Scouting out family fun

That was the message being sent around town as local Beavers, Cubs and Scouts leaders were drumming up a plan to have some fun in the snow on Sunday at Manning Park.

Abigail Bethell

“Head for the hills!”

That was the message being sent around town as local Beavers, Cubs and Scouts leaders were drumming up a plan to have some fun in the snow on Sunday at Manning Park.

“Usually we hand out newsletters at our meeting nights,” said group commissioner Crystal Medlock, on Monday, “but we hadn’t met over the Christmas break and this was more of a spur-of-the-moment decision, so we used word-of-mouth, e-mail and Facebook.”

“We ended up with 14 cars and well over 60 kids,” said Medlock. “We went through more than 100 hot dogs and lots of hot chocolate.”

Last year, the group had used the big open area at the Cambie Creek trail head near the Allison Pass Summit and they headed back there again.

“We left from Coquihalla School at 10:20 and were there just after 11:00, then headed home at 3:00,” said Medlock.

“Last year, they were taking snow from there to use at the Vancouver Olympics, so the runs were a little steeper then, where they had been digging,” she added. “There were no tracks in the snow when we got there yesterday, so we had to make our own.

“Some kids brought their saucers and Magic Carpets — but the big inner tubes were the most popular, said Medlock. “We had big tubes from trucks and they were putting one adult in the middle and piling six kids on top of them. Some kids would even try jumping on as the tube was going past them.

“I think the adults were more worn out than the kids!” she said.

“The weather was just perfect,” added Medlock, “but when the sun went down at about 2:00, it got cold really quickly.”

Crystal was a Girl Guide when she was growing up in North Delta. Now, she and her husband Scott are leaders with the local Scout movement, which is co-ed and has 83 registered kids, at least half of them girls. Their daughter Claire is in Beavers and son Jacob is in Cubs. The local group was reestablished three years ago at the Beavers and Cubs levels and now has graduated some kids to Scouts.

Crystal says the support of families is key to the Scouting movement.

“Families are really important, as we need lots of adults to supervise events. There are not many activities these days that a whole family can do, like this one,” she said. “Almost every kid had a parent or two up there — and other than the fuel, there was no cost.”

Keen on keeping the winter theme going, three of the leaders will be attending a winter camping training session next weekend at the Coquihalla summit. Daryn Berry, Scott Medlock and Stu Terink will get the training so they can lead a camp-out for the Hope troop.

“Stu lives in Chilliwack,” said Crystal, “but he and his family plan to move to Hope, so they make the trip up every week for our meetings.

“As long as Daryn can get the following weekend off work, they plan to have a two-night camp-out back at Manning Park.”

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If you’d prefer much longer runs — with a motorized tow to bring you back to the top, check out the Polar Coaster tube park at Manning’s alpine ski area, now open on weekends. A full day pass is $12 for kids and $14 for adults. Part-day rates are also available. The hill offers a beginner and an advanced run. Tubes are provided and helmets are recommended.

As of Monday, the hill was posting a 175 cm base, with more snow in the forecast.

For current conditions see manningpark.com .