Camping and Events

The Animagus, the Snipe and the Mountain Goat Trail

Once upon a time…….ok you know how the rest of it goes……..there lived a……………..SNIPE?  

Anyone know what a snipe actually is? I’ve heard it is like the mythical bird every new Scout needs to seek out – like a special right of passage – before he can call himself a Scout. The Snipe appears to have been much maligned over the years, since we no longer hear about it these days. It appears to be going the way of the famous “Left Handed Smoke Bender” (which is really a neat and useful invention and I encourage all Scouts to get their own). No one seems to be looking for Snipe much these days, but I can assure you that they are indeed real and worthy of a Scouts pursuit. Here’s one that was supposedly caught:

Looks kinda mean huh? Hang on, we’ll talk about him later.

If you are a snipe believer, you probably also believe in the animangus of Harry Potter fame (a human that can change into animal form) . One of which I think we encountered here:


We thought this might be some kind of human in dog form because he was so friendly and he wasn’t just looking of for food. He came to our rescue later on.

So the start of this weekend appeared jinxed from the outset. There did appear to be some dark arts chicanery going on. Snow, that started falling and accumulated several hours before we were to leave, caused a bit of concern for all parties involved. Since there was no train to get on at track 10 ½ to take us to Eagle Cave via Hogwarts, for safety sake we decided to leave by car EARLY on Saturday morning instead of the dark and snow on Friday evening. The 6 am start actually got off without a hitch and we were off to the 3 annual trek to go sleep with some bats. The roads were clear and we made it there in good time. So much nicer to driver without traffic!

The cave has made some improvements this past year. There are two areas to sleep in – upper

and lower ( river room)

 We have stayed in both and each has its pros and cons. The upper is certainly warmer, however it is much wetter . Typically you will wake up with lots of moisture on your sleeping bag after a night. And believe me, the smell takes a LONG time to get rid of (it’s not horrid, just distinctive)

The lower room is much drier. It has more room and level spaces to sleep on.


 Little angel right? ( ask his brother)


But in years past, its been very COLD in the lower room – mainly because there is an opening to the outside there. The owners have put in a new insulated wall and door. So it’s not that cold any longer. We were placed here this year. And since it had snowed so much, we weren’t the last ones in and thus we had a relatively nice spot to sleep in. Definitely a win for Troop 175.

Oh and just a reminder, there are bats in the cave – but they are hibernating this time of year:

Isn’t he pretty???

Eagle Cave is situated in a very hilly part of Wisconsin.

Add in some snow, are you’ve got some sledding.

However, when we asked about where we could sled, we were told to take a trail and then veer off to another and this would get up to the top of the hill rather than the bottom. I knew where she was sending us and this meant that we could also take the road as we had done in the past. However the road is very steep and typically the boys want to sled down it. Not a great idea. So, looking for an alternate route we embarked on a little adventure in a different direction. As we walked along the gold nugget trail we were supposed to veer off to the left and head down to the hill. We did see what looked like a trail – trees marked with blue spots painted on either side of the seeming “path”. But this “path” was becoming steeper and steeper and it didn’t resemble anything like a “path” at all after a few yards.

Turns out that this was the famous “Mountain Goat Trail”; one which the Cave promotes hiking “up”  – when there is no snow! We decided

Not to be outdone, Troop 175 decided to hike DOWN this hill while it was snow covered, sipping and falling every so many feet, and yes some of the boys decided to try  “sledding” their way down – they are crazy!! This wasn’t working too well for them as a thing called a “tree” kept getting in their way. Near the bottom, one of them decided to jump off this little cliff….

luckily there was quite a bit of snow at the bottom and he was fine. This did not help stop the heart attack I was about to have after watching it! And  of course since the first one seemed to enjoy it, the others joined in.

Sledding was an absolute blast as always;

 Maybe his face is just isn’t showing, but I KNOW he was having fun,

The lake at the bottom was fully frozen and there were  people out there ice fishing, but in our rush to leave, I forgot the most important item you need for ice fishing – the ice auger! So unfortunately we were not able to fish (if anyone is interested though, I would be happy to start the first annual Troop 175 Ice Fishing outing at a local lake. Let me know)

Eagle cave has lots of activities during the day – in addition to cave exploring. Seems the boys were done with that pretty quickly this year, so where did they end up? Playing air hockey and pool in the arcade. I must admit that its been some time since I have played air hockey,

but it was quite fun

 and the round robin tournament that went on kept everyone’s attention for some time.

 The food was great as always; well prepared, hot and tasty along with large portions. The evening entertainment was bingo and this was a huge hit as well. 

Then came the snipe hunt. After much explanation and some embellishment – here we see a little Snipe counseling going on – (someone doesn’t appear to be believing the story too well)

– the boys then embarked on their night “snipe hunt/star hike”. It was all of ZERO degrees but they stayed warm. In the middle of the hike we lost Mr. G. He seemed to have been attacked and taken away by the snipe – in the dark of the night. Ah but the Scouts of Troop 175 valiantly hiked on to the end, accompanied by the dog for some time, who magically disappeared and then Mr. G returned to scare us all. Could be it be????? We’ll never know….till next year!!

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This entry was posted on January 30, 2012 by in Uncategorized.
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Bryan on Scouting

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Bryan on Scouting

The official blog of Scouting magazine, a publication of the Boy Scouts of America.

The Scoutmaster Minute

Helping to Deliver the Promise


All The Wrong News That's Unfit to Print is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

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