The boy's mountaineering program has developed immensely this summer into an intensive well-organized one. It aimed to give the whole of Boys Camp an opportunity of going on an overnight and other mountaineering activities. I have set the targets for every bunk and these challenges have been met with great enthusiasm and professionalism.
I think the program is important for the following reasons-when not added Camp the kids have every opportunity to play hockey, softball or basketball at school. It is only in the camp environment where they could have the opportunity to be taken on mountain expeditions with fully qualified "Limeys" with Alpine experience. It is important to give the campers something to strive for when they are on an expedition so to make a challenge a real one. The overnights are selected for certain attributes e.g. the highest Mt.; the most scenic view; or the most famous trail.
Every trip of the summer has been a success due to the campers unselfish pursuit after the team's goal. As to the question of why climb the highest mountain in the Catskills (Slide Mt.), or the highest mountain in the Adirondacks (Mt. Marcy), and finally the highest mountain in eastern U.S. (Mt. Washington); or why walk along the world's most famous trail (Appalachian Trail)? The British mountaineer Mallory said "...because it's there..." which is good enough justification for climbing the highest and the walking of the best.
The one thing that these eleven overnights have shown us is the team spirit that Ranger boys are endowed with. Teamwork is indispensable on all expeditions and was very well illustrated by an incident on the Harriman State Park overnight with the seniors. Three girls from another group became separated from their camp group-they were lost from camp, tired, hungry and very frightened. Through presence of mind and teamwork the three girls were returned safely to their camp.
The awards given out at the end of the summer for mountaineering and rock climbing are not the "BE ALL...END ALL" of a child's summer effort. The most important thing that a camper should say when he returns home is "... I tried my best and had a great time...". This can only be achieved if the teams have a rapport and work well together. Each overnight presents its own a special challenge to each child.
The overnight program this year took us on a great variety of climbs in different parts of Eastern U.S. and Canada. The basic training all campers received was at Mt. Cathalia, in Ellenville N. Y. For experience in hiking I've taken two groups of seniors to Harriman State Park and covered 8 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Mt. Wittenberg has also been successfully climbed by a Ranger team. They had a superb summit view. The munchkin's and Bombers have had their fair share of camping and eating out over the summer and it is these children, I think who really have the spirit of the summer. The highest mountain in the Catskills, Slide Mt. was another excellent trip with perhaps the most scenic campsite of any overnight.
Everyone in boys camp the went on overnights was scrutinized.
Nine boys were handpicked for a most demanding three day trip to Mt. Washington, the highest peak in Eastern U.S. The mountain was successfully climbed and all had the most terrific view from the summit