This year the troop participated in the annual Orienteering Skills workshop for Boy Scouts sponsored by the Cadets at West Point’s Camp Buckner. Orienteering is one of those fundamental skills that Scouts must learn but never get enough practice to be as proficient as one would like. This special weekend proved to be enormously popular with the scouts as they progressed through a very well-organized program. It was interesting to observe how well each of the teams mastered both the material and the orienteering course itself. In some instances, it was just the pure joy of running through the woods and discovering used ammo casings and abandoned camoflouge makeup that really resonated with the boys. Mother Nature through an additional challenge twist into the weekend’s activities with very high winds that followed a few days of rain leading up to the event. Although some of the tents were destroyed Friday night, the troop decided to treat everyone to a nice dinner at a local restaurant on Saturday night! Many thanks to ASM Mike I. for leading this event and giving our troop the opportunity to experience West Point through his military connections! More great pics here.
In our community, the Bronx River Parkway (BRP) is a central north-south traffic artery that also enjoys a nearby paved bike path. The bike path runs parallel to the Bronx River, which is an a unique eco-system teaming with life. Unfortunately, given the population density of our area, the bike path also tends to take on the characteristics of a garbarge dump over time. Enter the Boy Scouts. There is a section of the BRP that four local Boy Scout troops have taken on the responsibility for keeping the area relatively litter-free. The designated clean-up day this year turned out to be a wet one, but that did not slow down the natural curiousity of a few dedicated scouts. Plenty of trash was gathered in bags provided by Bob Del Torto of Westchester County Parks.
A few months later, Mr. Del Torto reached out again for volunteers of a special cause: to erect over 25 informational signs about the surrounding environment along the bike path. This day long work project, in conjunction with other Westchester County Park volunteers, was officially recognized a month later in a special ribbon cutting ceremony at the Kensico Dam with several dignitaries in attendance, including well-known news anchor, Dan Rather — the voice used in the audio tour that coincides with the newly erected informational signs along the nature path. For volunteers of Troop 353, it was a special day! Great pics can be found here.