Hiking into Fall

Setting out from our first night’s “parking lot” campsite Saturday morning.

It’s been a busy summer for Troop 1911. Here are just a few of the activities that our Scouts have enjoyed and been challenged by this summer:

  • Completing more than fifty miles of hiking for Hiking Merit Badge
  • A terrific week of fun and adventure at Melita Island
  • More Eagle projects than you can count—including a number that are now officially in the books!
Breaking for incredible views of Glacier Lake on the way up.

This past weekend, many of our Scouts took part in a landmark outing—the troop’s first real backpacking adventure in several years. Led by ASM Mark Snyder, Dennis Follett, and ASM Sneed Collard, 11 Scouts did a “shake-out” trip to Crescent Lake in the shadows of the Mission Mountains. The weather proved perfect and the setting could not have been more beautiful. The four-mile hike up was not without its challenges, encompassing a 1000+ foot plus elevation gain. The Scouts performed terrifically well, however, and learned a lot about what it takes to plan for and execute a successful backpacking trip into grizzly-occupied wilderness, from cooking meals to hanging food to digging a “kaibo” to minimize our impact on our cherished environment.

Preparing our “farewell breakfast” by the lakeshore, in hopes that we’ll be back soon.

All went smoothly except for the Scouts’ inexplicable penchant for falling into shallow water at the lake edge and scraping themselves on sharp rocks. They even had time to hike up to the next lake to explore . The biggest complaint? That we couldn’t spend another night or two to explore the area and enjoy each other’s company.

Never fear, several more shake-out backpacking trips are planned for next spring in preparation for our Philmont Scout Camp adventure next summer. It’s an awesome and educational new direction for troop activities.

Meanwhile, many of the troop are looking forward to their first international Scouting adventure, the Hands Across the Border campout to be held in Canada at the end of the month!