It’s All Downhill To The Top (Death Valley Campout, November 2015)
Troop 486 had an incredible trip to Death Valley on the weekend prior to Thanksgiving! A big thank you to all that attended as it was a great outing. The weather was phenomenal and the scenery was almost as breathtaking as the hiking. The Scouts climbed over 2500’ vertical height in less than 4 miles on the way to Wild Rose summit as they covered a total of 10 miles. The view on top included Mount Whitney (the highest point) and the Death Valley floor (the lowest point) in the continental United States. Luke, one of our newest Scouts really worked hard to complete the hike and left me with a desire to share some advice. First, I would offer this to Luke, you don’t have to stop every 100 feet and collect a rock to take home and show your parents. He must have weighed an extra 50 pounds but smiled the whole time. Good job Luke! Some of our High Adventure Scouts also slipped in a mountain bike ride of 25 miles which included a tough climb to Augerberry Peak and then a ride to the Wild Rose campground. Mr. Morrison donated some skin along the way and tested the bounds of friendship getting patched back up. I am happy to report he is doing great!
Our younger Scouts took advantage of the long outing and really got after the advancements on the Trail to First Class. Great job guys! As I am passing out compliments, I have to thank the Thompson’s and Mr. Martin for keeping the adults well fed. Overall, very good stuff!
The drive home was uneventful except for the meal break in Adelanto. A Scout who shall remain nameless, although Ralph would be appropriate, made a world record attempt on regurgitating his lunch! The sheer volume was very impressive and I am glad to report he is feeling much better, however, I may need therapy.
What I am most proud of is the growth that I saw in our newer Scouts. It was a pleasure to watch these boys step up and give it their all! The Scouts never cease to amaze me on how they take care of each other and how the older Scouts make the newer Scouts feel welcome and how they become friends. There is an incredible level of camaraderie and you can see many lifelong friendships developing. This is what makes our troop special.
I am pretty certain that almost every new Scout is a little intimidated as they walk in the door to their first meeting or head out to their first outing. I would venture a guess that most parents can see the apprehension in their son’s face. I would also confidently speculate that as your son marches down the trail to Eagle with Troop 486 that apprehension turns into anticipation as they look forward to challenges that lay ahead and spending time with their fellow Scouts. I know I do.
We are Troop 486!