As told by Ryan M.
On December 17th and 18th, Boy Scout Troop 125 went on a backpacking trip to Harriman State Park, one of our hardest campouts of the year. We were split up into two different patrols and I was made the patrol leader of one of them. I thought it would be hard being in charge of seven scouts on a campout but I have some experience of being a patrol leader as I am the patrol leader for my patrol, the Panthers. When we started to leave on Saturday morning, I was so excited and very happy to be going on this trip. It was about a three hour car ride and I was with my friends in the car. When we were almost there, I could see the huge mountains on the side of the road and I thought, “We have to climb these hills? They look like they are almost a 90 degree angle!” I started to get a little nervous.
When we finally arrived, we took out our packs from the car and started the hike up the mountain. I kept thinking as we got higher and higher, “Don’t look down.” We hiked and rested, and hiked some more, than rested. It was on and off stopping and going. We went all directions, up and down, north and south, east and west. When we finally saw the sight of a lake, everybody got excited because we were almost there. When we arrived, I was so relived. Then we began putting up our tents and what do you know, a big, dark cloud blew in and it started to snow on us as we were putting up our tents. Afterwards, all of the older boys went on a more advanced hike. We, the newer scouts, had to collect wood then we went on a shorter five mile hike. When it was time to get going, everyone was so excited. We went hopping over fallen trees, over and on large rocks to get across a river all the time putting our climbing skills to a pretty high limit. The problem was we ran into some rocks that were impossible to climb and a swampy area we couldn’t cross, so we had to turn around and head back to camp and work on advancements.
I did really well with advancements that I am practically Second Class. When it came to night time it was time to cook. Our patrol was cooking Hamburger Helper without the hamburger. It was freezing cold outside at night. Right after we were done, my friends and I went right into our warm sleeping bags.
When I woke up in the morning, it was 16 degrees outside, the lowest of the whole year! My hands started to get really cold. For breakfast, we made sausage tacos that came out really bad. The sausage was cold in the middle and the waffles were just cold. I was so happy when we started to walk on the hike back to the cars so my hands would get warmer. Well they did get a lot warmer and the hike was a lot easier because we went on the road this time. When we got to the car, I was so happy that I made it. I still had a ton of fun and I will never forget this trip.
My name is Ryan M. from Troop 125, Commack, NY. I am a new scout and I am just about to get the rank of Second Class, and I had the time of my life.