1st Port Elgin scout group, trip to Ottawa/Gatineau Park
by Fox Turcotte
Scouter’s Note: To celebrate Canada 150 and end the Scouting season the Port Elgin Scout Troop held a week long camp at Gatineau Park in Quebec. The camp was attended by 5 Scouts: Curtis, Gabriel, Fox, Fletcher and Alan; 5 Scouters: Bill, Alan, Maggie, Kevin and Carl(honorary) and 3 other youth: Grayson, Kenzie and Michael
Port Elgin Scouting thanks the generous support of our sponsor the Port Elgin Lions Club and MP Ben Lobb’s office in making this camp a great success.
Below is the journal of one of the Scouts account of the trip.
Thursday(June 29): driving!
We met at 7:30 at the United Church. At about 9 we picked up the Ripley’s- they had been scouts before but moved away. Good thing we left early because the entire trip there took 11 ½ hours to Gatineau Park. Almost as soon as we got there we saw a family of beavers go into the lake by our site. When we put up the tents it was storming rain.
Friday(June 30): parliament tour!
We walked down to the parliament buildings and waited for our tour guide that was arranged by MP Ben Lobb’s office, our tour guide’s name was Michael he does not work at Ben Lobb’s office anymore though. Gabriel’s family met us there to join us for the trip as well. Michael showed us the House of Commons, the Senate, the Peace Tower and the Library. After that we went to the Aerospace museum. Scouter Bill got these Canada 150 shirts and hats that you might see us wearing in some of the pictures they got us a lot of attention in the city, we even got a picture with a police officer
Saturday(July 1): Canada 150!!
Today was a busy day. We left our cars at a bus station in Gatineau and took the Citibus downtown. We watched some of the celebration on big screens, and waited for the planes to fly over. There were too many clouds so just an F18 flew over. On the way over the bridge to Ottawa we saw the Snowbirds fly over in formation. Finally! Next the War Museum and it was awesome!!! We did not go to the parliament buildings because the line was 4 hours long. Downtown Ottawa was so crowded. Then it stared to rain, at first people took cover but soon it was crowded again. After some food we crossed the bridge to the Museum of History to get out of the rain and wait for the fireworks. The fireworks were amazing, some went off right over our heads. We had a perfect view of the parliament buildings. We arrived back at Gatineau park at 1 in the morning.
Sunday(July 2): scouts own, relax!
Sleep in!!! Me and Curtis made pancakes for breakfast. I thought we did pretty good. We also had our scouts own which is very spiritual. We also went swimming I did not go in the water because I wanted to sit down and relax. After swimming we had some free time, we made dams by the water. We noticed a beaver in the grass right beside us. We got a really good look at him. Today was also the day where we had our first campfire, and scouter Maggie made these pages with songs, cheers and skits!
Monday(July 3): canoeing + birthday party
On Monday we got up really early to go canoeing! I was with scouter Kevin. After canoeing for a while we all tried to find a spot to eat lunch. The first island had no ‘5 second rule’ it was covered with goose poop so we kept paddling and found an island with wild strawberries, that was perfect, so ate all the berries we could find and ate lunch on there. We had soup and sandwiches. After lunch we decided to go swimming off the rocks there. Scouter Kevin made sure it was safe. When we got back to camp we saw the beaver again. He wasn’t scared at all. For dinner we celebrated Curtis’s birthday and had campstove cake!
Tuesday(July 4): hike to Lusk caves
I had heard about a cave system when I was researching Gatineau Park before camp. There was a picture of the cave, the picture was a dark cave with water going down it. When we got there it was exactly that, a dark cave with water flowing down it. Now I’ve been to too many cub camps where we go to the grotto at Cyprus Lake and look at it then go back so I was guessing it was the same here NOPE. WE GOT TO GO IN THE CAVE AND IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There were spaces where there was only enough room for your head above the water! Some people loved it other not but I had so much fun I wanted to go again. So I asked if we could go again, and we could! Another crazy thing that happened was some of the park was still affected by this spring’s floods. On the long walk back there were not puddles but HUMONGOUS puddles, so we had to find a way around them. after the big hike we all had showers and then ice cream. When we got back to camp we had dinner and started to pack. While we were doing that a deer wandered slowly through camp. We had our last campfire
Wednesday(July5): going home
I got woken up at 6 in the morning to start packing up I had already packed up most of my stuff yesterday all that was left was my sleeping pad and my sleeping bag. Before breakfast we took all the tents down and finished packing all our stuff. After a long drive we made it back to the United Church and I was glad! We were back home! After an awesome camp there is one thing people should do -do nothing, take a break, shower, nap or at least that’s what I did
“If there is one important thing I’ve learned during scout camps its that you only use 20% of the stuff you bring there.”-Fox Turcotte (A.K.A. The writer of this journal)