Local Cub Scouts spent the past week roughing it, learning life skills and forging friendships, in a serene forest setting in the Poconos. As the uniformed boys filed down a rocky path to the site where they’d have the week’s closing campfire, the marching songs of past scouts –who were enriched the same as these boys over the past 97 years at Camp Acahela –could almost be heard.
“Camp is awesome,” exclaimed 10-year-old Dylan Minet, of Pack 106 in Mountain Top. “The best part was getting to be with friends…. There’s no video games, but there’s a lot of other stuff to do instead.”
So much to do that no one had time to get homesick. The boys rode tubes down the Lehigh River, competed in archery and in BB guns, climbed a rock wall and zipped through an obstacle course, mastered leatherwork and using utility knives, and learned basic scout skills, such as first aid.
The boys spent the week sleeping on cots on raised platforms, a heavy-duty tent structure acting as the only protection between them and the elements. They fell asleep to the sounds of crickets, owls, and other wildlife.
“You see some bugs in your tent the first night, but then you get used to it,” Dylan noted. “It’s really not bad.”
He also described the “polar bear
swim,” a cold plunge the scouts take at dawn, as “not bad.” Dylan said the chilly swim was easier when he had motivation –his scout leaders tossing Swedish fish into his mouth.
Camp Acahela has three bodies of