Nick’s first campout with the Boy Scouts

This past weekend Nicholas, Alex and I went with Troop 888 to Schiff Scout Camp and had an overnight campout. It was the first camp out for the new scouts from Nicholas’ Webelos Den. They all had a great time, even though it snowed again! They went for a hike in the woods, played around in the snow and even got to work on some of their Scout skills. They even completed their Totin’ Chip requirements! Then later in the evening on Saturday we had a big campfire and Alex had a special ceremony to award the new boys their first rank badge and to give them their official Troop 888 neckerchiefs. They all had earned the rank of Scout and are well on their way in Boy Scouts.

Congrats Bacon Ninja Patrol!

Schiff Scout Camp

Nick chopping wood

Snow

Nick in the snow

Snowy Trails

Hunter Mountain Backpacking Trip

This past weekend Alex and I went backpacking with his Boy Scout troop in the Catskills. We hiked to the top of Hunter Mountain and explored the fire tower up there. The weather was cold and snowy, but the trek was really worth the effort.

HikeMap

The crew

Snowy stream

Signpost

Uphill… both ways

Alex Backpacking

Snowy Lookout

Ice

Tower

Alex

Frosty

Hiking

New York City

I’ve recently gotten on a kick to take photos of the city (architecture, places, nature, etc) around my office. I thought it would be interesting to possibly enlarge some of the photos and use them as artwork either in my office or at home. In a short couple of days I’ve managed to take almost 100 pictures. I plan on organizing and cleaning up the duplicates but for now here they are for your enjoyment.

New Beers Brewed

I finally got around to bottling my latest two brews. Both are from Mr Beer and I have had a lot of success in the past with their recipes. My only concern is the Pumpkin Spice one, the last time I brewed a ‘spiced’ beer it didn’t come out with the flavor I expected. It tasted more chemical-like which was a downer. Hopefully this one turns out better. The two brews are

Pumpkin Spice Ale


and

Wicked Winter Warmer

The Wicked Winter Warmer is a dark ale that had Irish Whiskey in the fermenting keg so it has a bit of kick. The Pumpkin Spice Ale is lighter with real pumpkin and mulling spices included.
I will let you know when I taste test them.

Slide Mountain Backpacking Adventure

This past weekend Alex and I went with his Boy Scout Troop on a backpacking trip up Slide Mountain in the Catskills. The weather was predicted to get down into the upper teens at night and there already had been a little snow on the mountain. We hiked in about 4 miles and made camp for the night, unfortunately we were in an area where campfires were not permitted. The boys all made their meals by using backpacking stoves and then we got ready for bed as it was really dark by 6pm and without a campfire it was pretty cold. The next morning we packed up and headed down the mountain back to the cars. It was a good adventure, and certainly a learning experience for some of the boys. Here are some pictures of the hike.

Snowy Trail

Dad and Alex

Animal Tracks

Panoramic View at the top of Slide Mountain

Snowy Path

Family Ski Trip

We just got back from a weekend ski trip into the Poconos in PA.  A friend of the family has a house out there that she let us use for the weekend.  It was just 10 minutes from Camel Back Mountain so we took the boys up to check out the skiing and see if we could all learn how to snowboard.  It was fun but being that it was a holiday weekend the place was really crowded. 

All of us took lessons to learn how to snowboard and we gave it a try.  I think Nick got the best lessons and certainly did the best out of all of us.  Overall we had a good time and will definitely want to go try snowboarding again soon.

Boy Scouts Winter Camporee

This past weekend I had the pleasure to attend the Winter Camporee with my son Alex out at Baiting Hollow Scout Camp. The weather was very “wintery” as it snowed and the temperatures were in the mid twenties all day. However, despite the cold we both had a great time. There were stations that the boys had to go around to and complete tasks in order to get clues to a puzzle. Some of the stations included using a two man saw to cut a log, or learning how to use a bear bag to secure your food while camping. I helped out at the fire building station. The boys would have to use whatever tools they carried to start a fire. There were quite a lot of resourceful Scouts and almost all of them were able to get a small fire started.
Afterwards they participated in a sled race. The scouts were sent out on a mile long route across the campground. They had to pull a sled while one scout rode along in the sled. The boys were really out of breath when they returned but they had a good time.
Here are a few pictures from the adventure.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!

We had our first snowfall of the season and it was a whopper! It was an official BLIZZARD! We had 2 feet of snow and in some spots where there were drifts it was 3 feet. It took several hours to dig out, thank God for that snow blower I bought this summer. And then we went to Grandma’s and dug her out. After that we came home and Alex and Nicholas went sledding with their friend.

Before Shoveling


After Shoveling