Written by: Kenny Kuhns (Group Supervisor)
Today I want to invite you come walk trails around camp with me. As we stroll down the freshly shoveled trail, you will enjoy all the beauty winter brings to the mountain. The sounds of a group enjoying a game of Fox and Geese in the new snow. This is one of many activities enjoyed in the winter months. A few other things we get to enjoy are sledding, snowball fights, and skating on our ice rink.
While walking toward the Highlander groups’ campsite, you will notice that they redid there trail with crushed shale mixed with dirt. They completed this before the ground got frozen this fall. As we enter their camp sight, notice the wood tent full of wood, signs of many hours of hard work. They have started stacking the new wood they cut and split outside, covering it with a tarp. This is because they are planning on rebuilding their wood tent in the spring. The sounds of 12 voices drift through campsite. The Highlanders enjoy singing and even went Christmas caroling on the streets of our local town during December. They are looking forward to heading to the sunny south at the end of February to hike the Florida Trail.
Let’s head toward the Prospector campsite. You will notice some of the maple trees along their trail have taps and jugs on them in anticipation of collecting sweet maple syrup. We will enter through their new entrance tent they built this fall. They used large trees for the posts and wood burned the camp logo and the four cornerstones of camp on them. The group wanted to show the rest of camp the tent and invited everyone back for a vespers service one night. Since they have completed the tent, a lot of their energy has gone into cutting and splitting wood. One day they got two gigantic loads of wood to replenish their pile of uncut wood. On cookout days they have been trying different kinds of chili to find the best one to bring to the camp wide chili cook-off. If you want to learn about the Revolutionary War, this is the group to ask. They are spending many hours in the library learning about the birth of our country and are planning on visiting some of the places this spring during there bus trip.
While heading toward the Adventures campsite, we notice an increase of snow birds heading that way as well. The birds are heading for the new bird feeder the group had fun building this winter. The group will also proudly tell you about the day they cut and split 15 wheelbarrow loads of wood in one morning. Their muscles must have come from the time spent hiking the North Country Trail this fall. It must be that this group loves to hike, because they are talking about doing another hiking trip this spring. The group has been working on keeping their tents neat. A few of their sleep tents needed some maintenance and they decided to do it before the snow came. The group had one of the coldest days of the year to do their annual New Years Day sauna at Scootac Creek. They had to skip the traditional dip in the creek as it was covered in a thick layer of ice. The guys thought they got cold fast enough the way it was, as temperatures were in the single digits.
The last group to visit is the Mountaineers. They might not be in their campsite because they love to get done with their work early and go sledding. When entering their campsite, notice the new wood corral complete with their group logo made out of branches. When building the wood corral, they decided to design a tool rack to store tools when they are not being used. The group enjoyed decorating the campsite during Christmas and had several times when they invited visitors back for supper. During Christmas they got the opportunity to go ring the bells at the Salvation Army kettles in town. The group learned that helping others is fun and makes you feel good on the inside. They are busy planning a hiking trip on the West Rim Trail this spring.
Thanks for spending some time strolling around camp today. Winter has been fun ,but we are looking forward to watching the woods come back to life as warmer weather comes.