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McClaugherty Farm Campout

Campout on the McClaugherty property
October 24-26, 2003

The October 2003 outing will involve backpacking a short distance to a primitive site. The outing will take place in and near Pearisburg in Giles County, VA. The fall foliage may be near the peak for colors.

Giles County is west of Blacksburg and borders West Virginia. The county contains many possibilities for outdoor activities. The Appalachian Trail goes through the county and Pearisburg is a well-known stopover point for long distance hikers. Much of the county is part of the Jefferson National Forest. The New River, which is considered to be the second oldest river in the world after the Nile, goes through the county. Although not planned for this trip, the New River and several creeks offer great canoeing opportunities

We will meet at the church at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 24. We will depart for Pearisburg, VA at 5:30 p.m. This will be a 4-hour drive not counting any rest stops. Scouts should either eat before leaving or have a bag meal to eat while traveling.
Friday Night
Due to the travel time, we will arrive in Pearisburg around 10 p.m. We will stay in a house the first night. The house is currently unoccupied so we can (within reason) make ourselves at home. The house heat may be set low so expect a chilly house, but we will have full water and electricity. Four beds and four cots will be available. The plan is for everyone else will spread sleeping bags and pads onto the floor.
Breakfast on Saturdav
Without a regular camp to break, we plan on an early start. The main focus of breakfast on Saturday will be to allow Scouts to work on their cooking merit badges or other cooking requirements. Cooking will be patrols or groups. We will have coolers and the troop's gas stoves so breakfast choices will be open to the patrols.
After breakfast, we pack up and head to the campsite, which is about 20 minutes away. The site is on private property surrounded by a farm. We will have a short (about one-quarter mile), but quite steep climb with our gear to the campsite. Due to possible mud and cow poop, everyone should wear boots. We may have to contend with grazing cows! This will be a primitive site with no facilities. There are no picnic tables and no latrines. Bring trowel and toilet paper. There is a spring on the property so plenty of water is available. However, the water should be treated to ensure safety.
Meals at the Campsite
All meals at the campsite (lunch and dinner and Saturday, breakfast on Sunday) will be backpacking style. Individual meals are to be cooked on little backpacking stoves brought by patrols or individual scouts Everyone is responsible for bringing his own food. Lunch on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday should be simple due to lack of time. Dinner on Saturday can be more elaborate. When planning a menu, remember that all water we don't carry in must be treated.
The activities are still being planned. There will likely be a hike of 5 miles or more through the Jefferson National Forest. One of the possibilities for a hike will take us through a nearby wilderness area that has never been logged.. We will also have opportunities to teach and practice a variety of scout crafts. The troop will practice some elements of 'leave-no-trace' camping.

If the weather is clear, the campsite area is great for stargazing. We will try to have a telescope available.
Return Home
After breaking camp on Sunday we will return home. Plan for a fast food lunch on the way back.
Other Considerations
Be prepared for cold weather. If the weather turns foul, we can retreat to the house in Pearisburg on Saturday night.
We will be camping in the middle of bow season for deer. There are many hunters in this area, so it is absolutely essential that no one wander away from the group. There should be no hunters on the campsite property.

The cost per person will be $15.00. Everyone should have lunch money for the trip back.