Trails Weekend 2016

JC marker

Friday, September 30 – Sunday, OCTOBER 2

One of the Alumni Association’s on-going projects is the maintenance of the Haliburton Scout Reserve hiking trail system. Each year, Trails Weekend is held in the fall for alumni to perform the work. The tasks done depend on the number of volunteers who attend, the condition of the trails and whether there are any “special” projects required on the trails or at the camp on that particular weekend.

Trails Weekend typically offers some spectacular fall colours with the chance for current and former staff of all ages to work and socialize together. Meals and accommodations in HSR cabins are provided to volunteers.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Register online for the Trails Weekend,  by September 25, 2016 (Important for planning the work and getting food).

2. Arrive Friday evening or very early Saturday morning. We will be planning and assigning the work crews at breakfast on Saturday.

3. Come prepared for the weather, both for outdoor work and for evenings/overnight.

4. Be prepared to have a great weekend!

IMPORTANT NOTE: As for all volunteer activities at the camp, the Scouts Canada Child & Youth Safety training is required to be on the camp property.  Clean Police Reference Checks are required to stay overnight at the camp. As well, Hold Harmless and Code of Conduct forms must be completed and submitted. See more information here

Optional—Bring musical instruments for playing tunes in the hub Friday & Saturday evenings.

Any questions?  Contact Morgan at trails@hsrsa.ca

Trails Weekend 2016 online registration

Hold Harmless form

Code of Conduct Form

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Trails Weekend 2015

JC marker

Friday, OCTOBER 2 – Sunday, OCTOBER 4

One of the Alumni Association’s on-going projects is the maintenance of the Haliburton Scout Reserve hiking trail system. Each year, Trails Weekend is held in the fall for alumni to perform the work. The tasks done depend on the number of volunteers who attend, the condition of the trails and whether there are any “special” projects required on the trails or at the camp on that particular weekend.

Trails Weekend typically offers some spectacular fall colours with the chance for current and former staff of all ages to work and socialize together. Meals and accommodations in HSR cabins are provided to volunteers.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Register online for the Trails Weekend,  before September 27, 2015 (Important for planning the work and getting food).

2. Arrive Friday evening or very early Saturday morning. We will be planning and assigning the work crews at breakfast on Saturday.

3. Come prepared for the weather, both for outdoor work and for evenings/overnight.

4. Be prepared to have a great weekend!

IMPORTANT NOTE: As for all volunteer activities at the camp, the Scouts Canada Child & Youth Safety training is required to be on the camp property.  Clean Police Reference Checks are required to stay overnight at the camp. As well, Hold Harmless and Code of Conduct forms must be completed and submitted. See more information here

Optional—Bring musical instruments for playing tunes in the hub Friday & Saturday evenings.

Any questions?  Contact Morgan at trails@hsrsa.ca

Trails Weekend 2105 online registration

Individual Hold harmless Trails 2015

Code of Conduct Form

Trails Weekend 2014

Friday, SEPTEMBER 26 – Sunday, SEPTEMBER 28

One of the Alumni Association’s on-going projects is the maintenance of the Haliburton Scout Reserve hiking trail system. Each year, Trails Weekend is held in the fall for alumni to perform the work. The tasks done depend on the number of volunteers who attend, the condition of the trails and whether there are any “special” projects required on the trails or at the camp on that particular weekend.

Trails Weekend typically offers some spectacular fall colours with the chance for current and former staff of all ages to work and socialize together. Meals and accommodations in HSR cabins are provided to volunteers.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Register for the Trails Weekend, below before September 21, 2014 (Important for planning the work and getting food).

2. Arrive Friday evening or very early Saturday morning. We will be planning and assigning the work crews at breakfast on Saturday.

3. Come prepared for the weather, both for outdoor work and for evenings/overnight.

4. Be prepared to have a great weekend!

IMPORTANT NOTE: As for all volunteer activities at the camp, the Scouts Canada Child & Youth Safety training is required to be on the camp property.  Clean Police Reference Checks are required to stay overnight at the camp. See more information here

Optional—Bring musical instruments for playing tunes in the hub Friday & Saturday evenings.

