By Ely Schosek
Scouts is about character, adventure, fun, leadership and so much more, so it is only fitting that they would take trips to unique destinations.
“Every year we typically do a summer trip to somewhere people normally wouldn’t go to,” said Eric Schweickert of Springville’s Troop 524. “So mostly, it’s about getting out, going somewhere and having fun.”
One of the troop’s past trips included a trip to Maine in 2015, which Thomas Orndorff noted as “pretty similar, a little more rugged though” compared to home.
This year’s trip was to the Thousand Islands. This group of islands is contained within the St. Lawrence River near Lake Ontario, along the border between the United States and Canada.
According to some of the troop members, they began their trip with some boating along the St. Lawrence River and through the Thousand Islands, a most certainly scenic route.
The same day the group visited Boldt Castle, a historic site in the area. Construction was initiated in 1900 by George C. Boldt to pay homage to his dearly beloved wife, Louise. The castle was meant to be their summer home before Louise’s sudden death just months before completion of the construction.
A game of mini-golf was the troop’s way to finish off their first day in the 1000 Islands.
The second day of the trip entailed a small adventure to Fort Tompkins, “where a key battle in the War of 1812 was fought,” noted Thomas. “Lots of important history there,” he added.
Schweickert said later on that day, they went on a hike at Robert Wehle State Park and then went to an escape room. In an escape room, there are two doors, one through which you enter and another locked door. The room holds many puzzles and clues, which you have to piece together to unlock the second door and “escape.”
The troop divided in half in order to take on the escape rooms but only one group was
able to complete all the puzzles and unlock the final door.
To top it all off, they went white water rafting down the Salmon River and visited Selkirk Shores State Park.
“We had a phenomenal time,” Orndorff said while also mentioning that it was a great experience for everyone.
Eric Schweickert and Chris Jozwiak were in charge of planning the trip, which according to Eric, consisted of “sitting at Tim Hortons flipping through tour books. Whatever we found interesting we added to the list of what we were doing and then time scheduled after.”
Jozwiak called it a “very good experience” because they got to “do a lot of new things and have a good time.”
Schweickert added, “It gave me an opportunity to do things that I haven’t done before and it was an opportunity for the younger kids to gain some responsibility and independence.”
When asked to describe the purpose of the trip, this is what a few of the troop members had to say.
“I would say the purpose of it was to have fun and form a bond with the other scouts, since most of them are newer to our troop,” said Jozwiak.
Orndorff noted the following: “I would say that the purpose, if there truly is one, is to experience the world from a new perspective and to grow as people, all while having fun.”
Will Guilmain quickly summarized the trip by saying, “We went white water rafting, tried an escape room, hiked, swam, boated and went sightseeing.”
Springville Troop 524’s most recent trip to the Thousand Islands was representative of the values of Scouts.