Scouts from Troop 514 left early Saturday for their annual rock climbing weekend at Hoffer Lake, above Anthony Lake. We knew we would encounter skiffs of snow, but little did we realize we would be breaking trail in close to twelve inches.
We enjoyed true winter camping. The boys adjusted for the conditions, working together to pitch their tents, cook their food, gather firewood and stay warm.
Hoffer Lake was lightly frozen. The late afternoon light created marvelous color tones on the lake. When I awoke Sunday morning after a chilly night, I was grateful to be there, amidst this snow cover beauty, rather than simply sitting in my easy chair at home drinking coffee. Coffee outdoors by the campfire was much better 🙂
Thirteen Scouts, four adults with four rafts enjoyed three days on the Grande Ronde river from June 16 to June 18.. Three of the boats were involved in rescuing a party of five whose boat had flipped . Morgan, Nate, Tim, Caleb, Garren righted the flipped raft and collected floating gear, and helped out a father and son who had landed on a rock near shore,. Nick skillfully maneuvered the second Scout raft while Lucy, Kadyn, Elias pulled a father and two young children out of the river, got them to shore and provided them dry clothes. Eric, James, Devin in the third boat heated up water with a jet boil stove, and furnished food and drink to the the children and father. It was a solid performance by the Scouts. Greg in the lead boat, was ahead of the accident. He had a campsite ready for us when we arrived. David, Alex, Kyler, and Eli had walked up stream and alerted us where to land, and helped pull us in.
Four intrepid Scouts and three adult leaders snow shoed five miles on Saturday in five degree weather up to Hoffer Lake, above Anthony Lake, Oregon. The air was still, and the sun reflecting off the snow did help to warm us up.
This is the time of year Troop 514 heads up the alpine country above Anthony Lake. We go up on Saturday via a long hike, set up tents, cook, and then rock climb on Sunday. This year, the rain forced us to cancel the climbing, but the boys tested their skills and fortitude in the rain. They were not as well prepared as we had warned them to be, so it ws an excellent learning exprerience. Most importantly, they stayed “cheerful”, one of the requisites of the Scout Law.
Embraced by memories of mountain air, sounds of the river, and visions of green meadows filled with wildflowers beneath alpine peaks, I loaded La Grande Troop 514 Scouts into the car to travel to the trailhead that leads up the East Fork of the Lostine River into the Eagle Cap Wilderness. The trail requires more effort than earlier years, but the challenge makes the time and beauty all the more meaningful. I am blessed to live so close to such a special place and still have the legs to hike, albeit at a slower pace. And it was particularly fun to backpack with these older scouts who could carry more weight and prepare a gourmet dinner and breakfast—despite the mosquitoes!
Seventeen Scouts, ages ten and half to eighteen, along with seven adults, spent three days rafting the Grande Ronde river this past Friday through Sunday. We rented five boats. The river was low, slow, and challenging.– lots of obscured rocks that needed to be maneuvered around and between. However, all went well and the boys learned about “reading” the river, and rowing.
They cooked dutch oven meals for both dinner and breakfast. We had four cooking groups and the boys did a wonderful job working together. Their cooperation and collegiality was a joy to behold. They were supportive of each other, and the few conflicts were minor. This is the third river trip we have done in the past four years. I have enjoyed watching boys grow into young men.
Every other year, Troop 514 travels to Salem, OR to open a House of Representative’s session with a flag ceremony. This year we also also met with our State representative, Greg Barreto, toured the Capitol and visited with a justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. The Scouts are both serious and excited by this opportunity. I always enjoy watching how well disciplined the scouts are as they first practice, and then perform, this call to the colors and pledge of allegiance ceremony.