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Troop 300 Scouts visit Parker Dam State Park

Every Scoutmaster tells his Scouts that their homework obligations must be completed regardless of their Scouting activities. The Boy Scouts of Troop 300 however, recently went on an outing to get help with their homework!
Many of the 9th and 10th grade students in Mr. Mark Nale\’s Biology class are tromping through the woods at Fort Roberdeau, Reservoir Park and around the area to collect specimens for their Leaf Identification Project. The Park Naturalist at Parker Dam State Park in Clearfield County hosted a leaf identification walk this past weekend.
Mr. Carey Huber spent two hours with the Scouts and showed them 6 different species of oak (red, white, pin, black, chestnut and scarlet) along with varieties of maples, ironwood, witch hazel as well as other deciduous trees. The Scouts also collected specimens of the conifers, such as pitch pine, white pine, and red pine. The Scouts also found specimens of the tamarac or Eastern larch, a conifer (a tree with needles) that actually sheds its needles each year. The Scouts collected nearly 20 specimens at this outing.
While at Parker Dam the Scouts honed their orienteering skills by successfully completing the orienteering course. The Scouts were able to find all 6 targets, a 1 inch by 1 inch stake driven into the ground in the middle of the woods. The Scouts also hiked the \”Trail of the New Giants\” which cuts through the middle of a tornado blow down area. The Scouts witnessed first hand the regrowth of the forest, that was decimated by a tornado in May of 1985.
The Scouts left Parker Dam with a greater understanding of the diversity of trees, as well as the resiliency of the forest. The Scouts enjoyed using all of their Biology skills taught by Mr. Nale in the classroom, and put into use in one of the most beautiful laboratory settings in Pennsylvania, Parker Dam State Park.