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Summer Camp 2006

Troop 78 Colton, New York

Canoe Trek August 12-19, 2006

Summer Camp 2005 at Camp Portaferry
camp2005.jpg
Click here to check out what we did last year.

Canoe Trek Sucess

The scouts had a great time on the trip.  We managed to achieve our goal of 50 miles even though we paddled into the wind most of the week.  There were no problems of note other than some scouts need to work on their cooking skills a little more.  In the next column, you can read a trip report detailing our trip.

Canoe Trek Report
  • Day 1, Saturday August 12:  We met at the Kunoco Station in Parishville at 9 AM, but had to wait for Buddytag's mom to go back to get the food he forgot.  We all drove to Hoel Pond to lauch our trip.  We launched into a fairly strong wind on Hoel Pond and fought our way across.  I had to stop at Turtle Pond to repair what looked like a bullet hole in my canoe that was letting in water by the gallon.  We continued on to Slang Pond and carried into Long Pond to camp for the first night.  Along the way we ran into a scout leader from Troop 62 in Latham, NY.
  • Day 2, Sunday August 13:  Another windy day on the water.  We paddled across the rest of Long Pond to the carry to Floodwood Pond.  The carry had been converted from a one mile carry into a half mile carry, followed by a paddle through a beaver pond, followed by another short carry.  We paddled into Floodwood Pond where I led Cody and Brett to find their first Geocache (check out geocaching.com).  That had a pretty good time hunting for it, and we trades some small items.  Cody started a pin collection from the caches we found.  We continued down an arm of Floodwood and down a creek into Rollins Pond.  We paddled against the wind the length of Rollins to set up camp.  Everyone was fairly tired from the days paddling, but still had a good time.  That evening we had a twilight performance of the bagpipes from another camper on the lake.
  • Day 3, Monday August 14:  We had the wind with us for a good amount of time today, so we covered miles easily.  We headed back up the length of Rollins Pond and returned to Floodwood Pond.  From there we canoed south through Little Square Pond and into the the Fish Creek Ponds.  We all took advantage of a stop at a local store along the route to purchase some forgotten or luxury items including a taste of ice cream.  We continued on through to Follensby Clear Pond.  Once there, we managed to find an open though overly used.campsite.  Kevin caught a nice Northern Pike of about 22 inches that got everyone  interested in fishing, but all that was caught the rest of the evening were little shiners.
  • Day 4, Tuesday August 15:   Again the wind was against us the entire day.  We paddled through a part of Follensby Clear Pond and portaged into Horseshoe Pond.  We continued through Horseshoe to the short portage to Little Polliwog Pond.  As we paddled across Little Polliwog, we got a glimpse of an Osprey flying across the pond.  We then portaged into Polliwog Pond.  We canoed around there a bit, then proceeded to carry back into Follensby Clear Pond in order to get to the portage to Green Pond.  While resting at this portage, we ran into another scout troop from Sheffield, MA.  We took the opportunity to chat for a bit before they continued.  Once we ate some lunch, we canoed to the Green Pond carry and headed into there.   After hanging out in Green Pond a bit, we carried once again back into Follensby Clear.  We decided to hunt for another geocache, and this time everyone participated except Jamie, who didn't feel like climbing the hill.  We finished up with a paddle back to our campsite.
  • Day 5, Wednesday August 16:  We started off this day in a good mood because there was little wind to combat.  We headed first to find a hydrocache that we'd bypassed the other day due to the wind.  Some of the scouts volunteered to go swimming to get this one since it was in the water.  We then continued on back through Follensby Clear into the Fish Creek Ponds and down into Upper Saranac Lake in Fish Creek Bay.  We then headed to a campsite on Butternut Point where we could see a good part of the lake and that made our days of paddling ahead a little easier.  The scouts got a chance to watch some girls parasailing behind a boat on the lake, something I doubt any of them had seen before.  The fishing was only so-so with some small bass being the best catches.  That night the stars were especially bright, and several of us sat back to enjoy watching them.  We saw several shooting stars and watched some satellites track across the sky.  One satellite, which we think was actually the International Space Station, became extremely bright for a few seconds before fading back to a little dot in the sky.  The only drawback to the site was the bouy with the flashing light that kept some of us awake for a bit that night. 
  • Day 6, Thursday August 17:  This was by far our easiest and most fun filled day.  There was no wind on the lake which made paddling easy.  We headed off to Green Island to find yet another cache on the trip.  After a good hunt, this cache was well hidden, we headed on to our primary objective, Tommy's Rock.  We spent the afternoon jumping off the rock and swimming in the waters around it.  The rock was the destination of several other groups as well, and the smell of the hamburgers they were cooking cause quite a stir in our group.  After we had our fill of swimming and lunch, we paddled back to our campsite on Butternut Point.  That evening we got so see up close a low flying floatplane as it passed overhead several times.  Dinner was punctuated by Cody making himself slightly ill by hogging down half a jar of peanutbutter.  The day ended with more stargazing.
  • Day 7, Friday August 18:  Our luck with the wind wore out.  We spent the day paddling against the wind to Barlett's Carry between Upper and Middle Saranac Lakes.  The carry was only one half mile, but some of it was uphill and everyone was pretty tired.  This carry took quite some time, but we got it done.  We checked into our group site on Middle Saranac Lake and the scouts rejoiced at the site of picnic tables.  The scouts played some card games after dinner until lights out.
  • Day 8,Saturday August 19:  We started our last day with the wind at our backs.  We made much better time than originally planned.  Everyone enjoyed going through the locks between Middle and Lower Saranca Lakes.  We stopped and had luch at a picnic spot near the entrance to Second Pond.  The scouts played some card game with me that they decided wasn't as much fun with someone much more skilled than themselves.  We then paddled down to the boat launch on Route 3 in Second Pond where we took out and our trip officially came to an end.

All in all it was an excellent trip.  The weather was good except for all the wind.  There really was no rain to speak of.  Everyone had a good time and learned a bit about primitive camping.  We took some pictures, and I'll get those posted as soon as I can.

Troop 78, Colton, New York