The little ‘Big Lake’ that could..

Blasting out of Heatsville on time, pausing for a roaring car fire on the Beeline, and a dining engagement at Payson Culvers, the scouts arrived at Big Lake after 10PM in the dark.  But with a new day dawning, the scouts arose to awesome beauty at 9000 feet, chilly in the shade, warm in the sun, with our campsite under a canopy of quakies, surrounded by mature pines.  The boys had planned to fish and go swimming, but quickly found this is not a desert lake. Pat, our camp host, told the boys that his campsites opened late in May this year due to multiple feet of snow on the ground and 20 inches of ice on the lake. When he mentioned that a couple capsized their boat, and had hypothermia when rescued, the boys decided that advancement and more fishing would replace swimming on the agenda.  Another adjustment we made this outing was to be very careful about locking up all food, deodorants, toothpaste and any other fragrant items overnight or while we were not in camp.  There had been two confirmed bear sightings in camp in the last few weeks, with only one of them being captured and removed to a more remote area than ours.  Although secluded, we had some friendly neighbors who came over to the boy’s campsite as they had a breakfast of eggs and bacon frying and offered them their leftover worms. Our SPL politely declined before realizing that the worms were to be used for fishes’ breakfast, not boy scouts’.  Now happily accepting the gift, the boys discovered that cutting big squirming worms in half resulted in two smaller squirming worms, and there were more than enough remaining for everybody. After a morning of learning the nuances of bobbers, weights, hooks, casting, fishing line snarls, and the capture of three fingerling rainbow trout that were returned to finish growing, the excitement of fishing began to wane, and it was back up to camp for lunch.  After a rousing compass orienteering, distance and height estimation, and GPS session all over the northeast part of the lake, and some enthusiastic requirements sign offs, it was back down to the lake to try and catch the elusive ‘big one’ of Big Lake before dinner.  After more advancement, and a brief football throwing contest, the evening meals were fantastic, and consumed in short order.  Heard from the scouts’ side of camp: ‘‘That burger is shaking in the grease, is that a good thing?’  ‘Bun me up, Scottie!’  ‘You know that movie ‘Free Willie?’ – let’s ‘Free Wormy!’  After a full day of fishing, hiking the lake, orienteering and other advancement, and filling, delicious food, folks happily crashed in their tents by 8PM ready to get an early start tearing down, and back down the hill. 

Four set sail that day, for a 230 mile tour, a 230 mile tour
Mmmmm – literally dividing up the fresh worms
No fish for dinner, but three tiny rainbow were returned to the deep to grow for next time
With Mr. Benyi’s excellent help, we can now more than orient ourselves out of a wet paper bag
Scout previously planned surf and turf dinner becomes Burger Mania at Big Lake!
Add fresh cherries and chocolate chip cookies to that beautiful NY Strip surf & turf, adults ate like STARRS
Sharpening up the ax during totin’ chip advancement, so if that bear comes back…..