Operation Clean Stream Campout & Float Trip
Campout at Onondaga State Park
Float Trip on Upper Meramec River
August 24 & 25, 2013
29 scouts and adults participated in Operation Clean Stream on the Upper Meramec River on the Weekend of August 24 & 25. The weekend included Mass at St. Francois in Bourbon, Mo, a night of camping at Onondaga State Park and a 5 mile canoe float/ litter pickup on the Upper Meramec River near Steelville, Mo. This is the 5th year our troop has participated in this annual anti-littering program. (Click on “Read More” below to view more photos and text.)
The weekend weather was clear but a little on the warm side with high temperature in the low to mid 90s.
The troop set up camp at Onondaga State Park Saturday afternoon and then attended Mass at St. Francis. After mass we prepared dinner. Scouts also found time to play Wiffle ball. The mosquitoes were active while at the campground, but were not a problem for those using repellant. After dinner we had a small campfire and listened to country music drifting across the river valley from the Bull Radio station’s live concert. The live music didn’t sound as loud as it has been in past years. This was good.
Sunday morning we enjoyed the complimentary breakfast at Ozark Outdoors. At 8:50am we assembled at the bus pick up area for our scheduled 9:00am departure. Unfortunately the bus driver serving our float was AWOL until about 10:20am. We finally arrived at our put-in at Walkers Ford about 11:00, about 1 ˝ hours behind schedule. Once on the water the float went great for the first few hundred yards.
Shortly after beginning the float Mr. D and Ryan capsized their canoe in a shallow chute where the swift current pinned the canoe under a large tree. It took several of our adults and scouts to free it. Thanks to all who helped with this difficult task.
The only other incident of the day was when Mr. M and Will capsized while negotiating a tricky section with downed trees.
The float ended about 4:30 and we returned by bus to Ozark Outdoors around 5:00pm.
Here are some of the highlights of the day:
First tire found - Mr. Strebler with assistance from Christine
Most tires found (2) & best "River Dance" - Mr. Schnurbusch and Christine
Most interesting/unusual item found - Lazyboy reclining chair - Chris and Rob
Number of canoes to capsize - (2) - Mr. D & Ryan, Mr. M & Will
Best record for capsizing on Cleanstream float - (5 years) - Mr. D
Most difficult item removed from river - Mr. D's canoe.
Biggest suprise for Mr. C - Realizing at the end of the day that his cell phone was still clipped to swim trucks.
Thanks to all who participated in the cleanup. Thanks especially to all the adults that attended. It was a great effort by all. Thanks to Mr. DiMercurio for buying the food. Thanks to Mr. Strebler and his father for towing the troop trailer.
Thanks to Ozark Outdoors for providing the breakfast, canoes, canoe equipment and shuttle service. Thanks to the Stream Team program for providing the trash bags, gloves and T-shirts. Thanks to The Open Space Council for providing the T-shirt logo, bumper stickers and coordination of the Operation Clean Stream program.
Wiffle ball game at Onondaga State Park campground.
Eric and Joe waiting for the morning shuttle bus. While waiting, a guy offered our scouts 2 dozen donuts from McArthurs bakery. The donuts went fast!
Finally on the water!
Retrieving this jambed canoe was HUGE!
Nate test drives an old Lazyboy recliner.
The mud slide - always popular with the scouts.
Luke wades through a thicket of sandbar willows to collect trash.
Rory holds a yellow belly slider (turtle).
John and Ryan's canoe appears to be better behaved now!!
Rob and Chris display their slightly used river furniture.
Christine finds a deep section of the river to jump ship.
After today, Mr. Cain's cell phone never worked right again.
Scouts should be proud of a job well done!