Trip Report – Hardigree Wildlife Sanctuary Camping Trip – March 13 2019

Hardigree Wildlife Sanctuary Camping Trip

Watkinsville, Ga.

2019 Mar 1-3

 

After meeting at WCA at 5:30pm Friday, March 1st, campers made their way to Hardigree. We arrived to clear weather, but then faced a nasty rain storm that created several challenges.  The wet conditions required a fast setup of camp and each camper learned the importance of planning for all types of weather and what can happen when camping equipment and clothing gets wet.

 On Saturday morning we woke to fantastic weather and started early with a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon, and fruit.  The balance of the day was to work on various skills that built into a team exercise with several challenges.  

 Saturday’s Morning Agenda

 1.      Each scout worked on using their compass and counting paces so that they could navigate the Hardigree property.

2.      Each scout was taught to shoot a shotgun and break clays.  A number of scout showed interest in completing their shooting sports merit badge.

3.      Knot typing and lashing was a critical skill that all scouts brushed up on.

4.      Fire building was also a focus as each had to learn to start a fire with a striker – no matches or lighter.

 After a great lunch the team took a 1 hour break for free time.   A number of scouts decided to go back and focus on learning to break clays.   Because we had 2 clay throwers we created a crossing pattern and encouraged scouts to learn how to break both clays with one shot.   This was really fun!

 Beginning at 2pm we began the team exercise.  The 11 scouts were separated into 2 patrols with each having an adult adviser.  They were given a few supplies to take on their trip that included a compass, rope, frying pan, spatula, bottle of water, fire striker, and a bag of pancake mix. 

 The challenge was to use a compass and navigate the Hardigree property to several different destinations.  One the destinations required the scouts to fish and catch a fish so that the team could move on.  They had to then navigate to a specific location and find a clay that they then had carry the rest of trip.  They then had to travel into a wooded area that had a hedge blocking the path.   The challenge was how to get through the hedge and continue the trip.   Scouts then had to go back and break 5 clays with a shotgun.  The team then navigated back to camp and built a tripod, start a fire with their supplied tools, and lastly cook a pancake.

 This was a fun exercise with all of us realizing that we need to use our basic skills frequently or we lose them.

 The day was finished with Mr. Steve Scruggs coming and teaching the groups about the snakes of Georgia.   Scouts were allowed to handle several snakes native to Georgia and then actually see Mr. Scruggs handle the venomous ones.  A special treat was that scouts were shown how the non-venomous snakes use their body to climb trees.  This was a close and personal experience that the entire camping party seemed to enjoy.  The snakes presented included a king snake, rat snakes, diamondback rattler, timber rattler, copperhead, and cotton mouth.

 After this event we made our way back to camp to have taco dinner.   We completed the evening with a campfire and time focused on roses, buds, and thorns.  It was lights out at 10:30 with all getting a good night’s sleep.

 We got up Sunday morning to good weather and a bagel and fruit breakfast.  We had a great chapel with some very good singing.   We got packed up and returned to Westminster by 10:15am.

Thanks to Jason R, Dan E, and Brandon, H for creating a fun weekend.  Tristan M did a nice job providing leadership as acting SPL.

Below is a list of scouts and adults on the trip.

 Scouts: Tucker M, Daniel E, Matthew M, Samuel R, Tristan M, Liam M, Tucker K, Daniel S, Gage H, Harrison R, Adam T.

 Adults: Jason R, Brandon H, Dan E, and Allen M

 Allen M

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