After five training meetings, at Camp Tweedsmuir, five scouts acquired much needed knowledge on winter shelter building, survival, first aid and proper winter dress.
The First Beaver Valley Group Scouts, along with five leaders, then braved the cold last month camping for a weekend at Rosebud Lake, near the Nelway border.
On arrival at the campsite, the youths’ first chore was to dig spots in the snow for their tents. With some supervision and a lot of teamwork, all tents were up in no time.
After some warm soup around the fire, the campers were off to bed with the thoughts of fishing and hiking on their minds.
Saturday morning after breakfast, the ice was prepared and lines set with the hopes of fresh fish for dinner.
Once the lines were all organized, the troop got busy and set up an emergency shelter, in which they would be spending the night.
After a snow-shoe hike around the lake accompanied by the parents of two of the boys and lunch, the youths had some free time. With two Scouters in tow, the youth choose to set out and look for a geocache. Despite the online site information saying it was not winter-accessible, they searched the snow — waist-deep in some places — until they found it. Boy were they excited about that.
This then lead into a discussion on designing a “geo-cachers badge” for Scouting.
As dinner-time approached, three leaders headed into the bush to see if they could set a rabbit trap, and the boys checked their fishing lines hoping to have fresh fish for dinner. But still no fish!
Good thing a back-up plan was in place, as by dinner, there still wasn’t a fish caught.
Dinner came quickly as did the dark of night. The group had enjoyed a beautiful day out in the snow and sunshine and after having a fantastic dinner with apple cobbler for dessert, the whole gang spent the evening around the fire enjoying the slow pace prior to heading for bed.
Morning found everyone cozy warm in their shelter. They actually slept in.
Breakfast was a combination of omelets in a bag and leftovers from the night before.
Unfortunately, after breakfast, it was time to clean up the gear to prepare to head home.
Some time was spent teaching the troop axe and hatchet handling, and more winter survival.
Just as everyone was finishing up the packing, it was time to take in the fishing lines and one boy managed to catch a good-sized fish that he got to take home for dinner with his brother and father.
By the end of the weekend, all participants had earned their winter scouting badge, their winter year-round camper award, their axe/saw permit, and their stove/lantern permits.
Over all, it was a great weekend and everyone learned a lot about surviving out in the cold for 48 hours.
For more information on Scouting in the area or about the upcoming youth summer camp, which is open to all youth ages 9-13, contact Heather Hamer at 367-7453