Nobscot Orienteering

We camped at Camp Nobscot in Sudbury, MA for the orienteering event. There was a disagreement between the orienteering club and the scouts which cancelled the main orienteering race for Sunday. So we only did one practice course on Saturday. Sunday turned out to be a rainy day anyway. On our way home, we visited Longfellow’s Wayside Inn and the Grist Mill.

Camp Squanto summer 2019

Sunday

After check-in, we went to the beach for swim tests which all scouts passed. Then we went to our campsite called Penobscot and set up camp. It’s a 5 minute walk to the last campsite at the end of the path. The campsite has plenty of platform tents, picnic tables, bathhouse and a fire pit. Next we went to the opening colors ceremony on the parade grounds and then had turkey dinner. After dinner there was an open hour where some scouts did a camp tour and others did activities like play ga-ga. Then there was the opening campfire where the staff did a bunch of goofy skits and songs.

Monday

All scouts got squared away on a full schedule of classes. So far, all reports about the classes are good and that the counselors are good except for forestry being a bit boring on the first class. During siesta, the boys played Sorry. The Trading Post slushies and ice cream sandwiches are very popular. After classes, we went to Indian Games with just our troop and troop 76. The game was a type of sumo wrestling where two players hold a stick and win by pushing their opponent outside the ring or making them lose grip. The boys had lots of fun with this. Christian was the overall champ although he didn’t win every round. Fitz was mighty and crafty often taking down much bigger boys. I got several photos and videos. After pork roast dinner, most scouts went to the waterfront and did canoeing and rowing. The rowers (Fitz and Lir) didn’t get anywhere and gave up without clearing the dock. Steele in a canoe helped a kayaker recover from capsizing. A couple scouts had a good time at shotgun. For evening activity, we had our own campfire back at our campsite.

Tuesday

Hot, humid and sunny. Scouts are drinking lots of water. We discovered that wild blueberry bushes are around our campsite with some ripe berries. Yum! After classes the scouts went to the beach and played water polo. Before getting in, they were so hot and sticky that their swim badges stuck to their skin (see photo). After meatloaf dinner, the whole camp went back to the beach for Hawaiian theme night which had a bunch of fun beach games and root beer floats. Then we had brownie with ice cream sundaies with jimmies and hot fudge sauce. Back at our campsite, the scouts played Frisbee and got it stuck way up a big pine tree. They tried knocking it down using a tennis ball but lower branches blocked it. Finally the smallest scout from the Harwich troop got a chance to try and scored an amazing hit to our cheers! After dark, the scouts played cards until bedtime.

Wednesday

Scouts were zonked out in the morning but did get going in time for colors. It’s not quite as hot and humid and there’s a little nice breeze today. Fitz caught 4 fish during fishing merit badge class. Nightcrawlers are a good bait. Christian is doing a good job as Senior Patrol Leader including attending the SPL meetings after lunch, keeping our campsite orderly to pass inspection and leading the scouts to colors. For free period, the scouts did zip line. They were all brave and climbed the pole and did the zip without hesitation. Lir gets the most style points for doing a dance during his zip. After chicken parm dinner was the Apache relay race with running, swimming, canoeing, archery, fire building and pie eating. Our scouts combined with the Harwich troop to do the 23 legs of the race and did pretty well finishing in the middle of the pack. The rest of the evening the scouts played Frisbee and cards.

Thursday

It’s another nice, sunny day. There was a tiny bit of light rain overnight. James and Fitz pack up and get picked up around noon for a family trip. We will miss them. During Siesta, the scouts played cards with a new friend from another troop. For free period, the scouts played water polo. Steele with his long arms was the top scorer with 12 goals! We did a memorial service for closing at an area above the lake instead of the usual parade field. After pot roast dinner, we went to archery and the scouts did well and had several hits at the far target, not the near targets shown in the photo. Then Skyler, James and Lir headed out to the woods for Wilderness Survival merit badge to sleep out without a tent. They had built themselves a shelter earlier in the day. So just a few of us were left in regular camp. We went to an Order of the Arrow (scouts honor society) campfire. Our scouts thought it was too serious and were glad that they weren’t elected to OA. Our troop hasn’t been doing OA.

