Taconic Mountains Backpacking Trip

The troop will demonstrate these new backpacking skills on the weekend of October 23-25. The troop will travel to the Taconic Mountains in the MA/NY/CT tri-state area. This trip will feature a combination of cabin camping at the AMC’s Northwest Camp and tent camping along the Appalachian Trail. Experienced backpacking scouts desiring a faster pace and very challenging route may choose to leave on Friday afternoon directly after school. This group will meet at the St. Mary’s parish center for an immediate departure at 3pm. They will arrive at the trailhead at dusk for a very short ½ mile backpack to the cabin before dark, followed by a challenging hike to a wilderness campsite on Saturday.

First year scouts, and other scouts not able to leave on Friday will meet Saturday at the parish center for an on-time departure at 8AM. This group will travel on a 5-mile route over the Appalachian Trail to the same AMC cabin. This 2nd group may break into ability groups depending on the number of attendees. Both groups will backpack out on Sunday morning, stop for a fast food lunch on the ride home, and arrive home for a parish center pick-up at 4pm.

Our destination is home to many interesting features including the highest peak in Connecticut, and the highest land point in Connecticut. A nickel to the scout who can explain how these can be two separate places. We will also traverse exposed ridges, deep ravines and rocky summits.

The option for a Friday or Saturday departure may change based on the number of attendees and leaders. It is therefore very important that all scouts and leaders planning to attend turn in the permission slip no later than the Oct 1st troop meeting in order to allow for the required logistics planning. Early submittals via email to pbedard1@gmail.com are strongly encouraged.

Due to the challenging nature of this backpacking trip, all attendees must be physically fit. New scouts unaccustomed to strenuous activity should begin a fitness program now in order to be ready for this trip. Consider starting the personal fitness merit badge to get in shape. Same goes for older scouts/adults that want to participate. Please direct any questions on this topic to any of the Troop 4 Personal Fitness Merit Badge Councilors listed on the troop website.

All attendees (scouts/adults) will cook their backpacking meals individually, using only boiled water for meal preparation. Veterans of the Mt. Washington trip will provide detailed instruction on meal preparation and ingredients each person must buy. Ingredients can be easily purchased at a local grocer at low cost. Scouts should also bring some money for a fast food lunch on Sunday’s return. Detailed meal planning and packing instruction will take place at the October 8th troop meeting. All scouts must then bring their fully packed back-pack to the October 15th troop meeting where a “shake-down” will be performed to ensure each scout is well prepared. Scouts must “be prepared” by bringing every item on the checklist provided at the 10/8 meeting – no exceptions. On 10/15, each backpack must brought to the meeting in “ready-to-hit-the-trail” condition. Also, a nominal $5 fee (check payable to Troop 4) is required to defray the cost of the AMC Cabin.

Again, if your son will be attending, please drop off the permission slip no later than the beginning of the October 1st Troop Meeting, or email the form earlier to Phil Bedard.