Sandy Neck 2022

We hiked 3 miles along the beach on Saturday morning and had a lunch break along the way. After setting up camp, a few scouts hiked to the end of the peninsula. Then we played games on the beach including frisbee and wiffle ball. The campsites had new picnic tables and the ranger drove out wood for our campfire. For dinner, we had Mountain House meals. The weather was warm and sunny, and the sunset was super colorful. We had a campfire and retired several US flags. Then we roasted marshmallows to make smores (note the auto roasting stick stuck in the sand). In the morning, we packed up camp and hiked back on the marsh side trail.

Highland Games 2022

The scouts had fun at the Highland Games on Nantucket. We took the 2:45 ferry on Friday from Hyannis and walked through town to Camp Richard with 200+ other scouts wearing kilts and carrying our clan flags. Trucks took our troop gear to the camp. After setting up our tents, we made our own dinner of spaghetti and meatballs and garlic bread.

On Saturday, the Nantucket hosts provided breakfast sandwiches fixings including muffins, sausages and eggs. After a brief opening flag ceremony, we started the games. We had 2 clans called Grant and Glen with 4 scouts in each. Our clans did very well in many events and won awards in archery, caber toss, harpoon throw, tomahawk throw, shepherd’s carry and sheath toss. Other fun events with storm-the-castle and cairn building. After the games, there was a tasty banquet feast buffet. In the evening, there was a large campfire with skits.

Overnight it rained about 1/2 inch. Our gear stayed mostly dry and the rain stopped by morning. After breakfast, we packed up and walked back to the ferry terminal which was a bit over 2 miles. We took the noon ferry back to Hyannis. The weather was calm and sunny, and we had a relaxing ferry ride.

Mountain Biking/Hiking

On Saturday morning, we drove up to Highland Mountain Bike Park in NH. We started with a mountain bike riding lesson from their staff including how to lean into turns and keep looking ahead. Then we rode the lift up to the top of the mountain with our bikes. Similar to downhill skiing, there are different trails down the mountain with different difficulty levels. Going down was steep and curvy with banked turns and features like wooden bridges and boardwalks to ride over. It was opening day at the mountain. It was fairly busy and a sunny day. Everyone there seemed in good spirits which made for a fun time.

After biking, we drove to Greenfield State Park and got there at 6pm just in time to check in. The camps didn’t have the water turned on yet from winter shutoff. We had to get a gallon of water from the store for cooking our pasta. We also cooked meatballs and garlic bread on the fire which was a hit. Overnight was chilly in the low 30’s.

After breakfast on Sunday, we packed up camp and drove to Mt Wachusett. It was a clear and beautiful day for a hike. We hiked up from the south side. The trail was easy to follow and went through nice woods. It was fairly steep but not too long. From the top, we could see the Boston skyline and other mountains that we’ve climbed like Mt Monadnock and Mt Greylock. We ate lunch at the top and then hiked down and drove home.

Winter Camping/Hiking

We drove up Saturday morning to the West Rattlesnake Mountain trailhead and hiked to the top with nice views overlooking Squam Lake. The weather was sunny and in the low 30s. The snow was 1-2 feet deep and packed enough so that we didn’t need our snowshoes. After lunch at the top, we drove to Sandwich and hiked with our backpacks to our camping site. The scouts dug snow trenches and prepared firewood. Since we had some time, we hiked over to Beede Falls which was covered with ice. We got back to camp in the twilight. Then we got the fire going in the cabin stove and made Mountain House dinners, smores and Jiffy popcorn.

Overnight the temperature dropped to the 20s. Some freezing rain came in the early morning hours and most scouts left their snow trenches for the cabin. Some water dripped from the tarps and they slid in their trenches too much because the trenches weren’t flat.

On Sunday morning, we packed up and hiked out and got breakfast at Dunkin Donuts and drove home as it started to rain.

Squam Lake from West Rattlesnake
West Rattlesnake trail
Trail to campsite
Preparing snow trenches
Beede Falls

Klondike Derby 2022

On a warm and sunny Saturday, we did Klondike Derby at Camp Squanto. The only snow was in shady places and the rest of the ground was bare and a bit muddy. Our sled still managed to move around on its skis. The scouts did all the events including log pull, fire building, riflery, compass course, ax/saw yard, hammer throw, shelter building, ice rescue and wood iron branding. For lunch, the camp served chicken noodle soup and hot dogs. We were able to eat outside since it was such a nice day. The scouts did a great job working together as a troop.

 

Turkey Shoot

We camped out two nights at the Keowa site at Camp Greenough. Overnight was below freezing but the day was nice and sunny and warmed up to 50. The scouts did archery, riflery and shotgun, target practice only, no actual turkeys. But we did have turkey sandwiches for lunch.

Fishing trip

Captain Chip Carroll took us fishing on Cape Cod Bay on this boat the Albatross. We stayed fairly close to shore due to the southwest wind and fairly rough waves. Maybe because of the relatively late season, we only caught 1 flounder. Still, it was a good trip to be out on the sea.

Mt Greylock

We camped at Mohawk State Forest which has a nice campground along the Cold River. On the drive out, we stopped at Dinosaur Footprints along the Connecticut River and then we stopped at Sugarloaf Mountain Park where we eat lunch overlooking the river valley. After setting up camp, we hike the trail from the campground up to Todd Mountain. It was a steep hike through dense woods. To cool off, we went to the Cold River and some scouts went in which was in fact pretty cold.

The next day, we hiked Mt Greylock along the Bellows Pipe Trail on the way up. On the way down, we followed the AT along the ridge and then the Bernard Farm trail. The trails were very nice and we had beautiful fall weather. From the summit, there were big views all around.

White Mountains

Camp Squanto was cancelled for the week we planned to go. So instead we went on our own trip to the White Mountains. After driving up, we took the gondola ride to the top of Cannon Mountain. It was a quick ride to the top and the views were great. We camped at the Lafayette campground right in the Franconia Notch valley. The campground had nice sites next to an open field and there was a nice camp store.

The next day we hiked Mt Washington via the Tuckerman Ravine trail. It took us almost 4 hours to hike up. We stopped for extra breaks at some creek crossings. Near the Hermit Shelter, we use the water pump to fill up our water bottles. It was mostly sunny and 60 degrees which was near a record high temperature. At the summit, there were many people who drove up. We took our time to look around from the summit. The hike down was slow with the steep sections and with our legs nearly out of gas. It took almost as long to hike down.

The next day we drove across the White Mountains on the Kancamagus Highway to Fryeburg Maine to canoe 10 miles on the Saco River. We rented 4 canoes from Saco River Canoe & Kayak which worked out well. At the beginning of the canoe trip, progress was slow. But by the end, the scouts had greatly improved their canoeing technique and paddled along swiftly. We nearly had the river to ourselves and only saw a few other people all day. We stopped for a long break at a section with a steep sandy slope that the scouts ran down. The slope also had some clay to play in. At another stop, there was a dead tree over the river that was good for jumping off and swimming. We saw many birds along the river including a bald eagle who watched us from a tall pine tree overhanging the river.

The last day we planned to hike the Franconia ridge. But the weather forecast was for 100% rain. So we decided to drive home early instead.

Sandy Neck Backpack

We backpacked out to the Sandy Neck campsite in the morning and set up camp. The weather was ideal and it was nice to have the beach to ourselves. The scouts went swimming, skipped stones, built sand forts, played frisbee, whiffle ball, football, pickle and manhunt. We had a variety of Mountain House meals for diner. Then we had a fire on the beach at sunset and retired flags and had smores. Scouts made tasty potato home fries for breakfast to go along with oatmeal, cocoa and bacon.