There is camping in a cabin, where everything you need is already waiting for you in a snug, warm cabin. Then there is tailgate camping, where all you need is brought in a vehicle. How much you bring and how heavy it is depends on your truck bed. Large tents and portable cooking stoves make for easy, comfortable camping. But the ultimate is backpacking where (you guessed it) every single item is carried on your back! Instead of camp stoves, you build a stone fire ring and gather firewood. Rather than canned food you just heat up, it is lightweight meals you need to cook. And no port-a-potty, either! But why bother? Adventure of course!
The guys in the Aero and Green Machine Squads of the Outdoor Adventure Klub (OAK) rose to the challenge of a backpacking trip recently in the Tioga State Forest. Even after careful planning and preparation, there were many skills that could only be learned by doing. It took their wits, their buddies, their strong backs, and what could be found in the woods to make it a successful experience.
During the two night trip they backpacked over six miles, set up campsites, practiced using map and compass, filtered drinking water, cooked on open fires even in the rain, and most importantly gained inner strength while working with their buddies. They also experienced being in the natural setting of one of our many inspiring State Forests. No parking lots, blaring radios, or barking dogs. Instead there were streams and trees and wildlife and rock formations.
Yes, sometimes they were a bit uncomfortable from getting wet, chilled, hungry, and tired. But by the end of the outing they had the self-confidence that can only be gained through overcoming a difficult challenge and are looking forward to the next adventure!
OAK (Outdoor Adventure Klub) is a Ministry of North Street Community Church for K-12 boys and is funded by donations – no joining fee. It is a place where boys can be boys, guided by Christian men. Each Squad in the Klub has boys of about the same age.
Call Jeff Deutschle, Klub Koordinator, at (570) 673-4275 for more information.