Troop 868 in Action
Knobstone Trail Backpacking
(October 14~16, 2011)

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For first-time backpackers, the group did amazingly well.  Most importantly, everyone kept a positive attitude and kept going.  Mid-afternoon, a group of older scouts accompanied by three of the adult leaders, moved ahead to scout out the terrain and chose a campsite.  They picked a spot on top of ridge under some power lines just short of mile marker 33.  The sky was crystal clear on Saturday night and the open field make for some excellent stargazing.  

The group rose a little earlier on Sunday morning and everyone enjoyed a breakfast of hot oatmeal.  The group also did much getting packed up and ready to hike.  A decision was made to look for a place along the trail to stop and hold a worship service rather than do it before we started hiking.  This was a good decision, because we found a great spot with a large log to sit on and everyone was much more comfortable after the day had warmed up a bit.

We concluded our worship service around 11 AM and hiked on toward the Elk Creek Trailhead, arriving there right at noon.  Rather than push on another 6 miles to the Leota Trailhead, we decided to stop at Elk Creek, retrieve the bus and our other vehicles, then find a buffet restaurant to have a grand lunch on the way home.

It turned out to be a great outing.  The weather was perfect for backpacking and everyone completed the hike carrying their own pack ... pretty impressive for a group that included so many young scouts with no previous backpacking experience.  Best of all, the scouts learned how much fun backpacking can be and are already talking about doing more of it in the future.  That's what we call successful Scouting!

Our campsite as the sun came up on Sunday morning. Toby and Brixton stick their heads out of their tent to inquire whether or not breakfast was ready?
Assistant Scoutmaster Mike Canchola worked to squeeze the air out of his air mattress. Scoutmaster Bob Meek gathered fuel bottles for the trail stoves as he prepared to cook some oatmeal.
Scouts worked to get their tents down and gear packed up. Scouts gathered around to discuss whether to hold church before hiking or begin walking and look for a place to stop along the trail.
Mr. Canchola, Mr. Jacobs, Brixton, Mr. Hagerman, Toby, and Preston all loaded up and ready to go. The rest of the group was equally ready.
Off we go on Sunday morning for another day of hiking. Yeah!!! The group found a nice spot along the trail to stop and hold a worship service.
Scouts found a large log to be a comfortable seat as ASM Hagerman conferred with Mr. Moore. Assistant Scoutmaster Jeff Hagerman delivered the message for our Sunday morning worship service.
Nearing the end.  Dylan stands next to mile marker 32 which is located less than half a mile from the Elk Creek Trailhead. At Elk Creek, where we elected to end our hike, scouts sat along a concrete wall and enjoyed the view while they waited for the bus to arrive.

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