Yes, it’s that magical time of the Scout season when we have the great privilege of packing up a bunch of canoes and communing with nature on a beautiful Florida river !
This year, we are returning to the grand Ocklawaha River, which is near the Ocala and Silver Springs area. Much of the Ocklawaha is, as it was hundreds of years ago, in its pristine natural beauty. Early in the morning, mist rises over spring-fed streams. Clear water runs gently through semi-tropical forests and moss-draped trees. Canoeists wind through narrow waterways lined with gnarly cypress, swamp maples and sable palms.
The canoeing campout is my favorite…Scouts and adults alike learn so much on this campout, for example how to pack efficiently for loading up a canoe…can’t pack too much or you’ll overload the boat, but you have to pack enough in order to have a successful campout. How to keep your gear dry, how to navigate the river, different paddling techniques, how to purify water, and much more. At the end of this campout, you’ll be on your way to becoming a camping veteran!
There’s also the adventure factor. There’s something unique and challenging about packing up all of your gear on a boat, paddling down the river to a new destination, setting up camp, and travelling again the next day. A mini-version of a Lewis and Clark expedition !
So how do you prepare for this campout ?
Step 1…make sure you sign up on TroopKit for the Ocklawaha River Trek Camp event. Do it as soon as possible since we need to plan for the appropriate number of canoes. Once we finalize that number, we won’t be able to add more Scouts to the roster.
Step 2…make sure to attend our next troop meeting on Monday 10/07/13. The Troop Instructors will be going over some canoe basics.
Step 3…if you have not already completed it, it is highly recommended that you take the canoeing merit badge. We are privileged to have in our troop a canoeing expert, Mr. Gadsby, who will be providing the instruction and counseling for this merit badge. If you plan to take the merit badge, sign up on TroopKit for the Canoe merit badge Training events (there are 2 training events/sessions before the campout).
Hope you join us on our canoeing adventures !
Yours In Scouting,
Scoutmaster, Troop 22