CHESTERTOWN - Two years ago, an expedition traveling the length of the Hudson River via bicycle, raft, canoe and by foot was merely a dream for a group of Scouts in northern Warren County.
But in 2010, their dreams materialized as Troop 30's historic river venture was completed. The trek was one of the many activities during 2010 of the Scout Troop, which was involved in a variety of community service projects as well. Troop 30 has about 16 members, primarily students in the North Warren School District.
The Hudson River odyssey started out with a hiking trip from the high peaks and Tahawus to The Lodges, followed by a rafting trip through the Hudson River Gorge and a bicycle trip southwest to Newcomb. Another stretch was completed last year as the scouts took a train trip from North Creek to Riparius, followed by a seven-mile hike south to The Glen.
The scouts later bicycled from The Glen to Corinth, then paddled canoes down the Hudson from Big Boom Road in Queensbury through the Feeder Canal to Fort Edward.
In September 2010, the Troop bicycled from Fort Edward to Saratoga Battlefield. The trip was capped off by a train ride on Amtrak from Rensselaer to New York City.
There, the group visited the United Nations and other educational and historic sites.
Other activities for the Troop during 2010 included a session at Adirondack Extreme in Bolton, undertaking various physical outdoor challenges. In November, the scouts hiked up Buck Mountain. In December, a group of the boys hiked up Prospect Mountain at night.
In January, they went ice fishing on Friends Lake.
Perhaps the highlight of the year was undertaking their own summer camping experience at Lake Eaton in Essex County. The Scouts spent a full week pursuing the activities they planned, undertaking their own cooking and camping chores, as will as canoeing, hiking fishing, bicycling and taking a float plane trip.
The Scouts' next outing is likely to be in March with winter camping at Camp Wakpominee. The Troop is likely to engage in indoor rock climbing in April, followed by an overnight backpacking trip up Farrell Mountain in Horicon. June brings the troop's traditional raft expedition from Indian Lake through the Hudson River Gorge to North Creek. Another expedition under consideration for 2011 is a high-adventure hike up Whiteface Mountain.
Troop 30 has a long legacy of community service, including work conducted by their impressive number of Eagle Scouts.
Tim Hanaburgh is nearing that distinction, and towards that goal he's finishing up renovating a nature trail behind North Warren Central School. He's rebuilt a bridge there, as well as clearing and identifying the trail.
Working towards Eagle Scout status, Jacob Hill is reconstructing a sign and developing a flagpole setting for the American Legion Post in Chestertown. The project includes building a stone veneer and installing lights.
Also working towards Eagle Scout is Christiaan VanNespin, who is involved in a project renovating the sound control booth for the North Warren High School auditorium.
Troop 30's community service work doesn't stop with those seeking the Eagle rank. The whole Troop regularly spends sessions undertaking helpful tasks at the Chester Library, plus annually providing traffic control for Chestertown's Pug Parade and the town's Krazy Downhill Derby.
They also conduct two traditional fundraisers - selling holiday wreaths they've decorated and holding their pancake breakfast on Memorial Day weekend.
"We've got a lot of dedicated kids," said Troop official Joe Klewicki.