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Nantucket Adventure 2022 - Trip Report

by Will O., Troop 185 Scribe

WELLESLEY - For as long as Troop 185 has existed, we have had an annual Columbus Day weekend bike trip. For over twenty years, the island of Nantucket has been home to this special experience. The long preparation process begins on the heels of the previous year's trip with feedback gathered, notes taken, and the truck and ferry booked in early January when the Steamship Authority opens reservations for the year ahead. This year’s trip saw Mr. Pyzowski return to the helm, managing all logistics for 25 scouts and preparing meals for 24 adults and family members.

With the bulk of the gear having been loaded onto the truck Wednesday night, families gathered in the parking lot of St. John's Church on Saturday October 8th at 6 am. Attendance was taken by the SPLs, and we began our trip to Hyannis where cars were parked and the ferry boarded. The weather was significantly more pleasant this year which made the voyage enjoyable than last year’s cold and windy ride over. Homework was accomplished, conversation was had, and naps taken on the nearly 2 hour journey across Nantucket Sound.

Photo Credit: Dr. Ohaegbulam

Photo Credit: Dr. Ohaegbulam

Once on the Island, bikes were distributed to everyone courtesy of Young's Bicycle Shop and we slowly made our way to Camp Richard in waves with the senior patrol heading out first as guides. Once we pitched our tents, the troop members dispersed over the island for our first day. Dinner on Saturday night started early, especially for the adults who would be eating a gourmet meal of chicken and rice with a fig and balsamic reduction created by Mr. Pyzowski (recipe link here). Adults and the lucky scouts who were on the receiving end of the leftovers all agreed it was a gourmet quality meal, topped off by dutch oven peach and blueberry crumble for dessert. 

As it got dark, a game of football started which resulted in the ball getting stuck in one of the trees overhead. Many objects were thrown to retrieve the ball including a small chair, which after its first throw, immediately became lodged in the branches of the same tree. Both the chair and the ball were eventually recovered and the game ended. A post-diner discussion to kick off Citizenship in Society merit badge led by Mr. Maire and included 8 scouts, concluded in time for the evening campfire. We shared a campfire with troops from Hingham Troop 1 and West Roxbury. There is no firewood on Nantucket, but we were well supplied with a large pile of wooden shipping pallets which created an impressive inferno. The Hingham troop provided us with musical entertainment, including a rowdy rendition of Shipping Up To Boston that featured Mr. Buckley (the Hingham Scoutmaster) on the harmonica. We were also treated to a telling of the ever-popular "Bad Conductor" joke by Henry M, the world premier of the terrifying original "Mysterious Beach" story by Jonathan C, and lots of other funny jokes contributed by other scouts. As the campfire burned down we felt a chill in the air and quickly climbed into our tents.

Sunday was our full day on the island, and everyone made the most of it. Bike rides of all lengths were taken with scouts and families heading to candy stores, skate parks, barbecue restaurants, beaches, and many other destinations. Many scouts accomplished their 10 mile bike ride (turned out to be 16 miles) navigated with map and compass on this beautiful but windy day. A service project involving the movement of construction material at Camp Richard was accomplished by several scouts with the oversight of Mr. MacKinnon. Highlights of the second night included the adult’s dinner of burgers and hot dogs with corn cooked directly on coals, scout meals of pasta, grilled cheese and tomato soup, a second session with Mr. Maire, and another rousing campfire. 

Before we knew it, Monday morning was upon us. Camp Richard was thoroughly cleaned and the great exodus back to the ferry began.  We returned our bikes, enjoyed about an hour walking around town, and boarded the ferry back to Hyannis. No scouts were lost on this exciting trip!

Special thanks to Mr. Pyzowski, Mrs. Gordon, Mr. MacKinnon, Ms. King, Mr. Maire, and Mr. Sherrer, the adults leaders without whom this trip would not be possible.

Photography Contest Winners

Division 1: Vacation Paradise

The winning photo in this division was submitted by Mr. Jadot. Truly stunning. You just can't ask for a more relaxing vacation than a sunny weekend trip with Troop 185.

Division 2: The Spirit of Scouting

 The winning photo in this division was submitted by Henry M. One of the best things about Camp Richard is the giant fire pit next to our campsite. With an ample supply of pallets, it's sometimes hard to follow the ranger's orders to keep the fire "under 8 feet tall."

Division 3: Culinary Frontiers

 The winning photo in this division was submitted by Mr. Pyzowski who certainly knows how to push the limits of fine outdoor dining. Grilled corn-on-the-cob was on the menu for Sunday night and this photo captures Mr. Maire cooking the corn to perfection on a bed of hot coals as the sun sets in the background. So delicious ...

That's about it. Thanks to everyone for an outstanding trip!