Any questions?  Contact Katrina at trailsweekend@hsrsa.ca

Trails Weekend 2014 Registration

Trails Weekend 2013

Friday, October 4 – Sunday, October 6

One of the Alumni Association’s on-going projects is the maintenance of the Haliburton Scout Reserve hiking trail system. Each year, Trails Weekend is held in the fall for alumni to perform the work. The tasks done depend on the number of volunteers who attend, the condition of the trails and whether there are any “special” projects required on the trails or at the camp on that particular weekend.

Trails Weekend typically offers some spectacular fall colours with the chance for current and former staff of all ages to work and socialize together. Meals and accommodations in HSR cabins are provided to volunteers.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Register for the Trails Weekend, online below or by email trailsweekend@hsrsa.ca, before September 29, 2013 (Important for planning the work and getting food).

2. Plan to arrive Friday evening or very early Saturday morning. We will be planning and assigning the work crews at breakfast on Saturday.

3. Come prepared for the weather, both for outdoor work and for evenings/overnight.

4. Be prepared to have a great weekend!

IMPORTANT NOTE: As for all volunteer activities at the camp, the Scouts Canada Child & Youth Safety training is required to be on the camp property.  Clean Police Reference Checks are required to stay overnight at the camp. See more information here

Optional—Bring musical instruments for playing tunes in the hub Friday & Saturday evenings.

Trails Weekend 2013 Registration

Trails Weekend 2011

Friday, September 30th – Sunday, October 2nd

One of the Alumni Association’s on-going projects is the maintenance of the Haliburton Scout Reserve hiking trail system. Each year, Trails Weekend is held in the fall for alumni to perform the work. The tasks done depend on the number of volunteers who attend, the condition of the trails and whether there are any “special” projects required on the trails or at the camp on that particular weekend.

Trails Weekend typically offers some spectacular fall colours with the chance for current and former staff of all ages to work and socialize together. Meals and accommodations in HSR cabins are provided to volunteers.

This year’s Trails Weekend projects include preparation of trails for use during the Venturer Jamboree next year and replacement of the waterfront stairs.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Register for the Trails Weekend, online below or by email trailsweekend@hsrsa.ca, before September 25, 2011 (Important for planning the work and getting food).

2. Plan to arrive Friday evening or very early Saturday morning. We will be planning and assigning the work crews at breakfast on Saturday.

3. Come prepared for the weather, both for outdoor work and for evenings/overnight.

4. Be prepared to have a great weekend!

IMPORTANT NOTE: As for all volunteer activities at the camp, clean Police Reference Checks will be required for members intending to stay overnight at the camp. See more information here

Optional—Bring musical instruments for playing tunes in the hub Friday & Saturday evenings.

Trails Weekend 2011 Registration

2010 Trails Weekend Photos

A selection of beautiful photos taken by Paul Daly (73-78). Watch the slideshow or click on the individual photos below for larger versions.

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2010 Pee Pond Bridge

By Katrina Angel (89-90)

The Pee Pond Bridge was built during Trails Weekend 1996.  The previous passage across the pond, on the Coopers Loop trail between Moore and Mislaid Lakes, was a beaver dam. However, nature was doing its work and the dam was soon to be impassable, so a new crossing was needed.  Trails Weekend, complete with many ready hands, provided the perfect opportunity for such a large-scale project.

Katina Angel checking out the deteriorated Pee Pond Bridge

Ab Morrow (75-87,92-99), Camp Ranger, had the bridge designed, and materials were ready to go.  Using the camp truck, lumber and other supplies were driven up the Hurst Lake road, along the road to Moore Lake, to the Mislaid cut-off.  From there, we carried 16-foot long stringers to the Pee Pond – not an easy task on the trail working around trees. Once we reached the Pond, we saw that a tree had fallen across the pond essentially where the bridge was to go.  A few other trees standing in the area provided opportunity for a much simpler construction.  The decision was made to drop a second tree, from the other side, and to use the two logs as the base of the bridge.  Kevin Bell, who is now the current camp ranger, had just acquired his own chainsaw, and was more than happy to put it to use. Some of those 16-foot boards were used as a frame on top of those logs, but the rest needed to be carried back out to the trucks.  One design challenge was getting onto the bridge, as the log base was fairly high off the ground.  The solution – a fully accessible wheelchair ramp!