Friday

Scouts from the Wilderness Merit badge outpost came back to camp shortly after sunrise and slept in their tents until time for colors. They liked the experience of sleeping in their shelters in the woods. I’m impressed how James Hereford sets good example of keeping personal gear orderly with everything put away in his tote and his bed made. I went to the Space Ex class to watch the rocket launch but it was a bust because the counselor couldn’t get the ignition to work. For free period, the scouts decided to go to the beach any play waterpolo instead of archery. The food has been very good and some scouts said this dinner was the best and were able to get seconds. After dinner, the scouts went back to the waterfront for kayaks and paddleboards. Then we had the closing campfire that had many funny skits done by the staff.

Cape Cod Rail Trail

On Friday, we camped at Nickerson State Park and had a spaghetti dinner and dessert with smore cake cooked in a dutch oven and then popcorn using the dutch oven. On Saturday, we biked north on the rail trail up to Eastham. We stopped at the National Park Seashore Visitor Center and had lunch at Coast Guard beach. On the way back, we biked past Nauset Lighthouse.

Mt Monadnock

We camped Friday night at the Boy Scout Camp Wanocksett at the Apache campsite. Saturday was a nice sunny, mild day. We first walked around the camp including the waterfront. Then we climbed Mt Monadnock from the East side. On the way up, we found a pressed penny with a Nantucket whale logo. Then later, we met up with the Boy Scout troop from Nantucket including the leaders of the Highland Games. They said that they plan to host the Highland Games in May 2020 and we said to count us in. We ate our lunch on the summit and had clear views including the Boston skyline. After dinner at camp, we went to Kimball Farm for an ice cream treat.

Minuteman Pursuit Trail

First we camped out at Camp Acton in Acton, MA. Then on Patriot’s Day, we hiked 20 miles starting in Concord square to Somerville retracing the road the Minutemen fought the British after the battle at Concord in 1775. We followed Battle Road and went through the towns of Concord, Lexington, Arlington, Cambridge and Somerville. We stopped at Old North Bridge and Lexington Green, and met with reenactors.

Winter Camping 2019

We went to NH for winter camping March 9-10. The snow was deep and we needed snowshoes. We hiked up Rattlesnake Mtn for a nice view of Squam Lake. Then the scouts dug snow trenches and caves for camping out.

Klondike Derby 2019

There was no snow but it was a Klondike-like cold at only 3 degrees in the morning. We stayed in a cabin at Camp Cachalot Friday night. Then the scouts completed all the Klondike activities at Camp Squanto on Saturday and did very well at the “ice” rescue shown here that took tossing a rope and knows including a bowline.

Sandy Neck 2018

We backpacked to the campsites at Sandy Neck. Since it was late Fall, we practically had the beach to ourselves and were the first to leave footprints in the sand. Scouts spent the afternoon making sand castle cities and one scout was brave enough to go for a swim in the ocean. At our beach campfire, we had a flag retirement ceremony. In the morning, it was very windy with some light rain. We hiked out the trail on the marsh side of the dunes to have some shield from the wind.

Mt Washington State Forest

We backpacked into Mt Washington State Forest in the SW corner of MA near the NY/CT border. It was a wilderness experience in that we were outside of cell phone coverage. During our nighttime campfire, we saw stars and a satellite passing overhead at which a scout asked “Can we connect to wifi now?”.

After setting up camp, we hiked to the ridge with views of the Hudson river valley, and Catskill and Taconic mountain ranges. It had rained earlier which made for some wet trails.

Camp Squanto 2018

Troop 71 sent 11 scouts to Camp Squanto for the week of July 23. The camp had nice facilities especially the waterfront. Scouts earned merit badges including swimming, archery, search & rescue, rowing and first aid.

The camp sure has a full day of activities starting at 7am and going to 10pm. Scouts like having “Siesta” for 1 hour after lunch. One morning a scout said “Don’t camp days seem long?” (in a good way). Another replied “I can’t believe it’s only Tuesday morning.” Our scouts really enjoyed the free swim this afternoon. On Monday, one scout caught 5 fish.

The food is good. In fact, scouts were saying “This is the best food ever … expect for mom’s.” The Trading Post is a big hit too, especially for slushies.