Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It's hump day (Camp Woodruff Day Four Summary)

After a good night's rest, Wednesday started off just like the rest. Scouts and leaders woke early at 6:30 a.m., brushed teeth, and heading as a troop to the parade grounds for the flag raising. We enjoyed blueberry muffins, cereal, etc. for breakfast this morning before heading out to our usual routine of merit badge classes.  Assistant Scoutmaster Wes Williams packed up so he could return to Auburn around lunch time.

Beautiful morning at the waterfront

After our morning merit badge sessions, we all hopped on a bus headed for North Carolina to brave the cold water and rapids of the Nantahala River ("...of doom"  ask your Scouts about "of doom" when they get back). Many of the boys were surprised and excited to be heading to North Carolina, even though it's only about five miles away from Camp Woodruff. The Nantahala, however, is probably just under an hour drive via bus. We had a sack lunch on the bus consisting of ham and cheese sandwiches, chips, and a granola bar. Before we boarded the bus, the Scouts were reading the waivers that they and their parents signed about the trip. They noticed the word "death" on there, which created a great deal of conversation about how dangerous the river must be since that was mentioned.

Whitewater Express provided the
equipment and transportation for our rafting trip.

Once we arrived at the "put-in" area, we were outfitted for PFDs (personal flotation devices), helmets, and paddles. We were instructed on some river safety measures, which the Scouts paid attention to because of the word "death" on the waiver. We broke up into three groups to go down the river. Each group went down in a raft with a guide. Several Scouts got to "ride the bull" at the front of the raft and a few fell into the 46-degree water. Everyone enjoyed the trip and came back safely. The only negative comment about the river was how cold the water was (in the 40s).

Robert, Joe, and John (l-r) on our way back from the river

Unfortunately, we missed out on being on bus 50, which would've been a nice coincidence. However, maybe we found a troop bus for us!

Future troop bus?

Once arriving at camp, we rushed into the dining hall for dinner and were treated to grilled chicken, rice, and peas. Vanilla pudding was our treat for dessert. After dinner, the first-year Scouts returned to the campsite to change into their hiking boots and some dry clothes for their five-mile hike. Mr. Stanford went with the group and we joined being with other Mountain Man Scouts on the trail. The remaining Scouts stayed in the dining hall to return service to camp by doing some extra cleaning up after dinner. The last mile or so of the hike, a storm came in. It only rained on us for about two to three minutes at the very end, but we saw an impressive display of lighting and thunder.

Storm coming as we finished up our 5-mile hike

It rained for several hours in the late evening hours and as we went to sleep. The Scouts made the best of it by starting a few card games under the tarps at the campsite. Then, they brushed their teeth and headed on to bed, since the next morning would be an early rise once again.  It was a good hump day at camp.

For more Day Four pictures, please see our online photo album.