Hard Labor Creek State Park Trip Report October 14-16, 2016

We met up at WCA at 6:00pm to pack the trailer and head just down the road to Hard Labor Creek State Park for a weekend that had pretty much perfect weather.  The primitive campsite #4 was very nice, but the lack of water would mean several trips to the campground office to fill up the coolers.  We arrived just before dark and set up camp and unloaded what was needed from the trailer.  The group planned out the activities for the next day, enjoyed the evening and eventually observed lights out at 10:30 pm

Saturday began early and in the dark as Scouts with fire duty were awakened at 6:30am.  But the early start gave way to some great pancakes, bacon, and fruit for breakfast.  A quick check of bikes, tire pressure and helmets and the mountain bike contingent left for the trails.  I didn’t go biking, but I only heard good things from those who did.  A trail ride of almost 8 miles was completed with no major injuries but a few good stories.  The Scout who stayed in camp got some time to learn some new board games, go fishing, check out the dam and spillway for the lake and just hang out.

Saturday afternoon started with lunch and then some free time.  Then, the Scouts were offered the chance to earn a merit badge, fingerprinting.  After about 2 hours of learning the history, the differences between AFIS and your iphone, the need for individuality and permanence, what whorls, arches and loops are, and finally making our own prints, the badge was completed.  While not eagle required, it was fun just to learn some of the basics of fingerprinting.  Plenty of free time was left just to have fun.  The most fun was found playing in a ditch!

Dinner was another example that some of our Scouts really can cook, and some are getting better at it all the time.  One group had homemade chicken soup with cornbread and the other had burritos that would rivial a local establishment for fresh ingredients. Then the lesson of why it’s important to complete KP duty before it gets dark and why putting off your work is never a good idea was demonstrated.  Eventually everything was washed and put away.  The SPL had a chance to teach safety during hazardous weather to help some Scouts with rank advancement.

Saturday night campfire was a great exhibition of storytelling, joke telling, and the sharing of roses, thorns and buds.  We have some great story tellers.  Some who just tell good stories and some who’s excitement about telling the story has to make up for the lack of an actual story.   There was however a great deal of laughter and good natured fun.  The food and biking seemed to be the big weekend hits.  The quest for a real bed and shower were the most often things to look forward to.

Sunday morning stared bright and earlier again with another good round of food for breakfast:  grits, eggs, bacon, sausage, cheese and hash browns.  The mountain biking group got in another short ride while the base camp group got a little extra experience with the proper trailer packing and how to leave the campsite better than we found it.

Overall, I think it was a great trip and that the Scouts had a good time!!  A special thanks to our adults who drove, pulled the trailer, and carried bikes (Dave. M, Dan E, Mike R.)

Robert P.

Scouts Attending: Bennet A, Daniel E, Tucker M, Matthew M, Tristan M, Andrew M, Jackson M, Sean M, Collie P, Stephen P, Michael R, Jeb R, Samuel R, Ben S, Adam T

Adults:  Dan E, Dave M, Robert P, Mike R, Jason R

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