Troop 45, BSA
Hanover, New Hampshire

29 January 2002

Dear Scouts and Families,

        The purpose of this letter is four-fold. I want to bring you up to date on the planning for next summer's trip to Colorado, to find out more closely who is planning to go, to ask for your preferences on transportation and to ask for help in planning and carrying out various activities in Colorado.

        As most of you are aware, Troop 45 conducts a major expedition every other summer. In 1998 we went to the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. In 2000 we went to Mount Rainier National Park in the state of Washington. Both of these expeditions have been open to family members as well as Scouts and many families have chosen to consider the trip as their summer vacation. In both cases there have been approximately fifty participants including Scouts and family members. These trips have been very successful allowing Scouts to see the natural wonder and splendor of other parts of the country and have "experiences of a lifetime."

        In September and October of last year, we began the process of investigating possible destinations for 2002 and after serious deliberation, the Scouts selected Rocky Mountain National Park and the surrounding area in Colorado as the destination for this year. Here are the details as we know or envision them now:

The dates: The "official" expedition dates are Saturday August 10th through Sunday August 18th.

The destination: We have reserved campsites at the Stillwater Campground in the Arapaho National Forest. The campground is on the shore of Lake Granby approximately five miles south of the town of Grand Lake, CO, which sits at the southwestern entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park. In addition to the national park, numerous recreation areas, and national forests surround the area. The town of Grand Lake also provides a variety of accommodations including motels (for those who don't wish to camp), stores, restaurants, and equipment rental establishments. The area is about a three-hour drive from Denver.

The activities: We will plan and carry out a broad range of activities throughout the week. Notionally, the beginning of the week will include a few day-trips for sightseeing and perhaps day hikes in the national park. The middle of the week will be devoted to several multi-day adventures such as backcountry hiking, climbing one of the numerous large mountains in the area, mountain biking, canoeing, sailing or fishing. The end of the week may include a white water raft trip and perhaps a tour of the Air Force Academy. The Troop web site contains an updated events menu which includes links to a number of web sites containing additional information about possible activities. I encourage you to spend some time reviewing this material. We need volunteers who are going on the trip to assume "ownership" of various outings. The owners will research and plan the event, coordinate participation and leadership, and make the necessary logistical arrangements. Ideally, event ownership should be joint - an adult and a Scout. The attached participation survey asks that you identify the events in which your Scout and family would like to participate and/or own.

Transportation: We have not yet made any transportation arrangements for the expedition and there are numerous options. The attached participation survey describes the transportation options in detail and asks you to indicate which option you would prefer.

        As you can appreciate, the costs of this expedition can be significant. Depending on the mode of transportation chosen, the cost could be as much as $750.00 per person. Cost should not, however, be a reason for a Scout not to participate. We are committed to taking every Scout to Colorado who wants to go. With Troop-sponsored fund raising activities, Scouts will be able to earn a significant portion of the money necessary for the trip. Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this topic further.

        Our major expeditions in prior years have been very successful and we look forward to another successful trip next summer. Please help us keep up the momentum during the planning process by promptly completing the participation survey and returning it to me in the mail or at a Troop meeting on a Wednesday night.

        I hope to see you all in Colorado next August.

 Yours in Scouting,
Gregg C. Hoge
Scoutmaster, Troop 45