Clear Lake and clearer weather provided the perfect setting for a waterborne adventure in the culinary arts for Troop 353 Scouts, as rowing pancake masters Joseph and Anthony took home first prize in the rowed vessel portion of the annual Kon Tiki overnight on the nearby Putnam County reservation. Fifteen Scouts and ten adults made the trip, and many took part in the maritime mayhem on the pond, testing the rather advanced design of a special craft created by Joe’s dad Khalil. A success, without doubt. The raft, with its sliding seat and long oars, proved somewhat tricky to operate but once set in motion, it broke several decades-old Clear Lake speed records and, indeed, challenged the very notion that pure speed in a vessel with a fire on deck is unattainable. The fires of the campfire (with hilarious skits) and the cookfires also burned brightly, as the Scouts finished a day that also included archery and team-building games, advancement work – and the mother of all acorn wars. A clear night brought lots of star-gazing as well as ample sleep, even for Committee member Ben who nurtured his inner survivalist by constructing a rugged hut of twigs and branches and sleeping in it. This writer preferred his snug tent, the juicy steaks prepared by Assistant Scoutmaster Dennis for the Old Goats Patrol, and the hot coffee in the morning, following another successful Troop 353 camping overnight. The next morning, an industrious group of scouts learned a bit of map & compass and hiked a few miles (indirectly) up to site #40 (location of our November outing), while others completed Totin’ Chip with Assistant Scoutmaster Michael D. For more great photos of this beautiful weekend of camping, click here.