Planning an incredible experience

Published 4:48 pm Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It was truly the trip of a lifetime.

Traveling 8,000 miles in a great circuit encompassing a huge portion of the United States, taking in some of the nation’s most famous and most beautiful parks and scenery along the way, has the potential to be an experience beyond description.

The catch for the group of 14 Suffolk adults who returned from the great three-week expedition this week is that they had to carry the boys along — 26 teenagers with all the hormones, the drama and the headaches one would expect of a group large enough to populate a football field, complete with waterboys and trainers. Many parents of teenagers who have heard news of the trip must immediately have wondered how many more teenaged boys Suffolk’s Boy Scout Troop 1 left home with in order to arrive back in town 8,000 miles later with 26.

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By all accounts, though, the trip went off without a hitch. None of the boys found himself staring into the eyes of an angry grizzly bear. None of the chaperones gave in to the temptation that they must have faced to leave a teenager or two in Kansas. And everyone came home with memories that will last a lifetime. The trip was the successful culmination of more than a year of careful planning by the boys and by Scout leaders with the vision and desire to help make those memories.

The cross-country trip completed recently by members of Troop 1 is just one example of the kind of life-changing experiences that Boy Scouts around the nation experience every year. Such experiences are clear evidence of the good work that the organization does to help raise boys into young men.

But this experience — as with so many other things in life — would never have been possible without the care and concern of a few dedicated adults, in this case a group led by Scoutmaster Robert Baker. Kudos to Baker and his assistants for putting the trip together and then making sure that it turned out as incredibly for all involved as they could have expected.

Plenty of people in Suffolk right now are shaking their heads in a mixture of admiration and jealousy.