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Local scouts brave cold at Camp Anderson

The temperatures may still have been below zero, but it wasn’t enough to stop 13 local scouts from enjoying the annual Boy Scout/Webelos winter campout earlier this month.
“We had a little mix of it all,” said Boy Scout Troop 300 Scoutmaster Pete Kreckel. “We left and it was cold. Woke up to some pretty nice weather on Saturday. Fell asleep in the cold Saturday night and woke up to freezing rain in the morning.
“All in all, it’s what we needed. It was a great experience for the guys.”
After four months of the longest winter in a long time, most residents of Tyrone are “fed up” with the snow, the ice and the cold. As the old adage goes: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
That’s exactly what the scouts did – had fun despite the conditions.
“Everyone had a great time and learned a lot,” said Kreckel. “It was unbelievable to learn that a lot of the kids were never on ‘real’ ice. Some had gone to ice skating rinks, but some never set foot on a frozen lake.”
Kreckel and assistant Scoutmaster Mark Raffetto took an ice auger to test the safety of the ice on the lake. After drilling through 12 inches of ice before hitting water, the scouts were allowed on the lake.
The scouts learned that four inches of ice is the lower safety limit, and with the 12 inches that were present, the scouts found they were pretty safe.
“The night before, my son, Philip, asked if we could take some tip-ups along,” said Kreckel, noting that tip-ups are used for ice fishing. “I told him I didn’t think there were any fish in the lake, but told him to gather them up anyway.”
They were lucky they did.
Philip, an experienced ice fisherman, set the tip-ups to demonstrate how to ice fish. During the first demonstration, the flag popped up on the tip-up and scout Caleb Dillon set the hook and landed a 9-inch rainbow trout. Later on, two more rainbows were caught and released.
“I really didn’t think there were any fish in there,” said Kreckel.
On Saturday, the scouts executed field exercises and practiced scouting techniques.
Cubmaster Raffetto and assistant Todd Cardamone worked with pocket knife safety and techniques with the Cub Scouts. The Boy Scouts worked along with the Cub Scout dens to teach them safety and knife handling.
Bear Den from Cub Scout Pack 300 came out for the day and to hone their Cub Scout skills.
During a well-deserved break from the demonstrations and exercises, the scouts rode sleds, hiked and played chess.
After preparing their dinner, eating, then cleaning up, the scouts work on first aid by demonstrating proper splinting techniques for arm fractures, as well as how to make a sling from the neckerchief.
“On Sunday morning, the scouts woke up to howling winds and an ice covered camp,” said Kreckel. “They got their gear packed and broke camp.”
According to Kreckel, the weekend is an annual event designed to bring Cub Scouts together with Webelos Scouts. He said this pairing allows the older scouts to work with the younger scouts to prepare them for their next step in the scouting life.
“The scouts learned much about rescue techniques and first aid, but the most important lesson learned was to adapt to your surroundings,” said Kreckel, “and have fun the whole time.”
Those attending from Boy Scout Troop 300 were Philip Kreckel, Dave Rudy, Jeff Glace, Caleb Dillon, Chris Kirkpatrick, Tyler Poorman and Wes Young. The Webelos were Will Zimmerman, Pierce Cardamone, Dan Isenberg, Logan Harper, Matt Briggs and Derek Dasher.