Sandy Neck 2023

We had a beautiful day for our hike out to the campsite. We stopped for lunch on the beach along the way and setup our tents in the early afternoon. Then we explored the end of Sandy Neck by hiking down the beach until we could see the lighthouse. We had a bit of an adventure following a new trail on the way back to camp. Then scouts had time for games like pine cone baseball.

Dinner was spaghetti and zucchini which was a hit with some scouts having thirds. Then we had a campfire on the beach with smores and stories. We also retired some US flags.

On Sunday morning, we hiked back along the marsh trail. When we got back to the parking lot, we got snacks and lunch from the park cafe.

Shawme-Crowell Camping

After finishing installing the benches in Riverbay, we arrived at the Shawme-Crowell State Forest at 1pm. We setup our tents at group site 2 and then spent the rest of the day exploring camp, playing ball and manhunt. A few scouts brought bikes and rode around the campground. Other scouts walked over to the scout store. The weather was terrific which was extra enjoyable.

We could hear distant traffic noise from Route 6 during the evening especially. Also there were a few families in the group site next to us who played a radio, had barking dogs and did loud shouting games that kept some of us awake well past the quiet hour. The campground was less than half full, so it was unfortunate to be next to the one noisy area.

The campground had nice, clean “comfort stations” with running water. The playground was also nice and new. There’s a one mile path to go to the Heritage Museum but we didn’t have time for that. Besides these, the campground doesn’t have many other activities.

The scouts cooked hot dogs, burgers, beans and popcorn for dinner. For the breakfast, the scouts made eggs, sausage, bagels and hot cocoa. Our campsite had a fire ring with a grate which we used for cooking. We were able to find plenty of wood from around our campsite.

NEBC and Red Sox

This trip combined our troop with some cub scouts. We drove up to New England Base Camp (NEBC) at 10am and then setup our tents at the Loon campsite. The camp provided large wheelbarrows to move our gear over. We made hot lunch on mac-n-cheese with ham and carrots with hummus.

After lunch we hiked to the top of Great Blue Hill which has a stone tower with views of Boston and the South Shore. Scouts practiced using map and compass to navigate the many different trails in our route on the 6 mile hike.

When we got back to camp, we went over to the NEBC activity area and did archery, BB guns and tomahawk throwing. They also had a long rope bridge that was fun to cross.

Back at camp, scouts made dinner of beef burritos with rice and lots of toppings. We had a campfire and smores. Scouts played manhunt. It was cloudy all day with slight occasional rain.

Overnight it rained fairly heavily but fortunately the rain tapered off by morning. Scouts made breakfast of bacon and oatmeal with toppings. We packed up camp and headed out before 10am.

We visited the Kennedy Presidential Library. After watching the film about John Kennedy, we toured the exhibits. Besides the learning about Kennedy, it was a good chance to dry off and warm up.

Then we drove over to Fenway and got into the ballpark with time to find our seats and get lunch before the game. Our seats were in center field and there were many other scouts around since it was Scout Day. The weather was drizzly like being inside a cloud and this kept the crowd away with the ballpark about half full. It was a close game with the Red Sox scoring late and winning 7-1 against Cleveland. After we got back to our cars, heavy rain started as we drove home.

Winter Camping 2023

A winter storm was moving through on Saturday morning. So we delayed our start to 8:30. South of Boston, the storm was rain, and then it turned to all snow at the NH border. The NH snowplows were on top of it and had the roads cleared as soon as the snow slowed down. We stopped for lunch at the Hooksett rest area. By the time that we got to Sandwich, NH, the snow was light. Even the side roads were well plowed and we arrived at the trailhead about 1pm. There was over one foot of fresh snow on top of a few feet of snow from storms earlier that week.

To hike to the camp, we used snowshoes and a sled to carry extra gear. Once we got to camp, we dug out a path to the cabin door and then used shovels to build our snow trenches.

When it started getting dark, we moved into the cabin and started a fire in the stove. The stove warmed up the cabin and dried our wet clothes. We also boiled water for our Mountain House dinners. It took a surprising long time for the water to boil. For an extra nice treat, Mr. Baker brought beef jerky which we heated up on the stove.

After dinner, the scouts played cards until 10pm and then settled into their snow caves. Overnight, the wind was calm and there was a light snow and the temperature wasn’t too cold, in the upper 20s. Everyone made it through the night in the snow caves.

In the morning, we packed up and hiked out. We stopped for breakfast at Dunkin and drove home.

For this trip, we rented a Ford Expedition from Hertz in Orleans so that we could all travel in one car which worked out very well. It was just enough room to fit 5 scouts, 2 adults and our gear.

Klondike Derby 2023

We went to Squanto for Klondike Derby. It was cold enough for snow but we didn’t have any snow on the ground. The scouts pushed the sled around to the different event stations including log pull, raise sled, and BB guns. The wait at the BB guns took a very long time. Then we didn’t have time to do the fire building station. The camp served lunch of hot dogs, chicken soup and cookies. Between events, we toured the scout museum. After we were done with the stations, we played a football game on the big parade field with the scouts vs adults. It was a game until the 1st touchdown which was super quick because the scouts had the 1st play and completed a long pass for a touchdown.