I’ve attended many Trails Weekends, and the ’96 Bridge Build has to have been my favourite to date.  Typically, we break into groups and work on various sections of trail over the weekend, mostly clearing and flagging.  In ’96, we were all working together, which lead to the kind fraternization that has made us all love our time at HSR.   The weather also cooperated, giving us warm sunny days, warm enough to strip down to a t-shirt when working.  The evening socializing, of the kind not to be seen in HSR again (and most likely rightly so), only added to the fun. There is also a satisfaction that comes with building something solid, and big.  You can say “I built that”, where as there isn’t anything particularly awe-inspiring about “I cut back those branches and put that trail marker up”.

But time has taken its toll. Just as the previously used beaver dam rotted out, the logs that formed with base of this bridge were in the water, and also rotted with time. Inspected during Trails Weekend 2009, it was clear that the bridge would not be passable for much longer. Plans and discussions began for replacement of the bridge, including options for how to build and fund it.  By Trails 2010, a plan was in place to replace the bridge in 2011.

However, the current bridge was not expected to survive another winter’s effects. Saturday morning of Trails Weekend, a fairly large work team was sent to Pee Pond to flag a temporary trail around the pond, to bypass the bridge. The idea was to make the Coopers Loop trail to Mislaid still useable until the new bridge was completed. The team decided to spilt into two and work from opposite ends to meet in the middle.  We expected tough work creating new trail, where none has been before.  To our surprise, we found the area fairly clear and the two teams met up fairly quickly. We realized that extending the trail around the pond would only add a few minutes of hiking time, and eliminate the need for replacing bridges over time. Back at the Hub at lunch, the idea was pitched to Kevin Bell, who had final decision as Camp Director. As expected, Kevin was happy to not need to be replacing bridges every 15 or so years. A smaller work team returned to the area to create a now-permanent trail, while others moved on to other needed projects.

Tim Collier Removing the old bridge treads

When the new trail was complete, only one task remained – ensuring the bridge was fully impassable, so as not to pose a hazard to hikers who might choose a rickety bridge over a bit of a walk. As much fun as demolition is, it is still a little painful to destroy something that you had a hand in building, and that holds such warm memories. But, unless we had some way to set up a camera to capture video of people falling in the drink so that we could laugh at them, it needed to be done.  Let me tell you, pulling apart a wobbly bridge without falling off or having it collapse underneath you is not the easiest task.  We had a few close calls, but we all managed to stay above water.  In order to maintain enough structure for us to get across, we pulled off as many decking boards as deemed possible.  With the water rotting the logs and often frame from underneath, it was the structure held together by the decking boards which was holding the bridge together in many areas.  As we worked our way closer to shore, we removed more boards and frame sections.  The terminal section was completed rotted, and thus ceremoniously demolished.  The final section removed was the wheelchair ramp.  It is expected that the water freezing around what remains will complete the demolition.

Once upon a time there was a bridge....

We had a great time working on the bridge again, 14 years later.  Once again, it gave a group of us the pleasure to work together closely, and tease each other, all day long. A member of the demolition team, Jonathan Pereira (10), who had been an SIT this past summer, pointed that he was one-year old when the bridge was built.  It is amazing he remained dry, after a comment like that. The weekend gave a young’en like Jonathan, and an (apparently) old-timer like me a chance to get to know each other.  The evening socializing gave current and recent staff members and alumni additional time to hang out together. I have to thank the bridge for giving me two wonderful weekends of friendship and camaraderie. Comparing our experiences at HSR in the ‘90s to now would be like comparing apples and softballs, so it is not fair to compare the ’96 Bridge Build to recent weekends. I can say that the ’10 Bridge Demolish year will go down as my favourite Trails Weekend of the new era of HSR volunteering.

I hope to see you there in 2011.

See also the main 2010 Trails Weekend posting.

2010 Trails Weekend

The rain gods spared us this year and gave us a glorious weekend in which to revel in the fall scenery and get lots of work done.

