Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
KODIAK: Boy Scouts Connect with Kodiak Island Backcountry
Alaska Region, August 14, 2011
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The ascent of snow-clad Center Peak, 3,366', was a highlight of the second day of the trek.
The ascent of snow-clad Center Peak, 3,366', was a highlight of the second day of the trek. - Photo Credit: B. Pyle/USFWS

Four Boy Scouts, ranging in age from 11 to 16 years-old, completed a backpacking trek through the rugged, mountainous backcountry of Kodiak Island during August 11-14. Affiliated with Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) Troop 626 of Kodiak, the Scouts trekked 50 miles beginning at the Kashevaroff Mountain trailhead near Bells flats and ending at the bridge at Pasagshak Village. The trek featured around 7,000 feet of ascent and camps at three sites. Along the way, the Scouts honed skills in backpacking, orienteering, leave-no-trace principles, bear safety, and wildlife and habitat recognition.

The Fish and Wildlife Service enjoys a proud and longstanding history of cooperation with the BSA and its area Councils around the country. Scouting helps youth develop outdoor, academic, citizenship, and leadership skills. Given its emphasis outdoor recreation and community service, the Scouting program provides outstanding opportunities to connect youth with nature and to promote development of a conservation-minded citizenry. As a result, the Service has signed a cooperative agreement with the BSA and encourages its employees to lend support to the organization and its outdoor and conservation-oriented activities and programs.

Accompanying adult leaders included Troop 626 Scoutmaster Steve Paulson and the Troop’s Outdoor Chair and Kodiak NWR Supervisory Wildlife Biologist, Bill Pyle. “The trek exceeded our goals and was our most ambitious adventure since I've known this troop” said Paulson. “Our Scouts performed incredibly given the challenging schedule and terrain. Our second day included 14 hours of hiking almost 20 miles and over 5,000 feet of ascent. That day would have seemed arduous to any seasoned trekker. I have to say that 11 year-old Arryn Kernan amazed me the most with his go-getter attitude and remarkable stamina despite his smaller stature. And yet all these boys make me very proud to be their Scoutmaster.” Pyle added, “Though our Troop runs outdoor trips year-round and deals with all types of weather, we appreciated the dry spell that coincided with this trek since it facilitated travel through some magnificent and challenging high country. All in all, the backcountry of Kodiak Island provides a perfect setting for youth to build practical outdoor skills and to cultivate an appreciation of nature.”

Contact Info: Bill Pyle, 907-487-2600-228, Bill_Pyle@fws.gov
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