Canoeing Orientation

25 June 2013

Lake Galena - Peace Valley Park

Chalfont, Bucks County, Pennsylvania

On Tuesday, 25 June 2013, the Sea Scouts of Ship 461 as well as Boy Scouts from Troop 461 spent a pleasant day on the water on Lake Galena in Peace Valley County Park.  The purpose of the outing was to familiarize the Scouts with some basic canoeing skills in preparation for the Ship's Long Cruise and the Troop's Summer Camp to Haliburton Scout Reserve in Ontario Canada.  Knowing how to handle a canoe will be a necessary skill for the Scouts when they camp and cruise at Haliburton in July 2013.

The Sea Scouts of Ship 461 as well as the Boy Scouts of Troop 461 are going to spend a week in upper Ontario, Canada, from 12 through 20 July 2013 at the Haliburton Scout Reserve located in Ontario, Canada.  Haliburton is the oldest continuously operated Scout camp in Canada and is located approximately 150 miles north of Toronto, Ontario.  While this will be the Ship's first trip to Haliburton, the Boy Scout Troop has been spending its summer camp every three (3) to five (5) years at Haliburton since 1962. In the center of Halibuton is Lake Kenabe, which dominates the Scout Reserve.  All of the campsites at Haliburton are lakefront campsites and each has its own dock and swimming area.  There are no trails from the campsites to the various activities at Haliburton and Scouts must travel by water, either by canoe, rowboat, or barge, to get from their campsites to the various activities.  As a result, basic watercraft safety and knowledge of how to paddle and right a canoe is a basic skill that is necessary for Haliburton.

Maria van der Kleut, a Committee Member from Troop 461, was instrumental in making the arrangements for renting canoes and scheduling the event at Peace Valley Park.  The Ship was represented by Skipper Tim Wile, Mates Andy Cowles and Randy van der Kleut, and Committee Member Pattie Guttenplan - all four of whom will be attending the Haliburton trip.  Sea Scouts in attendance were Boatswain Walter Coyne, Purser Aaron Guttenplan, Yeoman Sean van der Kleut, and Storekeeper Brandon Rhoads.

The photo at left shows Purser Guttenplan and Storekeeper Rhoads preparing to depart while the photo at the right shows Yeoman van der Kleut and Purser Guttenplan in the center demonstrating how to right a swamped canoe and re-enter it from the water to the three Scouts in the canoe in the left of the photo.  At the right, several other Sea Scouts are practicing entering a righted canoe from the water that is over their heads.

The photo below left shows Mates Cowles and van der Kleut, along with Committee Member Guttenplan, preparing to depart in their canoe.  The photo below right depicts some of our group simply paddling around on the lake in their canoes.

We were fortunate in that the weather was simply beautiful and the winds were rather calm.  The Scouts had a simply great time on the lake and demonstrated their skill in handling a canoe. 

Towards the end of the activity, Skipper Wile and Mate Cowles rented a small sailboat and spent an hour refreshing their sailing skills.  The Ship will be transporting one of its 22 foot Catalina sailboats to Haliburton and at least some of each day at Haliburton will be spent sailing on Lake Kenabe.  The plan is to permit the Sea Scouts to complete some of their requirements for the Ordinary Sea Scout Rank while also introducing the Boy Scouts to some sailing fundamentals in preparation for the time that they are old enough to join the Ship.

Peace Valley Park is run by the Bucks County Department of Parks and Recreation and is located only about ten (10) miles from our home port of Souderton. 

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This page last updated on Wednesday, 03 July 2013