Explorers’ Dolly Sods Trip

Exploring a trailside waterfall

Our First Day Hiking in Dolly Sods

 Today, October 1, 2012, the Explorers drove about 5.5 hours from OWBC to the trail head out Dolly Sods Wilderness Area. We hike 2.5 RRN (Rough, Rock and Nerve Racking) miles and ended up with a campsite that could be better, but that is what we as people say about anything. Red creek is flowing past our campsite. The cooks are cooking and we are writing articles.


My Goal

 Well before our hiking trip we got trip goals. One of my goals was not to complain at all. So far I’ve been doing pretty good at that goal. Also we were 4100 feet up in the air. We hiked seven miles today too. We also got Butterfingers at a circle-up. That was our day.


Dolly Sods has some great views

 West Virginia’s Best

 Today as we hiked our seven miles in the Dolly Sods Wilderness, we saw some scenery that is very unusual this far south. We were on the Allegheny front at 4100 ft. We saw what the sods are all about. A mixture of lichens, blueberries, cranberries, and grasses grow around the rocks and stunted spruces. The landscape really reminds me of Denali Park with smaller mountains. I’m on the lookout for caribou and moose!

Chief Cliff

Armchair Paradise

Today we woke up at 7:00 and ate a good breakfast. We then put our packs on and started hiking up the trail. After about a mile we set down our packs and hiked to Bear Rocks. Bear Rocks was awesome! There were caves and huge rocks. We then hiked back to our packs and hiked about 2 miles. We then ate lunch. After lunch we hiked about 1 mile to a siesta spot. After siesta we hiked about 3 more miles to our beautiful campsite. After we set up our tents we showered under a beautiful waterfall. After we showered we did our campsite chores.


The trip out

Today we got a good start to the trail. We hiked for about two miles. We also stopped at our first campsite for four hours and ate lunch. We went swimming and just kinda hung out. After that we took a nice warm siesta on the rocks. We then decided to hike a different trail to leave. So one Chief hiked to the car and moved it to a different trail head. He then hiked the trail to our campsite. We hope tomorrow to drive up to Bear Rocks before sunrise to eat breakfast up on the rocks. It will be an awesome view. Then we will head home. We will also stop for ice cream along the way.


The Explorer group at Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia

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Recent Articles

Changing seasons

 Summer is coming to a close and the night and early morning air is brisk and refreshing. At night I have to use an extra blanket to keep myself from getting hypothermia. I do not get cold very easily but it is extremely tempting to not wear a warmer shirt.
Now swimming is a different story. The water is cold and is nice to dive into. Later this fall the water is going to be less treacherous because sometimes in the morning water in the pond is warmer than the air.
Playing games and working is more pleasant because you do not feel like you are going to die of some awful heat stroke. The fall colors are unbelievably awesome. Nic – Explorer

The Government

 Government comes in many different forms from Democracy, Communism, Anarchism, Totalitarianism, Monarchy, Oligarchy, Dictatorship, and Aristocracy. There are also many more. Our form of government is a Democracy. It is made up of three branches Executive, Judicial and Legislative. The Executive carries out the law. Legislative makes the laws. The Judicial branch interprets them. There are also local, state and federal governments. Local government is law enforcement and fire fighters for example. State is road work and park regulation. Federal is mail services and national protection. All government is important, it is the backbone of society. Gaelan – Explorer

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Articles from our session

Eastern Hercules Beetle

The eastern Hercules beetle is a scarab beetle. The scarab beetle family has more than 30,000 members. 1,300 and more are found in the U.S.A.. Many scavenge because they adapted to living on or in the ground. They often lay large white grubs in the soil. The dung and tumble beetles are the most outstanding. They are worshipped by Egyptians. The adults form a dung ball and roll it around giving them the impression of industrious workers. Eggs are then laid in the ball of dung which is buried after. The mean power machines of the rhinoceros, ox, and Hercules beetles are all harmless. They are also the largest of the scarab beetles. They can be 2 inches long but bigger tropical versions occur. The males have much more pronounced horns. Larvae are found in rotten wood or rich soil. They are a prize to collect. Gaelan – Explorer

How to tell the weather

If wood smoke is low to the ground expect rain, but if the wood smoke goes up expect it to be a good day. If you hear a cricket count how many times it chirps for fourteen seconds and add 40 to that number to tell the temperature. Geese will not fly very well when there is a storm coming. Elisha – Explorer


The Trapdoor Spider

Welcome to Southwestern U.S. Today we will learn about the Trapdoor Spider. If we are lucky we will see some action. Oh! There’s some now. Let’s watch. The beetle sneaks along the ground eating plants on the way. He doesn’t suspect a thing. Then suddenly a spider jumps out of the ground, poisons the beetle and drags him back in the ground, closing his door on the way…

The Trapdoor Spider digs a burrow that is sometimes 10 inches deep and 1 inch wide. The spider uses the den to hide and protect his young. That is a few cool things about the trapdoor spider. Austin – Discoverer

Hiking Archers Loop

Well today we hiked Archers Fork Loop. It’s a nice place to hike. I got to lead line for hiking for six minutes. Hiking is very fun. I also found Buckeye nuts. I am going to make a necklace for my mom. It’s going to be cool. I also saw a natural bridge. And that’s Archers Fork Loop. Romon – Explorer

