Troop 48 Scout helps save grandfather, earns Council Certificate of Merit

At last night's meeting, our own James B. was presented with a Certificate of Merit from Garden State Council and the Boy Scouts of America. Several months ago, James was attending a luncheon after a family funeral, where he noticed that his grandfather was acting strangely and slurring his speech. Immediately recognizing the signs of a stroke, James alerted his family members of what was happening. Thanks to James quick thinking and quick actions, his grandfather received immediate medical attention and has been recovering well since.

While James was not eligible for a heroism medal from the Boy Scouts (which requires risk to oneself), his actions went through the process at the council and national level and was deemed worthy of recognition from the Boy Scouts of America. This is no little recognition, as James is the first scout from Garden State Council to ever receive this certificate, and either the first or second Scout from this area (records aren't clear) to receive this award since the merger that created Southern New Jersey Council in 1998.

James, we're all very proud of you.

Josh's Eagle Project = done!

Congrats to Josh on finishing his Eagle Project! Josh put in brand new trails at Hale Memorial Park in Voorhees, where the project turned into much more than he had expected. Despite eight work days and a lot of weather setbacks, he stuck with it and finished it off last Sunday. Only a few merit badges to go for Eagle!

All the fun that can be had at Pequea

Sadly, I couldn't make it to Pequea this weekend with the troop, but we had a report from one of our Committee Members...

"We had a great time this weekend as we always do when we go to Pequea. This time 14 scouts attended, we had no rain (a definite plus), and we spent a little more time at the cave which gave the scouts an opportunity to explore deeper than they were able to do in the past." ~ Paul

This weekend... the best trip of all time... PEQUEA!!!!

There are an awful lot of Troop 48 stories from the last 50 years. A totally scientific poll estimates that roughly half of all stories have to do with just one place... Pequea Gorge.

This weekend, we return to the legendary Pequea. They'll be a crazy hike up the Conestoga Trail to High Rock, hours of crawling through Wind Cave, the worst climb imaginable (the driveway up to the campsite), and make tons of new stories. If you go on just one trip ever, make sure that it's Pequea.

Don't forget your water bottles, your hiking boots, a helmet (bike helmet is fine), a flashlight, and all the excitement that comes from heading to the greatest place in the entire universe.

Cost is $25 by 4/22, $35 after that. We'll meet at the shed at 5:30 on Friday night, aiming to leave around 6:30. We'll be back Sunday around lunch.

PEQUEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Spring Backpacking Trip = absurd (in the best possible way)

The spring backpacking trip on the AT in North Jersey/New York was simply absurd. Endless rock climbs, places where the trail went straight up, views forever (thanks no leaves yet!), and the descent of Agony Grind that took out four adult knees (the Scouts, of course, were fine)... what a trip! We did have to call it short after three days due to all of the adults keeling over (thanks knees, you owe me), but the Scouts made 30 of the toughest backpacking miles I've ever seen. And they would have finished it too. We'll totally be back!

Spring backpacking trip coming up!

The Spring backpacking trip fast approaches! We'll be backpacking 50 miles on the Appalachian Trail from New Jersey into New York. The crew sets our very early the morning of Wednesday, April 8 and will be back the night of Saturday, April 11.

Highlights of the trip will include crossing the Hudson on a hiking-only bridge (longest on the AT), walking through one of the best built trails in the US according to Backpacker Magazine, snagging views of Manhattan from Bear Mountain, and backpacking through the middle of a zoo. That's right, a zoo. It should an awesome time!

Cost is $10 per Scout. Scouts are expected to provide three dehydrated meals for dinner. If you have not done a 50 miler before, please talk to Mike before signing up!

Gettysburg Trip!

Fun weekend out at Gettysburg this weekend! The rain on Friday night made it pretty interesting to set up, but it died down in time for us to take a ten mile hike around the battlefield on Saturday. Highlights including boulder hopping at Devil's Den and reenacting Pickett's Charge!

Next month is a double camping month, backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail in the beginning of the month and hiking and caving at Pequea Gorge, which is always everyone's favorite trip for all time ever.

Frozen weekend at Belleplain and Cape May

Standing on the very edge of land in front of the frozen bay.

Wow, what a weekend! Friday night it dropped below the zero mark into negative temperatures, breaking the Troop's coldest night camping out record (at least as long as I've been with the troop) a whole month after it was set (1 degree positive in January). Everyone enjoyed the yurts, even if they weren't any warmer than the air outside.

Saturday, we headed down to Cape May and were treated to the bizarre sight of a frozen Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean. We visited the WWII bunker, climbed Cape May Lighthouse, hunted for Cape May diamonds on sunset beach and checked out the concrete ship Atlantus. Saturday night saw some heavy snow, but everyone retreated into the yurts when it turned to rain, playing Risk and card games.

Can't wait for next month, when we visit one of Troop 48's all time most popular camping spots at Gettysburg! We'll be going on a thirteen mile hike along the Union line, up Little Round Top to where the 20th Maine fought, down to Devil's Den for some rock scrambling, down the Confederate lines, and finally retracing the steps of the Confederates at we walk (and run) Pickett's Charge!

Belleplain Campout coming!

Our February campout to Belleplain is coming up fast! We'll be staying at the yurts there from February 20 to 22, 2015. Saturday, we'll explore Cape May including the WWII bunker and take a hike. Bring warm clothes and bedding, it's been frigid lately!

Cost of the trip is $45 per scout. If you pay by February 11, you'll receive a $20 early bird discount. If you pay by February 18, you'll receive a $10 early bird discount!

Klondike Derby and COOOOOOOLD camping!

Great Klondike this weekend, despite some very cold temperatures!
Each patrol showed what they were made of as they navigated some very
challenging events this year. While the scores were close (and 2nd
and 3rd weren't decided until the very last event of the day), Eagle
Patrol came out on top as this year's champion!

After the competitions were over, Troop 48 successfully survived the
coldest night of camping in all my years with the troop, as
temperatures went down to only 1 degree last night!

The leaders are all very proud of how the patrols and the individual
Scouts handled themselves this weekend.

This weekend took a ton of work behind the scenes, I have to thank
Tom, Paul, Paul, Brian, and Jeremy for the ton of extra prep work that
they did, Kavi, Kellie, Chris, Rich, Jim, Deb, and Danny for the help
out in the field, and all my Assistant Scoutmasters (previously
mentioned, plus Ken) for the help with planning the events starting
way back in October.

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