January 26, 2022

Camp Gear

In late July, Riley and I will be traveling to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico for two weeks of backcountry hiking with his Boy Scout troop. We’ll be joining a trek with other scouts from his troop that will span 12 days of hiking, and is likely to hit 7 of the tallest mountains in the region.

Of course, I’m all about the gear.

Riley and I recently visited the Franklin Institute with Pack 32 as part of a “camp-in” event.  We packed our sleeping bags and camping mattresses, and rolled up to the Franklin, ready for some science.

We arrived quite a bit early so that we could have dinner outside of the museum.  We took an Uber to a ramen place I know, since Riley loves ramen.  We both had a bowl of utterly unreal ramen – There’s nothing like real ramen, not the dried kind you get in the little orange bags.  We both opted for the hard boiled egg. It was super tasty.

Last Saturday, Riley and I took our car to compete at Cub Pack 32’s pinewood derby race, placing 2nd among the 33 racers submitting cars.

Last year’s car didn’t make it out of the shaping phase.  We got the car down to the shape and added weight, but I forgot to weigh it with the wheels.  When I tried to take some wood out of the center with a rotary saw, it went haywire, taking out way too much wood, extremely weakening the car frame, and still coming out overweight.  We had to bow out of the race.  But not this year.

Recently, Riley and I completed the Cub Scouts’ Pack 32 Space Derby. Months ago, I told Riley’s den leader that I was enthusiastic to help with the derby, since it is one of my favorite scouting events. After a handful of emails, I found myself volunteering for a number of things related to the event, in addition to helping Riley with his rocket.

The derby itself is a race of propeller-driven rockets, flying down a length of taught fishing line. The rocket is made of two halves of balsa wood, hollowed out and glued together, then shaved and sanded to a rocket shape. A hanger is attached to the top of the rocket that allows it to slip into a cradle that hangs from the fishing line track. Rubber bands inside the rocket attach to the propeller in front and a small stationary dowel in the back. The propeller is wound, tightening the rubber bands, and when it is attached to the cradle and released, the rocket flies down the track!

It was an interesting weekend for us; there was a lot going on.  Both Riley and Abby had sports events.  On Saturday Riley had a baseball game at Hickory Park and Abby had a soccer game at Fellowship Fields (at which I was "coaching").  Shortly after Abby's game, Riley and I left for Camden to camp on the battleship New Jersey with a group from Pack 32.

Battleship New Jersey