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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
This weekend! January 9 to 11 - Klondike Derby at Bodine Field out
in Chatsworth! All Scouts are expected to attend, as their friends
and patrol are counting on them for help in this competition of
Scouts' skills, teamwork, problem solving, and guts (this is the only
"mandatory" event of the year)! Cost - $10
flat rate. Please meet at "the shed" Friday at 5:30, we will be
leaving around 6:30.
HUGE grand prize for the winning patrol - a brand new kitchen setup
with everything included!
Make sure to BE PREPARED for the cold weather - dress right for the
event any to come prepared with extra blankets, handwarmers, etc for
at night! Need some reminders or new to cold weather camping? Make
sure to read Scout Scoutly's timely and informative article on how to
stay toasty this winter! It can be found on page 4 of December's
The Ski/Snowboard/Tubing outing to Jack Frost on Sunday was a blast! While the 40 degree weather and heavy fog was a little strange for January in the mountains, all the skiiers looked like they'd had a great morning when I saw them at lunch. I know everyone I was with had a great time tubing (or "Weeeee choo-choo" as my little buddy called it) over with my group.
Thanks to Ann for helping coordinate everything!
Happy New Year!
As of right now we have 23 people attending the trip. We need to have at least 15 to keep the group rate so if any one needs to drop out, please let me know ASAP. Jack Frost opens 8 AM, however the snow tubers cannot tube until 10AM. So the happy medium is that we arrive by 8:15 AM. Hopefully, we get everyone paid for and geared up and on the slopes by 9. If anyone needs a ride, we will meet at the shed at 5:45 AM. Otherwise, we will meet in the lodge at Jack Frost by 8:15 AM. The only scout so far that needs a ride is Austin which I can bring. Please let me know if anyone else needs a ride or would like to carpool.
Please bring cash. The bill is due at the time of arrival. I need to pay the bill in full to get everyone's tickets. Attached are all of the permission forms. If you are skiing/snowboarding you need to fill out and sign the group rental form and helmet form. EVERYONE SKIING/SNOWBOARDING MUST WEAR A HELMET. For those who are snow tubing, there is also a waiver form. Please bring your forms signed. It makes processing paperwork faster and easier.
In the lodge, there is a cafeteria. However, food is expensive. You may want to pack snacks and a lunch. I will be remaining in the lodge and can "guard" all extra clothes and food.
See you Sunday!
Our 50th Anniversary video is now available for online viewing! Thanks again to Dan Smith, Ed Madden, Tom Ferrari, and Ken Smith for all the hard work!