Updated May 18, 2008
Canoeing the Delaware Water Gap, June 6-8 2008
Canoes and trailers were rented from Resica Falls Scout reservation, and towed to the Dingman’s access point of Delaware River. Scouts once again reviewed safety procedures and proper usage of a canoe. Everyone was asked to verify they had sunscreen, and then it was off to the river. Lunches were then placed in waterproof coolers, and with extra water were then secured to the crossbars of several canoes.
Younger Scouts with little of no canoe experience were paired up with more experienced and stronger Scouts in each canoe.
There was a headwind on the river, making it actually harder to go downstream than upstream at some points!
This stretch of the Delaware has some mild class 1 rapids, which made the trip interesting to everyone on board. There was plenty of wildlife, including several pairs of eagles and nesting orioles.
There were several areas where the canoes could be easily pulled to shore along the river, or on an island in the river. A few locations were ruled out since the Scouts know how to identify poison oak. After several hours, a shady spot was selected for lunch.
Temperatures were in the high 90’s, and so was the humidity. Everyone did real good about not splashing the canoes since we had gear in them, and nobody swamped all day long! But given a chance in a nice safe location, a brief “safe swim” consisting of wading and cooling off was enjoyed.
After 10 miles and 5-6 hours of hard paddling, everyone was tired, and glad to pull out as planned at the Bushkill access point. Canoes were loaded, and some Scouts and adults took a quick unplanned nap on the trip back or at the Scout camp.
The patrol’s cooked and enjoyed a nice dinner of cheese steak subs and home fries, and spent the evening playing cards, building card houses, tossing Frisbees outside (those with any energy left), and enjoying the camp. The troop was “upgraded” to a cabin by the camp Ranger when a group of staff planning to use a lodge called and cancelled right before we arrived. The Scouts (and even more so the adults) were grateful and enjoyed the facilities.

A word about sun block – some work better than others, and some hold up to water better than others. Experience teaches much more than just being told!