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Starved Rock Recap

Posted by Marc Velasco on Oct 22, 2017

The Scouts met at the garage at 5:00pm and immediately got to work loading the trailer to get on the road. We were blessed with warm weather and no rain. We left the church at 6:00pm and got on the road. 
We arrived at Starved Rock State Park Campgrounds about 9:30pm. Once getting to the youth camp ground area, we scoped out the best possible spot for “Hammock City”, which was in the far back corner of the camp grounds furthest away from the water supply and latrines. The Scouts got to work i getting the tents up, gear stored away and the camp set up. The Scouts decided to bypass “cracker barrel” and get a good night’s sleep for hiking the next day. 
Saturday, October 21, 2017
We woke up to a cool, crisp, and beautiful morning. The Scouts got busy right away cooking breakfast and setting up hammock city. After breakfast, the Scouts got ready for hiking and Mrs. Kammerdiener and Mr. Witzel drove the group to the St. Louis Canyon for the morning hike. 
The morning hike was into beautiful St. Louis Canyon.  The Scouts found ways to add to the short trek into the canyon with detours up the slopes to overlook the river or up fallen trees across the small stream.  Once into the canyon they explored behind the waterfall, some of them in it, and up the sandy banks overlooking the pool.  On our way out, we ventured to the ‘top side’ to walk along the ridge overlooking the river and down a few gullies to see if we could look down on the waterfall.  They even did trash patrol along the way, collecting quite a bit of trash left behind by other hikers.
Everyone went back to camp and took a break for lunch where there were grilled ham and cheese sandwiches for one patrol and hot dogs for the other patrol.   Since the day was pretty windy, Mr. Nikoleit brought out some kites to fly. He even got a U. S. Flag decorated kite anchored to the ground and with multiple wind socks attached to the line, it flew by itself!
About 2pm, the Scouts headed off to Matthiessen for more hiking. Mrs. Kammerdiener and Mr. Witzel again led the hiking. Mr. Nikoleit and Mr. Kammerdiener stayed back with a scout that wanted to continue learning how to fly kites. Another Scout troop across the field was also flying kites that afternoon. It was quite a site with multiple kites up at the same time!
Our second hike was into the Matthiessen River Area.  The Scouts could have spent all day at this location.  We started with the upper loop, making our way across the bridge spanning over the lower canyon.  Lots of recent rain made for a little extra water and some fallen trees to navigate around.  We focused our afternoon in the upper canyon, which had lots of cliffs to explore and less people. There were several ‘refreshment breaks’ to recharge with a line of Scouts sitting on a small ledge in the side of a cliff.  Unfortunately, we had to head out as daylight was leaving us and we still had to climb the stairs back out. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day for hiking.
The hikers returned to camp about 6:00pm to make dinners of pasta with meat sauce and salad for one patrol and steak, potato, onion and carrot foil wraps for the other.  They were too full from dinner and focused on breaking down in anticipation of the overnight and morning storms to make dutch oven desserts.  After breaking down the kitchens and getting everything covered with tarps, we had a great campfire and enjoyed the evening.
Sunday, October 22, 2017
We were woken up about 5:45am by thunder and lightning from a storm a fair distance away from camp. The Scouts and Leaders decided to get up and break down camp before the storm came in.  Scouts got gear packed up, tents down and the trailer packed. Wouldn’t you know it…the storm and rain went around the camp area and we did not get any rain, so we decided to unpack breakfast and stay at camp to eat. We had a nice breakfast of all things Scouts and leaders need…sugar – doughnuts, muffins, cereal, bagels, etc. After breakfast we cleaned up camp and policed the area to leave no trace. We then conducted a Sunday Service and went through the Roses, Buds & Thorns camp debrief. All enjoyed hiking and camping out. Not much in the way of thorns except we were far away from the water supply and latrines.
We then loaded up the vehicles and hit the road home.  It was a wonderful campout and the Scouts and Leaders had a great time. We are looking forward to the next Fall campout!!

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