Scout Troop 328, Wilderness Camp
Sea Foam Lake, River of No Return Wilderness, Idaho
By : Jeff Head
August 17, 2003

Our new scout troop, Troop 328, conducted a wilderness camp in the Frank Church - River of no Return, Wilderness Area in our home state of Idaho during the week of August 11th, 2003. Pictures of that trip and narration follow.

Leaving Emmett, Idaho, we followed the Payette River from Emmett to Horseshoe Bend and then to Banks, Idaho where we took the South Fork of the Payette and followed it to Garden Valley and then to Lowman, Idaho. We had intended to continue on the main paved highway up over Banner Summit, but a forest fire in that area had the paved road closed so we took the gravel road detour up though Bear Valley, a forty-mile mountainous, dirt road bypass. We then took a fourteen mile road, which became progressively worse for wear as we went deeper into the wlderness, requiring high four wheel drive, to the Rapid River. Finally, at the Ranger Station at the Rapid River, we followed the very rough wilderness road another four miles, requiring low four wheel drive, up to Sea Foam Lake, a final distance of 130 miles from home.

The road is long, the route arduous and scenic to the Sea Foam Lake Wilderness Camp

But, upon arrival, the reward is well worth the time and effort.

After arrival, before any of the really fun activities could begin, the scouts knew that camp needed to be set up and they proceeded with the task at hand. There are tents to set up, the cooking area to prepare, garbage bags to set out, latrines to be dug and water to be pumped and purified.

Scouts and their adult advisors go about the tasks of setting up camp next to Sea Foam Lake.

Once setup was complete and all of the tasks for cooking and maintenance of the camp were assigned and scheduled, the fun activities planned for the camp could begin. Some of the things the scouts participated in throughout the camp were swimming, shooting, hiking, knot-tieing/lashin, fishing and board games (both Monopoly and Risk were played).

Scouts enjoying a refreshing dip in Seafoam Lake followed by a rousing monopoly game.

Lots of fish were jumping, but few were biting on this trip to Sea Foam Lake.

Cooking and eating are a neccessary and fun part of any scout camp. At Sea Foam Lake, each boy was assigned to be the designated cook for at least one meal during the camp. From deer steaks and fried potatoes, to tacos, to hamburgers, to pancakes, bacon and eggs, and the famous mountain man breakfasts...scouts ate hearty at wilderness camp.

The famous Mountain Man Breakfast was well prepared and very much enjoyed by all.

And what real scout camp would exist without a significant hike into the area and terrain sourrounding camp? In this case, a climb up to the highest point on the ridge opposite Sea Foam Lake was planned and executed. All of the boys and their adult advisors made the steep ascent, where the view on the top was well worth the sweat and effort expended in getting there.

Scouts and their advisors make the hard ascent to the highest point on the opposite ridge

The routes of the ascent and descent.

With the large basin surrounding the Sea Foam Lake area, there were many vistas and discoveries to be found and enjoyed while hiking to explore its extents. From perches above the upper lake, to old mining digs to other ridges and lookouts around the basin, scouts and their adult advisors took advantage of the opportunity.

Scouts and their adult advisors explore the basin

From ridges and high points around the basin, the views were spectacular.

The fish were not biting aound the edges of the lake so the scouts determined to put some of their lashing skills (or in some cases their on-the-spot acquired lashing skills) to use and build a good raft from which they could fish further out in the lake where more fish were seen to be jumping. This required that appropriate logs be chosen and gathered from the many already available fallen trees arund the edge of the lake and that they then be lashed together. The scouts set about the task with a will and finished the job in a few hours.

Scouts gather, choose and lash logs into a four-man raft

From early morning risings, to dawning ponchos for an evening rain storm and setting up a tarp to cover the cooking and eating area during that rain, the scouts continued their wilderness camp, experiencing and learning to live with the changes mother nature dealt them along the way.

The life of a scout in wilderness camp adjusts to the changing nature of weather conditions.

Finally, as sad as it was for the experience to end, the time came for the scouts to clean up, break camp and ensure that the area was left in a better condition than what they found it...and then leave for home. After doing so, the troop loaded into the four-wheel drive vehicles that brought them there and returned to Emmett, Idaho in the lower Payette valley.

Scouts breaking camp at Sea Foam lake.

Troop 328 prepares to "mount up" in the rigs that brought them and depart Sea Foam Lake.

Sea Foam Lake, as Troop 328 left the pristine setting of Idaho's River of No Return Wilderness.


2001 Varsity Float Trip .......... 2002 Winter Camp