St Croix Canoeing 2016
Post date: Apr 19, 2016 6:15:56 PM
Departed Minnehaha United Methodist on Friday, April 15, at about 6:30 PM.
Returned to MUMC on Sunday, April 17, around 11:00 AM.
Camped at Wild River State Park - two sites at Group Area Basic A.
For canoes and shuttling on Saturday, we used Wild River Outfitters (http://wildriverpaddling.com/). We booked 8 canoes, met at the outfitter at about 8:30 AM. It's a 45 minute drive from the park to the outfitter.
The roster included 12 scouts (in 3 patrols) and 4 adult leaders (3 of them driving).
The estimated cost per scout was $12 for grub, $8 for the group site reservation, and $16 for canoe rental.
Make reservation - Hartford
Make arrangements with outfitter - Hartford
File Tour Plan - Martin
Communicate to scouts - Hartford
Communicate specifics to participants - Hartford
Cross-check adult training across planned activities - Martin
Cross-check roster against vehicle/seat count - Martin
Review health records - Martin, Hartford
Write up "notes for next time" after the event - Hartford
Notes for Next Time:
Verify training for adult leaders farther in advance. (Doing this 2 weeks in advance did not allow for filling in any gaps.)
Set a goal to have at least two adult leaders with current CPR/AED and Wilderness and Remote First Aid certification at for high adventure and other trips
Establish firmer "buddy boat" guidelines: toward the end of the trip we got strung out pretty far along the river, and some boats were out of sight of another Troop 1 boat for some time.
Establish wait points along the river to help with the line getting strung out; on the St. Croix, we can use the mile markers at camp sites to plan
Wind was a challenge! Consider paddler size when setting up canoe pairs in windy conditions, and if a light Scout is in the front find ballast to weight him down (Dan's boulder under Stuart's seat was sheer genius)
Scouts did a great job this time of getting loaded quickly with correct gear; one less stove than we needed was taken, which we will address at the 5/2/2016 meeting with a labeling project.
Camp set up was also very effective; one tent that was missing bones was brought and had to be swapped--we need to do another tent assessment, possibly as part of the 5/2 meeting or a later meeting.
Breaking camp for canoeing was smooth
We had a successful campfire program--low key, because everyone was tired, but an effort was made
At supper, most patrols ate as a patrol; there was a little bit of wandering and begging for food from Scouts who didn't like their patrol's food; we need to continue to enforce the patrol dining method
Breaking camp went very quickly and efficiently. We had time after packing and policing to play games and take walks, and even left a little early to spend more time returning gear to the shed.
Early season camping at state parks often means that the office isn't open when we arrive, and if we have an off-site activity we may never encounter the park staff. We were not able to purchase wood at the camp office. Fortunately there was a lot of down dead wood at the site, and we used that despite the no-gathering regulations (the quantity of dead wood was such that no one will miss the little we burned!); in the future, when using state parks early or late in the season, we should be prepared to purchase local firewood at a convenience store near camp.
The outfitter, Wild River Outfitters in Grantsburg, http://wildriverpaddling.com/, was great to work with, and I would use them again for a similar or even an extended St. Croix River trip.