WHOA Camping Trip
Friday, January 15 -
Once again, we arrived Friday at Horace A Moses Scout Reservation after dark. This time, we camped at the Nathan Hale campsite, one we have not used before. This site was much easier to pull the trailer to than last month's site, a big plus given that the last section of road was covered in ice when we arrived. In January, Moses was the only Scout camp open for overnight camping in Massachusetts. As such, it was surprising that we were the only unit camping there.
We had 3 Scouts and 5 adults participating on this trip.
When we woke up on Saturday, the camp site was blanketed in heavy, wet snow, and it was already raining. This time, all three of our popup canopies , covering the kitchen area, had been destroyed by the weight of the snow. We set to work digging out the kitchen area and bundling the wreckage for disposal. Mr. MacNeal's canopy (an EZ Up) had served on troop trips at least since the “Civil War Experience" Camporee in May 2009. Mr. Froimson's two canopies were on their first use.
The snow clean-up took enough time to make us late for the beginning of the Woronoco Heights Outdoor Adventures (WHOA) event, but that didn't really matter for the way this was set up. Over 40 people were registered for the WHOA event, and it looked as though about that many showed up during the day on Saturday. At least half of the other participants were with girl troops; they all participated with exceptional enthusiasm.
There were several activity stations from which to choose. Our Scouts first participated in the Escape Room; for COVID-19, this was done outdoors with the clues mounted on a stack of plastic crates. Then, we headed off on a geocaching activity that served as a broad-ranging camp tour (hiked, of course, on snow in the rain). We took an unplanned lunch back at the site (the event organizers had failed to update their web posting to indicate that lunches are not served during the pandemic).
After lunch, our Scouts tried ax throwing at the dedicated hatchet activity area, the only one we have seen at a Scout camp.
Fortunately, by mid afternoon, the rain stopped, and it was warm enough to enable scraping the ice off the picnic tables. We were able to get a fire going so we could dry off a bit. Although the Scouts had planned to cook their dinner ( a gourmet mac and cheese recipe) in a Dutch oven, with the ground snow-covered and wet, they opted to instead cook it on a camp stove, which worked just as well.
The camp ranger plowed the section of road passing our site on Saturday, so we were able to get get back out of the site on what had again become an icy road, without incident.
This was our one hundred forty fifth consecutive month with at least one overnight camping trip.
Page updated 1/31/21