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Sasquesahanough Lodge » Featured, News » Summit Experience

Summit Experience

In August 2016 Noah R. & Travis D. attended the Order of the Arrow Summit Experience at the The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve. Below are their accounts of the program and some pictures.

Sasquesahanough Lodge has Scholarships available for members to attend any of the 5 Order of the Arrow High Adventure (OAHA) programs. The Scholarship application can be found on the Forms page, while information on the OAHA programs can be found at http://adventure.oa-bsa.org/ .  There are also scholarships available from Section NE-6B.

As of January 13th, spaces are still available in all five programs for 2017, but they are filling quickly.  There are multiple sessions of each program, with the first start date being June 8th, and the last end date being August 21st.

Travis’s account of the experience:

The Summit was a great time. It was wonderful to see a new camp and meet people from places that I probably would have never met in my life. If anyone in this lodge was given the opportunity to go to this wonderful place, take it. The work, the learning, and the fun are worth it.

The first three days were work days. We helped fix existing parts and built new parts of a new hiking and biking trail for when the camp would be completely finished. There were too many laughs, like when we stood on the trail watching one of the kids trying to find his hard hat that he dropped and rolled down the side of the hill. The majority of the time working was spent helping to build a bridge made of mud, rocks and dirt. We would all be sitting on the side of the trail breaking rocks, carrying down mud and dirt by hand and constructing this bridge made from nature. It was a great relief when we left the woods.

The other sights and experiences were an interesting twist to the week. When we were all trying to relax back at camp, the guides would tell us to grab our stuff and start hiking to the top of a hill. We had to take shifts to keep a fire going all night long. I liked the silence, just sitting and watching the fire keeping my thoughts to myself.

The fun activities were a relief. After we were done working, we immediately went to Summit’s 7/8 mile long zip line. Noah tried to get a video of me sliding down from his view point, which didn’t really work. Next, we went to the rifle and shotgun ranges, where we had shooting competitions and just had fun. Then we went to the rope courses. We would try to climb across obstacles to try and get to the other side. Finally we went on a raft trip on the New River Gorge. It was fun going through rapids and learning the names of the certain rapids and history of the New River.

All in all, it was a great experience for me. I hope that someday, I might be able to do another high adventure program.

Noah’s account of the experience:

I attended the The Summit, a High Adventure Camp in West Virginia for 8 days in August as part of the OA Summit Experience. We learned many things ranging from learning and building a mountain biking trail, and we also had God’s time where we had no electronics for most of the week, in addition to learning about a fully sustainable tree house. For fun my trail crew went zip lining and white water rafting, which tested the teamwork we made over the week. Not only did we learn how to work with others but we were also providing service to the Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve.

On the first day we met our group that we would spend the week with and work together in various situations. From there we hiked up to our base camp where we stored our gear we did not need out on the trail. We had a gear check that night and packed for the next three days on the trail. On that same day we started God’s time, and then we left to go on the trail. Once we got there we hiked in and set up tents that we would stay in for those couple days. Once that was done we made lunch and packed for the following day on the trail.

On the trail we had completed many tasks ranging from making gravel from big rocks, smoothing the trail for mountain bikers, and making small rock bridges to go over streams. It rained many times while we were on the trail so there was many opportunities we would have team bonding in a cave.

Throughout my experience, we did a lot of hiking, learning about ourselves, and serving others as well as many fun activities, but we all walked away with lifelong friendships, experiences, and we all know we left making a long lasting mountain biking trail that will benefit others in the future. I would do the OA Summit Experience again because it was a week in the woods serving others and I felt like I helped make a difference.

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