April 10, 2011
The sky was overcast but it was comfortably warm when Karen and I headed for the park. We packed our cameras in pouches and took pictures along the way. Into the park we trotted pass the pond and down Bobcat Road. We stopped when we reached the large playing field and baseball diamond which was dotted with colorful pup tents. I remembered seeing the Boy Scouts’ camp last year. We turned away from the camp and took a trail that parallels the road. It was the first time we had been on the trails since fall; through the winter we traveled on the road. Most of the snow had melted and the trails were good not too muddy. We circled back to the barn, feed the horses apples and turned them out to pasture.
When I returned home I told my husband, Moe, about the Boy Scouts. We decided to hike into the park and talk with them. When we reached their camp we met Scout Master Hazen and some of the Boy Scouts from Troop #1 Athens.
“We saw you riding with your friend earlier. This is our club’s camping trip called New Scouts Outing designed for first year Boy Scouts moving up from Cub Scouts”, Scout Master Hazen said.
“What activities do the boys undertake?” I asked.
“The Boy Scout can choose from over a 100 different merit badges in a variety of skill areas including horseback riding. The program is designed to help boys develop social and life skills and prepare for their future careers. As a community service, on this outing when the boys break camp, they will clean out the trash from the woods surrounding their encampment to help with park maintenance,” replied the Scout Master.
We said farewell to the Boy Scouts and hiked a mile or so back towards our car parked at the gate. It was a lot different on foot compared to the leisurely horseback ride earlier in the day. The sun tried to peek out from behind the clouds as we trudged along the soggy trail. The ground was still frozen but the surface was muddy and wet. We took a short cut through the woods, climbed a very steep incline, and rested on a rock half-way up the hill. Finally, we made our way back to the car and drove home.
For more information about Troop #1 in Athens, PA go to Troop #1 Boy Scouts