Seven Mile Hike

Today we did about 7 miles on the Archers Fork Loop. The trail is 9 ½ miles long. We pulled into the parking lot at about 9:00 and we were on the trail at 9:30. We hiked about 3 miles by 12:00 and then we ate lunch in a dry river bed. We decided to keep going instead of doing siesta right there. We went about ½ mile before we did siesta. Siesta was at a really cool place. There was a smaller recess cave over a big recess cave. We did siesta there and didn’t do very good so we redid it about 1 mile down the trail. Before we did siesta again we came to a small grove of Pawpaw trees. We ate some of the delicious Pawpaw fruit and then found a bunch of buckeye nuts. We got to campsite at about 6:45 after doing 7 miles. Tomorrow will be a short day; only 2 ½ miles. Sean – Explorer

The never ending trail

I have great spirit for trips and stuff, but when you go and go and go, it gets old and it hurts like all get out! My shoulders, my hips, my back, it all hurts. I’ve walked 13 miles more than I’ve ever walked before and the first mile was easy but 12 more was 12 too many. I did it so far and tomorrow it’s just 3 miles and I’m looking forward to an easy hike tomorrow. But I’ve been wrong before so no promises. I’ve learned alot on this trip, like how to keep going on a trail, which is not as easy as it sounds. So if you do a hiking trip, you must and I mean must, have determination. Most of all have friends to keep you going like the ones I have. Keaton – Discoverer

The Great Eight

On July 31st we the Discoverers left to go on the Buckeye trail. When we arrived at our destination, we packed the rest of our packs. We got on trail at 10:30. We found a couple of bugs here and there. When we were getting ready to settle down for lunch we passed a tree that was struck by lightning. We were about 3 miles in by siesta and had 5 more to go. When we got 2 more miles in, we weren’t sure where campsite was. So Chief Peter and Austin went out 3 miles and found it. Ryan – Discoverer

Tearing down chuck tent

We took 1 try to take chuck tent down. It was fun. We took rafters off. After that the tent fell over. We dug the posts out; it was a lot of sweat. It felt good after we were done. We had good attitudes. In the afternoon we swam for 1 ¾ hours. It was fun on the rope swing. We had fun as a group. Dakota – Explorer

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What we have been up to…

The Explorer group is excited about the new chucktent they have built. They built it with a belfry on it! They just have to put a bell in it yet!

They also did a short setup hiking trip which is where this picture is from.

The Discoverers have been having fun as well. Some of the fun involves hard work, so running two cross-cut saws at one time!


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July 4th at camp

Since we are at camp during the July 4th holiday, we like to make some good positive memories with the boys. It gives us something to look forward to and remember as we get “old”. In short, we played a bunch of games, pulled some pork from a slow roasted pig, went swimming, ate a good meal, wrote an article about our perspective on the what true freedom is, and watched some fireworks in the local town.

Check out these pics…

The pork was roasted by New Creation Farms, really good stuff, Thanks Scott!

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The Explorers enjoy the West Branch of the Susquehanna

No, I don’t have any pictures, I did not get to go along :-(
They did have a good trip. After canoeing the river they went to Bald Eagle Boys Camp and helped around there as well as making use of their swimming hole. They made themselves proud my going out in public at the Ice Shack and acting very responsible. They arrived back at camp after their 2 week trip. They built a very neat new hearth for their cooktent.
Now they are looking forward to building a new chucktent.

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Learning the art of leathermaking

Learning the art of leather crafting

Jay Bauman visited camp last Friday and shared about leather crafting. He is a third generation leather worker who learned the art from watching his father. He showed us how to do stitching, molding and tooling with punches and a finger knife. He also showed us how to make a leather belt and some tricks to make it even nicer.

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Greg Springer’s visit to camp

The other week we had a visitor in chuckwagon. It was Greg Springer, a geology professor. He shared with us about rocks and some pretty neat things about them. He told us about his love for doing caving and mapping caves. Greg told us about how the fracking works with the gas wells.

Greg talking about shale layers in Ohio


Checking out a neat rock with fossils.

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Party Night at OWBC

The Discoverers doing a song/skit


Doing a balancing game in Chuckwagon


The Explorers doing a Water in the Desert Skit


We just had party night at camp. It caps off the end of a 6 week session. We like to sing and share some things we learned in the past session as a group and build spirit for what we are doing next session.

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Families Day 2012

Memorial Day was Families Day here at camp. For those of who were here, it was a great day. Thanks to each of the boys families, every boy had parents, grandparents or another support person here to share in the excitement of life at camp. The day started a bit after 9:00 AM with a campsite tour by the boys. In campsite the boys had some activities such as skinning logs, using a cross-cut saw and a bit of food the boys cooked in cooktent for their families to experience. I have a few pix of one boys mother, (though I won’t mention any names :) ) took a turn using a cross-cut saw! The weather was great for our time at the candycane tent by Pine Pond. After a sharing time and encouragement with Chief Joe and the boys songs, we enjoyed some grilled chicken and a bunch of good desserts the boy’s families brought along. In the afternoon after the families left we went to a park and played some games, went swimming and wrote some articles about our day. For supper we enjoyed some more grilled food by Chief Amos. This time it was pork ribs! Thanks to one of the boys parents for donating the chicken and ribs we had on Families Day. Thank you Jesus for our families, they mean a lot to us!

The Explorer's sharing a song with our families

Sharing Wisdom and brotherly love

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