The annual Frank McCluskey Friendship outing is perhaps the favorite monthly outing of the year! In addition to spending considerable time splashing in the warm waters of the beautiful Delaware River, the scouts are encouraged to invite a friend to the canoe trip. This very special initiative was taken to commemorate the friendly nature of former ASM Frank McCluskey, whom passed away unexpectedly in 2008. The scouts and their families have really embraced this outing. It is amazing how every year there are about 50 people on this trip and about 20% of the participants are not scouts. On the relatively calm +10 mile stretch of river we paddle, our +20 canoes and dozen or so kayakers (must have canoeing merit badge) look something like the Spanish armada, spread out for quite a distance. The scenery along the Delaware River is spectacular with frequent sitings of Eagles, fish, and the occassional deer or black bear. Often, other scout troops are paddling as well, so there is very much a family-feel along the river that day.
At night, the patrols camp & cook via the patrol method and then gather for a yearend campfire where numerous spoof awards are handed out to scouts and adults alike. As everyone slowly drifts off to sleep after 11pm to the sound of crickets and giggling children, there is a considerable feeling and respect for all that is good in the scouting program — even among our many non-scouting guests. The next morning, our group of sore and stiff river rats slowly awaken to a beautiful campsite setting, feast on huge breakfast, pack up, participate in a short Interfaith Prayer Service and then head back home with new customized t-shirts, heralding the end of another simply awesome canoe trip !