Unlike any of the camping trips I have been on, Troop 5 has let my younger brother(Webelo, Pack 6 Crestwood) and my mom come with us to our annual Skiing Trip in upstate New York. On Friday, Martin Luther King weekend, the  Westchester-Putnam Boy Scouting Council ,using their Yukon’s, drove us and our equipment for 4 hours to where the troop normally goes to summer camp. In Camp Read in the Adirondacks.

The First Night went by in what feels like a few minutes. The Troop and my family slept in the Camp Read Staff Cabin along with our kind Council Drivers. Downstairs the staff cook made us dinner, made lunch for the following day and explained the details of the upcoming trip. After a few drinks of bug juice and 2 plate full’s of Oreos and chips, we took showers, brushed our teeth and set up our sleeping bags. The First full day of skiing I took a refresher course of how to ski with my family. Being a little experienced, my dad and I excelled in the class. With everything I reviewed, I set off on some trails to try. The day was filled with a cold snap, fun and a freezing wind. The night was a repeat of the last but Mission Impossible III was added to the things we did. The Second day, we went to a new ski resort. It was home to the 1980 Winter Olympics Skiing competition. Mount Whiteface, Lake Placid. The entrance was lined up with flags from all around the world, Its peak stood taller than the clouds and it’s top slopes were on a 70 degree slope. It made Gore Mountain seem like a Ridge. I tagged along with my friends the Modesetts and Tora ,who are all more experienced than I at skiing. Thinking it was a good idea, I followed them into about halfway up the mountain and skiing down blue squares at which I fell every 100 yards. I slid down on my stomach like a penguin more than ski down like you are supposed to. Mr. Modesett gave me some helpful advice on sharper turns and I eventually got better at this skill. However, I took a  accidentally wrong turn at a green circle and abandoned my crew on the mountain. When I reached the bottom alone I found my family and texted them my well being. I spent the rest of the day on green circles with my family until we decided to take a look on the spectacular view from Little White Face Peak and caught a snack at a great bistro in the resort. Everything went great until we returned to Camp. The road to the Staff Cabin was covered with an inch thick sheet of ice, the Yukon was too dangerous to drive on the slick road and we could not walk without slipping. We had to get a large truck to dump sand on the road then switched to a Ford in order to get us back to camp. Being so tired, we did not hesitate to fall asleep that night, after brownies of course. The next morning was full of packing up, everyone was getting ready for one last day at Gore Mountain. My family and I spent 3 hours on the slopes together ready to leave the cold.

Everyone enjoyed Gettysburg. The first day we arrived, we left right after school, drove for six hours and pitch our tents in the cold and at night. The campsite we chose was the Daniel Lady Farm which held a skirmish between the rebels and the Union Army served as a Confederate field hospital during the battle. Confederate soldiers either died or had a limb cut off in the Hospital. They buried the limbs and corpses along the campsite and GBPA (Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association) repaired the barn to look the same as it did in the 1800’s. It gave the barn a ghostly appearance. The second day, we had egg and sausage burrito that Mikey Bartley cooked for us. Then we hiked 11 miles around Gettysburg town and village seeing all kinds of monuments ,cannons and where the real battle took place. On our way back to the campsite we watched a parade of rein actors of both armies march through Gettysburg and perform a ceremony of all Union, Confederate, and present United States. The second day we collected new firewood for the GBPA received an award from the rein actors, and they gave us a tour of the Barn. We saw the hospital “beds”(just doors on top of hay) and got a gruesome image of what happened to the wounded soldiers. Afterwards, we returned home to always remember how cold it was and what happened there.

The Assateauge camping trip was very fun. We went to the Maryland-Virginia border, and camped out and pitched tents. We got there at around seven o’clock. It took about five hours to get there. This was the first camping trip for some of the scouts who just recently joined, so they learned how to pitch tents. That night we just ate mashed potatoes with beef. We couldn’t do much that day because we had just got there in the late afternoon. The next morning we ate and couple of hours later we went two person kayaking because some of us, the new scouts had not enough strength. After that we came back, changed then in about an hour we got ready to go biking. We rented bikes nearby and bicycled around the park, and on the road. We also visited the lighthouse nearby, and saw wild horses. When we came back we cooked for a while because we were making sloppy Jose for everyone. Every one had helped at least a little in the cooking, and they turned out to be so warm and tasty. We made these in a dutch oven. The next day we packed up and got ready to leave. I loved this trip but the only thing I wanted to see was to, have more scouts come.

Ski Trip

The boys were picked up by the council Yukons. Clay’s mother stopped by to deliver a cake for his surprise birthday party. We successfully hid the cake in a black bag that was said to be “ for after dinner”. On our way up to Gore Mountain we shared jokes, stories and stopped at rest stops until we finally arrived. Everyone got ready for bed and a great day of skiing ahead. 6:00 A.M. Finally , The scouts prepared for the great day ahead. We grabbed our lunches and got into the Yukons. Experienced scouts started off by going on trails while the beginners took classes with instructors. By the end of the class we knew the proper way to ski. Then everyone had their lunch eventually and we left at 4;00. When we went back to our cabins in camp read we watched movies, had Clay’s surprise party, then went off to bed. At the crack of dawn everyone packed up and headed over to Gore for the last time. After 4 hours of skiing everyone headed back to Bronxville.

Giovanni La Vecchia

On Saturday, November 15, Troop 5 traveled to Steamtown National Historic site in Scranton, PA to look at the steam powered and locomotive trains. We had a tour guide who was very knowledgeable about the trains. The first train we saw was the Illinois Central R.R. no.790, the only steam train preserved to survive they diesel age. Afterwards we looked at the train tracks and the way the levers could change the track direction. We even got on a locomotive passenger train for a 3 mile ride! During the ride, the tour guide told us how the train operated and how the conductor can see what is in front of him to avoid accidents. After the train ride, the tour guide led us to our lunch and I had a delicious hoagie. When lunch was finished we went into a small room to work on our train merit badge.

