Several scouts from Boy Scouts Troop 108 of Peabody traveled Aug. 8 through 16 to the Boundary Waters along the Minnesota-Canada border to spend time canoeing and exploring the wilderness.
Devon McGonigal, Wyatt Fistler, Christian Chastain, Nate Carino, Markus Knight, and Jaydin Hutchison went, along with adult leaders Jim and Carrie Truax and Joe Hutchison. Devon and Wyatt had gone the previous year, but it was the first scouting trip at all for 14-year-olds Jaydin and Markus.
Jaydin enjoyed the getaway.
“My favorite parts were just nature, getting outdoors, and spending time with these guys, getting to know them,” he said.
The scenery was beautiful, but Jaydin was more interested in the wildlife. The group never saw any moose or bears, but waterfowl were everywhere.
“They look kind of like seaplanes when they take off from the water,” Jaydin said. “They’d make these loud sounds, like they’re talking to each other.”
Markus said he didn’t realize how big an experience the trip was going to be beforehand.
“It was a lot more than I thought it would be: more fun, more challenging,” he said. “It was really bewildering how different it was from here.”
Markus said seeing the sights, both in the Boundary Waters area and on the trip there, were the highlights of the trip. He especially like watching and listening to the loons, duck-like diving birds.
The trip had a lot of spiritual, social, mental, and emotional aspects to it, Markus said, something he credited to Jim Truax.
“The scenery up there is great, but that’s not why I do it,” Truax said.
Truax said his philosophy is to try difficult things with young men, because the challenges help build and show character.
Being away from the comforts of home made the scouts emotional at times, Markus said. There were times when one person wouldn’t do their part, and another scout would snap at them. But they were able to talk through things and return home as friends.
Truax said the character-building of the trip began before the scouts ever left Peabody. Scouts worked hard to raise the money they needed for the trip, and getting to enjoy the rewards of that hard work should be good for them, he said.
“It was a really good experience,” Jaydin said. “I thought scouting was just going to be work, reading out of books, and stuff, but it was a lot of fun.”