While school was out for the summer, Troop 160 kept active with many different trips and service projects. The summer started off with a big bang on July 4 when the troop helped clean up the fireworks that lit up the sky the previous night. At 9 a.m., everyone gathered at Abington Heights Middle School with their rakes and gloves ready to begin working. The scouts gathered anything from water bottles to the wiring or cases that held the explosives.
The troop went on one of their favorite camping trips that everyone looks forward to.
From July 11-19, Troop 160 was one of many troops that attended Summer Camp at Goose Pond Scout Reservation. While the scouts are at camp, they have the opportunities to earn merit badges, which are needed for the different ranks in scouting.
From 2 to 3 p.m., the Scouts are encouraged to attend patrol programming which consists of playing games against the other patrols from either the same or different troops. Some of the games consist of greased watermelon, extreme camouflage, pioneering wars and barrel tag.
During free time, which occurs between 3 to 5 p.m., the Scouts have the opportunity to go to any of the areas they want and participate in activities that are offered. Some of these activities include tomahawk throwing, shooting on the ranges, taking a boat out or swimming, working on projects for merit badges, visiting the animals at the nature lodge, or hanging out while climbing on the 65-foot tall climbing wall.
The Scouts that have all the merit badges that are offered can choose to do the voyager program. Some of the treks for these Scouts included hiking to the second tallest falls in Pennsylvania, mountain biking, geocaching and a whitewater canoe trip on the Delaware River. Overall, it is an outstanding outdoor experience.
This August, the troop went on a high adventure, 50-mile canoeing trip in the Adirondacks over five days. The Scouts who attended were, including myself, Frank Melliand, Bob Gerken, Edmond Champlin, Elias Gray, Brandon Kelleher, Caleb Gerken, Logan Finn and Brian Finn. They began the trip on Long Lake to the first campsite, and by the time they arrived the sun was beginning to go down behind the mountains so they had to set up their tents and hang the bear bags quickly.
The bear bags contained anything that was smellable to animals. The next morning, the Scouts paddled about 15 miles across Long Lake and down Racquette River to the next campsite. The next few days, they continued down the river until they came to their portage where they had to carry their gear and canoes around a class 5 waterfall. On their last day, they paddled across Tupper Lake to the landing where their cars were located.
Bryan F. Melliand is an Eagle Scout member of Troop 160, Clarks Summit. Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or email@example.com.