CLARKS GREEN — Boy Scouts of America Troop 251 of Clarks Green headed out on Saturday, Jan. 2 to Camp Tuscarora in New York state. The cold weather camping expedition was led by Scout Leader Bill Fiore and Provisional Senior Patrol Leader Sam Babushko, an Abington Heights freshman. Before the expedition, Fiore gave the boys some cold weather instruction.
The boys arrived at the camp to discover it was as picturesque as a winter postcard with a fresh coating of snow. There was a quaint lodge, surrounded by four large, open-sided lean-tos. Each lean-to had an old, but clean, reflector fireplace built in front, to help keep it warm. Inside, eight bunks divided into two levels were positioned to allow the fire heat to warm the soon-to-be campers. One patrol chose the lean to by the northeast corner, the other patrol took the southeast corner by the partially frozen camp lake.
After starting the reflector fires and cooking lunch, with full bellies, the Scouts walked around the lake to see the main camp where Fiore enjoyed many of his younger Scout days. By the time they returned, everyone was warm from exercise. The troop decided to go on another hike, a scenic 3 miles that went through the wooded camp to see the quarries. Upon return to the lean-tos, the scouts played games until dinner.
Troop cooks warmed everyone with a dinner of Dutch-oven beef stew, followed by foil-baked banana boats, filled with warm, gooey marshmallows. By 6 p.m., dinner was finished and cleaned up. The young men were tired, but talked about past adventures and what expeditions may lay in their futures. Sooner than expected, everyone was tired. The Scouts snuggled deep down into their sleeping bags. Listening to the distant sound of the leaders chatting and the crackling fire, they drifted off to sleep in no time.
Overnight low temperatures were in the low-20 degrees.
The scouts woke up to another chilly morning, but quickly stoked warming fires. After breakfast, the Scouts policed the area for trash and replaced what firewood they had used. Then it was time for Sunday worship service, filled with singing. Finally, Troop 251 said goodbye to the fascinating cold-weather expedition.