Next we entered the theatre to watch a fascinating movie about this person who loved trains so much that when he grew up he always rode on it for his work. As a boy when a train stopped, he went in front of the train to look at the face of the train. At the end of the movie he still did the same thing as an adult.

The movie also showed the trains could do many things like transport passengers, resources to factories, and military supplies when they where needed.

After the movie we went to the two museums, they both showed how the train operated and who worked on it and what they did. Before we left we thanked the tour guide for his tour. Most of us found it fun especially Mr. Rabsey, Mr. Schneir, Mr. Landy, Francis, Sasha and Dave.

When we got back to our campsite, we started to cook our dinner. Liamメs patrol cooked chili and my patrol cooked a simple stew that was easier to clean up than the chili because when we were finished , Sasha had to scrape and clean the chili pot for a very long time. Then we started a big bonfire and enjoyed the peach cobbler the adults prepared, and even better, that pot was easy to clean up.

The next morning we woke up at 7:15 and started to take down the tents before breakfast. Mr. Landy said the person who took down the most tents would get a モprizeヤ. Before we left we made sure to sweep and leave no trace of our stay since it was a national park.

Then we headed out to go to the Lackawanna coal mine where we watched a short movie about the mine. Before we started the film, Mr. Landy gave prizes for the most cheerful person on the trip to David and for taking down the most tents, Sasha. After the short film we went on the tour and the tour guide who took us down into the coal mine. When we were down there the tour guide told us the conditions of the coal mine were very harsh for poor immigrant workers as young as 8 to 30. When we got out of the coal mine we took a picture of Troop 5 at the entrance. We thanked our tour guide for his help and left to go home so I could write this wonderful summary of our trip.

Rock scramble wite up

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June 21, 2013

On June 21, 2013, 17 scouts and 7 intrepid adults from Troop 5 Bronxville decided to engage in their version of Army Ranger training. It was the troop’s whitewater rafting and paintball trip in the Pocono’s which was resurrected after 6 years of abandonment. Members of the Border Patrol, which won this year’s Patrol Points competition, were awarded with an all expenses paid trip. Members of that patrol included James King, Michael Landy, Clay Layton, Tim Cushman and Sasha Capasso.

The weekend started with a lot of traffic on Route 80 turning a two hour drive into a 3 ½ hour drive. Eventually we travelled through the town of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, which was named after the Native American Sports Legend after a relative sold his body to the municipality with the highest bid – Anything goes in America. The campsite at Lake Mauch was a short jaunt up the road from the town, which met us with six very nice, albeit rocky, campsites. We set our tents up and hit the hay well past quiet time. Mr. Landy reminded us of the need to remain quiet when camping amidst the public by asking us all to whisper the Scout Law the following evening.

After an early breakfast, we jumped in the cars and headed out to go rafting on the Lehigh River. We had 4 rafts of 5 to 6 Troop 5 participants that accompanied about 15 other boats in the convoy (aka more targets for our bucket brigades). While the sun beat down early, the games began almost immediately with the water guns and the buckets. It didn’t take long for us all to drench one another (and most of the other rafters who we didn’t know). For miles we traded off ambushing one another with futile attempts to create alliances with other vessels. No one dared go near Macho Men Mikey and Miles Bartley’s boat which was stocked with rowing weapons, Mssrs. “Jimmy Hendrix” Taylor and General “I Love the Smell of Napalm in the Morning” Bartley, and a whining Scoutmaster (He reminded me more of Major Frank Burns than anything) who actually threatened to withhold rank advancement from us if we got him wet. Mr. Schnier, who took a face first header into the water on the first rapid to all of our great delight, bested Tommy Meade, who was in the water every time we turned around. The scenery was beautiful, the valley walls soared to majestic heights, and the rapids were plentiful. It seemed like forever but we finally pulled over to eat a well-deserved lunch before finishing on the water at around 4:00 in the afternoon. What a great day we all had.

We arrived back at the campsite and immediately started preparing our first official Dutch Oven meal as a troop. James King and Sasha Capasso cut vegetables while Karsten Schnier manned the bed of charcoal that was needed to cook in the Dutch Oven. The food was a resounding success. We had “Sloppy Scoutmaster Joe’s”, with broccoli and salad (Yes mom, we had broccoli and salad) which we washed down with a delicious peach cobbler. We can’t wait for the next Dutch Oven cookout!!!!!!

Bedtime came early as we all were very tired from our day on the water. We woke at daybreak, packed, ate breakfast and hit the road again for the paintball fields. Mr. Landy led the way and slammed his breaks on to let a bear cross the road (wish we had our paintball guns!). We all suited up, picked teams and argued as to whether Mr. Layton (aka Rambo) or Mr. Schnier (aka “Rambo with a Crew Cut”) were going to be on our sides. Our guide called himself Cuban B and drilled us in gun safety. In the competitions, we crawled through long tick-infested weeds, stalked one another through shipping containers, shimmied through pipes and finished the day laying siege to a castle. While no one was hurt (too badly anyway), our camo’s were drenched in the 100 degree heat, our lips were parched, our skin was bruised where the paintballs pelted us, and some of us got a face full of paint to swallow. Hey, what’s not to like?

Warrior of the weekend goes to Mrs. “Joan of Arc” Kaneko who not only was one of the first mom’s to join our weekend fun, but she played in every paintball game and took not a little mercy on any of us. We’re hoping to exact revenge by convincing her Girl Scout troop to suit up next time on the opposing team.

The Pocono’s Extravaganza is one we all hope to repeat.

Ghost Writer


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