Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mystery Hike Campout at Bass River State Forest

Troop 88 enjoyed a great weekend of camping and hiking in the Bass River State Forest in Burlington County, NJ. The trip was well worth the two hour drive to the State Park down near the Jersey Shore.

Bass River State Forest was the first forest acquired by the state of New Jersey in 1905 for public recreation, water conservation, and wildlife and timber management. Lake Absegami, a 67-acre lake created in the 1930's, is the center of the forest's recreational activities and provides an area for swimming, boating and canoeing. The forest consists of 18,208 Acres within the Pine Barrens of Burlington and Ocean Counties about 25 miles north of Atlantic City, not far from exit 50 of the Garden State Parkway.

WhileSaturday was a bit damp and cool, the scouts managed to build what may have been the largest campfire the Troop has had in a long time. Temperatures dipped below freezing overnight but Sunday gave us a clear blue sky and warmer temperatures.

In keeping with a long tradition, Troop 88 took their "Mystery Hike" over the weekend. New scouts are encouraged to attend this hike in their first year as it is an enlightening experience. Also in keeping with tradition, I am unable to tell our readers what the hike involves. Lets just say that even those of us who have taken the hike before find the experience exciting.

At times leaving the hair on the back of your neck standing up a bit.

For the curious among you, I have placed a couple of hints below that may give you clues about the "Mystery" in the Mystery Hike.

Hint Number 1
Hint Number 2
Hint Number 3
Hint Number 4
Hint Number 5

Friday, September 28, 2007

September 2007 Sarnoff Canoe Trip & Campout

Turning Basin Canoe Rentals at the Canal on Alexander Road in Princeton.

Scoutmaster David Wertz demonstrates the importance of life jackets, and more importantly, a balanced entry into the canoe.

Troop 88 embarks on the two hour canoe trip from the Turning Basin launch to the Troop 88 campsite in the woods behind Sarnoff.

The least favorite part of the trip is the passage under the Route 1 bridge where the scouts manoeuvre their way around any low hanging spider webs.

Once out of the canal and onto the gently moving Millstone River, the natural beauty of the outdoors is amazing. We saw fish, cranes, swans and geese. It is easy to believe you are miles from civilization.

The dense foliage on the banks of the Millstone River and the numerous water lillies are in stark contrast to the well kept banks of the canal. Turtles are everywhere.

Once we reached camp it was time to set up the tents, gather some wood and start a fire before taking a well deserved rest (at least for the adults.)

The activity at the campsite picks up at dinner time and around the campfire afterward. And no Sarnoff campout would be complete without a challenging game of capture the flag.

We awoke to a beautiful and sunny autumn day, perfect for our canue trip back to civilization. After breaking camp, and leaving it just as we found it, we got in our canoes.

The beautiful scenery we saw along the Millstone River on our way back was spectacular. The sights, the sounds, and the smells of the outdoors overwhelm the senses.

Once again we make the necessary passage under the Route 1 bridge. Paddle as quick as possible and don't look up.

A friendly bet between scouts and adult leraders in the various boats led to a spirited race through the canal.

Last, but certainly not least, our fearless leader and Scoutmaster Mr. David Wertz, paddles into port at the Turning Basin launch.

A careful departure from the boat is just as important and a careful entry. You don't want to travel dry for two hours only to fall in getting out of the canoe.

Mr. Steve Schloss and his son Dan were our only "kayakers" (non-comformists at heart.) They bid farwell to all for yet another very memorable experince enjoying the beautiful outdoors.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Troop 88 Blog under repair

Our apologies for the condition of the Troop 88 blog. We are working to remove the large amount of SPAM that has cluttered up our site and hope to have the Blog site back up and functional in the near future.

Yours in Scouting,

Dan Dabbs
Assistant Scoutmaster