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6/17-23 James River Canoe Trip

Things are starting to come together:

–          Bill McAllister will join our group on the canoe trip. Thanks, Bill.

–          For a variety of reasons, I have changed the reservation to a guided trip with meals provided by the outfitter.  The primary reason was safety; I feel more comfortable with a professional accompanying the group.  The outfitter also will provide meals and group equipment (stoves, cooking gear, etc.). We will prepare meals and clean up, but the outfitter will purchase the food and pack it for the trip.  The cost has increased to $325/person. I apologize for the price increase, but I want someone who knows the river on the trip.  I’m asking for payments and both permission slips no later than Saturday, June 2.  There may be yet-to-be-determined incidental costs, but I’m going to hold the trip price to $325.

–          Melissa, Bill, Dave, Ian, and Noah: NCAC will run the Paddle Craft Safety Training Course on May 26th (Memorial Day Saturday) at Camp Snyder. Please contact me soonest on whether you can attend.  I will register the attendees and coordinate travel to Camp Snyder. It is a day-long event, but we’ll get wet and hopefully swamp a canoe.

–          We plan to depart Sunday evening (June 17). Bill McAllister’s father will host the group overnight in Charlottesville, saving us a 4 hour straight ride Monday morning.  We will set a Sunday departure time as the date approaches. Thank you Bill!

–          Packing list: The outfitter provides a packing list in the attached trip packet. I want to review it and compare it to a well-thought out packing list SM Custer provided me last week.  There may be a few items we’ll recommend as additions to the outfitters list.

This is an initial contact message for the James River canoe trip.  I added both Scout and parent email addresses to the distribution list; the trip is coming up fast and we’ll need to keep in touch.


A few items to start with:

–          Attendees:  SPL Dave McAllister, ASPL Sam Sjoberg, Ian Griffin, Tim Gilmour, Michael Andrew Keays, Noah Saberhagen, Holden Saberhagen, Seamus Murphy, and Matthew Zampella. Wally Zampella, Melissa Dana, and possibly Bill McAllister will accompany the Scouts. Please contact me soonest if this list is incorrect.

–          Dave, Ian, and Noah: If NCAC offers the Paddle Craft Safety Training Course on May 26th (Memorial Day Saturday) at Camp Snyder, I recommend you take the course.  I’m planning to attend and I will help you with all the arrangements.   This trip has 100 Class I rapids, 20 Class 2 rapids, and a Class 3 rapid. Not knowing what that meant, I google’d and watched some videos……let’s take the course please.

–          I’d like to get some feedback from the Scouts on what we want to accomplish on the trip. Canoeing Merit Badge? BSA 50-Miler Award?

–          I spoke to the outfitter on what to expect on the river. Some items to share with you:

o   Two camp sites will have fire rings, porta-potties, and picnic tables (no ridge-pole); the other two sites have no amenities at all.  There is no resupply at the camp sites.

o   We will pass the outfitter along the river on Wednesday and resupply (water, ice, trash, laundry services). The outfitter offered to hold half our food and we can pick it up on Wednesday.

o   The outfitter will provide additional large dry bags at no cost.

o   The outfitter provides water containers and we can replenish on Wednesday. He suggested a water purifier system in case we ran through the water.

–          Cost Estimate. The trip cost is approximately $275-300. $150 per scout for the outfitter’s costs, approximately $100 per scout for food, and about $25(?) per scout for incidentals.

–          Recommended items for the trip: duffel bags (no back packs),  one large blue tarp for shelter.

–          Looking for a water filter and a two-way radio set if someone has one in their inventory.


I have attached the outfitter’s waiver (please complete and return to me). I will send a troop trip authorization form later.


More to come…

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