The SCA Manchester's members arrived at Bear Brook Friday afternoon excited for the weekend camping trip full of fun and service work. They geared up and hiked out to their campsite at Smith's Pond, complete with a rustic shelter which overlooks a tranquil and picturesque pond. It seemed that all of Bear Brook was excited for the members to be there, with close encounters with a turtle and a baby porcupine along the trail! The members were new to backpacking and to New Hampshire parks, all having recently moved to the United States from Nepal, but they quickly learned to set up camp and cook dinner by following Leave No Trace standards. The first evening went off without a hitch and to celebrate, SCA Manchester roasted marshmallows over the fire.
The next day was spent building a, much needed, bog bridge along a muddy trail. This was a big task and SCA Manchester conquered it! Moving the 12-foot, 18-inch diameter, White Pine log was just the start. Teaching the members that teamwork and communication were imperative to transport such a hefty load was the next step. The crew learned how to utilize a number of new tools and techniques throughout the project. They learned how to debark a tree with a draw-shave and spud bar and challenged each other to remove the largest portions of bark without breaking it. They learned how to remove wood wedges with a Pulaski, how to chisel, and so much more. At the end of the long day, they sat back satisfied and admired their work over a hearty meal and were surprised with doughnuts.
The crew woke up bright and early on Sunday and began breaking down camp. Following Leave No Trace principles they spent some time searching the site picking up any trash, their goal was: "Leave it better than you found it." Wrapping up the previous days work, the crew cleaned and sharpened the equipment used which they learned is the key to long lasting and effective tools. The day ended with a relaxing picnic at the beach before the drive back to Manchester. The SCA Manchester members left the weekend with a strong sense of accomplishment and with a great introduction to the New Hampshire wilderness.