Thursday, May 7, 2009

Be Prepared for the Infamous Minsi Muck Hike!

The Muck Hike is on of Camp Minsi's proudest (and dirties) traditions – and this summer we want you to join the fun! This special ecology hike is open to all Scouts (and leaders) who don't mind getting a little dirty. As the name suggests, the Muck Hike is a hike – and, in this case, it's an extremely dirty hike. The trek takes participants through the depths of Camp Minsi's westward Deer Swamp where they march through the swamp's natural "trails" and pathways as they follow the unusual streams of muck, mud and sludge. Hikers should be prepared to get dirty, as they will walk, wade, crawl, trudge, climb and swim their way through some of the swamp's muckiest areas.

The muck is composed of a swampland soil made up primarily of humus. In soil science, humus refers to decayed organic matter near its point of stability. These decayed organic substances (which are mainly dead plant remains) combine with the slow-moving waters of the swampland thus creating dense collections of mud. The breaking down of organic substances also give muck a distinct odor.

This camp-wide activity always proves to be fun and enjoyable for both Scouts and leaders alike. The hike concludes with a mob of muddy Scouts descending upon the Waterfront to cleanse in the water of Lake Stillwater (this is then followed by a trip to Central Showers to finish the task). It is recommended that any Scouts planning on participating in this event come prepared with shoes and clothing that they don't mind getting extremely dirty, muddy and wet. The thick mud will render anything that comes in contact with it thoroughly dirty – so don't wear anything you're not willing to have covered in mud.

This summer, we want everyone to have an oppertunity to become a Minsi Mucker. To promote participation, afternoon program will be adjusted. Merit Badge classes have designed their Wednesday afternoon curriculums to accommodate participation by all Scouts. Sufficient staff will be kept in each program area to provide alternative program options for those not participating.

After the hike, we will take group photos as you emerge from the muck. These souvenir photographs, and lots of other Muck Hike merchandise (including Muck Hike patches and 60th anniversary "Minsi Mucker" T-shirts) will be available in the trading post! We hope you join us this summer for the new and improved Minsi Muck Hike - and be sure to check out the video below for some pictures and video from last summer's muddy expeditions into the swamp.

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