Downhill Ski Trip

We got an early start at 6:30 to drive up to Crotched Mountain ski resort in southern NH and arrived around 10am. It was busy since it was the best ski conditions so far this season. There were a couple good snow storms the week before and the weather was good for our ski day. It was in the lower 30’s with low wind. It took until around 11am to buy our tickets, rent our gear and get suited up. All the scouts got downhill skis except one who got a snowboard.

We did one run before taking an early lunch break. This first lift line was long and slow. And then lunch was crowded but the staff helped us out and gave us extra two tables that were reserved for a later group.

After lunch we got in a lot of skiing. The lift lines got shorter as the day went on. We split up into groups going on different level trails. The snow conditions were very good except for some icy spots near the top of the mountain.

We stopped for dinner on the drive home and arrived home around 9pm.


Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

We toured Woods Hole starting with a presentation by our tour guide about the history of WHOI and their current work. We learned cool discoveries made by WHOI and saw neat videos such as a shark biting their probe with GoPro camera. Then we had a tour of the docks. Their big research ship was in dock and the crews were active including a diver just up from the water. We got to touch the capsule of the deep-sea diving Alvin and saw the Mayflower 400 which is the first unmanned ship to cross the Atlantic.

The weather was sunny and mild, and there were no crowds which made parking a breeze and it felt like having the area to ourselves. The aquarium was open but we didn’t have time to visit.

Mystic Seaport

This trip combined the boy scouts (6) and cub scouts (3).

We started by visiting the US Navy Submarine museum in Groton, CT. We toured the USS Nautilus which was the first nuclear submarine. The museum has many interesting exhibits including hands-on equipment from submarine control rooms.

Then we went to Mystic Seaport museum and started with lunch from the cafe. The weather was sunny and mild, and we ate outside on a deck. We started our tour of the museum with the firefighter boat that was in service in NYC for 70 years. We went aboard the Morgan which was a whaling ship. We visited some of the shops including the blacksmith and went to the shipyard. Then we walked into town which was about 1/2 mile from the museum. Town was very crowded probably because of the Christmas light boat parade. We were stopped as the drawbridge was open to let in some boats for the parade. We went to Mystic Pizza for dinner which had a long wait to get in. We walked around town a bit during the wait. They seated us all on a long table upstairs. After eating our fill of pizza and sodas, we walked back to the museum.

The main museum event was the Anchor Watch overnight program. We met up with two museum guides who took us into the museum through the afterhours entrance. We got to watch the start of the Christmas light boat parade without the crowds because only a few people were on the museum grounds. Then we had a private show at the planetarium with an energetic guide who had lots of interesting information about astronomy and navigation.  For the overnight, we slept on the Joseph Conrad in the mid-ship section that had bunk beds tightly stacked in columns of 3 beds. It was lights out by 10pm and then we were up early and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise.

The morning program stared with breakfast of waffles and sausages in the cafeteria. Back on the Conrad, we got to climb the rigging up to the first level. Then we carved our own scrimshaw on plastic ovals that looked like whale bone. Our guide then brought us to the museum exhibit to see real scrimshaw and other crafts that sailors made. By then, we had our fill of sightseeing and decided to head home and save the Mystic Aquaruim for another trip.


Scout-O 2022

We returned to Scout-O at Camp Nobscot and enjoyed nice sunny and mild weather during the day although it did get cold at night. Our water bottles froze overnight.

We arrived around 10am, dropped our backpacks at our campsite and went out on a training course with an orienteering instructor. Then we went back to camp to setup our tents and make lunch. In the afternoon, we did an Orange Level (most difficult) practice course and found all the controls. We also hiked to the top of Mt Nobscot but didn’t see good views because the fire tower at the top was locked. Paul cooked us a nice dinner as part of his work on cooking merit badge. After dinner was the Night-O which is a 1 hour race with all 200 scouts to find as many controls as possible. After finding two controls, a couple of the younger scouts decided to go back the camp and then the older scouts continued and were able to find all the controls.

Sunday was the main orienteering competition. The older scouts tackled the Orange Course and the younger scouts completed the Yellow Course. On our drive home, we stopped at McDonald’s in Plymouth.

We were assigned the Haydenland East campsite which was in an open field and didn’t have a fire ring. We moved over to the North campsite which had a nicer setting and a large fire ring. There was also a large wood pile nearby that we used for our campfire.

Greenough Camporee

We camped Friday and Saturday nights at the Pequot site at Camp Greenough. The weather was sunny and warm, but we weren’t allowed to have campfires because of the drought conditions.

The main event was the camporee on Saturday. We did muzzle loader rifles, tomahawk throws, BB guns, ropes course, climbing wall and zip line. Our troop also performed the closing flag ceremony.

For meals, we made our own dinner Friday night of burritos. Saturday morning, we made breakfast sandwiches with eggs, bacon and cheese, and lunch was mac and cheese. For dinner, Greenough had a nice bbq for everyone and an ice cream sundae.