When canoeing, it’s critical to know how to get back in the boat…

This July, our troop spent 7 days at Timothy Lake, Oregon. This is a most beloved annual campout our troop makes (this was the 24th anniversary!) teaching canoeing, personal watercraft, and boating skills and techniques. Once the boys have learned basic stroke skills for paddling, the very first lesson/drill we teach is how to “right” the canoe once you’ve tipped it… for arguements sake we’re going to assume you did that accidently unless you’re playing TORPEDO, and then all bets are off.  😉 Our scouts have canoed to Little Crater Lake, around Timothy to see the abundant wildlife, across the bay to pick huckleberries & competed in water-based scout olympics.

One of the hallmark moments of this year’s trip was the 10 mile hike that was done… now 10 miles may not sound like a lot to you, and it may sound like A LOT to others, but for some of the guys in this trek, it was… well, transforming. Michael hadn’t been on a hike of any major length since he’d ruptured his achilles a few years back so this was a MAJOR test-run for him. Some of the boys had never been on a wilderness hike more than 1/2 mile or so… needless to say, that all changed, there was some character building that occurred, only one blister was started (let’s take the opportunity to teach about using Mole-Skin!), some pretty sights were seen, and the best part of the hike was when one young man who truly didn’t know if he was going to be able to make it, got to the flag arch just outside camp at the end of the hike and whispered, “YES!!! I DID IT!” and did a little fist pump, a-la-Tiger Woods style… After all, isn’t that what these outings are really all about in different ways? Giving yourself opportunities to try new things, accomplish things you truly don’t know if you can do (but having the guts to try anyhow), and then being so thrilled with yourself when you achieve what you had only hoped to do?  THAT is why I am a scout leader. I believe in hope, I believe in daring yourself to try new things, and I believe in building self-confidence through experience.

If outings like this sound like fun, come see us on a Tuesday night at Fir Grove Elementary School in Beaverton Oregon at 7pm! We love seeing new faces & meeting new people.

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