Friday Funday

By Bob Geier - Posted on 28 July 2017

Greetings to all of our followers back home! We’re struggling with getting photos put up on the site, but we’ll be adding them to the troop photo site over the weekend.

Friday we successfully have avoided the rain thus far, so it was a great day for camp activities. We had two patrols out in the field who made it in from their adventures.

Patrol E returned from their overnight canoe trek down the Delaware River. Canoe partners were Tommy and Bradley, Emmett & Drew, Sawyer & Liam. Apparently for the entire 2-day trek Sawyer was singing the ENTIRE time, including a regular loop of the Wii-Me Channel Song, All Star from Toy Story, etc. Literally never stopped. Aside from the serenading, the group had quite a nature experience. They saw 5 bald eagles, including seeing a bald eagle nail a fish in the river and fly off with it. They also saw an otter and several heron.

After a delightful paddle they settled in to a primitive campsite along the river for a grilled cheese dinner. After a dinner, Bradley & Liam made an apple pie shaped like a millipede in honor of former Patrol Leader Noah Dean, who HATES millipedes. Emmett & Liam did a double-decker hammock to sleep in between trees [Ed: well, I suppose Emmett was light enough that he wouldn’t completely crush Liam if he fell…] The gang reported finding many ticks, but everyone was well prepared and nobody was bit. The group also ran into a cool Expeditionary Learning/Outward Bound school group on their long summer trek. Cool.

Friday dawned nice and clear, and the group continued downstream all the way to the Water Gap, making great time to pickup.

Biking was Patrol A’s activity today, with the trail crew being led by Ben and Robin. There was a lot of work on proper use of gears and pacing, but the group did a solid job navigating and staying together as a group.

They had lunch en route near where Patrol E had camped on their canoe trek, then rode a bit further upstream where Wyatt managed to locate a really cool pebble beach. Time for a swim! A group swam across to an island to run around for a bit, and the thematic rock-skipping contest ensued. Kantaro hopped around for a bit trying to only go up to his knees in the water to keep his shorts dry.

The group continued on, but Heston was starting to show some signs of getting tired. As they entered the last mile, he was really working hard and looking a bit run down, but he was determined and fought through the pain. He eventually staggered into camp, at which point Mr. Fretz looked down and said “Gee, Heston, did you know that your rear tire is COMPLETELY flat?” Yes, for tires to work they need air in them. +1 to Heston for grit and determination. -1 for observational skills.

In the end, the group went for an ice cream run, where Robin Austerberry demonstrated that no one in his multinational family had ever taught him how to eat an ice-cream cone. With a triple-scoop monster, he insisted on eating only from the top, as the melting ice cream rolled down the cone, over his hand, down his arm and into a puddle beneath him like some sort of insane melting candle, Several friends and colleagues attempted to explain the principle of licking around the cone to control the melt, but, you know, sometimes our young men can be a bit stubborn and need to learn from hard experience.

Patrol D spent the day out sailing, on a day where the wind was fairly lively and the sailing livelier. The group took turns around the lake on various boats in the morning, learning the basics of sail handling and points of sail on both the Sunfish and the trimaran, After a quick lunch of sandwich wraps, the group took advantage of the fresh breeze to set up some sailing races around buoys in the lake.

For the first race, the team of Owen and Joey scooted across the finish line in first place, while Will and Noah explored what it was like getting caught in irons. Maks in the trimaran suffered a penalty for cutting a turn buoy too close and bumping it on the way by.

Race two penalized the winner Owen by putting him in the good ship Waterlogged. He claimed that the water in the boat was equivalent to having another sailor who had no idea where to sit and kept jumping around. Will took the trimaran, but suffered a penalty for violating the collision regulations by ignoring right-of-way and colliding! Between the water penalty and the crashing penalty, the surviving team of Bean & Maks took the trophy.

After a long day of sailing, the group returned to camp with Will successfully navigating his car home, but the second car requiring the helpful assistance of a New Jersey ranger.

Patrol G after being dropped at the spur trail to the AT stopped for a quick lunch of peanut butter & honey bagels on the shore of Crater Lake. With some drizzle threatening to turn into rain, they set off down the trail.

Jonathan Wild proved to be pretty good with navigation on his first time out, identifying their location at several points and keeping track of their progress. Parker was lead hiker for most of the afternoon, setting a nice quick pace, with Patrol Leader Mark sweeping at the rear. There were wild turkeys on the trail and other wild life, like the odd hippie AT hanger-on who was picking unripe peaches.

They made it to their campsite in good time, and Gus & Jonathan set about cooking quesadillas. They set camp on a hill with quite a slope. This adds entertainment to the evening, as everyone slid slowly toward the bottom of the tent while sleeping.

The next morning they got up in a timely fashion, wolfed down an oatmeal breakfast and were ready to hit the trail by 8:30. Nice job, except they told the adults to be ready to leave at 9:00am and the adults actually took them seriously. Ah, Communication! On the second day, they set a good pace and made it to Sunfish Pond (one of the seven natural wonders of New Jersey!) where they delighted in discovering a huge black snake. Mark even petted it.

During the final stretch of the hike Gus slipped and re-injured a knee he tweaked last month, giving Jimmy and Mark some first aid practice. The group pulled all-for-one and took all his pack weight as they moved down to an extraction point just a mile shy of their final destination like the strong team they are. Gus is doing just fine after a refueling with ice cream, though the folks in Friendly’s Ice Cream are still trying to get the funky smell out of the place…

Some of the hard-working Patrol Z youth leaders got some time this afternoon to go off to check out the local rock climbing which had been previously off limits due to all the rain. Jack and Shane got to check out some 5.6 to 5.9 climbs when they got to the crag, though reports were that Shane was a bit out of practice and fell a few times on the 5.6 . They did manage to find a set of easy climbs for patrols to use in the future. They also tried to kill Scouter Joe with a few rocks from above, but he can move right quick for an adult when it becomes necessary!

Tonight a creative group of boys has taken a climbing rope and hooked it up to four bikes like a team of sled dogs, and they are towing a sled with scouts on it around a field. There is apparently no end to their energy.

Updated weather for tomorrow shows that the stationary front is staying south of us, so we have a reasonable chance of good weather for tomorrow’s patrol competition day!