Canoeing the New River

What could be better then canoeing down the majestic New River on a warm sunny September day gliding through the flat sections and skillfully navigating the rolling rapids.   Hmmm how about a nice warm campfire after a cool overcast rainy day paddling in low water.

Ok all kidding aside.  On September 16 the troop arrived at the New River campground, where we set up our camp right on the river. We had 16 scouts from all 3 patrols joined by 4 adults on this trip, not bad for the first trip of the year.  After a nice crisp night in the tents and a light morning rain we hiked to our shuttle location (at the end of the camp) where we went through some basic canoeing skills before departing with the boats to our launch point up river.

Once the boats were in the water we were able to practice our paddling skills and one boat thought it might be a good idea to demonstrate how to exit a canoe after it filled with water, and how to drag it to shore and empty it out.  What were they thinking and too bad (or maybe not that bad) that very few were around to see this impromptu demonstration.

The water level was a little lower then we would have liked it, slowing our progress down river but we were able to complete some of the canoeing merit badge requirements after our lunch on a sandbar.  We were also treated with the sight of a bald eagle flying over the river as we paddled.  It was a cold day but most of the scouts were prepared and stayed warm and dry for our trip.

I was amazed at how quickly the patrols organized and started to cook dinner as we arrived back in camp, I think perhaps the cold air and a long day on the river inspired everyone to eat early, and get the campfire going.  As the evening turned in to night and the campfire got brighter it was time for our campfire program which always makes for an enjoyable evening.  Austin brought his Guitar and the scouts sang, joked, told stories and talked as they huddled around the warm campfire. The adult patrol baked a cherry cobbler that they shared with everyone before breaking up for the night.

On Sunday morning as we began to break camp we were again treated to the sight of not one but 2 bald eagles perched in the tree tops across the river from out camp and flying overhead.

The weather was not perfect, the river was not full and our trip was longer than expected but the troop worked together, we were prepared, we all had a good time and another scouting memory has been etched into our minds.  –Hey remember the time we canoed down that river and saw those eagles….

Pictures of our adventure.
By: Bob Vroom

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