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After an early morning stop at the


park visitors’ center had acquainted everyone with the lay of the land, they headed out Chain of Craters Road to observe the vast expanse of desolate, lava-covered acres and hike where, since 1983, lava has covered 10 miles of the highway. “It felt like we were on another planet,” Ross Alan said. That hot, two-hour trek across


a hard-lava field made a subse- quent visit to the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum a welcome breather—the air-conditioning cooled them off, and the buildings’ bank of seismographs showed no imminent activity in the adjacent caldera. As impressive as that was, though,


13-year-old Tyler Cole cited the Thurston Lava Tube as his favorite experience. A third of a mile down inside the cave-like tunnel, the less- claustrophobic Scouts and Scouters switched off their flashlights and received a shock to the senses few people experience. “It was cool to be in total darkness,” Tyler said. That evening, at Kalapana, they


watched (from a safe distance) molten lava from the Kilauea Volcano hissing into the sea. “You couldn’t match those colors in an oil painting,” Hazard said. “Even the photos I took didn’t duplicate the colors.” For sure, the high-adrenaline


activities were crucial to the trip. But assistant Scoutmaster Cole believed that many more of their lasting impressions were derived from just “being there.” “The best thing the boys got,” he


said, “was a sense of what life is like in another part of the world, in a place with a diverse range of people, food, and cultures.” They’ll remember the beauty


of the mountains and the beaches, seeing the 50-foot high plume of water shooting from the blowhole at Spouting Horn, chatting with locals and other visitors while shopping for cheap souvenirs in the village of


“There’s nothing like having touch screen, onboard maps, AND paperless geocaching tools on my GPS to give me that edge on fi nding those elusive geocaches. Now my friends have to follow the Geocaching Master!”


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Hanalei, and feasting on roast pig and poi at a genuine flaming-sword-and- hula luau at Smith’s Tropical Paradise. After all, how often do even the


most active Scouts get the opportunity to learn the hula from real Hawaiian hula dancers? And though it might be accurate to


conclude that Troop 315’s trip gave the boys a greater appreciation for what Scouting can bring into their lives, the kids probably would never express it that way.


They’d probably sum it up much


like Scout Dany Annous: “The awe- somest thing that happened to me was just getting to see everything,” Dany said. “It was just an amazing, unforgettable trip, and I’d definitely do it again. But then I’d go on a trip with my Scout troop to pretty much anywhere.” That’s what happens when Scout


troops think ahead. ¿


JOHN CLARK is the senior editor of Scouting magazine.


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SEPTEMBER•OCTOBER 2010 ¿ S COUTING


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