Instead of the meeting at the Bronxville Church, we met at the Layton’s home only a block away. We drove for hours in freezing temperatures the entire ride to Ookpik. Arriving late at night, it was far below what we expected. The wind felt like it would never cease blowing, but the warm cabin filled with other troops helped us think we could actually survive.
The Camp Director gave us a PowerPoint lecture on ‘Surviving Ookpik’. It featured helpful advice from making your Quinzee (snow shelter) to your basic first aid. They even offered gear for those who came unprepared for the night like I was. There was a small fee that I wish I paid for. We spent the first night in a cold cabin then awoke to an amazingly cooked breakfast. It was filled with warm eggs, bacon, even cake and hot chocolate. I said to myself “This trip is easier than I thought”.
The Moment of Truth has arrived. We received lunch bags for tonight and for the morning. The bags were full of things I would never eat on a daily basis. Everything from Pop Tarts, to Ramen, to Jell-O. Before we could have our ‘food’, we had to make our snow shelters. To make them, you must have a pile of snow, wait a few hours, then dig a big hole to fit us both. Our guide bought shovels that eventually ran out so my tent mate Xavier and I invented a useful tool for shoveling snow. The “Snowshoevil”. We took some leftover shovelheads and attached them to the end of our snowshoes. Finally, we began to make progress, but not enough. There were two shelters that had to be made were Tommy and Kenny’s and Xavier and mine. Everyone in the troop contributed to our shelters. First ours, then Tommy and Kenny’s. After a great lunch, we dug a hole into our pile or pile of snow. With the help of Mr. Layton, we finished our shelter. We unpacked our ground tarps and sleeping bags to prepare for the night. Xavier’s dad built a small wall to keep crosswinds from coming into our door and poked small holes on the top and the two sides to allow us to breathe. It soon became night and the temperature dropped slowly. It had to be below 5 degrees but the guide started a hobo fire and we all stood around the barrel talking about the Super Bowl. As we were talking, one of the Cabin’s cooks drove to the site(why we did not do that I will never know) in a Yukon and gave us homemade brownies to eat and water to drink. It was late, so we headed back to the makeshift shelter and stayed for a long, cold night.
The shelter was cold but it was even colder outside. 25 degrees in the Quinzee and -5 degrees outside. Meanwhile, my hot chocolate froze. However we got plenty of sleep and had a funny conversation of how worse things could have been, in reality, we were fine but it just comes to say, “Be Prepared”.
The next morning was bright and cold. My shoelaces froze to the boot and we ran out of junk food to eat but that did not stop us. We packed everything, woke up Kenny and Tommy, and put our packs on our sleds. Before we left, Charlie and I took a look at the frozen lake, even walked on it. Before it was too late, we hiked back to the Ookpik cabin and had another wonderful breakfast. The troop loaded the trunks of the cars, bought soda known to Maine as ‘Moxie’ and drove back to Westchester. After that trip, Global Warming did not exist. -Giovanni La Vecchia

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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