A large contingent of alumni and current/recent staff filled the hub on Friday night, reviving the energy usually seen on warm summer nights. Except this bunch were decked out in toques and “Haliburton Dinner Jackets”, evoking the cool styling of Bob and Doug McKenzie. Joining us again this year was the 21st Waterloo Venturer Company led by Dirk Garlichs and Jay Treacy.

Saturday saw us fueling up with the hearty breakfast offerings of Jeff Lake (76-77, 06), Mark Purcell (80-84, 90-92) and other helpers in the kitchen. We thank them for keeping us going on the many kilometers of tough slogging in the bush. Kevin Bell (89-93, 05-?) didn’t waste any time putting the younger staff and alumni to work on gutting out Bayview Cabin. A visitor could have thought that there was a SARS outbreak going on, with everybody wearing N95 masks. Apparently, the accumulated debris left from staff gone by has been declared toxic by Health Canada. The rest of us divided into two groups and headed up the Hurst Lake Road.

One group led by Jamie Kissick (74-76, 88-98), Mark Daly (73-78) and Katherin Green (89) worked hard on cleaning-up and re-marking the trail leading from the Hurst Lake Pavilion towards Beaver Lake. The other group headed by Grant Lafontaine (88), Tim Collier (96-99) and Katrina Angel (89-90) traveled along Coopers Loop Trail and had their sights set on overcoming the barrier presented by the dilapidated and decaying Pee Pond bridge. In what turned out to be a fortuitous hunch, the group started bush crashing around the Pee Pond, without crossing the bridge, and found that the new route was similar in length and difficulty to the original trail. There could have been an impenetrable swamp or sheer cliff in the way, but fortunately that was not the case. This means that there is no longer a need to construct a new bridge and then maintain it over the years – saving HSRSA and the camp precious dollars that can now be spent on other needful projects. Another advantage of this route is that the decommissioned trail at the end of the old bridge can now be used as a potential campsite. The exposed rocky outcrop has good tent spots with a panoramic view of the Pee Pond lake and wetland complex. (See also the 2010 Pee Pond post.)

Saturday night was a time to slow down and gather in the Hub for some Golf and Poker games. Tim and Mark filled Warner’s musical shoes by pulling out the guitars and playing some ditties. A re-invigorated group hit the trails on Sunday morning with one crew continuing the work on the new detour around Pee Pond. The initial steep stretch of the new trail has been nicknamed “Chewie’s Climb” for reasons that may have something to do with the resemblance of the forest to Endor, or the sighting of a Wookie-like figure. With Kevin’s blessing, the Pee Pond Bridge was relegated to posterity, as planks and a stringer were removed to prevent scouts from attempting a crossing next season.

 

Jamie Kissick wading through the river

The other group tackled the sparsely marked Pikes Peak and JC trails. Apparently, confusing trail markings on this route have left hikers rambling in the wrong direction for hours.The work group encountered water flowing through the Gorge like a biblical flood due to upstream beaver dams having been broken up the day before. The usual way of crossing over boulders was impossible, so the only option was to wade through swift cold waters (the Jamie Kissick option), or “tight rope walk”on a large tree trunk over the raging river and Gorge below (the Venturer option). The Marines have nothing on this intrepid group (which included the Venturers). Apt future trail weekend slogans: “Be All You Can Be”, or “Others will follow, where we lead”.

 

Much was accomplished this year, and it wouldn’t have been possible without a good turnout of enthusiastic people.

Don’t miss Mark Daly’s beautiful 2010 Trails Weekend photos.

2009 Trails Weekend

Volunteers arriving at the re-scheduled 2009 Trails Weekend on a chilly Friday evening may have been surprised to find fellow volunteers crammed into the hub kitchen around two tables, basking in the warmth emanating from the open doors of the convection oven. Apparently having an open fireplace inside a large wooden structure (The Hub) over a wooden floor with no fire grate is no longer acceptable and with the outside temperature dipping to the low single digits, the kitchen was the place to be.

The 2009 Trails weekend saw a total work weekend crew of over 30. There were 17 trail volunteers including 2 leaders and 8 youth from the 21st Waterloo Venturer Company.  A crew of 15 volunteers including former and current staff members and 5 adults and youth members from a Lindsay Scout Group worked on camp projects, including replacing the Trapper’s Cabin roof, with Ranger Kevin, Ross and 2009 Composite Supervisor Rob Owens. Barb Hough, Jeff Lake and Mark Purcell worked hard in the kitchen all weekend keeping all nourished.

