Troop Paddlers Enjoy a Day on the Upper Delaware River

Canoeing the Upper Delaware River

In late June, Troop 353 took what proved to be one of the most fun and popular trips of the past scouting year–paddling down the scenic Upper Delaware River and camping overnight at Ten Mile River (TMR) Scout Camp. We were blessed with absolutely perfect weather and the TMR Ranger site was almost “fairy tale” like in its setting. There was comprehensive planning & training beforehand to ensure everyone was “river ready”, and there was a substantial turnout both among the scouts and the leaders.

The beautiful Upper Delaware River is home to many species of wildlife, including badgers, deer, bald eagles and bears. The water conditions are ideal for beginner paddlers, though there were some modest “rapids.” Consequently, the scouts spent as much time outside of the canoe in the water as they did paddling! Multiple water fights emerged early on in the day and continued throughout the afternoon. The opportunity to take a leisurely approach to our 10 mile canoe trip, combined with perfect weather and water conditions, made the trip enormously fun and memorable.

The troop’s chosen campsite was located very near the end of the canoe trip, so it was a simple walk up the trail to set up camp and begin cooking. The adults, aka “old goat patrol”, dined on steak and corn on the cob, while the scouts gobbled down hot dogs and beans. There was ample time to build a campfire and tell stories before turning in exhausted but satisfied. The troop awoke to another stunningly beautiful day, prepared pancakes and sausage and then received an overview of the principles of Leave No Trace camping by Assistant Scoutmaster Peter P. To gauge the fun factor in this trip, which will likely become an annual tradition, check out these terrific photos here.

Summer Fun Activities!


This past year our troop’s committee decided to try something new. The committee decided to implement a new point system for the scouts and registered leaders. Some troops have similar systems, but create competition among the troop patrols. Troop 353’s adult leadership felt that the system should be created where the whole troop should be rewarded if the goal was attained. Points were awarded for all meeting attendance (including PLCs) & participation in all activities, advancement, training, parental involvement, uniform inspection, recruitment & special awards. If the troop, in aggregate, was able to reach its total point target of 75,000 points by the end of June, then the committee agreed to reward the boys with a fun activity of their choosing (and within financial reason!).

Fortunately, our scouts were both fairly dilligent in moving ahead systematically to attain the coveted minimum 75,000 point total and pragmatic in their choices of a fun event. On a hot Sunday afternoon, the Scouts chose a couple of sessions of laser tag & bowling, along with lunch, at a local shopping mall as a way to reward themselves for all their hard work of the previous 9 months. While photos of the laser tag were somewhat impractical, it was clearly an activity that the scouts enjoyed thoroughly! Afterwards, the group moved to the new bowling alley and enjoyed a competitive match along with a delicious lunch. For more fun photos, click here!