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Cape Trip 2010

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During the planning meeting in August 2009, the scouts decided they wanted to go to Cape Cod for the April school vacation trip. At first I thought there was going to be a difficult time filling all the time. Boy was I wrong! I could have filled another full week with activities once I started researching and making contacts!

The trip was April 17-22, 2010. Six days with five nights starting on Saturday. We met at the temple for 9:30am Saturday morning. We had 25 scouts and 8 adults signed up. A big crew and the largest I ever planned a trip for. We had the troop trailer filled to the limits plus 33 bicycles on a trailer and a few bike racks. Bags and gear were stored every place we could find them and on the roofs of many vehicles. Storage was at a premium!

We finally got everything and everyone stored away and were off for the Cape. We were staying at Camp Greenough in Yarmouthport, MA. The boy scout reservation on the Cape mainland.

Once we got to Camp Greenough, we met the ranger, found our camp site and set up camp. Of course it was drizzling and it seemed much cooler at camp than outside of the camp. This would hold true for our whole stay. The camp seemed to suck the warmth right out of the air and was always cooler.

Dinner was delicious thanks to the scouts and we had a surprise celebration for Tyler who had his 15th birthday. Thru the help of a local friend, I snuck a cake in and we shocked Tyler. The cake was delish and didnít last long!

We cleaned up and headed into Barnstable Village just a few miles away for our first activitity of the week Ė the haunted tour of old Barnstable Village and graveyard. The tour group was CAIPRS or Cape and Islands Paranormal Research Society. We met them at the library and proceeded on our walking tour as the sun started to set.

Just as it got really dark, we were in the graveyard hearing stories of ghosts. All were standing quietly with their flashlights off listening for movement and looking for activity in the old cemetery. You could have heard a pin drop! After that we walked to the old jail. Inside we went and then the lights were turned off. It was pitch black and the only light was the glowing of wrist watches. The only sounds were whimpers from a few scouts Ė young and older! We finished back at the library after learning about the Marsh people. Since we were camping near a marsh everyone was always on the lookout for short, mud covered, dirty people that might be lurking about!

Sunday came quick and the weather dramatically improved. The morning was spent with Peter Beauregard and some senior scouts teaching the Cycling Merit Badge. Then we were off to Provincetown for a Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch. We barely got out of the harbor and were between the arm and Race Point when whales were spotted. For the next 3 hours the boat was spun around and around as we watched rare and common whales being sited. We were less than a half mile from land too. It was very exciting! (see the photographs). After the whale watch ended we headed up to Race Point beach in the Provincelands. The scouts played football, toured the beach while the adults watched the whales from shore and the approaching storm (which just missed us). Soon it was back to camp for another delicious dinner.

Monday was our first bike ride of the week. We headed off to Bourne and the Canal Bike Path. The goal was to the end and back for a total of 15 miles. A few of us stayed back in case a pickup was needed. So while the scouts and other leaders pedaled, we watched the boats on the canal, watched the railroad bridge drop and a train go across, watched a osprey catch a fish and eat it from his perch way up on the RR bridge. Some of the group did the bike ride twice for a total of 30 miles. But they constantly complained the next few days of a sore tush! We had no sympathies for them!

Tuesday brought a guided hike by naturalist Connie Boyce. We met her at Balliston Beach in Truro and went on a 3.5 mile guided hike. The weather was perfect for hiking!

After the hike we went to First Encounter Beach in Eastham to relax and many played more beach football. Tuesday night, Connie and my friend Gary joined us for a amazing dinner. We had chicken fajitas, salad, corn on the cob and for dessert a trio of apple and cherry cobbler and brownies cooked in the dutch ovens. They as we were full and very impressed with the scout cooking and delicious meal!

Wednesday brought another bike ride. We met near Nickerson State Park and rode the Cape Cod Rail Trail (CCRT) back to the start in Dennis and back for a total of 25 miles. Then we went to the National Seashore at the Salt pond in Eastham and did a 1.5 mile hike around part of the salt pond. Then it was back to camp.

Thursday came too quickly. Ranger Rob had us do a service project for an hour. Then we tore down and headed to Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory for the tour, free samples and lots of bags of chips purchased. They were delicious! We then headed towards home with a stop at Patriots Place in Foxboro and maybe Bass Pro Shops too.

Patriots Place wanted WAY too much money for admission (no discount for us) and the draft was going on, so they really didnít want to open the place up for us. We schmoozed thru the extremely expensive gift shop and decided to head home.

I think we got in around 7:30pm. It was a exciting, fun, adventuresome and surprisingly quick week. We could have easily spent more time exploring as there was a revolutionary war ship that was exposed on a beach recently we would have liked to have visited and much more. But I found that with a large group like we had, getting things done on time was a challenger. One that I adjusted for at the end of May on DU.

Yours in Scouting,

ASM Larry Krainson