From Allen Pike, in the Troop around 1968.
We we did the Historic Trails once, we did some trips down the Genesee River from Cuylerville to Avon with a stop overnight somewhere along the line. We put markers at places like York Landing as the Genesee was used for shipping and transportation a long time ago. The last year I went as I was at the age where I was soon to be too old. That year the River Banks collapsed prior to the trip by a few months, this occurred at what I called The Oxbow which is down towards Nations Road.
There was another time that Bob had us get up early, march down through Camp Sam Wood to the Bridge by the Main Parking lot. We had to get into the Creek and find something that didn’t belong like a can or paper. Once we had done this we could get out. That water was cold, we also didn’t have to shower that day!
Now Ken Woodruff, I am not sure if he left Scouts before or he Died while he was still the Scoutmaster.
One year at Sam Wood, The French Twins Randy and Ricky were asked by a few other Scouts if they were Twins, They somehow convinced a few that they had just met and were from different towns
We had 2 Scouts, Both very Smart, today Both are College Professors, Joe Mendola and Bob McLaughlin. Well we had a Pizza sale where we bought all the items and put the pizza’s together and boxed them then took them out and sold them.
I remember coming back to the Church on the Corner of The Park near the St Agnes School, and Bob French talking to all of us and telling us to Carry The Pizza’s with the Toppings Up, Not to hold them under our Arms because a couple of Scouts had done this because they figured they could carry more which they could. I remember Bob Saying he would understand it if it were anyone but them.
Those are some of my Memories, That and Barlow’s Cabin at Sam Wood, John Barlow(Fiction) was used as a story here he killed his family and anyone who went there into the cabin never came out, usually a Camp Fire Story where at the end Someone would get grabbed at the ending and the story was over as the last person to go in survived and was loose in the woods, And the person telling the story, well He Was the Last One and the grab. I wish I could remember the story, my eldest Brother was good at telling it, then he was good at telling stories anyway.
From Ron Boyd, joined the Troop in 1970, became Eagle Scout in 1976..
1972, Algonquin Provincial Park
Troop 26 embarks on their first major backpacking trip. By now, the troop owns enough two-man tents, patrol cook kits and cooking utensils, entrenching tools, saws and axes to outfit every patrol (as of 2009, some of the same gear is in use as it has been well cared for by the Troop since its purchase). The Troop departs for nine days of hiking at Algonquin Provincial Park in Canada. We had beautiful weather on the road and during our first day in the park. To say it rained the first night is probably an understatement. The adults took sleeping bags to the nearest Laundromat and dried them before we hit the trail. It proceeded to rain for the next seven days.
1974 Genesee Council Spring Camporee
My older brother reminds me that 35 years ago this weekend (Spring, 1974) Troop 26 had quite the experience during the Genesee Council Spring Camporee, held at the Cuylerville Rod & Gun Club.
Being the best Troop in Genesee Council, our Patrol Leadership Council decided that we would backpack home from the Camporee in Cuylerville (I really don’t recall if we also hiked in on Saturday morning). For most of the hike home, we planned to follow the abandoned railroad beds along west side of the Genesee river. The Troop would stop for Sunday services at the Abbey in the Genesee, a monastery in Piffard, then continue along the railroad beds to Fowlerville Road. We would follow Fowlerville Road to Route 39, follow Route 39 to Ashantee, then across the bridge and down the road to the Scout House.
The camporee itself was uneventful. Following Sunday services at the monastery (the Brothers were pleased that so many Scouts were so comfortable in a church that they could fall asleep) Patrols grouped together and had lunch on a porch, then we set out as Patrols at staggered intervals for the last leg of the hike.
To say that the weather turned on us would be an understatement, but that is what happened. Shortly before reaching Fowlerville Road the skies darkened and a sudden snow squall was upon us. The Livingston County Sheriff’s declared a travel advisory and no unnecessary travel.
By the time we reached the intersection of Fowlerville & Boyd Road the Troop had closed the interval between patrols and we were all together, strung out Fowlerville Road. If I remember correctly, Phil Tatum, Anthony Powell and I (there may have been a couple others) went ahead with the keys to make sure the Scout House was unlocked and let parents know the Troop was OK. Then we went back to help bring the Troop in.
By the time we returned to the Scout House with the Troop we all had ice and snow at least a half inch thick caked on our pant legs. Either the State Police or County Sheriff had been called and came out to Fowlerville Road to check on us.
This experience is lovingly recalled by participants as the Troop 26 “deathmarch”
1976, The Bruce Trail
The Bruce Trail extends from Niagara Falls to Tobermory in Ontario, Canada. (Pictures: Patches, Along the trail). Memories of Massasauga rattlesnakes, house-size boulders, a Canadian heatwave and 55 degree water in the bay.
One day we were supposed to hike a fairly short distance (about 8 miles). The next day we would hike through a town, stop for ice cream, and continue to the next campsite. When we arrived at the campsite, it was too small. So we pressed on. We made it to the town – probably five or six miles past the campsite – and stopped at the general store for ice cream.
Hearing our plight, a local resident said that the next campsite would probably be too small or occupied. He then offered the use of his yard to camp in with the provision that any fires be located on the beach. As this person ran a bed and breakfast or a boarding house, he allowed the troop the use of the communal bathrooms.
It was so hot during the entire trip that when we returned to the cars rear-view mirrors had fallen from windshields in some cars. A Johnny Mathis record (long playing, vinyl) purchased as a gift for Mrs. French melted and warped.
From Bob French, Scoutmaster from 1969-1979
1979, the Grand Tetons
Troop 26 hikes the Grand Tetons (Pictures: Group photo, Raft ride, Map, Along the trail).
It started as the boys wanted to to Philmont but the age requirement cut out a lot of boys, so we got the idea to do a trip on our own and take all who wanted to go. Their cost was $250 each and we raised over $12,000 in a year with only 3 or 4 fundraisers (Gong Show at school auditorium, Trash-a-thon (Click here for article), Pizza Sale, and Pancake Supper). The fathers that helped also went on the trip and the Mothers got involved in the making of pizza’s for sale. If a boy participated in the fundraiser then some of the money raised would go toward his trip cost, so it was possible for anybody to go (this idea of fundraising continues today, where the Scouts have their own accounts with the Troop that can be used to fund trips or Scout gear).
There were about 36 boys that went and it lasted about 3 weeks. It included a school bus trip west to badlands, Yellowstone park, a boat trip in the rapids, a Rodeo, and bunch of other stops. We begged for help on the way with our story and got donation of places to stay on the way for free. We managed to save about $2000, which paid for a canoe trip to Canada for senior scouts the next year.