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Okefenokee Swamp Trip

For over 40 years, Trailcraft Troop has made annual trips to the Okefenokee Swamp.

1997 Swamp Trip menagerie

1993 Swamp Trip - Scoutmaster Stew Gaylord and Robbie Gaylord

1997 Swamp Trip - Scoutmaster Stew Gaylord and Shawn Dean just starting the trip.

1998 Swamp Trip Crew at 6:30 A.M. getting ready to unload.

Mr. "C" (Thomas Costello) leads our annual swamp trip.

ASM Tom Dunlap paddles in with Andrew Liu. - 1998

Lance Richard (stern) and Keith Lambert (bow) effortlessly paddle in.

This started when Thomas Costello was scoutmaster. Mr. "C" found a dilapidated old cabin on Floyd's Island. Mr. "C" struck a deal with the National Park Service that our troop would come in every year and complete any maintenance required to preserve the cabin. Also we would complete any service that the park service needed on this trip.

Forty years later, the cabin still stands. Every year the rangers have a 2-3 page list of "chores" that need to be taken care of in that part of the swamp. The troop clears the canoe trails, removes downed trees and limbs, maintains an emergency helicopter pad, and anything else on the list, besides repairing the cabin.

Our journey in is about 18 miles (longer for those that cannot canoe in a straight line) and about 8 miles out. We spend one day paddling in (usually Friday), then we work at our service projects all day Saturday. After Church services on Sunday, we go back to work to complete our cheerful service. Monday morning everyone gets up at 4:00 A.M. to load canoes and head out, coming out at Stephen Foster State Park. We then pack up and drive back, arriving about 6:30 P.M.

Our scouts miss must miss 2 days of school, but the experience is well worth making up the homework.

Lance Richard and "mountain man" John Struthers work on repairing the cabin roof.

Sean Browning works at splitting some firewood as (from the left) Vincent Medani, Michael Register, Timothy Kauffman and Andrew Liu wait their turn.

Campfires, skits, and storytelling are a big part of the Okefenokee Swamp experience.

Scoutmaster Stew Gaylord and Bob Kauffman check out the scoutmaster's dutch oven treats.

The 1998 Okefenokee Swamp Trip group.

One of the big jobs is pruning and cleaning out the canoe trails in the swamp.

The guys that made it happen in 1998, from the left: ASM Phillip Lambert,ASM Dale Arndt, ASM Brad Campbell (kneeling), ASM Elmore Herman, ASM Thomas Costello, Bart Keen, SPL Adam Arndt, Bob Kauffman, SM Stew Gaylord, ASM Doug Richard, Arlin Arbeiter (Scoutmaster of Troop 525, and ASM Bill Baker.

ASM Elmore Herman (Trip Coordinator), ASM Thomas Costello (Mr. "C"), and Scoutmaster Stew Gaylord.

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