The highlight of any boy scout troop is the opportunity to camp at beautiful campsites and locations. I have been to so many camps, with so many memories that I love, but this camp out takes the cake. We went to Tar Hollow State Park!
We spent three days at camp, but our days were full of exciting opportunities and fun stuff to do, Including: Watching an outdoor play, visiting Indian burial grounds, and climbing on top of a 73 foot tall fire tower!
Day one of any camping trip is already going to be pretty busy, because you have to unpack tents, set them up, unload your stuff, all of that fun stuff. But once we were done eating our food, we went to an INCREDIBLE work of art that isn’t man made. Old Man’s Cave!
If you can’t tell by the pictures, this place was amazing. It was probably one of the coolest land formation I have ever seen. I have so many pictures of this awesome place, but these three pictures are my favorite that I took.
Aside from Old Man’s Cave, we got to go all over our campsite to see what it had to offer us. There was a really cool lake, and a super cool fire tower (plus we found three bonus kittens on the road)
I am incredibly thankful for the amazing adults in my troop that go through so much to plan out trips for us. In just this first day at camp, I felt like we had been there three days already. The photos I took just amazed me, and gave me such a good look at what God has given us in Southern Ohio. From Old Man’s Cave, to just this lake, I am so thankful that we got to see it.
Day two we were away from camp most of the day. I really liked this day for many reasons, but I’ll start at the beginning. So, we were having a campfire the night before, and we were joking about having all the scouts wake up at 6:00 a.m. Well I laughed at it too, but I actually ended up waking up at 6:00. I’m pretty glad I did though, because I had a chance to go on a nice hike with one of the other boys. It was a good walk and talk, and I got a chance to listen to the guy tell me about stuff. It may seem boring to most people, but I like listening a lot more than talking (I’m sure most people know that about me). After we were done eating breakfast, everyone showered, and we had some free time. After lunch however, we were on the road and headed to Hopewell Culture National Historical Park. We got to see Indian burial grounds, see the Scioto River, and become Junior Rangers! The mounds were interesting to see, because it looked like the earth just had giant bumps. Like earth acne. But no, 2,000 years ago, the people that lived in america were working hard, digging up dirt and making walls and mounds. Their days were full of hard work. Most of the mounds were burying people, some were burying artifacts/precious items like effigy pipes. There were two cool mounds, one that was called the bread loaf mound, which were actually just three mounds put together, forming a bread loaf shape, and another that was huge, but only had one body in it: the Shaman/leader. (you can see both mounds below. Bread Loaf Mound is on the left, Big mound is on the right.)
Another cool thing we got to do was become Junior Park Rangers. We watched a short video about the Indian burial grounds, and went through some puzzles/questions, which made us Junior Park Rangers. We had to do a little initiation where we had to repeat the words said by another Park Ranger, and they accepted us into the Junior Park Rangers (we got a cool little badge too).
Our second plan was to go to another state park, to see the seal of Ohio’s birthplace, but we didn’t have much time, so we headed to our second destination: THE TECUMSEH PLAY! Tecumseh is a play about… Tecumseh, the Shawnee chief during some crazy fights against the Americans (If you want to know more about Tecumseh as a man, not the play, here is the Tecumseh Wiki page). The play was actually the first play/musical I’ve ever seen, but I still think it’s going to stay one of my favorites. The story was so cool with all the different tribes, and Tenskwatawa (yes I looked up how to spell that), Tecumseh’s brother, being the “Prophet” and gaining his brother’s trust, only to ruin the plan which Tecumseh took 10 years creating in a single day. There was one scene when Tenskwatawa got a warning from Tecumseh, because Tenskwatawa was executing his own people because they weren’t doing what he wanted them to do. Tecumseh seemed to strike fear in his brother’s heart, but Tecumseh still gave Tenskwatawa a second chance to correct himself. I thought everything was just fine and dandy until Tenskwatawa did something Tecumseh told him not to do anyways. Tenkswatawa got so many Indians killed, and I was so angry. The play did a good job telling the story in my opinion, and I was hooked throughout the whole thing. During intermission I was so bored, because I wasn’t going to leave my seat to get food, no way. I was intent on finding out what happened next, and I didn’t want to distract myself. I’ve never been so invested in a play/movie before. In my opinion, plays are better then movies for one reason: Effects. I like some movies, but movies like Star Wars, or The Avengers have so many effects, and often depict unrealistic things. Don’t get me wrong, I like Star Wars, but Tecumseh was more interesting, because I knew it was a real event, and everything was outdoors, they didn’t use microphones, they barely used lights until the end, and all the guns they used were ACTUALLY firing. I loved it (below is the set they used. We got a VIP tour to see everything through those tunnels and passageways, and they showed us how they load the guns).
I fell asleep almost instantly when I got in my tent, because it was 11:00 P.M. when we got back. Plus we had been all over the place and on our feet a lot so I was tired.
Day Three (Final Day):
Day three was a lot more laid back for me, because we only had to visit one place. But don’t underestimate where we went, it was still an awesome place. The last stop was Adena Mansion and Gardens. This place was a really cool sight inside and out. The tour guide showed us all the different rooms, and the place looked really detailed and cool. Thomas and Eleanor Worthington lived in this mansion in 1803. They had 10 children, named (in order of birth) Mary, Sarah, James, Albert, Thomas Jr., Eleanor, Margaret, Elizabeth, William (sad story, we have barely any information of William, which is why the picture below shows his picture as a silhouette. Because we have no pictures of him), and Francis. That’s a lot of children (only four more than my family though!). We didn’t get to take pictures of the inside of the mansion, which is to be expected, but I still got a picture of the outside (bottom).
We got a lot of in depth information about the different guests and children and even servants that lived inside the mansion, but frankly, there is not enough space on this post.
In closing: The three days I spent at camp were some of the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I learned a lot about Ohio’s history, and the people that lived here long before us. This trip was truly a blessing, and I would love to go there again sometime. I can’t emphasize enough how grateful I am to the adult leaders in my troop for making this possible. Thank you for reading (and seeing) about my trip in Southern Ohio!
Boy Scout, Writer, and Lover of Board Games, A.J.~ 😀