Despite the weather, which included intermittent showers, we were able to clear and mark the J.C. and Pikes Peak trails, starting with one crew from the Mill site and one from the narrows. Three Venturers had an extra long hike as they took an unintended diversion from the J.C Trail, followed the drag river to the gorge, continued along the river eventually reconnecting with the J.C. Trail and emerged along the public road serving East Bay of Drag Lake. This led to an interesting cell phone conversation between the three youth and their Venturer advisor and an unplanned drive out of camp to pick up the three walking along the road back from East Bay.

On Saturday afternoon, the crew replaced the decking on the small footbridge on the Pikes Peak trail immediately south of the gorge.

On Sunday morning, the Venturers helped with some camp chores and Ian Hancock (04-09)Katrina Angel (89-90) Warner Clarke (66-70) went to check out Trail conditions on Coopers Loop and also the Gibson Trail between Hurst and High Falls. We determined that the footbridge at the Pee Pond (between Moore and Mislaid lakes) is no longer useable.  We also noted that the water level at Hurst Lake was quite high such that portions of the Gibson Trail towards the west end of the Hurst Lake was under water.

Immediate priorities include:

  • the possibility of replacing the Pee Pond bridge with a floating bridge in the spring
  • Feasibility of realigning the Gibson Trail at the west end of Hurst Lake
  • Revising camp trail maps to include the now marked trail section that links the J.C. Trail with the Pikes Peak Trail at the gorge.

Special thanks to all the volunteers:

Trails crew: Katrina Angel, Warner Clarke, Mark Daly, Ian Hancock, Bill Mansfield*, Monica Nelson*, Leslie Rose*, 21st Waterloo Venturer Company.

Camp projects: Sal Alberti, Steve Coyle, Paul Daly, Grace Evers, Catherine Hough, Dean Janowski, Shane Manthau, Ben Schneider, Emily Simmons, Spencer Sleep and the 5 members of the Lindsay Scout group.

Kitchen Crew: Barb Hough, Jeff Lake and Mark Purcell

* Scout parents—91st Toronto

2008 Trail Weekend

This year’s trails weekend was a great success with a number of projects that had been identified at the 2007 weekend successfully completed.

JC Trail—Drag Lake section – The trail has been impassable for several years because of the combined effect of a logging and severe weather. The greatest obstacle was the great number of trees that had been blown down and covered the bottom of the valley between the road and the campsite. Over the weekend, a new trail route was flagged, cleared and marked. The new trail route goes around the valley, although slightly longer, provides and easier grade up and down the height of land bordering the valley.

The JC Trail from the road north east to Mislaid Lake was also cleared and re-marked.

GT—High Falls section – Volunteers restored the bridging that supported the trail sections over Bartley Beaver dam. Trail markings were improved.

Pikes Peak Trail – Trail improvements were made at both the gorge and the Minnie Lake ends of the Pikes Peak trail. Retired rappelling cliff ropes were used to establish hand holds for climbing or descending the gorge and the Minnie Lake end of the trail. This will not only improve the ease and safety of the two ends of the Pikes Peal ascent/descent but should slow down the erosion of the soil at these points and provide a better alternative hand hold to the trees beside the trail, particularly at the gorge end.

The weekend’s work crew consisted of 2008 staff members Rob Owens, Jamie Simmons, Steve Coyle, Ana Maria Jaimes, Anna Walas, Andrew Mecke, J.T. Pickering, Emily Simmons, Catherine Hough, Sal Alberti, Alumni members Grant Lafontaine (Trails Chiar) Dean Janowski, Katherin Green, Jeff Lake, Barbara Hough, Mark Purcell and Warner Clarke, plus guest volunteers, Beth Hoen, Monica Nelson, Bill Mansfield and Graham Mansfield.

Mark and Jeff kept us all well fed during the weekend. Rob organized an extreme monopoly tournament and Bill, Graham, Beth and Warner provided some evening tunes.

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