West Hill Dam
September 24-26, 2010
We arrived late on Friday and set up camp in the dark. Within an hour the patrols had their tents up and a campfire roaring. The smooth efficiency of the boys working together to set up camp was a sign of good things to come.
Saturday started early with the Senior Patrol Leader getting the boys moving and each patrol cooking up pancakes and sausage or spam. After a good meal we unloaded the canoes and everyone was fitted with PFDs. Buddies were chosen within patrols and each pair did a great job launching their canoe. The upstream paddle was at a good pace and allowed the boys to get comfortable in the water.
We passed several beaver dams that diverted the flow through some challenging terrain. After a few hours we ran into a large beaver dam that was blocking the river. The water was about 3 feet higher on the other side of the dam. We made the decision to turn around and found a piece of mostly stable ground to have lunch on.
On the return trip all of the boys switched positions so each person had a chance to steer the canoe and although it was a little muggy and the sun was baking down, a cool breeze made for a comfortable trip. When we returned to camp about half the boys wanted to go swimming at the beach area. One of our two adult certified lifeguards worked with another adult to watch the boys have fun in the water while the other half of the boys took a break and played some games.
Dinner was hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken. Later the boys made a campfire and we had a flag retirement ceremony.
This was a great trip to kick off the year and allowed all of the boys to get comfortable in canoes and improve their paddling skills.