Earl Lives! A no-rain, fun Thursday.

By Bob Geier - Posted on 27 July 2017

The rain Thursday morning held off, as Patrol G loaded up gear for an overnight backpacking trek. Gus had some entertaining times trying to fit things into his 30-liter pack, but he was determined to carry his share as a strong hiker, so with some creative jiggering he managed a good load. Jonathan "Wildman" swapped sleeping bags with Evan, then reconfigured his pack to discover he had lots of room and no problems carrying it. All the veterans like Jimmy, Parker, and Mark were all "this is really easy! Just an overnight?"; Mark emphasized the point by having Jonathan climb INTO his pack and walked around with him for a while. They're heading off to the Appalachian Trail starting at Crater Lake and heading north farther than other groups have gone. We dropped them off just at lunchtime, for lunch with a view.

Meanwhile Patro E today is heading off on their overnight, but rather than join the other patrols on the AT backpacking treks they took a look at the river and said "We want to do that!". They are heading off on a self-contained overnight canoe trek, packing all of their gear in dry-bags and into canoes and then launching like George Washington down the Delaware, planning to camp at isolated islands or primitive sites along the way.

Wilderness Survival

Patrol D’s Thursday activity was Wilderness Survival. Entire patrol led by Maks Jurasek and Bean Rago did the best job to prepare for starting fires that Dr. Fretz has ever seen in the history of Troop 8. Maks did a flint & steel start, and all of the patrol members then set about starting fires using 3 different methods, and all of them succeeded. They kept one fire going as a demonstration, with Joey finding and roasting slugs. They then tried making smoke signals, and delighted in smoking out the entire campsite.

For building a shelter, Patrol Leader Daniel decided to try to build a shelter to house the entire patrol. Very ambitious! They built quite an amazing shelter with rock walls and a steep-sided roof that is looking really good. We’re not sure how many are going to try sleeping in it tonight, but it was an outstanding effort. The group so impressed Scouter Fretz that he took them for ice cream, limiting the guys to a medium cone. Then Will Crow takes delivery of a

Patrol A Photography

Patrol A today worked through the Photography Merit Badge introduction. As with the Patrol G group on Tuesday, they started with taking a bunch of pictures to get used to the SLR cameras, then did review and critique of photos to learn about the basics of composition and exposure. It’s really cool to be able to insta-critique photos on computers in the field. The group then went on to Dingman’s Falls, where they go to play around with the things they learned, trying various exposures and frames, then coming back to share with each other and review. The group was SO into it…

Ben and Andrew pushed the limits of exposure by testing maximum shutter speed and discovered … darkness. Wyatt caught Kantaro in multiple portraits, and also tried to do the big-camera SLR selfie with some interesting effects. Heston was trying for action shots, including lying on the ground and having people jump over him. He also went full “meta” by taking pictures of the people taking pictures of the waterfall. Robin found his muse playing Director, ordering people about into various poses to make for the best composition. Luca was a careful photographer with lots of work on proper perspective and framing, with some good long exposure shots at the waterfall.

All in all we succeeded in the mission of getting as many boys into as many expensive hobbies as possible!

This evening things are settling down, with happily no rain. The youth are preparing skits for tomorrow’s evening activity, Jason and David are out checking in on our backpackers, Max Miller is grilling up some tasty adult dinners, Patrol A is racing bikes around the local loop and camp is starting to feel like home.