The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring Friends School
November 18-19, 2017
Troop 1128 takes to the Trees at Sandy Springs
For the November campout, 1128 returned to Sandy Springs Adventure Park. Last year after a great day of climbing, the weather dropped 20+ degrees and provided an opportunity for many scouts to earn their Snowflake award or rocker. As the 2017 version approached, the weather looked to be wet but that did not deter 1128 from attending. The morning arrived with some chill in the air but with temps warming as the day went on. Rain was forecasted for the overnite vs during the day, which changed the worry from will I slip on a rope course to will my tent become a swimming pool.
After the usual gathering and disembarkment from Andrew Chapel, the troop arrived at Sandy Springs for orientation. Two groups were prepped on the rules of the Park and equipment instruction. After putting on the gear and a quick mini course, scouts were unleashed to a series of courses ranging in color from easy peasy purple to double black diamond. The scouts had free reign of the park until about 1pm, stopping only to eat lunch. The ropes courses all contained a variety of elements including zip lines, ladders, challenging crossings of wood, rope and wires and self arresting belays for the exit. The scouts and scouters had a great time being pushed to their limits with many finding unique ways to cross between platforms if they fell off the element mid-way.
After a day of climbing, all the patrols gathered the patrol boxes and personal gear and headed to two campsites. With three patrols per site, there was plenty of activity. Tents sprung from the ground all over the place as well as camp chairs. One site spent the rest of the day before dinner sitting around and talking about who knows what whilst the other site, with a lot of first year scouts, being a bit louder. The scouters all commented it was great to see the scouts bonding and hanging out. In addition some took really long naps.
With the weather being cooperative, the ASM’s decided it was time to start the fire early, at 3pm. With an unlimited supply of wood, there was no reason not too. It was a great decision because as the temperatures dropped, through dinner and after, the fire was providing plenty of heat to keep everyone warm, as long as you had open access to the large fire pit. Dinner was served between an early bird blue plate special time of 430p to a final meal about 630p. Afterwards there was a lot of discussion about the in’s and out’s of Philmont and what gear to bring. The main take away was don’t bring gear you’ve never used before.
Scouts started hitting the sack anywhere from 9pm to 11pm. About 4am, a heavy rainstorm arrived, pelting the tents for about 15-20 mins followed by 90 minutes of strong wind and even stronger gusts. About 630am, one of the sites started rousing and built a morning fire. By 8am, the campsite was brimming with activity as breakfast was being cooked and tents were being taken down. The sun peaked over the tree tops to take the chill off but clouds returned and the chill returned. Unfortunately the temperatures did not drop below 32F, so no snow flake awards were earned. Overall the return to Sandy Springs was a rousing success with many scouts sharing their stories of falling off the course.