Gone for the Week
July 11, 2016 by Don Gentle
Our five-day backpacking trip headed up to High Pisgah. This group of boys above will spend four nights up in Middle Prong and Shining Rock Wilderness. It is a fantastic advanced trip. After checking the radar, it looks like they have already had an evening shower on them tonight, just to make it a saucy start. All of these guys have been at High Rocks for multiple years. Many of them enjoy the hiking program the most, some have signed on this year just to change it up. Their journey will take them to some of the most pristine areas of Pisgah. Places where campfires are not permitted. The group size is restricted to ten in these areas. All of this to protect the beauty and the wildlife. These designated wilderness areas are few and far between. We are lucky to have two such areas just 30 minutes away.
The boys will prepare meals in small “cook-groups;” each of the groups of three will be in charge of their own “meal destiny” for breakfast and dinner. If it burns or boils over, it is still their dinner. They will hike several miles a day with only the items on their back. We won’t see them again until Friday afternoon. My hope is to get a good “after” picture on Friday. I’ll be sure to fill you in on the details. I thought you all would enjoy a parting picture for the week :)…
Monday’s are busy at High Rocks, particularly on the second week of the session. We had five vans rolling out the door this morning. Along with our five-day hike, there was also another three-day hike hitting the forest this morning. There is another picture of this group in today’s pictures. We won’t see these boys until Wednesday afternoon.
Our paddlers were down the hill to the Green River, working hard on their canoeing skills for the sole purpose of getting on the next best river. Our paddling program is one of my favorite program progressions at High Rocks. I am a little partial since I started in the paddling program twenty-two years ago. I headed up the activity for a few years before moving on to program director. Every boy must start out in a tandem open boat canoe. They learn a quiver full of strokes for both the bow and stern positions. These strokes turn into maneuvers both on the lake and local rivers. They continue to move up the river progression chain over the years here at camp. At some point along the line they will earn the opportunity to paddle solo as well. Most of the time this means moving into a kayak. Sometimes it will be a solo open boat or C-1 (solo decked canoe). My favorite part is seeing these boys work together as canoeing partners for several years. They communicate and work together to move this boat beautifully down the river.
We also had mountain bikers and climbers heading out today on some fun trips. I am sure I could ramble about these programs as well. I will save it for another day. I hope your day was as fun as ours!