We took the Pathfinders camping at the Hancock Campground in Lincoln, NH this weekend. I led the 2:00 wave here, and some other staff left Concord around 5:00pm with the rest of the kids.
Of course the late wave didn’t arrive before the sun set, so the early wave did all the work of setting up the camp site. There were eight of us (four adults and four kids), but it all went pretty smoothly. We had it set up before dark.
We spent the evening around the campfire singing some songs, and I sent the juniors to bed a little before 10:00pm. Everyone else followed around 11:00.
In the morning after breakfast, we walked over to the Pemigewasset River. We couldn’t see it from our camp site, but we could sure hear it.
We were waiting for two other club members to show up, but since they were running pretty late, we didn’t wait too long.
We loaded a couple of backpacks with Ramen noodles, Easy Mac, and instant soup, and then headed across the Kancamagus Highway to the Lincoln Woods Trail. This is where a suspension bridge crosses the Pemi.
We were already on the correct side of the river, so we didn’t need to cross it, but who can resist the allure of a pedestrian suspension bridge?
We hiked in three miles to where Franconia Brook empties into the Pemigewasset. We stopped there for two hours, cooked our noodles, ate them, and threw several rocks into the river. This kids were having a blast. I had originally planned to have church there, but the river was too loud. I figured we’d find a place on the trail on the way back (which we did).
Our next stop was Franconia Falls.
This place was really cool, but it about scared me to death. The kids were not showing wet slippery rocks above frigid rapids the respect I thought they deserved. After five minutes of this, my nerves couldn’t take it anymore, so I rounded them up and we headed back down the trail. But it was a totally awesome place. I plan to go back some day when I have fewer kids with me, or kids who know to be scared of falling in.
We didn’t take as many rest stops on the way back to our camp site. David needed to scout the area around our site so he could set borders for the “Bible Smugglers” game we were going to play when it got dark. We made it back in plenty of time.
David set the boundaries while some of us cooked spaghetti for dinner (also garlic bread and salad). After we ate and washed up the dishes, the kids began playing Bible Smugglers. Basically, they have to memorize a verse from the Bible at their home base, and then try to sneak to their other base without getting tagged by the other team. If they make it, they have to write the verse in a notebook (including book, chapter, an verse). After 20 minutes they switch sides and do it again.
While they were doing that, the adults lit a fire and we had some S’mores. The kids joined us for that after they were good and tired. That’s also when David played a game of blindfolded chess against Connor. David won.
I had everyone in bed by 11:00 again. We got up at 7:00, made breakfast, ate it, cleaned up, and then made sack lunches. Then we put the lunches in our cars and broke camp. Sandy was getting closer, and some of the staff were anxious to get home sooner rather than later. We left at about 10:30.
There were no mishaps other than a few minor cuts and one kid with a migraine, so I’m going to chalk this one up as a success.
I was delighted that we managed to get all the tents dry before we struck them. We did have to give the flies of most tents thirty minutes of sun on their undersides to clear up condensed moisture (from breathing). I had one kid tell me she didn’t breath all night, so her fly was dry. Hmmm. I checked it anyhow, and it did need to be spread out on a picnic table. I was sure glad to get them all dry in the morning. It would have been pretty hard to dry them during a hurricane.
I’d better post this while we still have power (Sandy is blowing outside).