Kids Weekend 2000

August 4-5 2000


By Tim O'Rourke

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The first official Boysweekend "kidsweekend" was held in Groton on August 4 and 5. Grotons' New Discovery "group campsites" on Kettle Pond were chosen for the event, as an alternative to our traditional Waterbury Reservoir site (Waterbury Reservoir continues to be drained by the Army Corps to make repairs to the Dam). Since the "sacred" site at Waterbury would not be used, it was decided that the kidscampout could include female kids as well. The group sites are traditionally reserved for boy and girl scout outings or church groups. In securing the site, when it was explained that we were a "mens group" complete with website, we were in, no problem. In all, 4 men and 10 kids (4 girls, 6 boys) took part.

On Friday, August 4th David Prior with son Lyndon, 5 met up with Tim O'Rourke at Tim's house in Montpelier. Tim's Ford Escort wagon (wife's car) was packed carefully with supplies for two days (including borrowed canoe) for himself and 5 kids, including daughter Adrienne,12, son Isaac,10 and two nieces, Sydney 11 and Avery 8. A friend of Adrienne's, Kim O'Rourke 12 (not immediate relative) was picked up along the way in Marshfield. David drove his van and all arrived shortly before 1:00 p.m. Joe Ketcham and son Matt 6 arrived next and finally Bob Gifford, who had worked earlier in the day arrived with his three boys, Dylan 11, Casey 10 and Eric 8. The site included 5 lento's grouped around a central fire pit area. Tent sites were limited (not many level spots) but David managed to erect his classic canvas Eureka (could have easily housed entire party!). Tim and Isaac tented while the rest picked lento's and set up tents inside. One lento site was chosen as the food/eating and general gathering spot. Like Button Bay, kids roamed and the adults felt comfortable with this since the older kids did well watching out for the younger. Dinner the first night, consisted of steaks on the grill and a pasta

On Saturday after kids tanked up on cereal (thanks to Carol's jumbo Kellogg's variety pack from Costco!) The group broke into smaller parties. Some went fishing by canoe out on Kettle pond. Kettle is mostly shallow and murky but has some interesting boulders strewn here and there. Bob ran into an old timer who was familiar with the best spots to fish, mostly on the far end where it dropped down to over 20 feet in places. Sydney Lavoie, Tim's niece caught a small but legal largemouth. It was especially exciting though 'cause it was her first fish ever. Back at the site this was cleaned and cooked and a bite savored by all. Later in the day Joe and Dave went out in Bob's canoe and Joe caught a nice 2-3 pounder which was filleted and grilled. The contingent went for a swim at Boulder Beach down the road and then a short hike up to Elephant Rock (a huge boulder left by the glacier in the middle of the woods). Tim's sister and brother-in-law, Jim and Jenny Lavoie stopped by to pick-up their daughters but could only convince Sydney to go, Avery stayed. Ryan Houston, 11 a friend of Isaac's joined us for Saturday night. Tim Aiken (a friend of Tim O'Rourke's who lives nearby) stopped for a beer. Casey and Lyndon provided percussion for a rendition of "Watchtower" while Bob, Joe and Tim played guitar. Matt sang the Vermont Song (not his mother's version). The citronella candles provided fireside excitement which was, while not less dramatic much safer than the typical boysweekend excellerants. The Gifford boys kept the rest of us mesmerized with their magic mind reading.

On Sunday we broke camp by 11 and some of us stopped at Owls Head on the way home for the view of where we'd camped. Great weather all weekend! Must do this again!


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