Troop 49’s Adventure

Scouts from Troop 49 in Oakland headed out of town this weekend, but not that far to escape the heat. The Oakland Journal has the report and photos of the trip submitted by Martin Treich, Scoutmaster.

–Boy Scouts from Troop 49 in Oakland enjoyed a great camping trip to Lake Tiorati in Harriman State Park this weekend. The campsite had spectacular views of the lake and we watched the sunrise through the mist. We hiked 5 rugged miles on the Appalachian Trail and other trails to the “Lemon Squeezer” rock formation and then back to camp. It was a tough hike in the 90+ degree heat but we were prepared with our water purification pump to keep us in supply of cool clean water throughout the hike. We saw interesting rock formations, beautiful vistas, a few abandoned quarries, and the damage to the forest by a forest fire a few years back. During the day we saw snakes, frogs, toads, turtles, beaver lodges, stinking rotting deer carcass, countless chipmunks, and many different birds. Back in camp, Scouts caught some fish, went canoing, and swam at Tiorati Beach. Burgers in foil over the charcoal fire were on the supper menu as was a roaring camp fire. It was a great time out exploring nature, working our muscles, and having fun.–

For those residents not familiar with the great wilderness resource across the border in New York State, Harriman State Park is located in Rockland and Orange Counties and is the second largest state park in NY. It boasts 31 lakes and reservoirs and over 200 miles of hiking trails. This state park came about through the work of Edward Harriman and his wife Mary. Edward Harriman, who was raised in Jersey City, was a railroad tycoon who occasionally locked horns with the trust busting Teddy Roosevelt. Although he was occasionally described as belligerent in his business dealings, Edward Harriman was remembered in his obituary as a man who’s personal wealth paled in comparison to the wealth he created for the nation as a whole through his efficient and visionary management of the railroads. The donation of this vast park became official soon after his death, and included matching funds from New York State and considerable contributions from New Jersey.

Lake Tiorati, which means sky-like in Algonquin, was originally two ponds that were combined into a huge 291 acre lake. As a recognized group, scouts from Troop 49 were able to camp at one of the more select locations on the lake. The other significant site the scouts trip included was the famous “Lemon Squeezer”. This rock formation is well known to serious hikers throughout the Eastern part of the United States, and is one of the landmarks of the Appalachian Trail which stretches the length of the country from Maine to Florida. It is a narrow passage, hence the word squeeze, that requires some serious maneuvering and scrambling; it is especially difficult for anyone carrying more than just a day pack. There is an optional “easy path” for the older generation of hikers or those that might be carrying heavy packs. Also in this vicinity is the Greenwood Iron Mine which supplied iron for the Union Parrot cannons in the Civil War, and the remains of Edward Harriman’s cabin.

The scouts prepared for their trip fully prior to this weekend, and planned out everything within their control–weather being one factor they couldn’t control. One of the most important elements in planning for a camping trip is the food. It’s an important part of any group get together, but being out in the woods makes planning more important since you cannot run to the Kwiki Mart to pick up something you have forgotten. Also, all the outdoor activities lead to some serious appetites that need to be satisfied. Burgers in foil is a classic, delicious, camping recipe, but it can also be used by the less adventurous on the grill in the backyard. The Oakland Journal provides one version below, but add a twist to it by including other vegetables or BBQ sauce.

Check out the scout website at on how to join.

Burgers in Foil

1 lb. ground beef
salt & pepper
4 slices of onion
4 potatoes, sliced thin
4 tbsp, butter or margarine

Season beef with salt & pepper and shape into 4 patties, Place each patty onto light oiled square of foil. Top each with an onion slice and 1 potato. Season with s & p; dot with margarine. Seal package and place on med-hot coals for about 30 minutes or until done. Turn package once while cooking. Serves 4.