Everyone met at the Visitor’s Center where we had an excellent presentation by the Park Historian. More than just lecturing, he drew our scouts into their imaginations and helped us understand what it must have been like to camp in those hills during one of the worst winters in recorded New York/New Jersey history.
He described the conditions encountered upon arriving at the encampment (no huts built, using canvas tents in snow that was already knee deep), and what it took to get the camp built and ready for the coming winter. The men worked very hard to build their huts and the officers had to wait until all the soldiers had a roof over their heads before any work could be started on the officer’s huts.
We visited the Wick Farm, toured reconstructed soldier’s and officer’s huts and then rounded Mount Kemble as we headed back towards our starting point.
The second half of our trip will happen this Sunday. The current forecast is for a high of 57, partly cloudy and only a 10% chance of rain. We’ll be touring the Southern loop to visit the New Jersey Brigade encampment. This hike is on marked trails, but will feature much more elevation change (up and down topography) than last week’s gentle slopes. Hiking boots are a must — spare sox, extra water, and snacks, too.
Scouts who participate in both hikes, help in answering the history hunt questions and prepare a short essay on what they’ve learned will be eligible to pay $8 and receive a commemorative trail medal.
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