LAKEGEORGE - Scouting activities abound in the Lake George area, with a substantial number of boys pursuing Eagle Scout rank and a lineup of activities inspiring robust enthusiasm, Troop 13 Scoutmaster Pat Smith.
Troop 13 includes 22 boys ages 11 to 17, based at Lake George Central School.
An adventurous group, the Troop 13 scouts enjoyed several father-and-son expeditions this year, one at Camp Wakpominee in Fort Ann, and another in the Blue Ridge Wilderness in North Hudson.
This latter trip included snowshoeing several miles into a remote lake, lunch in the woods, and ice fishing for trout. The trek included pulling a sled filled with supplies along the snow-packed trail.
The troop's 2010 excursions also included a climb up Hurricane Mountain in the town of Keene.
Additionally, the troop participated in a Camporee in April in Saratoga State Park with about 1,200 other Twin Rivers Council Scouts.
Assisting Smith this year in leading the group are assistant Scoutmaster Grant Gentner and parent volunteer Phil Buttling.
Achieving Eagle Scout this year were Thomas Mangiacasale of Lake George. Mangiacasale developed a "peace path" at Sacred Heart Church in Lake George Village.
He constructed signage, planted native plants and built a railing for the path and botanical garden, set in a hillside behind the church. Mangiacasale's work follows that of Ryan Labruzzo, who in 2009 achieved his Eagle Scout distinction after building a cedar enclosure for a statue of Mary on the church grounds.
Three members of Troop 13 are currently working on various projects toward their Eagle Scout designations - Ryan Markwood, Ryan Moll and Michael Gusek.
Markwood is creating a sign at Prospect Child & Family Center on Aviation Road in Queensbury, as well as landscaping the school's property. Moll is constructing planters and signs at Double H Hole in the Woods Camp in Lake Luzerne. Gusek is preparing interpretive signs and accomplishing landscaping work at historical sites in the village of Fort Ann.
Smith said Troop 13 has grown both in numbers, enthusiasm and commitment during the past decade.
"Our kids are very eager to advance, and they achieve a lot," he said, noting they seek to move up in the various Scout rankings. "They are very diligent in their work and willing to volunteer for community service," he added, noting their work helping conduct the Double H ranch Fall Festival event for children with grave childhood illnesses.
He added Scouts get along well as a group regardless of their wide age range.
"The older kids are really good role models and leaders with the younger Scouts," Smith said.