April is a great month for Troop 160 because April is welcomed with warm weather and numerous scouting activities. One main activity was Troop 160’s annual shooting trip. This year, the event was held at Stann’s Grove in Ransom April 20. This trip is unique from others because the scouts were able to shoot .22 caliber rifles and 12 gauge shotguns all throughout the day. The scouts had fun practicing their skills or possibly learning how to operate a firearm for the first time. Beforehand, every scout attending the trip had to participate in two safety meetings during our regular scout meetings. We go over basic gun safety and proper handling. For many this is previous knowledge, but we review it every year in order to prevent accidents. If scouts grew tired of shooting, many played Ultimate Frisbee or explored the creek. The owners of Stann’s Grove were very generous to let us use their property for our shooting trip. This has been our location for the trip for several years and Troop 160 is thankful.
The next Sunday, April 21, was the Cub Scout’s Blue and Gold dinner. Cub Scouts is a program specifically designed to build interest and prepare young boys for Boy Scouts. The last stage is Weblos II rank. After the completion of this, the boys cross over and become Boy Scouts. The Blue and Gold dinner is an official ceremony honoring the achievements of the Weblos II scouts. At this event, they formally transfer from Cub Scouts in Boy Scouts. They receive an Arrow of Light honoring their completion of the Cub Scout program. Also there is a feast for all of the Cub Scouts to enjoy as they watch their oldest members cross over. This important event was held at the United Methodist Church in the Fellowship Hall.
Lastly, April was concluded by the Pinchot Trail hike on the April 27 and 28. A group of 10 boys and four adults went hiking early Saturday morning. The Pinchot Trail is near the Pittston area in Lackawanna County. The trail was 10 miles long and broken up into two days. The scouts wore large backpacks that contained all of their gear and food. For most of the boys, this was their first backpacking experience. The Pinchot Trail is a nice hike which prepares scouts for more difficult hikes in the future. The scouts hiked with little difficulties and finished early. We had peanut butter and jelly pita pockets with granola bars for lunch. We hiked for several miles the first day and set up camp at Painter’s Creek. We played around the creek and set up an orienteering course. Overall, we had a lot of fun at our campsite. For dinner, we had spaghetti. It was cooked with small propane stoves called Jet Boils. These are portable stoves designed for backpacking. Sunday morning’s breakfast was Pop Tarts and oatmeal. On this day, we finished the 10 mile hike. Before we finished the hike, we visited an observation tower on Big Pine Hill. This was a scenic vista and had some nice views.
Every April, a new group of Cub Scouts cross over into Boy Scouts. This period may be difficult, but Troop 160 assists these boys in their transition. We spend extra time with them in order for the Cub Scouts to feel welcomed. We organize one on one training sessions with them so they can advance sooner. Troop 160’s members are a family and work together. Remember a scout is helpful.