2014 General Nash
Branchwood Park, Franconia Township
Saturday, 10 May 2014
The General Nash District held its Second Annual Fishing Frenzy at Franconia's Branchwood Park along the Branch Creek. The event is put on in conjunction with the area 4-H Clubs and is designed to encourage community residents to have fun out-of-doors. It is also designed to acquaint the community residents about the various Scouting units and programs that are available to the community's youth. The event was put on free of charge and Boy Scout Troop 401 from Souderton provided hot dogs and funnel cakes to the participants. Troop 178 erected a smaller version of their rope bridge that is a fixture at the annual Cub-O-Rees that the District holds in October.
Members of the area 4-H Clubs bring a number of animals and reptiles for participants to see and even hold. The photo at left shows one Scouter getter better acquainted with a young boa constrictor while the photo at right shows Skipper Wile with a bearded dragon lizard on his chest and a young Cub Scout checking out the lizard. In addition to the boa constrictors and various types of lizards, the 4-H members also had available rabbits, guinea pigs, and there was even a tarantula spider for those daring enough to let it crawl over them. Their 4-H handlers were there to tell visitors about the animals and reptiles, including their care and handling. The animals and reptiles were a bit hit with the boys and girls who visited the park to take part in the Fishing Frenzy.
Ship 461 was one of the Scout units at the event providing information about its program and Sea Scouting in general. This year we brought along our smaller sailboat, the 16-foot O'Day Day Sailer II. As a result of some significant rain earlier in the week, we probably could have floated our sailboat in the Branch Creek by the park if we could have figured out how to launch and recover the boat along the steep banks of the Creek as it runs through the park. Sailing it on the Creek would have posed other problems, however, as there is less than 100 meters until the Creek goes under the Camp Road bridge, which would have prevented sailing any further. A canoe would have been more practicable. The Ship also displayed one of its vintage outboard motors - a 1957 Evinrude Fleetwin 7.5 horsepower outboard that provides auxiliary power to our Catalina sailboats when the wind is not cooperative.
In addition to having our 16-foot sailboat available, Mate Paul Coaché set up a scuba diving display and was happy to discuss and explain the ins and outs of scuba diving to anyone who asked. Paul is a certified rescue scuba diver and is actively working on his master diver's certification. He has been scuba diving for years and both of his children, daughter Shannon and son Kyle, are certified scuba divers. Paul's son, Kyle, is also a certified rescue diver and one of Ship 461's boatswain's mates. The photo above right shows Paul Coaché discussing scuba diving with several interested visitors to the park. The photo above left shows Mates Paul Coaché and Andy Cowles completing the set up of the 16-foot sailboat.
Of course, one cannot have a "fishing frenzy" without fishing. For several hours on Saturday the one bank of the Branch Creek was lined with fishermen and women of all ages, as the photos to the left and right show. While many visitors brought their own fishing gear, fishing rods and bait were available for use by those who did not have their own equipment available. Despite the intensity, the fishing wasn't all that good and while a few fish were caught, much of the bait disappeared without catching a fish. Perhaps the weather was too nice or the fish were too clever. One could see smaller fish swimming close to shore and the Creek had been stocked a few weeks earlier. Surely, all of those fish can not have been caught already!
While the visitor numbers were down from last year's event, we still managed close to 150 visitors from the local community and the event involved a clean-up of the stream area along the park's waterfront. Our thanks to Venture Crew 178 Advisor Steve Johns for organizing this event and to the Supervisors of Franconia Township who permitted the event to be held in Branchwood Park.
This page last updated on Wednesday, 21 May 2014.