Lovells Island 2011
September 24 and 25, 2011
Last weekend we camped out on Lovells Island in Boston Harbor. We hired a boat to transport the troop from Rowes Wharf in Boston out to the island which was about a 35 minute trip. With the 28 scouts, adults and gear we made it out in 2 trips. The weather was a little overcast but turned out to be beautiful.
We met at the Elks Lodge Friday night; double checked that everyone was prepared for the weekend and packed all of the equipment and personal gear into the truck. Saturday morning we met at the Elks at 5:30 a.m. and headed out to Boston.
We arrived at Rowes Wharf around 6:30 a.m. and the scouts moved all of the equipment down to the dock. The SPL divided the troop by patrols and the first group left the dock around 7:00 a.m. with all of the troop equipment. When they arrived, the SPL went to find the camping area while the rest of the troop moved everything onto Lovells Island. By the time the second group arrived the patrols in the first group had their tents up and began setting up the dining flies while the last patrol was setting up their tents. The boys did a great job working as a team and everything went off without a hitch.
The campsite was next to an old military battery and the remains of several gun platforms loomed over us. We discovered just before leaving on the trip that Saturday was public lands day and the National Park Service had planned a cleanup event for the island. We decided to join in the cleanup and worked until noon pulling debris out of the overgrown areas of the island, cataloging it and moving it to a staging area near the pier. Everyone pitched in to help and the boys did a great job.
Once we finished with the service work we went back to camp and had lunch then started exploring the island. The entire troop went to do the main military bunker on the island and split into patrols there. After exploring that area the patrols were allowed to explore more of the island as they made their way back to the campsite. The SPL gave them a time to be back at camp and they were all back right on time. The last exploration for the day was at shore where we explored the rocky intertidal zone. Low tide was around 3:00 which gave the boys the opportunity to explore the area and tide pools. They found a lot of creatures including, snails, hermit crabs, rock fish, barnacles, muscles and starfish. The number and diversity of creatures was pretty amazing.
In the afternoon we had patrol time which was used to relax, explore the area around camp and plan skits and songs for the campfire. This was one of the favorite parts of the day for most of the boys as it was completely unplanned and allowed them to just hang out and talk.
In the evening all of the patrols cooked and ate dinner. After cleaning up, the Albino Blacksheep headed down to the shore to get the campfire area set up. They found large pieces of driftwood and Styrofoam to make seating and found plenty of fuel for the fire. They made the fire at the high tide mark so that the tide would remove it and there would be no trace. The campfire was lit just after dark and everyone was gathered around. We had a wonderful view of Boston in the distance and could hear the waves crash on the shore after boats went by. Chris led the campfire and all of the boys did a great job participating in songs and skits.
After the long day about half the troop went back to the campsite and off to bed while many stayed by the campfire to relax and talk. When the conversation slowed and the hour was late we doused the fire and headed to bed. Four of the boys decided to sleep out under the stars next to their tents and were happy to have good weather throughout the night.
Sunday morning came early but the PLC had the plan together. As soon as everyone was out of their tents they were eating breakfast and taking down the site. The PLC organized all of the troop equipment and had it moved down to the dock just in time for the boat to arrive at 9:00. We reversed the drill on the way out and in two trips we had the entire troop and gear back at Rowes Wharf and loaded into the truck. The parents showed up right on time and we divided the boys up and headed back to Franklin I’d like to say thank you to all of the parents who volunteered to drive this weekend. Normally the adult leadership handles most of the transportation but this time we needed drivers to take the whole troop. It worked out really well and we couldn’t have done it without you.
This weekend was a great start to the scouting year. We had great attendance, good weather and a very nice adventure on the island. If the weekend was any indicator, it is going to be a GREAT year.