Epic Canoe Adventure in the Adirondacks

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On a beautiful and cold weekend in October, Troops 260 and 262 embarked on a difficult but gratifying canoeing journey in the Adirondacks.

Photo by Stacey Coleman
Troop 260 & 262 Scouts head down the Raquette River.

You may think it is easy to prepare for a trip but weeks of extensive preparation, including mapping, finding campsites, preparing the food, and packing for unexpected winter weather all needed to be accomplished. Whatever the Scouts packed (including food, cooking supplies, shelter and clothing) had to be packed in waterproof bags and then brought on canoes. Each item had to be balanced properly so the weight on the canoe was distributed equally. The challenge was incredible.

After all the planning and packing, the moment had arrived. The Scouts set out on their journey and entered Long Lake. The views were, well, magnificent! There are no words to describe the joy of seeing the Scouts stop their busy lives, put down their screens and take in the gorgeous moment. Some Scouts had never seen such colorful foliage. Maintaining teamwork, they endured cold temperatures rain, sleet, and hail on this trip.

Photo by Stacey Coleman
Well-bundled for the cold, Scout Robbie Synder is ready to canoe.

In addition to the stunning views, the Scouts experienced setting up two nights of campsites. They carried all their supplies on and off the canoes. They even filtered their own drinking water. The biggest challenge was the 1.3-mile-mile portage (carrying canoes and supplies between two navigable waters). This may not seem long, but they carried all their supplies, including the canoes. The portage took five hours and most Scouts hiked at least five miles. Every Scout carried their own weight and rose to the challenge. After the portage, on the second night of camping, they enjoyed tasty spaghetti and meatballs around a campfire. Everyone ate with no complaints. After dinner I witnessed an older Scout teaching a younger Scout how to clean pots and pans with grace and patience.

As a Scout mother and now assistant leader of the girls Troop 262, I have now seen firsthand what it means to be “Prepared for Life.” The Scout Law states, “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.” I witnessed each one of these traits and could not be prouder of our Troop 260-262 Scouts.

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