Steamtown & Lackawanna Coal Mine
September 11-13, 2009
Updated September 18, 2009
Troop 205 set off for a weekend of history in Northern PA. Pennsylvania was a center of the steel industry in the US, and played a key role in the development of America through its industry, railroads, and coalmines.

After a very long ride due to poor weather conditions, Scouts arrived at Lackawanna State Park and set up camp. Experienced Scouts and leaders worked with Webelos to assure everything was set properly, and coached them in how to stay warm, dry, and have fun in any weather.
Duties such as cooking and cleaning were shared between Scouts and Webelos, giving the younger boys a chance to learn new skills.
Steamtown National Historic Site
Saturday was spent at the Steamtown National Historic Site. This is a national Park devoted to the trains that built America, allowing visitors to explore many of the old steam engines, learn about their mechanics, explore the roundhouses, and take a short ride on a historic steam train through the mountains of PA.
As the rain ended, Scouts had some time for fun and games, and learning new skills. Every boy likes to work with fire, and safety is something we require each new and future Scout to learn, so the Webelos were briefed on how to build a fire safely, and how to find the right types (dry and dead) wood. The campfire was then used for cooking dinner.

Evening activities had to be staged close to the campfire area due to a high population of skunks in the fields at the campground.
Lackawanna Coal Mine
Sunday, Scouts learned about the Coal Mines of PA, exploring the museum, cars, and equipment used in the mines, and then entering a mine transport car to descend the #190 shaft into a mine originally worked in 1860.
Walking through the mine with a miner, the Scouts were able to see what life was like for the men who worked this daily to make a living. They learned about accidents and rescues, floods and dangers. They could hear the pumps, which kept the shafts dry, even though they were below the water table. The experienced true darkness when the lights were extinguished. They learned of dangers miners faced, and the amazing applications of engineering that kept them safe and alive.
The best way to learn history is to experience it. These Scouts now understand the hard work and tough lifestyles that men endured at this point in our history.