Local scout troop explores Boundary Waters
Troop 326 preparing for Appalachian Trail hike

Published 3:58 pm Sunday, October 31, 2021

By Jonathon L. Earle

This past June, Scouts with Troop 326 traveled to the Minnesota-Canada border, where they spent one-week camping and canoeing on the Boundary Waters. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness includes over one million acres of wilderness. Streams, forests, and glacial lakes create a rich ecosystem that sustains deer, beavers, moose, black bears, and a wide range of birds. The area provides excellent camping, hiking, and fishing opportunities, especially for northern pike, bass, and walleye.

Beyond its natural beauty, Boundary Waters provides scouts with a unique opportunity to develop their outdoor skills and mature as leaders. After one day of intense canoeing, the scouts selected an island, which would become home for the next week. Their camp was separate from the adult leaders, which enabled them to practice survival skills, including cooking, navigation, and fishing.

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As scout Max Germann shared, “Our time taught me to be more prepared—without basic necessities.”

Other scouts expressed similar sentiments.

“BW changed the way that I think about decision making: to think more carefully about outcomes,” Jacob Earle said. Abel Goodwin reflected similarly, saying, “BW helped me learn to not take basic items for granted.”

Teamwork and conflict resolution were skills that the scouts also developed while navigating the north country wilderness. Oliver Longenecker suggests that, “BW taught us that teamwork is essential, especially in tough situations.” Walter Hurley recalled, “BW helped us develop a sense of conflict resolution.”

In between lessons about necessity and teamwork, the troop enjoyed large amounts of swimming, boating, and rock jumping, the latter of which Henry Hurley felt was a highlight of the trip. Such outdoor experiences enabled the scouts, as Henry Pennington commented, “to focus on what really matters.”

In November, the Scouts will build upon their outdoor experiences to hike on the Appalachian Trail, and they will explore the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico this coming summer.

Troop 326 meets on Monday evenings at 7 p.m., at the First Christian Church in Danville. Their scout leaders include Monte Owens, Stephen Davis, Vince Pennington, David May, Mike May, Mark Upton, Logan Germann, David Longenecker, Brent Williams, Jon Earle, and Danny Goodwin.