Shelburne Boy Scout Troop 602 began the 2015-16 season with a five-day, 50-mile Adirondack paddle from Long Lake along the Raquette River to Tupper Lake in August. In September, the troop was invited to act as color guard for the dedication of the Shelburne Veterans’ Memorial. This month, the boys returned to the Adirondacks where they backpacked in the Dix Mountain Wilderness in the High Peaks Region. The scouts look forward to another year of adventure that includes winter survival camping, skiing Tuckerman Ravine in New Hampshire, spring backpacking, and other adventures.
The highlight of the 2015-16 season will be a trip to three national parks in northern California and southern Oregon. “The guys decided they wanted to visit Crater Lake, Lassen Volcanic and Redwoods national parks, which is interesting since their choices included such well-known parks as Yellowstone, Mount Rainier and Yosemite,” said Scoutmaster Jim Brangan.
The trip is in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS) in 2016. The troop began preparing for the trip last April when the boys visited Washington D.C. to learn about the roles of the NPS in conserving our national treasures. The scouts discussed how conservation legislation is passed with Senator Patrick Leahy and his staff. They also met with NPS Director Jon Jarvis and toured the National Mall with an interpretive ranger—a visit that ended with a special trip to the top of the Washington Monument. Additionally, Troop 602 completed a volunteer project in NPS-managed Greenbelt Park where they camped while in Washington.
The trip also included a rafting trip down the New River Gorge National River in West Virginia and a stop at Gettysburg National Military Park. At Gettysburg, the scouts not only toured the battlefield, but learned about the various roles the NPS has in conserving the park’s land, monuments and artifacts and interpreting its history.
The preparations for the trip to the west coast will include additional discussions about conservation with experts. There will be a special trip to Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, which interprets the early conservation movement in the United States. “We work very hard to balance adventure with education and achievement,” Brangan said.
The Boy Scouts of America welcomes all boys ages 11 (must have completed the 5th grade) to 17. Being a Cub Scout is not a prerequisite for joining Boy Scouts. If you have a son who is interested in becoming a member of Troop 602, please contact Scoutmaster Jim Brangan at (802) 985-1007.