Saturday, September 21, 2019

Go west young man!

The Yellowstone sign. Photo by Emilio Robau

The Yellowstone sign. Photo by Emilio Robau

by Emilio Robau

Boy Scouts from Marco Island Troop 234 enjoyed the benefits of their year long fundraising campaign this summer by participating in a 13-day intermodal van, plane, raft and foot powered backpacking trek to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. The Troop flew to Denver, camped on the road at Curt Gowdy State Park, and established a base camp at Colter Bay Village in Grand Teton National Park on the shores of Lake Jackson. Their first hiking experience consisted of a seven-mile strenuous round trip 1400 ft elevation gain hike from the base of the Teton Mountain Range on the Paintbrush Canyon Trail to the snow line where they enjoyed a summer snowball fight of epic proportions.  The troop then toured a portion of the Yellowstone Geyser Basins and set up summer camp smack in the center of the largest grizzly population in the lower forty-eight at Boy Scout Camp Buffalo Bill on the bank of the North Fork of the Shoshone River.

Nine of the twelve youth participants endured a Yellowstone High Adventure Outpost-sponsored, five-day whitewater rafting high adventure trip down approximately 60 miles of the North Fork of the Shoshone River. The balance of the members of the Troop enjoyed an extensive fly fishing training session at camp, where they were taught to tie their flies and cast them into the roaring waters of the Shoshone River. The Troop then toured the remaining parts of Yellowstone and returned to the first base camp at Colter Bay to start their return journey home. The trip was capped off by Fourth of July festivities and fireworks in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Wildlife abounded everywhere they went. The Scouts were treated to viewing several bears, buffalo, coyote, big horn sheep, elk, yellow belly marmots, geese, white pelicans and many other smaller mammals and songbirds. “Too many buffalo to count!” said Mike Messina. The weather was spectacular with nighttime temperatures in the lower forties to upper thirties and daytime temperatures in the mid-seventies to upper eighties. Most importantly no one was stricken with aliments or injuries of any sort and all participants made it back with great memories and friendships.

The Troop membership wishes to thank Wesley United Methodist Church, their sponsor organization, and all the residents of the community that support the Boy Scouts in their fundraising activities that resulted in thirteen days of “Wild America” adventure that will be cherished for a lifetime.

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