We had 14 scouts and 5 adults for Rock Climbing on a beautiful Saturday in early November. After arriving at Castle Rock we selected the proper footwear from our guides and hiked up to Shady Rock where the climbing ropes were already set up. After instruction on how to apply a harness and how to climb and belay, we started to climb. It was exciting but also really difficult on the fingers and legs. There were three locations with various difficulty, and we tried them all.
After we were all spent, we hiked back to the parking lot, thanked our guides, and got our backpacks. We said goodbye to several scouts who needed to get back home and hiked into the park. A short but beautiful 2.8 miles hike brought us to the campsites which already had been selected by Calvin and Wim. The hike took us along some cliffs with gorgeous views of the valley and a waterfall. There was also a scary passage where we had to grasp onto a rope to stay on the trail. The november weather was an example of a great fall day, with temperatures int he 80s and evening in the highs 40s. For the new scouts, the process of packing for 1-night camping was go learning experience. One scout went out of the way to bring in fresh produce, while a great idea for a gourmet meal but added excessive weight for a comfortable hike. The camp site was sited in wooded spot with a nearby large shelter for inclement weather condition.
The camp and hike back was uneventfull, and we returned home between 12 and 1 PM.
Notes: Most tents lacked a ground cloth, some tents had the wrong poles, and the cooking gear was not complete. Maybe the scout leadership should find ways to make sure that all troop gear is in a good shape so we will not be surprised when arriving at a camp. Having a good quartermaster and policies on returning checked out gear migth be helpful.
Regards, Wim , ASM Troop5