Wednesday, June 3, 2015

J's BSA Spring Camping Trip 2015

J's Cub Scout Pack went on their Spring camping trip at the end of May. We got there Saturday morning, a little delayed by the tricky location. We wandered around the wrong camp ground and ran into another car of Cub Scouts who were also lost. Together, we found the right camp ground. The group had already gone off to a ropes course but left a message telling us how to get there. We unpacked a little bit and headed out for adventure.

The path was mostly downhill and we found a tricky sign at the bottom next to a bridge.

Bridge with sign

Over the bridge or stay on this side?

We quickly figured out we had to cross the bridge to get to the ropes course which was curiously empty. Shouts from above let us know that the other scouts were up hill at a different part of the course.

Empty ropes course

A more challenging course sat on top of the hill. It was still under construction. The first obstacle, tire swing crossing, was complete and everyone was trying it.

Cubs crossing cabled car curves

J joins the jollity

Happy J

After a few tries, we went back down the hill and tried out the regular ropes course, which was challenging enough on its own.

J on a stationary balance beam

J crosses the easier cargo net bridge

J on the log bridge

J on the movable balance beam

J ran the course twice before we had to go back to camp for lunch. We ate sandwiches with fruit. J had his apple, orange, and carrots before eating his cheese sandwich!

Refueled, we collected fuel for the evening campfire, which included sawing down the longer branches to fire pit-friendly lengths.

Putting sticks into the fire pit

Chain sawing a log

For the afternoon activity, we went geocaching along the Gunpowder River. The river is named after a mill that made gunpowder. One of the caches was near the site of the ruins of the mill but with the thick spring foliage, we didn't see any man-made structures. We did find two caches.

Peaceful Gunpowder River

Back at camp, we had a traditional camping dinner--hot dogs and baked beans! Unfortunately the campground's propane grill had some mice living in it. They quickly evacuated when we fired up the grill. After that harrowing experience, dinner was okay. The boys started the fire that we'd use for the campfire program later on.

Adding fuel to the fire

About an hour after dinner, we had the typical Scout's campfire, with songs, skits, and cheers. Then we made smores. J doesn't like marshmallows, so he had just the chocolate and graham cracker. I had some lovely peach cobbler that one of the moms made in a cast-iron pot in the fire. J was wiped out so we went to bed right after dessert.

The next morning was peaceful mostly. J was a little put off by the bugs crawling on the outside of our tent (their shadows became more visible as light became brighter). We got up and used the facilities, then got J's Avengers book out of the car. He read while I chatted with the one other dad who woke up at 6 a.m. Breakfast was at 7 followed by breaking camp. I did most of the packing while J played with his friends.

Around 9:30, we went for another hike down by the river and back to the ropes course. We studied some of the trees and plants along the way. We also skipped stones on the river. The ropes course was just as much fun the second day.

Riverside photo

A fun bridge on the way to the ropes course

Just beyond the ropes course was a swing that the other boys had tried and wanted to try again. J hadn't done it the day before. He loved it!

J swings

Looking for a landing spot

A quick hike back up the hill got us back to the campground. We did one last clean up sweep and then headed home for naps and showers.

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