Rafting in the Royal Gorge

Back in mid-July through August 1st, 2018, Troop 660 planned to visit Philmont Scout Ranch for our High Adventure.  Due to the forest fires, we had to change up our plans and toured about 8 different National Parks, horse back riding in the dessert and some whitewater rafting in the Royal Gorge on the Arkansas River in Co. It was a 10 mile half-day trip. We used three GoPro (two Hero 4 Silver from Echo Canyon and my Hero 5 Session). By far one of the best adventures I went on with out Troop!

I hope you enjoy the video!

Echo Canyon River Expeditions https://www.raftecho.com
BSA Troop 660 http://bsatroop660.org
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Backpacking Camping GoPro Personal Phantom 3 Pro

Patches for my packs

Yesterday I received a couple of really cool patches from Death Wish Coffee Company (my new favorite).  Today I stopped at the local Scout Shop in Wilmington to pick up a few items including Badge Magic.  Now those cool patches look awesome on my backpack and day pack.

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Our Scouts from BSA Troop 660 picked a new adventure for us, and they are looking forward to it.  We are heading to:

Colorado Springs for a tour of the Air Force Academy, Pikes Peak, and white water rafting.  Then it is off to the White River National Forest to complete a four day 25 mile backpack trip.

We are then camping at Canyonlands to exploring Arches National Park, Moab, and Canyonland.  We’ll follow up with a horseback ride in Monument Valley.  I plan to get up early to get a photo or time-lapse of the sunrise.  Then it’s three days at the Grand Canyon for some serious day hikes.

We will complete the trip with a visit to Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, and the Capitol Reef National Park for two days.  Back to Denver and fly back home.

I still need to check with the airline if I can bring my DJI Phantom 3 Pro.  I plan to bring my GoPros with plenty of empty 32GB scares and a Jackery Giant battery charger.

Categories
Backpacking Camping

Philmont Summer Trek Cancelled

Yesterday we received an email from the Philmont Scout Ranch announcing the closure for the 2018 summer season. Below is an excerpt from the email:

PHILMONT SCOUT RANCH ANNOUNCES CLOSURE FOR 2018 SUMMER SEASON – 7/5/18

After careful consideration of the situation and available options, the difficult but prudent decision has been made that the Philmont backcountry will remain closed for treks and individual programs for the remainder of the 2018 summer season. This means that the following programs scheduled for this summer are canceled: 7- and 12-day treks; and individual backcountry programs, including Rayado, ROCS, Trail Crew, STEM and Ranch Hands.

The Ute Park fire consumed 26,387 acres of Philmont property.  As of July 6, 2018, the cause of the fire is unknown and is under investigation.

The Morris Creek fire started June 29 from a lightning strike, and has moved onto Philmont property.

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We hope the fires are contained quickly and for the firefighters to return home safely.

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Apple Watch Backpacking Camping Exercise

March Challenge 2018

So my Apple Watch sent me a notification.

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All I need to do is increase my daily energy burn by 41%.  Sure… no problem.  Good think I am hiking this weekend at White Clay Creek State Park with our Boy Scout Troop.  We are practicing “leave no trace camping” and the “BEAR-muda triangle”.  Our hike will cover 15 miles in two days.

Looking forward to our summer trip to Philmont!

Bear-mudaTriangle
The “BEAR-muda triangle” 

Categories
Backpacking

Going Backpacking After 32 Years

When I was much younger, I was in Cub Scouts and then joined Boy Scout Troop 293 in North Huntingdon, PA.  I went on many hiking and camping trips until I was about 16, and then quit because I had a driver’s license, a girl friend, and wanted to make money.

Fast-forward to 2008, my son joined Cub Scout Pack 86 in Wilmington, DE.  He did pretty well in Cub Scouts and was looking forward to joining Boy Scouts.  We scouted around and joined Troop 660 in Wilmington, DE.  It is a great troop, we enjoy going on all the camping trips, participating in the Klondike Derby, and other activities.  I am happy to say my son is doing well with Boy Scouts and should ear his Star Rank in the next week.

So what does that have to do with backpacking?  We are going to Philmont Scout Ranch in 2018.  With that in mind, I figured it was time to start training.  After all it’s been 32 years since I’ve gone on a backpacking trip.  I don’t own a backpack.  So I started some research and had to get fitted.  The folks at REI did a great job helping my son and I with choosing backpacks.  I ended up with a REI Traverse 70.  There were a lot of customers today, so weights were scarce.  Let’s just say adding 25 pounds to your back for the first time in 32 years is a bit of an eye opener.

Time to start the training!  I took my backpack out for a spin at Carousel Park Farm for a hike.  I didn’t load it with too much with stuff.  I started easy to get a feel of the pack.  What I like about Carousel Park is the different terrain you come across.  Grass fields for part of a path then a turn and you’re into the woods with trees and roots to watch for.  Part of the path had gravel and driveway stone.

I hiked 3.4 miles in about 76 minutes and survived!  WOOT!  I’m sure those numbers are terrible, but I was pleased with my first attempt.  A buddy of mine told me about a few more places I should look at to practice hiking before our week-long trek in July.