Sunday night our Trail Life troop went on our first camping trip. Steve Mulroy graciously allowed us to use his property, and it provided a perfect venue for our inaugural outing. It was a great time and we learned many lessons to help us for our next trips.
To start things off, early Sunday morning we checked the weather and it was showing a 70% chance of rain. The troop leadership discussed it and ultimately decided to go and deal with whatever happened. We arrived at 4 p.m. and our Navigators began to evaluate the site and decide on where to set camp. Our Woodlands Trail kids ran around meeting the horses and cattle and exploring the area.
Once the camp layout was decided, all the boys came and helped the adults set-up the tents and canopies. Almost as soon as the tents were set, a rain cell arrived at our site and dumped over 2″ of rain, and a good bit of wind, over the next hour. It was an entertaining ride. We learned that some of our tents are not as water resistant as we thought, but the boys had fun anyway, wrestling and playing in the tents.
Once the rain stopped, the boys–being boys–found the biggest puddle and turned it into an ad hoc water park. Needless to say they were soaked!
Then the Trailmen were tasked with finding the dryest wood available and were instructed in the fine art of starting a fire using wet wood, and without matches or a lighter. The fire, once going, was used to prepare our dinner of hotdogs, marshmallows, and coffee (adults only). The boys also did some fishing, exploring, and running around happily, until lights out.
Overnight, we were treated to the sounds of Florida night time: owls, other birds, dogs, and even a coyote. At 5:30 am some of the early-risers began the process of restarting a wet-wood fire. At 6:30 am, Mr. Mulroy treated us to a unique interpretation of Reveille on his trumpet from his porch across the pond. The Navigators worked on preparing us a breakfast of bacon, sausage, and fried eggs, and a special delivery was also made of Krispy Kreme donuts. Afterwards we broke camp.
At 9 a.m., we took everyone to our first Hit-the-trail event, a tour of the Hendry County 9-1-1 Communications Center. The trailmen were able to see where emergency calls are received and dispatched, and even were allowed to listen in on some of the radio traffic. We also met some of the detectives and forensics staff. Sheriff Whiden’s staff were all very helpful and patient showing our boys around. They answered all of their questions, and it was a great experience! This event concluded our emphasis on Life Skills with First Aid.
Overall, it was a fantastic trip and everyone learned something from the experience. As Trailmen we strive for continuous learning, and we are now better campers, better citizens, and better Trailmen. Thank you to everyone who made this event possible! Walk Worthy!