From June 23 to 24th our scouts from Troop 329 set off on a 10 mile hike at the Northshore of Oahu up the Peacock Flats trail. Every scout packed necessary personal equipment to hike and camp 1 day and 1 night on the mountain. Such pieces of equipment were things like a first aid kit, 2 liters of water, clothes, food, a sleeping bag/pad, and a compass. Other necessities such as tents and extra water were driven up the mountain by truck.
All of the scouts met at Kapunahala Elementary School at 7 am to carpool to the hike entrance. Once they arrived at the entrance the Troop’s Senior Patrol Leader took a head count of the scouts participating (23) and embarked on the hike at 9 am. A few of the Scoutmasters participated in hiking the trail as well. The trail which was taken was wide and paved with gravel, so it was easy to follow. For the first half mile the trail was level to the ground. But, the next 4.5 miles were steep all the way up. After about 1 mile, the scouts stopped to take a snack/water break. A couple of them were already tired. Nevertheless, they all continued onward passing multiple hikers and bikers while taking a couple more breaks on the way up. When they all reached the top at 12 pm some of the scouts were exhausted while others still had quite a lot of energy. One scout said “The best thing about the hike was testing my endurance to see of I could survive the hike.” Gladly, he did survive.
Each of the scouts then proceeded for about half an hour setting up their tents for the night. There were about 2-4 boys assigned to sleep in each tent. Once the scouts finished setting up tents and putting away their personals, they were able to eat their lunches, which were packed in MREs. Some were cold, some hot, and others weren’t so tasty. For the rest of the day the scouts did multiple activities that included: hiking again find strawberry guava sticks and shaving them to make tripods, learning knife safety, and practicing skills for the Totin’ Chip. From these acivities another scout said, “I learned that bringing a pocket knife could be useful not only in Boy Scouts, but for many things.”
Later in the evening the scouts made and ate dinner using freeze dried dinner packs and hot water boiled from portable propane heaters. Afterwards, the boys performed multiple skits and songs in separate patrols. They performed classic skits and new ones that made everyone laugh and enjoy themselves. When the program finished, the scouts played card games and proceeded to sleep in their tents at 10 pm. Oh, and before they went to sleep, they took showers by wiping themselves down with baby wipes and paper towels. There was no accessible water to take showers with on the mountain.
In the morning everyone woke up at 6am and ate breakfast. For breakfast the scouts ate granola cereal in powdered milk. Once breakfast had finished, they were all assigned to take down the tents, pack all their personal belongings, and get ready to hike back down the mountain. ”I could have packed my bag better by adding less things” said the other scout, “and I could’ve gotten better shoes”.
As everyone hiked down the mountain the air was fairly cool, but, as time progressed onward it got warmer as they hiked down. It also started to rain, forcing the scouts to put ponchos on. The rain didn’t last for long though, as the scouts hiked down the hill. Again, the trucks that brought up the equipment came down the mountain and passed the scouts.
When everyone reached the end, pretty much all of the scouts were exhausted due to it being very hot and close to noon. A third scout said, “The best part of the the hike was reaching the end when going both up and down because it was a confidence booster knowing that I was able to make it.” The scouts then enjoyed doughnuts and drinks that some parents had brought for the boys. At about 12 pm everyone left and drove back to Kaneohe with the boys, taking a long well-deserved nap.
Reflecting from the hike, other scouts said that they enjoyed working with each other learning new skills and what to expect on future hikes and camps. But most importantly, learning from their mistakes helped them to be better prepared.