Updated May 12, 2007
Broad Creek Canoeing, May 11-13, 2007

Saturday morning after breakfast, everyone had to make their lunch for the trip. Sandwiches were made and wrapped in foil, then sealed in a plastic bag with your name on it. These were then collected and tied into a trash bag, tied into the center of a canoe. Each Scout brought a water bottle, and additional water was tied into another canoe.
The morning started with training. First Safety Afloat was reviewed for a third time with everyone. Then Scouts who had the canoeing badge and the leaders taught everyone correct strokes, turning, and safety.
Scouts were assigned to canoes based on ability levels, with the stern occupied by a Scout who could steer and control the canoe, and the bow by a less experienced Scout. The 10 canoes were then launched one at a time.
Training continues in the lake with all boats running figure eight patterns, starting, and stopping. Each canoe had a buddy canoe assigned as required by Safety Afloat, and based on experience.
After training, we started up Broad Creek. The water level was very low, and some fallen trees blocked parts of the water. Scouts had to portage over sandbars and around trees at several points.
Lunch was enjoyed along the way, as were sightings of various wildlife, including two Bald Eagles. Eventually we came to a point where we could go upstream no further, since a fallen tree and high banks made it impossible.
Before starting back down the creek, Scouts enjoyed some time playing in the shallow water and cooling off.
The trip back down was faster, but made more difficult by the currents and obstacles. More than one canoe (including some adults) ended up swamped, and had to remove the water from their canoes.
The low water did cause a few mild rapids on the return trip that were a lot of fun for the boys. Some opted to run through them, with help from other Scouts should they get pushed aground on a sandbar.
When the trip up the creek was completed, younger Scouts took turns learning to steer back in the lake. The final event was a timed canoe race across the lake and around a stump.
After returning to camp and taking showers, several Scouts work on some advancement. These included Camping Merit Badge requirements, as well as Totin’ Chit (knife and axe safety) for newer Scouts.