Today all our patrols are out at different area campsites. However, we've managed to collect updates from four of the five, so please enjoy below!
We also have been able to post a few pictures, viewable here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yc2cytyexnjjnl7/-07kyuQ_jJ.
Patrol E spent the day sailing on scouter Joe's trimaran and the Wallace sloop. The guys checked out Yough Dam, and went up to the beach for lunch, then the boats were put in the water and each scout took turns sailing both the trimaran and sloop. Patrick took command of the jib sheets on the sloop, while Jack B., Jacob and Joe W. took turns on the tiller. Dillon learned to tack upwind through the valleys in the trimaran. The boats were landed on a beach and the boys went swimming and took a little time exploring the shoreline. The crews were switched, and Jack B and Joe W. took turns jumping off the trimaran and doing man overboard drills. Jacob and Patrick demonstrated competency on the man overboard drill, but generally relaxed on the way back. The sloop pulled Pike and Jack W through the water as we enjoyed a good wind and sunny skies in the mid-afternoon. By the late afternoon Jack B took the helm and navigated the flukey winds to sail the trimaran back to the boat ramp. We got back to camp just as the rain started...
Patrol D had a day of biking. The group tele-transported to Ohiopyle via trailer, and then checked out the local trails. Starting out on the rail-to-trail, Adam A. explored bumper bikes and learned a lesson about proper spacing without any actual injuries having to be endured. Then they heading on an easy mountain bike trail where they all learned about downshifting for uphills. They worked there way over to Cucumber Falls for a scenic lunch. Brian R. and Tony displayed some impressive climbing skills on the boulders around the waterfall. It was full afternoon of biking. Brandon pushed hard and did well on the final stretch biking to Yough Dam to join Patrols E and G at the group site there. Once at camp they swiftly set to work cooking their diner, head chefs Nima and Shane helping to show Thomas and Adam the proper way to cook pizze. Patrol D Finished the night in high spirits despite torrential downpour and headed to bed for an early night..
Patrol G had a fine day of fly fishing. They broke camp early, using their developing skills and enjoyed a short ride to the fly fishing class. A morning of instruction and practice was followed by an afternoon on a lake. A total of 5 fish were caught. Kethan was the first, and pretty much everyone caught one more. Mr. Fretz caught the following: a big tree, a small tree, a bush, lots of seaweed, and his finger. Mr. Fretz eventually gave up and took a nap under a tree. Then we all proceeded to the lake for our camp prior to sailing tomorrow. The lads responded well to his "camp setup, dinner, cleanup in 90 minutes" challenge, so he delivered on his promise to show them the roadside diner that served 50 oz milkshakes. He bought them over 200 oz of milkshake and 3 of 4 boys finished their mega-shakes. AND there was very little projectile vomiting! We are soggy and headed to bed in good spirits!!
After waking up this morning at an exceptionally early time to cook some oatmeal, Patrol A managed to get ready and leave half an hour before their departure time. (Half an hour more of sleeping would've been nice, if you ask me.) There was an extended period where they left their gear out in the open field as Scouter Bob said repeatedly, "You know, when you do that, Earl diverts a rain cloud from West Virginia to send it just to get you.". Naturally, half an hour later their gear was still in the field, and the raincloud got them. Love those natural lessons!
After a brief navigational problem solved by Sam, we arrived at the Seven Springs resort, the location of the illustrious SHOTGUN RANGE!!!!!! We took the chairlift for the first time since February, and arrived on the scene. The Seven Springs Sporting Clays group has been a good friend over the years, going out of their way to provide top-notch instructors at affordable rates. for those not familiar, sporting clays is the "hard" version shooting sport, where clay frisbees get launched along the ground, up in the air, toward you, away from you, sideways, and two at a time in pairs from different directions.
After a brief lapse in judgment in which we handed loaded firearms to adolescent boys, they proceeded to shatter our expectations, the clay pigeons, and my self-esteem in my shooting ability all at the same time! I was especially impressed with people like Sam Sauer, (31/50, including a straight 10 in a row shooting report pairs, and one true pair where two pigeons get launched in different directions at the same time) Ben Sherrick, (25/50, fantastic for his first time shooting!) Brian Boehman (20/50 awesome at crossing shots, which most people feel sre hard) and Lucas Tittle, (14/50) all of whom had "never shot a gun before." (They must secretly sneak out all the time). Sam got invited to the weekend tournament at Seven Springs! Robbie Morris, our youngest and smallest guy was outfitted with a special short 20 gauge, and astonished everybody by breaking bird after bird. Scouter Jim ("Bill") was very impressed. Some shotgun merit badges in the future. Top honors among the adults went to Scouter Greg Steinl, who showed us how it was done with 41/50
We left the shooting range and proceeded down the Alpine Slide, (a completely safe cart that travels down a track at high velocity) and arrived at our new campsite at Ohiopyle State Park - Kentuck Knob camp, part of our stealth agenda to practice camp setup and teardown. We set up once, but failed the 40-minute time limit, so we repacked everything and then set up again, making it in 29 minutes from arrival to full camp setup! Everyone is now cooking pizza, to the wonderful aroma of intellectual discussions on the finer points in life. (Just kidding, the current conversation involves what would happen if you ate a pound of butter straight up).
We're hoping that tonight's weather will be the last for a while , but we're hearing thunder in the distance as the pizza finishes cooking. We're ready for it, and all it will do now is make the river hike more fun tomorrow!