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Mar 2019 Backpacking

White Rocks, WV
March 23-24, 2019

On March 23-24, 2019, Scouts from Troop 1128 went backpacking near White Rocks, WV. This was a “first” for all Scouts and Scouters since we, as a Troop, had not backpacked this area before. White Rocks spans the West Virginia – Virginia border of a portion of the Shenandoah National Forest and includes the Appalachian Trail. We knew that the area did not receive snow like many parts of the Forest south of us but, as we found later on — it was time to earn a snowflake. :). Thirty-five (35) Scouts and nine (9) Scouters made the two hour drive. We left the Church parking lot at 7:30 a.m. with the wonderful assistance of the Troop transportation team that assembled sufficient drivers and backups.

We planned for an assembled as four Patrols. For the first time in a while, the Scouts (not the Scouters), assembled their backpacking (freeze-dried) food from Troop stores. Once we arrived, each Patrol followed their custom maps on separate routes. As a result, each Patrol had different routes, opportunities and different views of sunset and sunrise.

Each Patrol assembled and cooked Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast. Many Scouts learned cooking, cleaning and bear safety procedures for the first time.

Most of us turned in early Saturday night after a rigorous day of hiking up and over knobs and ridges. While that night the temperature dropped below freezing, many viewed a clear-lit, starry sky free of usual light pollution. Similarly, dawn was spectacular and very much appreciated.

We assembled Sunday morning and ate breakfast. Several Scouts and Scouters demonstrated their first aid skills by helping a fellow Scout who got cold. Well done !

We returned to Andrew Chapel around 2:30 pm. After thanking our drivers and Scouters, the Scouts retrieved their gear and enjoyed Sunday afternoon with their families.

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