We had a great trip to Cumberland Island this past weekend. After months of planning, 13 scouts and 7 adults made the trip.
Scouts attending were: Cutler S. , Parker P., Kaleb M., Joseph B., Nick B., Cy R., Conner T., Carter W., JR M., Colin P., Parker A., Matthew S. and William D. The adults were Scoutmaster Paul, Mr. Pennell, Mr. Shiver, Mr. McDaniel, Mr. Bowdler, Mr. Becker and Mr. Pannell.
We met at the church on Saturday morning to gather the troop gear and organize car assignments, hitting the road at the scheduled time of 9:00. At a lunch stop in Metter, half the group enjoyed McDonalds and the other half chose Zaxby's.
We arrived at Camp Tolochee near Brunswick around 2:30. After checking out our accommodations for the night at the camp health "lodge", some of the scouts and adults enjoyed an active game of ultimate frisbee. There were no major injuries, just some sore old guys afterwards. Many of us enjoyed a walk around the camp to see several groups of scouts, webelos, and cub scouts camping at Tolochee.
Dinner was at the camp dining hall, where we discovered that much of the cooking equipment was not functional, and in one case had become the winter home to some furry visitors. As prepared boy scouts, we broke out our propane stoves and improvised the cooking with some help from a microwave oven. JR's patrol enjoyed hotdogs and chips, while Parker's patrol dined on bacon-wrapped chicken nuggets and mac 'n' cheese. The night was restful for most, with the luxury of heated sleeping quarters.
We got off to an early start and everyone pitched in to pack up and clean up. After a quick cold breakfast, we sang Happy Birthday to Conner and after that to JR. It was only a short drive to St. Mary's and we quickly checked in and loaded the gear onto the ferry. After the 45-minute ferry ride, we unloaded the gear and got a short briefing from the park ranger. It was a short hike over to Sea Camp and we found our assigned group site and set up camp.
Lunch was sandwiches for both patrols along with chips and a few cookies and "cosmic" brownies. After lunch, the group set out for a hike around the island. We went about a mile down the beach, seeing lots of shells and even the remains of a dolphin. Crossing the dunes off the beach, we were greeted by a small herd of wild horses who came right past us. We then took in the ruins of the Carnegie mansion, seeing several more wild horses in the area. We headed back to camp for a little free time before dinner. Some went back to the beach, and a couple returned with wet shoes to show for it.
Everyone had worked up quite an appetite, so those on cook duty got to work. JR's patrol dined on sausage, mac 'n' cheese, and carrots, while Parker's patrol enjoyed a creative meal of hamburger helper burritos and salad.
We got a nice warm campfire going as the temperature dropped after dark. Carter led a great campfire program, highlighted by an Irish sing-off between Cy and Paul, along with some hilarious skits, cheers, and even a little political satire. Paul closed the campfire with a scary ghost story. After campfire, everyone got a chance to go out to the beach for stargazing. It was a clear night and there were many constellations in clear view. A lucky few hung around long enough to see the moonrise over the Atlantic Ocean!
Everyone was very tired and got to sleep quickly. The camp was visited by a few raccoons overnight, and Paul was able to salvage the trash before they carried it off into the woods.
We awoke to a hot breakfast of pancakes and some hash browns. Everyone pitched in to break down their personal and troop gear and haul it back to the ferry dock across the island. We had a nice worship service (pretending it was Sunday) at the dock before boarding the ferry at 10:15. We hit the road at St. Mary's around 11:30, stopping for lunch at Wendy's below Savannah.
The trip was smooth for most, although one vehicle was slowed by a brief stop, after which the scouts helped the driver keep up with the posted speed limit the rest of the way. ;-)
We arrived back at the church at 5:30, tired but hoping for a return visit to Cumberland Island in the future.