Below is a slide show and a personal narrative from Ken Kramer (RC&D), Chair of Beautify CNMI's Parks & Trails Committee--with additional contribution from Tom Gipson (Safety 1st)-- regarding the awesome job the Boy Scouts Troop 910 from Tanapag did to clear the Banaderu Trail. Tom, Ken and Oscar Camacho led the Scouts.
I met up with the Boy Scouts, led by Tom Gipson and Oscar Camacho on Friday night. I brought my two dogs: Playdough (known as Sunshine by Oscar) and Lucky (the black dog). We watched the stars and then went to sleep at around 9 PM in anticipation of a hard day of work the next day. Other than the stick poking me through the bottom of the tent, I slept fairly well.
The next day, we set out to work on the trail after a breakfast of cereal and milk. Tom rallied the boys, gave them a safety talk, and we made plans for the day. Around 7:45 AM, we headed towards the trail, loaded with picks, machetes (carried by the adults), shovels, a saw, and the two dogs.
After an hour or so, just as we were getting warmed up, clearing brush alongside the trail, moving dead logs out of the way, it started pouring buckets of rain onto us. It was a bit unsettling. We were a bit discouraged and several of us had thoughts of taking a break and going back to dryness at the camp. Lucky was so miserable from the rain that she drew everyone’s attention by moaning, belly up, in a forlorn look that we all felt, but did not express. After Tom said: “We are going to stick it out and slog through this rain,” we renewed our efforts, working to stay warm. Eventually, the sun came out and it was a beautiful day, again.
We all broke for lunch and had a good rest. Tom thought we had made better progress than he thought we were going to do. I was happy to have dry socks and a dry shirt to change into. Oscar Camacho joined us on Saturday afternoon
This was not easy and was often dangerous work. Tom, our fearless leader, seemed to get most of the injuries. First, he got a splinter from one of the iron rebars holding the concrete slab steps. Then, he tried to catch a rock rolling down the hill and received a souvenir scratch on his shins where it hit him. I narrowly escaped falling by doing a back flip down the steepest part of the trail, when the log I was pulling gave way. Instead, I threw the log as hard as I could down the hill, which kept me from falling. It pays to study physics. Boonie bees also attacked some of us: I got stung twice.
On the return to camp, I was so physically exhausted I could barely put one foot in front of the other. We were all exhausted. According to Tom, Oscar went to sleep around 6 PM. I went on a critical supplies run and returned with water, ice cream, and chocolates.
Tom and the Boy Scouts, who were working on their *BSA Historic Trails Award, stayed another night and were scheduled to continue working on Sunday morning to finish the trail. (The BSA Historic Trails Award is given to scouts who camp two nights on a BSA recognized trail of historical significance, perform community service work on the trail, and learn about it's role in history.) I had other commitments on Sunday.
The Banaderu Trail is now far superior to what it was before. It is a fabulous trail with great scenery along the way. Thanks to the Boy Scouts, it is now ready for travel.
The members of the Boy Scouts Troop 910 were: Sam Park, Jay Britt, Jotham & Joshua Camacho, and Garrett Gipson. Well done, Boys! Thank you!
YIKES! Looks like Ken and the Boy Scouts had quite an adventure! Happy there were no serious injuries. THANKS, fellas! We're all mighty proud of the excellent exhaustive work you've done. Reminds me of the Lau Lau Revegitation Project. FUN! :)
Rep. Cinta Kaipat