Madison, recently had an exciting learning experience backpacking into the Cranberry River Back Country. Eight Scouts and six adult leaders hiked along the Cranberry River and all reported a great time.
Five Scouts had never been backpacking before, and out of that five, three were new Scouts. This was their first Boy Scout camping trip.
The group hiked about six miles up the Cranberry on a Saturday evening and back down on Sunday morning. Scoutmaster Mark Linville said the weather was a little cool, but added, “You know the Scout Motto, ‘Be Prepared,’ and our Scouts were prepared.”
Linville, a Rotarian, gave a slide presentation of their backpacking trip at a recent Madison Rotary Club meeting. He, along with Chip Shaffer, an adult Scout leader, and also a Rotarian, explained how they cooked their food, hoisted their food up a tree to keep it from bears and other animals, along with other ‘tricks’ that make camping fun and safe. They also displayed the huge backpack that the Scouts had to carry—sometimes up hills—all those miles.
Linville and Shaffer are both Eagle Scouts. Linville’s son, Nathaniel, and Shaffer’s three sons, Carl, Gus and Will are also Eagle Scouts, as is their grandfather, H.G. “Gus” Shaffer, Jr.
Linville said their Cranberry trip had no incidents or malfunctions along the way, however, Sunday morning as it was raining, they packed up camp and loaded the gear and were ready to hike down the road. Upon a final inspection of the camp, the Scouts noticed that a black fuzzy animal had been in their camp the night before. He left his calling card on the ground near the waterfront.
“Glad we were all asleep for that one!” Linville said.
Madison Baptist Church, Troop 289’s Chartered Organization, has sponsored the Troop for more than 80 years ago.