Weekend at Camp Tuckahoe, March 19-21, 2010
Updated March 23, 2010

Troop 205 is happy to have many new Scouts joining this year, with this being their first camping trip as Boy Scouts. So, safety first! The weekend started with a review of knife and axe safety, so the Scouts could use their knifes and cut wood with less chance of injury.
We stress making learning fun, so while teaching the correct methods of fire safety and fire building, we then have a contest. Four teams competed to build a fire using 1 match, with a race to burn through a string the fastest. It is really a contest in listening and teamwork, because if you listened to what should be used to light a fire successfully, followed the safety guidelines (and helped you team follow them too) you were likely to win.
While performing the wood gathering, several scouts got to meet “Sally” and her family, local residents around camp. This brought on another conversation about respect for wildlife, and less friendly residents such as snakes and spiders. Everyone learned the basics of first aid for these as well as other common things such as bees, scratches, small cuts, and preventing dehydration.
Next was lunch. The Scouts had planned some simple lunches including sandwiches, soup, and fruit. Then it was time to prepare for the big hike.
The boys had planned this entire weekend and programs, including the hike to find some local geocaches. One was located that was actually placed on camp property, and the highest point in camp, about 1,600 or so feet up the surrounding “hill.” It was a very tough mile hike to the top, being led by the GPS systems through the woods and blackberry bushes. There were lots of hawks everywhere, and a very large rattlesnake skin found in the woods. With no trail to follow, it was a difficult but fun hike.

On returning to camp, a few of the Scouts learned about first aid for stiff muscles and minor scrapes caused by blackberry bushes. A review of the activity was held, along with some discussion about verifying your trip plans – four of the five geocaches that had been identified were in Tuckahoe NJ – not very good unless we wanted to hike 135 miles to get there!
The afternoon plan was to “build something big.” The vote was to build a 40 foot tower. Scouts learned and practiced their clove hitch, square knot, and square lashing. This plan had to be changed for several reasons: no large pioneering poles were available, and the ground was to wet to guarantee we could safely build a large tower. Plan “b” was a monkey bridge at a much lower height, so we started along that path.
With the final project done and inspected for safety, a quick review was conducted about safety and spotting the Scout on the bridge, and they Monkeys Away!
A few were apprehensive, but most were anxious to try. Every so often a break was declared for tightening the ropes and checking everything. An excellent first project for a bunch of very enthusiastic Scouts.
Evening activities included an excellent dinner: One patrol had some baked ribs cooked by the Scouts in Dutch ovens, and the other Teriyaki Chicken cooked on the open coals. The closing campfire was conducted, and a bunch of tired boys went to bed after truly doing their best all day.