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RE: [at-l] Scouting and Growing Spirit in a Young Boy--Need a Whi te Blaze

Speaking as a section hiker, wanna-be thruhiker, former Boy Scout and a

I was 10 years old when I joined the local troop and two weeks later was on
my first backpacking trip - an overnighter south out of the Lehigh Gap, did
the loop trail up to Lehigh Furnace and back on the AT to a campsite just
above the Outerbridge shelter and its fantastic piped spring.  Spent the
night under a tarp looking out to the lights of Slatington(?) below.  Caught
the bug then and there.

That summer ('77) we did 9 days in the WMNF (base camped at Dolly Copp) and
we went through the Great Gulf Wilderness, summitted Mt Washington and back
down the Sphinx trail and other assorted hikes through the Presidential
Range.  That sealed my fate.

It soon became apparent that my troop was mostly an excuse to go hiking.
While other troops had fundraisers and got badges, we were out in the woods.
Sometimes, the leaders would have a conscience attack and we would try to
acquire some merit badges and move up the ranks. But to tell the truth, how
to tie a taut-line hitch, etc. has remained with me much longer than most of
the merit badge info.  In terms of other benefits, thinking back on it - I
think some additional strong, decent, male role models (my father was and is
a fantastic Dad, but not an "outdoorsman") was important.

I spent about 5 years in the troop doing hiking trips on the AT between Port
Clinton and the DWG and in NH and Maine in the summers.  Incidentally, I
have to smile whenever anyone complains about the PA rocks.  I fell in love
with the AT on the PA rocks and everywhere else is just that much more fun
without the rocks.

When my daughters hit the 9-10 age, I'll start taking them, maybe they'll
catch Springer fever someday as well.

-----Original Message-----
From: HikingHope@aol.com [mailto:HikingHope@aol.com]
Sent: Monday, August 02, 1999 1:20 PM